Mike Flynn’s Guilty Plea – What It Means

Michael Flynn, Trump’s ex-national security adviser, will plead guilty to Making False Statements to the FBI at 10:30 AM EST today (Friday). Seth Abramson explains what it means.

Attorney and University of New Hampshire professor Seth Abramson has been publishing extensive tweets regarding the Trump-Russia conspiracy for months now; and, while he has his critics, he has been correct on most of his assessments.



Abramson – a former public defender – has an impressive resume. As his website notes:

Seth is regularly interviewed about politics and higher education by domestic and International media. Recent interviews include the BBC, CNN, NPR, PBS, ABC Radio, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Chronicle of Higher Education, New York Magazine, and The New England Review of Books. Seth’s essays have also been widely cited, including discussions on CNBC, PBS, FNC, BET, and NPR, as well as in Politico, The Atlantic, Rolling Stone, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, The New Yorker, The Chicago Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy, Slate, and Pitchfork.

Abramson published a massive megathread on Twitter today regarding Michael Flynn’s anticipated guilty plea today.

That guilty plea has been confirmed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office. As CNBC reports:

A plea hearing for Flynn, the first Trump administration official charged in the ongoing Russia probe, has been scheduled for 10:30 a.m. in Washington, D.C. federal court, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office said.

The retired Army lieutenant general is expected to plead guilty to a criminal information charging him with a single count of knowingly making materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statements to FBI agents.

Abramson’s thread is below and we will relate a few highlights.

Abramson begins by noting that “This is the biggest development in the Russia probe so far.”



Below are Abramson’s first nine tweets. His thread is ongoing and has reached 30 points thus far.

  1. First, it’s important to understand that Mueller has entered into a plea deal with Flynn in which Flynn pleads guilty to far less than the available evidence suggests he could be charged with. This indicates that he has cut a deal with Mueller to cooperate in the Russia probe.
  2. We’ve already seen Mueller do this once before in the probe, with George Papadopoulos—who was charged with the same crime as Flynn, Making False Statements, to secure his cooperation with the Russia probe. The Papadopoulos plea affidavit emphasized facts were being left out.
  3. Flynn is widely regarded as dead-to-rights on more charges than Making False Statements—notably, FARA violations (failing to register as a foreign agent of Turkey under the Foreign Agent Registration Act). There’s recently been evidence he was part of a kidnapping plot, too.
  4. Getting charged with just one count of Making False Statements is a great deal for Mike Flynn—it doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll escape incarceration, but a) it makes that a possibility (depending on what the parties and judge say and do), and b) any time served may be minimal.
  5. What this suggests is Flynn brings substantial inculpatory info (info tending to incriminate others) to the table. Unlike Papadopoulos, Flynn was going to be—because of his position in the administration—a primary target of the probe. So he had to offer a lot to get this deal.
  6. Deals like this are offered *only* when a witness can incriminate someone “higher up the food-chain” than them. In the case of the nation’s former National Security Advisor, the *only* people above him in the executive-branch hierarchy are the President and the Vice President.
  7. There may be other targets in the Russia probe—such as Attorney General Sessions—at Flynn’s same level in the hierarchy, but unless he could incriminate two or more of them, a deal like this would not be offered to him. And there *aren’t* two or more at his level in this case.
  8. What this indicates—beyond any serious doubt—is the following: Special Counsel Bob Mueller, the former Director of the FBI, believes Mike Flynn’s testimony will *incriminate* the President of the United States, the Vice President of the United States, or both of these two men.
  9. For this reason, what’s about to happen in 50 minutes is far and away the biggest development thus far in the Trump-Russia probe, and likely the biggest development in U.S. politics since President Nixon resigned from office during the Watergate scandal. This is historic.
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