Here’s an instance where you’ll have to put on your thinking cap, because it suddenly looks like someone is playing high level chess in the Trump-Russia scandal, and it’s not Michael Flynn. He invoked the Fifth Amendment today in an effort to avoid turning over the relevant documents that had been subpoena’d by the Senate Intel Committee. But just hours later, Congressional Democrats revealed they already have documents which incriminate Michael Flynn.
This evening, House Oversight Committee ranking member Elijah Cummings posted a letter revealing he has documents showing that Michael Flynn’s 2015 trip to Moscow was in fact paid for by the Kremlin-funded Russia Today, and not by U.S. sponsors, as Flynn had been claiming (link). This represents definitive proof of the longtime widespread suspicion that Flynn was on the take from the Russian government, and not merely the Turkish government has he’s acknowledged. In other words, Flynn is headed to prison unless he cuts a deal.
This means that while Flynn is well within his Constitutional rights to invoke the Fifth Amendment in the name of not incriminating himself, it’s irrelevant in a practical sense because there’s already enough proof to convict him of a serious crime. And so now Flynn has two clear choices: cooperate in exposing Donald Trump’s role in the Russia scandal, or continue stonewalling and end up being sent to prison for his own crimes.
Now that the Democrats have made Michael Flynn aware that they already have the proof to nail him whether he cooperates in the Trump-Russia investigation or not, he’ll have to reevaluate his position. And Flynn might want to hurry, as his former colleagues Paul Manafort and Roger Stone appear to have taken advantage of his hesitance today, turning over relevant Trump-Russia documents themselves (link). Oddly enough, Flynn’s refusal to cooperate may have unwittingly set off a race to see who can get the best deal first.