Mike Flynn’s Son Invoked His Fifth Amendment Privilege Early in the Investigation into His Father

In the wake of the Flynn pardon (the details of which remain uncertain), the frothers are repeating the fictions about the investigation into Flynn that were obviously false in May, when they first started, and have been affirmatively debunked since. Flynn’s son is central to those stories. As a reminder, the claim is that Flynn Sr took a plea deal not because his very credible defense attorneys had counseled him he faced up to 15 years for hiding that he was on Turkey’s payroll during the campaign, but because Mueller threatened his son. Implicit in that claim is that Mike Jr didn’t have any real criminal exposure of his own, but Mueller was nevertheless threatening to trump up an investigation into the failson in November, when his dad took the deal.

Even in General Flynn’s sworn declaration, though, the claim is only that Flynn’s son would be indicted.

  • “I agreed to plead guilty that next day, December 1, 2017, because of the intense pressure from the Special Counsel’s Office, which included a threat to indict my son, Michael, and the lack of crucial information from my counsel.”
  • “My former lawyers from Covington also assured me on November 30, 2017, that if I accepted the plea, my son Michael would be left in peace.”

But a warrant recently unsealed in the case suggests that from the start of the investigation, Mike Jr was a focus of the investigation. Along with Flynn himself and Flynn’s partner Bijan Kian, Flynn Jr was subpoenaed for the devices he used in his Flynn Intelligence Group work in July 2017. We know this warrant is his because it was sent to Barry Coburn, who represented the son, because it refers to the father as Michael T. Flynn throughout (which is necessary to distinguish Michael G from his father), and describes the target of the warrant as Flynn’s chief of staff, a role the son played.

Like his father and Kian, Flynn Jr had refused to comply with a subpoena for his devices, and had given his phone to his attorney for safe-keeping. Mueller’s team got warrants for all three as a way to force the attorneys to turn over the phones of their clients.

Unlike the others though, Flynn Jr also got subpoenaed for testimony. His attorney responded by proffering that Flynn Jr would invoke the Fifth Amendment. Among the questions Flynn Jr’s lawyer at least said he’d refuse to answer were:

  1. Are you aware of whether Michael T. Flynn has ever traveled outside of the United States?
  2. Please describe each instance when Michael T. Flynn traveled outside of the United States since August 1, 2014.
  3. Are you aware of whether Michael T. Flynn has ever communicated with a foreign government official?
  4. Please describe each instance when Michael T. Flynn communicated with a foreign government official since August 1, 2014.

Prosecutors seemed to be pushing Flynn Jr to appear before the grand jury and invoke the Fifth question by question — but it’s unclear what did happen.

One way or another, however, General Flynn’s son’s lawyer was telling Mueller’s prosecutors as early as July that answering questions that would cover his trip to Russia for the RT gala would incriminate him.

That suggests it wasn’t just Flynn’s lawyers at Covington who believed, four months later, that Flynn Jr might be at risk of prosecution.

Update: Mike Flynn Jr has become a Twitter fan of mine. Last night he assured me there was zero chance he’ll ever be indicted.

I may be misunderstanding, but this seems to suggest that Daddy’s claims he only pled was to keep Jr out of trouble — as asserted by Flynn in a sworn statement, above — are false. I mean, he may be accusing Pops of perjury, which seems to be an odd way to celebrate a pardon.

25 replies
  1. Tom Marney says:

    Wouldn’t the public interest have been better served by having Michael G take the fifth, even if doing so had scuttled Michael T’s plea deal?

  2. Peterr says:

    To be scrupulously fair to the frothers, they claim that the investigation into Flynn was itself part of the Deep State plot against then-candidate Trump which began (in their fevered minds) long before Comey was canned and Mueller was appointed. “Flynn gave a barnburner of a speech on Monday, July 18 at the 2016 Republican convention, and within just ten days the Obama DOJ gets 3 search warrants to grab phones in revenge. This is NOT a coincidence!!1!”

    What most folks miss, though, is the role Flynn Jr played as his dad’s chief of staff. It’s like when some were upset when reporters asked difficult questions of Ivanka and she got huffy in response, saying in essence “You never asked questions like this of Malia or Sasha!” I hate to break it to these kids, but if you take senior official positions, you are not just The Boss’ Kids any more.

    But a question for Marcy: when I follow the links you have to the three search warrants, Flynn Sr’s warrant is dated July 27, but Kian’s and Flynn Jr’s are dated July 28. To me, the different dates opens up the possibility that the DOJ learned something on the 27th that said “we need to get broader warrants than we first thought.” Any idea what that may have been?

    • P J Evans says:

      Ivanka’s whining also misses the fact that Malia and Sasha were young teens at the time, not married adults.

    • emptywheel says:

      If you look, Flynn’s was originally dated July 28, too, but then Judge Howell redated it. So it was a matter of Mueller getting it early, not the others being delayed.

    • Montana Voter says:

      No, the “frothers” do not get to be scrupulously fair to when their assertions defy reality. Flynn was a problem in the security agencies and was dismissed. He attended the RU party and sat with Putin in 2015. He showed up on Kisliyak and others monitored conversations. His “barn burner” speech was not even relevant to his investigation.
      Similarly, one days difference in the issuance of the search warrants is probably nothing more than time constraints. Virtually nothing could have been seized under the first warrant to cause the others to be generated a day later.
      Flynn’s pardon is a travesty and the natural flow from it will be only the beginning of the wholesale destruction of rule of law in the USA. Giving the benefit of doubt to any of these arguments only serves to legitimize them in the minds of the MAGA cult.

  3. harpie says:

    Whenever I think about any of these
    I always hear Janis belting out:

    Crrryyyyy BABYYYYYYYY

  4. Savage Librarian says:

    Corn & Cob

    As Corn was separated from Cob,
    receiving a full pardon,
    Yes, siree, Bob,
    Like Adam, in the garden,

    When the grants were sworn,
    but only one could hobnob,
    I wonder if Corn
    seemed to Cob, a full snob.

    Without even a single gobble,
    or a hint of how berserk he
    could be in a squabble,
    Corn ducked being cold Turkey.

    In the swing of a dangling “what’ll
    the mob lob next,”
    Corn was the absolute model
    of a plan that was fixed but hexed.

  5. earlofhuntingdon says:

    As chief of staff for his dad, Mike Jr. would have been privy to much of what his dad did, where he traveled, who he saw, what the revenue stream was and how it was paid.

    If Flynn was bent, then Mike Jr was a co-conspirator in his crimes. You can’t be a chief of staff and be totally ignorant of what your principal does, you can’t do that job without furthering the conspiracy.

    And still no release of the pardon text. I wonder what they’re hiding.

    • Spencer Dawkins says:

      “And still no release of the pardon text. I wonder what they’re hiding.”

      Indeed. I suppose that when Flynn the elder blew up his own plea arrangement, anything that had been offered for Flynn the younger went off the table?

      This may be interesting, after all.

    • Chetnolian says:

      Are we sure there is a final pardon text? All we have so far is a tweet and a press release rehashing all the previously used talking points. Maybe Barr’s troops are feverishly working out what it has to to say to minimise the risk to Trump and his pals.

      • Montana Voter says:

        It will probably be called a joke like so many of his other screw ups in the past. Had to say if Barr will come to the rescue. I have a feeling Barr is looking at his hole cards. There might not be enough cash to keep him from cutting his own deal.

    • AndTheSlithyToves says:

      As a Canadian friend reminded me several months ago, George Mason was at the Convention but did not sign it: Of the 55 original delegates, only 41 were present on September 17, 1787, to sign the proposed Constitution. Three of those present (George Mason and Edmund Randolph of Virginia and Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts) refused to sign what they considered a flawed document.

  6. hideousnora says:

    Just came to say Happy Thanksgiving and thank you to Marcy, Rayne, bmaz and all the regulars for the great research, analysis, and writing. Cheers!

  7. Rapier says:

    I read Jr’s statement as saying that there is no chance he will be indicted now, as opposed to back in 2017. Sorry if I am giving him plausible deniability.

    Off in the weeds however I have been trying to find EW’s post(s) about Flynn Sr. texting, during the inauguration ceremony, about a nuclear power plant deal between the Saudi’s and some Chinese company that he had was brokering. . Previously he had been brokering a Saudi-Russian nuke plant deal but apparently playing two sides was no problem for him, being a fierce patriot and all.

    Admittedly my memory is fading fast so my ‘facts’ may be off. The gist of the story is delicious however and needs to be revived. It’s the personal profit making done by all the players on the Trump side which never gets enough emphasis.

    Can anyone point the way to EW’s or any stories about Flynn’s nuke plant brokering, especially during the beautiful American Carnage speech?

  8. timbo says:

    Thank you EW for continuing to remind folks about what this was about, namely the powerful and their kin trying to cynically game the system and milk the country for what they could get out of it at the expense of sound policy and good security practices.

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