*The following is an opinion column by R Muse*
Apparently being a pathological liar entails more than simply being unable to tell the truth; it also means not acknowledging other people’s lies as anything untoward, or illegal. Since Donald Trump is a pathological liar of the first order, even after learning that his chosen National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was caught red-handed lying to federal investigators, he did absolutely nothing because Trump does not consider lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation agents as a breach of the law; so he allowed him to maintain his high-level security position and hoped the ever-expanding investigation would go away.
However “smart” Trump thinks he is, and he does “think” he’s smart, someone on his team, like his nominee for attorney general or his personal cadre of advocates for the law, is smart enough to know that lying, or making false statements to law enforcement officials is a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001; a federal felony worthy of prison time.
Under the heading “Making false statements,” 18 U.S.C. § 1001 says:
“Any person knowingly and willfully making false or fraudulent statements, or concealing information, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the federal government of the United States, even by mere denial, shall be fined under this title, and imprisoned not more than 5 years.” (Author bold)
It was that section of the U.S. Code that allowed prosecutors to convict and send Martha Stewart, Bernie Madoff, “Scooter” Libby, Rod Blagojevich, and Jeffrey Skilling to federal prison for doing exactly what Trump’s NSA chief did; make false statements to federal investigators. Still, the Trump concluded that Flynn did nothing wrong and certainly nothing illegal; likely because he is a pathological liar himself and sees nothing whatsoever wrong with lying, even to federal law enforcement agents.
It is beyond dispute that Flynn lied to federal agents with the FBI; something Donald J. Trump knew to be a fact for seventeen days and pretended nothing was untoward. In fact, not only Trump, but his press secretary Sean Spicer said that Trump took his sweet time and went through a serious “deliberative process” in deciding what to do with Flynn’s issue because it was not about legality but credibility; something 18 U.S.C. § 1001 debunks.
Spicer said, “The evolving and eroding level of trust as a result of this situation and a series of other questionable instances is what led the president to ask for General Flynn’s resignation.”
That statement is one colossal pile of bovine excrement and Spicer, Trump, and any conscious human being knows that is all it is. Trump doesn’t do “lengthy deliberative processes,” and everyone’s favorite pet knows that if not for Flynn’s lies being publicly exposed by the intelligence community and main stream media, he would still be right where Trump allowed him to remain for far too long; even after acting Attorney General Sally Yates briefed Trump on Flynn’s lies and the threat of him being open to blackmail.
That assessment is not just this author’s “opinion.” The New York Times reported:
“Other [Trump] aides privately said that Trump, while annoyed at Flynn, might not have ‘pushed’ him out had the situation not attracted such attention from the news media. Instead, according to three people close to Trump, he made the decision to cast aside Flynn in a flash, the catalyst being a news alert of a coming [news] article about the matter.”
Trump is an idiot liar like his idiot liar, and former, national security advisor. He is also a traitor like Flynn. This author agrees whole-heartedly with Bob Cesca’s assessment that in the same fashion that Flynn is exposed as a liar and a traitor, “Trump’s attempted cover-up of this ever-expanding scandal, exposes Trump as a liar and traitor” as well. Why else would he defend Flynn for going on three weeks even after being informed by the acting attorney general that Flynn was not only a liar, he was vulnerable to blackmail from Trump’s love-interest in the Kremlin.
Although Trump being a liar likely has a lot to do with his defense of a fellow liar, it is just as reasonable to assume that he failed to pull the “resign or be fired” trigger because he not only knew exactly what Flynn was up to in talking to the Kremlin about lifting President Obama’s sanctions, Trump probably directed Flynn to make contact and assure Putin that his intelligence community’s handiwork during the campaign would be repaid. It is important to remember that even after former acting Attorney General Yates briefed the Trump, he pretended everything was great and defended Flynn like a long-lost lover.
It is likely that both Trump and Flynn concluded that resigning would make this whole Russia “issue” go away but they’re both dreaming. Coupled with the “bombshell” report that team Trump has been lying profusely about never having contact with Russia during the campaign, the pressure from the media and public will just increase to a level that even Republicans in Congress can hardly withstand. Flynn violated 18 U.S.C. § 1001 and almost certainly the “Logan Act” that no resignation can make go away. It is true that Trump will direct his racist Attorney General Jeff Sessions to ignore the violations of federal law, but congressional Republicans can hardly tolerate too much more damage without acting on their own.
Flynn needs to go to prison and Trump needs to be impeached for attempting to cover up what most people regard as a treasonous action against the best interests of the United States. Short of that goal, Flynn must at least be charged, tried, and convicted of “making false statements;” maybe then he will decide to tell the truth that his boss, Donald J. Trump ordered him to violate the Logan Act and commit what any real American considers treason.
**The above article contains facts with commentary by R Muse**
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.