Gage Skidmore / Flickr michael flynn...
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

On Tuesday, former national security advisor Michael Flynn appears in federal district court to be sentenced on charges of lying to FBI investigators. The special counsel’s office has recommended that Flynn receive a sentence at the low end available on the charge—which would likely mean no jail time and a relatively brief period of probation—however, that recommendation has been somewhat compromised by claims from Flynn’s legal team claiming that their client was walked into a “perjury trap.”

Donald Trump started off his morning going all in on the fantasy that lost test messages between FBI agent Peter Strzok and “the lovely Lisa Page” would have “explained the whole hoax” behind “the witch hunt.” Then Trump got around to giving Michael Flynn a cheery “Good luck today in court.” Despite the fact that Flynn has carried out at least 19 interviews, and given Robert Mueller enough redacted information to burn though a box of toner, Trump doesn’t seem to think the general is “weak” like Michael Cohen.

Trump: Will be interesting to see what he has to say, despite tremendous pressure being put on him, about Russian Collusion in our great and, obviously, highly successful political campaign.

Except, of course, Trump has—or should have, unless acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker has been doing some digging—no idea what Flynn has said to the special counsel. Still, we know there was “collusion” because that much was left un-redacted. What was visible in the sentencing documents concerned Flynn’s own coordination with the Russians on two critical policies during the transition period. Whatever is behind all those black bars in the redacted section, it’s a sure thing that in this case it’s not about bank fraud and ostrich-skin vests.

Just yesterday, two of Flynn’s associates were charged with illegally working as foreign agents for Turkey and conspiring to kidnap a US resident cleric and hand him over for almost certain execution. These charges are not on Flynn’s sentencing documents precisely because Robert Mueller thought that the information Flynn had available was valuable enough to avoid decades behind bars—for both Flynn and his son. Yes, Flynn is receiving a light sentence for lying to the FBI. But that’s not the deal. The deal is that he’s not the great majority of his crimes at all.

In response to the “perjury trap” claim, the FBI has turned over documents detailing Flynn’s questioning to remove any thought that there was a set-up. Though the idea that a three star general should have to be reminded that lying to the FBI on criminal matters is itself a crime is ridiculous on its face.  Almost as ridiculous as the claim is for Trump.

As for what Flynn has to say in court. He likely will say “Yes” when asked by the judge. And that’s all.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.

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