Michael Flynn Exoneration Will Turn an American Tragedy Into a Triumph | Opinion

Will the tragedy of the effort to destroy General Michael Flynn—the opening salvo in the effort to topple President Donald Trump—turn into a triumph for the American people?

With the extraordinary Department of Justice (DOJ) motion calling for the dismissal of Gen. Flynn's case with prejudice, we are one step closer to realizing such a stunning reversal.

The motion—in the context of the federal government's recent, long-overdue divulging of a deluge of damning documents detailing the baseless nature and corrupt elements of the Trump-Russia "investigations"—demonstrates that Gen. Flynn's case was perhaps the most poisonous fruit of the poisoned Russiagate tree.

It shows that the FBI agents who sought to set a perjury trap for Gen. Flynn should have never stepped foot in his office: "the interview of Mr. Flynn was untethered to, and unjustified by, the FBI's counterintelligence investigation into Mr. Flynn—a no longer justifiably predicated investigation that the FBI had, in the Bureau's own words, prepared to close because it had yielded an 'absence of any derogatory information.'"

It shows that the perjury trap they set failed: "we [do] not believe that the Government can prove either the relevant false statements or their materiality beyond a reasonable doubt." We already knew the agents did not believe that Gen. Flynn was trying to deceive them; that Gen. Flynn knew they had transcripts of the calls, and therefore would have no reason to dissemble; and that he admittedly lacked a firm recollection of the calls.

It shows that "the FBI kept open its counterintelligence investigation into Mr. Flynn based solely on his calls with [Russian Ambassador Sergei] Kislyak"—calls that were, in the federal government's words, "entirely appropriate" for a national security advisor-designate to be having—and that the DOJ recognized this in coming to "the general view that the Logan Act"—of dubious constitutionality and for which no American has ever been convicted—"would be difficult to prosecute."

It shows that senior DOJ and FBI officials engaged in unthinkable chicanery. They did irreparable damage to the very institutions to which many of them have claimed to be so devoted—whether via former FBI Director James Comey's directive to, brazenly and in violation of protocol, ambush Gen. Flynn, via stonewalling on exculpatory documents, or via tampering with the FBI notes from the illegitimate Gen. Flynn interview.

There are countless other outrageous aspects of the case.

In Gen. Flynn's view, he received inadequate, perhaps detrimental, defense from his original counsel—who allegedly had a pervasive series of conflicts of interest. Adding insult to injury, the original counsel withheld critical documents from his new legal team.

As had long been rumored, evidence suggests Gen. Flynn's guilty plea was coerced under threat of prosecution of his son—while prosecutors and Gen. Flynn's original lawyers had cut a secret side deal, unbeknownst to Gen. Flynn, not to prosecute him.

Meanwhile, Gen. Flynn saw his career torpedoed, his finances depleted and his good name and service to country forever tarnished.

The greatest price he may have suffered, however, may have been when presiding Judge Emmet Sullivan accused him of being a traitor, only later to recant after realizing he had botched basic facts of the case.

But no judicial retraction, nor exoneration, will ever restore Gen. Flynn's reputation.

Michael Flynn
Michael Flynn Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

The dizzying array of despicable aspects of this case make it one of the gravest injustices in political history.

Simply put, Gen. Flynn should have never been investigated, interviewed or charged as part of a broader Trump-Russia investigatory effort that should have never occurred.

This was, ironically, the stuff of the Soviet Union: "show me the man and I'll show you the crime."

It is critical also to consider why Gen. Flynn was targeted.

Sure, that the political establishment loathed Donald Trump was reason enough to try and sack his national security advisor, which would have a destabilizing, demoralizing and chilling effect.

But there was real animus towards Gen. Flynn that transcended his serving President Trump, chanting "lock her up," or challenging the Obama administration's handling of jihadism, which had previously cost him his job as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

While these were sins enough, the real problem was that Gen. Flynn, like the president he served, posed a mortal threat to the political establishment's power and prerogatives.

Gen. Flynn supported a national interest-oriented, America First agenda that rejected Wilsonian internationalism and appeasement of our foes and, among other things, was laser-focused on taking on Communist China and suffocating Iran's terrorist theocracy.

Though ignored, Gen. Flynn said of Russia—which the Trump administration would proceed to oppose harder than did Obama—that "Putin is a totalitarian dictator and a thug who does not have our interests in mind." In his 2016, book The Field of Fight, he wrote, "the Russians...are in cahoots with the Iranians...Putin fully intends to do the same thing as, and in tandem with, the Iranians: pursue the war against us."

Gen. Flynn was also poised to restructure the national security and intelligence apparatus. His recently released "Afghanistan Paper" interview was most revealing in his critique of it. There, with characteristic candor, he said that we had failed our mission, our efforts were rife with corruption, the senior ranks of our national security apparatus were politicized, the intelligence community was derelict and, point blank, that "there is lack of courage in senior government officials to tell the truth."

Gen. Flynn not only threatened to roil the Deep State, but would have been uniquely positioned to thwart the Deep State's designs to undermine and collapse the Trump administration.

The only thing Gen. Flynn ever betrayed was the political establishment.

For these reasons, he had to be the first domino to fall.

The sad irony of this tragedy is that this legendary intelligence officer, who hunted down America's worst enemies for 33 years, missed the most dangerous threat of all to his own career: that of the Deep State colleagues who plotted his demise.

But the triumph of this tragedy could be that the exposure of the rottenness of the soul-crushing ordeal to which he has been subjected may force a broader reckoning.

Perhaps it will force real transparency into every aspect of the Russiagate hoax.

Perhaps it will lead to punishment for those who did irrevocable damage to our justice system by violating the civil liberties of Americans and weaponizing our national security apparatus against domestic political foes.

Perhaps it will once again make us a nation of laws—with only one standard of justice.

The trial of Gen. Flynn may prove his greatest sacrifice to country and, inadvertently, lead to his greatest contribution to it.

At minimum, let us hope Judge Sullivan rights a horrible wrong by dismissing the case.

Ben Weingarten is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, fellow at the Claremont Institute and senior contributor to The Federalist. He is the author of American Ingrate: Ilhan Omar and the Progressive-Islamist Takeover of the Democratic Party (Bombardier, 2020). Ben is the founder and CEO of ChangeUp Media LLC, a media consulting and production company. Subscribe to his newsletter at bit.ly/bhwnews, and follow him on Twitter @bhweingarten.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.