Forrest Gump’s mother was obviously thinking of Donald Trump when she told her son, “Stupid is as stupid does.” You know, people rarely get caught the first time they do something wrong, nobody expects it from them. It’s the law of averages that eventuallt catches up with them. It will be interesting to see if the law of averages catches up with Trump this time.
All the way back in April, Trump tried a risky gambit, and this time he got caught right out of the gate. Mike Flynn was under investigation, but hadn’t been indicted yet, in fact Comey was still the FBI Director. But the heat was on Flynn, and Comey had rebuffed Trump’s entreaties to back off of investigating Flynn. Despite His Lowness’ lawyers practically begging Trump pretty-please-with-sprinkles-on-top to not do it, Trump found a back channel way to get the message “stay strong” to Flynn. Weeks later, Comey was fired, and Trump bragged to Sergei Kisylak and Sergei Lavrov that he had taken the heat off of himself. The press coverage and public perception was every bit as bad as the Trump legal team had feared, but it was done.
Trump just did it again, but this time the situation and circumstances are very different from what they were back in April. I wish that I knew the name and organization of the reporter that asked the question the other day, “Mr President, are you going to pardon Michael Flynn.” I’d start a petition to his boss to have him permanently assigned to covering socialite tea parties, he’s obviously not ready for the big leagues. But you know what? Reporters used to shout baited, leading questions to mob bosses all the time back int he day, and even the mob bosses knew enough to keep their big, fat mouths shut. But not the Day Glo mental midget in the Oval Office, his reply was, “I don’t even tant to think about pardoning Michael Flynn, yet.”
What the Tangerine Tantrum doesn’t seem to realize is that “the times, they are a-chingin;.” Back in late April, Flynn was only under investigation, he hadn’t even been indicted yet, much less a convicted mfelon and cooperating witness. Now he both of those things. And by hanging that dangling carrot of a pardon withi the word “yet,” Trump has not only possibly attempted to obstruct justice, he could also possibly be plausibly accused of attempted witness tampering. If Flynn honestly believes that Trump will pardon him and his idiot monkey spawn, he can tell Mueller the deal is off, clam up, and collect his get-out-of-jail-free card from Trump. If an air raid siren volume whisper that a witness should shut his moouth with a promise that it won’t cost him a single night in jais isn’t witness tampering, then I don’t know what is.
But what can Mueller do about this, after all, what’s done is done? Friday night, former Watergate special prosecutor laid out one thing he thinks Mueller will do. And that is, if Flynn has not already testified to the grand jury, get him in there first thing Monday morning, and ask him every question the prosecution can possibly think of. Hell, they can have a sleepover in the grand jury room if needed, with takeout Chinese, but get every last morsel of information Flynn has on the record, under oath. This way, not only do you not lose any of that information that could assist your investigation, but if Trump does pardon Flynn, he loses his 5th amendment priviliges, he cannot incriminate himself if he’s already been pardoned. If he lies or changes his story under oath in front of a gtrand jusry or trial jury, he can b e impeached with his previous statements under oath to the grand jury.
But there is something else that Mueller may be able to do here, and I’d dearly love to see him at least try it. Flynn may have pled guilty, but he has been sentenced yet, and may not for many months, while the court gauges his cooperation with prosecutors under his plea agreement. This means that the the matter is still active and pending. I would go back in front of the trial judge, and ask him to issue a blank “gag order”, prohibiting anyone connected with the case from making any public statements. Considering the fact that Trump has the ability to turn Flynn from a cooperating witness with the stroke of a pen, he would certainly qualify as being connected with the case, especially since he’s a possible subject in another investigation that needs Flynn’s information.
While current, legally untested opinion may be that a sitting President cannot be indicted, that is a Justie Department opinion, not a law. Nothing says that a federal judge could not hold a President in contempt of court. Even if it was determined that the judge could not have Trump jailed, wouldn’t it be sweet if the judge ordered Twitter to permanently terminate Der Gropinfurors account? And besides, Trump cannot tolerate being told what to do, by anybody. If Mueller decided to spank him in court, it may well lead Trump to try to fire Mueller in indignant rage, and good lick trying to convince anybody that getting you slapped with a contempt of court ruling was “just cause” to fire his ass. But it’s about time somebody did something. After all, as Trump himself told the African American community during the campaign, “What the hell do you have to lose?”