Michael Flynn’s real time in the barrel goes back to the Mueller investigation with whatever Russian involvements Flynn had, as well as a variety of other deals like the Russian/Saudi nuclear “Marshall Plan” project, that will not relate to the lies to the FBI. The latter had Kushner and even Bannon involved. It’s not going to be about a lack of evidence, as Barr has suggested. There’s so much more there, there, like with that Fethullah Gülen kidnap plot on US soil. Then there’s more complete lists of Trump’s own crimes.
— Andy Washburn 🏝 (@AndyWashburn1) November 25, 2020
The backdrop: Flynn's legal troubles began during the 2016 presidential transition, when he urged former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in a phone call not to escalate in response to the Obama administration imposing sanctions on Russia for election interference.
- Flynn then lied about not discussing sanctions, to Vice President Mike Pence who repeated that denial to the media — causing alarm among Justice Department officials who feared the lies made Flynn susceptible to Russian blackmail.
- In January 2017, Flynn was interviewed without a lawyer present by FBI agents as part of a counterintelligence investigation into Russian interference. He later admitted to lying to the FBI as part of a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller.
The bottom line: Trump's pardon of Flynn would take the matter out of the hands of the courts and of a Biden-controlled Justice Department.
There will be new matters however unrelated to Flynn’s embrace of QAnon, maybe.
After leaving the military, he established Flynn Intel Group, which provided intelligence services for businesses and governments, including in Turkey. In 2017, Flynn registered as a foreign agent, acknowledging that in 2016 he had conducted paid lobbying work that may have benefited Turkey's government. Flynn served as a senior advisor to Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign. On January 22, 2017, Flynn was sworn in as the National Security Advisor. On February 13, 2017, he resigned after information surfaced that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence about the nature and content of his communications with Russian ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak. Flynn's tenure as the National Security Advisor is the shortest in the history of the position.
In December 2017, Flynn formalized a deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller to plead guilty to a felony count of “willfully and knowingly” making false statements to the FBI, and agreed to cooperate with the Special Counsel's investigation. In January 2020, Flynn moved to withdraw his guilty plea, claiming government vindictiveness and breach of the plea agreement. The United States Department of Justice announced that it intended to drop all charges against Flynn on May 7, 2020. Federal district judge Emmet G. Sullivan ruled the matter to be placed on hold.
On March 24, 2017, former Director of the CIA James Woolsey said that in September 2016 Flynn, while working for the Trump presidential campaign, had attended a meeting in a New York hotel with Turkish officials including foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and energy minister Berat Albayrak, son-in-law of Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and had discussed abducting Fethullah Gülen and sending him to Turkey, bypassing the U.S. extradition legal process.
Flynn sat in on classified national security briefings with then-candidate Trump at the same time that Flynn was working for foreign clients, which raises ethical concerns and conflicts of interest. Flynn was paid at least $5,000 to serve as a consultant to a U.S.-Russian project to build 40 nuclear reactors across the Middle East, which Flynn's failure to disclose was flagged by Representatives Elijah Cummings and Eliot Engel as a possible violation of federal law.