- - Monday, December 4, 2017


The world customarily slows down in December — except at the mall — to gather itself for a new year. But 2017 has not been a typical year. The world is upside down, turned inside out and spinning like a child’s top. The centerpiece of the clown show is the relentless Democratic campaign to bring Donald Trump’s presidency to ruin. The destruction of Michael Flynn is little more than collateral damage.

Mr. Flynn, the U.S. Army lieutenant general who gave 33 years of honorable service in uniform, pleaded guilty in federal court of lying to the FBI while a member of the Trump presidential transition team. Described now as broken financially and in spirit, and wanting to spare his family the agony of watching him pilloried by a runaway press, he left the court house to cries of “lock him up,” a reprise of the cries directed at Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Mr. Flynn is the latest fish caught in the net of special counsel Robert Mueller in his pursuit of a crime to fit his Russian collusion investigation. Mr. Mueller’s hallelujah chorus in the press celebrated for almost a day only to suffer still another disappointment when it became clear that Mr. Mueller had delivered just another wisp of smoke, but no evidence of fire. If he were a trail boss expected in Abilene with a herd of beef, he would be jeered as all hat and no cattle.

Mr. Mueller’s mandate was to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump.” He interpreted this to mean going through whatever dirty underwear of strangers he could find to keep the investigation going. So far, he has cornered one-time Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort and an underling for dodgy financial dealings long before the White House was a glimmer in the Donald’s eye. He nailed a campaign volunteer for fibbing to the FBI.

The single crime to which Mr. Flynn admitted was lying to FBI agents questioning him about talking to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. As a transition team member pegged for a high-level foreign affairs post, Mr. Flynn’s conversations with an ambassador occurred in December, after the campaign was over, and probably outside the boundaries of Mr. Mueller’s jurisdiction. Mr. Flynn dissembled, or misremembered, details of what he had said and done.

Mr. Mueller stacked his regiment of expensive lawyers with contributors to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, presumably to make sure he could sustain his passion to find a crime, and he announced last week that one of his supervising FBI agents was removed from the search for evidence of collusion with the Russians when he was found to be exchanging anti-Trump and pro-Hillary Clinton text messages with a lawyer for the FBI with whom he had been canoodling after hours. The bureau had been sitting on these embarrassing details for months. The FBI does not lie, its agents say, but sometimes a stonewall is as good as a lie.

The major media, as it likes to call itself, suffered a hit last week when ABC News suspended a reporter, Brian Ross, for dispensing fake news. Mr. Ross had told his viewers that President Trump had instructed Mr. Flynn during the campaign to contact the Russians when, in fact, the general was told to do that after the election, when newly elected presidents hustle to make connections everywhere.

The celebrating journalists thought a three-star enemy had finally been brought to ground. Instead they got another reminder of the Bard’s famous counsel that sometimes “the fault … is not in our stars, but in ourselves.”

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide