The lawyers defending Michael Flynn against Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigations into Russian collusion with the Trump campaign have stopped sharing information with Donald Trump’s lawyers, according to an explosive revelation in The New York Times today. The move could indicate that Flynn has begun or is negotiating cooperation with Mueller’s team.
Four people close to the investigation have confirmed the news. While it is common for defense attorneys for people under a mutual investigation to share information with each other, that sharing must stop the moment a conflict of interest arises under ethical standards for the legal profession. Such a conflict would arise if one person under investigation decides to cooperate with the probe while another remains under investigation.
The news doesn’t unconditionally confirm that Flynn has begun cooperating with Mueller’s investigation. An excess of caution on Flynn’s lawyers’ part could have caused them to cease information sharing as soon as they started negotiating on behalf of their client. If no deal is reached, the information sharing could resume.
Still, given the details known so far about Flynn’s lies about his contacts with Russia, his stealthy work on behalf of the Turkish government, and the legal exposure of his son, Michael Flynn Jr., who worked with his father on his foreign agenda, most legal experts believe that he has succumbed to the pressure from the prosecutor’s office and will start spilling the beans on the inner workings of the Trump campaign.
This must be making for a very anxious Thanksgiving in the Trump family, particularly since Flynn is said to have met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the company of Trump-in-law Jared Kushner during the presidential transition period. While the White House claims that they have nothing to fear from Flynn since he will have nothing incriminating to reveal, the next few weeks should prove particularly interesting.
If the level of political distractions launched by the President rises beyond its already intolerable level, we’ll know that there really is something that he’s trying to hide. Just know that Mueller wouldn’t be ready to make a deal to trade leniency unless, firstly, there was enough evidence of criminality on Flynn’s (and/or his son’s) part to suggest that stiff penalties were in order, and, secondly, he saw signs of previously unknown information that could help in his investigations of people further on up the ladder from Flynn.
Curiouser and curiouser. We can’t wait to see the details of that information.