The witch hunt defense is dead, and Rachel Maddow showed exactly how Mike Flynn’s sentencing judge killed it for Donald Trump.
It your contention that any misconduct by any member of the FBI raises any degree of doubt that Mr. Flynn intentionally lied to the FBI? Kelner, the defense tern, no, your honor. The references that I mention that appear in your sentencing memorandum raise some concerns on the part of the court. And my question is how is raising those contentions about the circumstances under which Mr. Flynn lied consistent with his acceptance of responsibility? Later on, in the proceedings, this is where Flynn’s lawyer essentially decide to take responsibility for that himself and basically apologize to the court for having raised it. The judge says, quote, let — excuse me. The defense lawyer says the judge, let me make very clear, your honor, that the decisions how to frame general Flynn’s sentencing memorandum made by counsel, made by me, made by Mr. Anthony, the other defense counsel, those decisions are entirely ours and really should not and do not diminish in any way general Flynn’s acceptance of responsibility in this case.
And the judge then sort of interrupts and says the point is well taken, but you understand why I had to make the inquiry? The defense attorney says I do. The judge, because I’m thinking this sounds like a backpedaling on the acceptance of responsibility. So that did not work. Mike Flynn and his attorneys today disavow and essentially apologize, for ever suggesting to the judge that Flynn wasn’t really guilty, that the FBI was somehow the real culprit here. I mean, that alone cancels like half the shows on Fox News tonight. All right. What are you going to talk about? But there’s also the part where everybody starts talking about Mike Flynn and treason, and they can’t stop saying the word “Treason” over and over again.
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) December 19, 2018
The witch hunt defense has become a hot topic in conservative media because it allows them to argue that the entire Russia investigation is a conspiracy to get Trump and his friends. Flynn’s sentencing judge killed that defense in its tracks with a series of questions that revealed that there is no witch hunt. Mike Flynn was entrapped, and his crimes were real.
If or when Trump is ever charged with a crime, the witch hunt defense is off the table, because Mike Flynn’s sentencing judge killed it where it stood.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association