The news is coming so fast today that I’m hesitant to spend a lot of time writing about “my take” because I’ll miss too much while I’m doing it. So, this is more of a fly-by post. Josh Marshall makes a good point:
Seems like a good time to restate for the record that the “We fired Flynn because he lied to Pence” was obviously false from day one.
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) December 1, 2017
There’s reason to suspect that Mike Pence may have been the high level senior transition official who asked Michael Flynn to have communications with the Russians. If he asked Flynn to talk to Ambassador Kislyak and request that the Russians not react too harshly to President Obama’s announced sanctions, that would be quite amazing.
Because Mike Pence went on national television and stated that Flynn had not discussed sanctions with Kislyak. Then, when that was exposed as a lie, Pence said that he had asked Flynn directly about it and that Flynn had lied to his face. This was then used, belatedly, to rationalize firing Michael Flynn.
Court documents say that on Dec. 29, Mr. Flynn called a senior transition official who was with other members of the team at Mr. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Florida “to discuss what, if anything, to communicate to the Russian ambassador about the U.S. sanctions.”
This would explain why Trump wanted to protect Flynn, since Flynn was sacrificing his dream job after only a few weeks to cover for a vice president who was falsely accusing him publicly of being a liar.
You can understand why Flynn must have expected better treatment than to be left twisting in the wind until he was facing charges for all kinds of crimes, including bribery and kidnapping.
Even if it was Jared Kushner instead of Pence who made the directive to Flynn to contact the Russians, it will still be earth-shattering for the Trump family and administration, but if it’s Pence, just, “wow!”
The other transition officials were Reince Priebus and K.T. McFarland, and I doubt either of them would have been the contact for Flynn, especially not the “senior” one.