Eli Lake’s The Railroading of Michael Flynn (Commentary Magazine) persuades me that Michael Flynn pretty well got screwed over by the FBI and DOJ. “There is no way a reasonable person could conclude that a move to prevent a tit-for-tat escalation was evidence that Flynn was a Russian agent or asset.”
By extension, it’s not difficult to believe that Donald Trump also was treated unfairly and deceptively.
I was not particularly inclined to exonerate Flynn and I’m not exonerating Trump. Has there ever a less sympathetic “victim” than Trump? Nothing I’ve read today, in Lake or elsewhere, inclines me to vote for a man so odious that it’s tempting to say “he deserved every bit of it.”
But he was President-elect and then President. Did the whole nation deserve to have so unstable and unsuitable a man further riled and distracted to any degree at all?
What are we going to do about our KGB — er, I mean FBI?
All my prior paragraphs were written before I finished his article, and as befits a good writer, Lake has his own wrap-up, less lame than “what are we going to do about our KGB?”:
When Flynn was designated to become Trump’s national-security adviser, much of Washington remembered his angry speech the prior summer at the Republican convention when he had led the crowd in the chant of “lock her up” that so startled and upset Susan Rice. A line had been crossed in that episode: A retired three-star general and the candidate he was advising had chosen to treat their political opponent like a criminal.
Little did Flynn know that only five months later, that was exactly what the FBI and Justice Department would do to him.
I suspect that I’ve been carried along by Eli Lake’s captivating writing, which by its coherence makes me feel as if I finally understand that happened. If you have an hour or so and can penetrate an intermittent paywall at Commentary, judge for yourself.