After a jury found former Reagan administration Labor Secretary Raymond J. Donovan innocent of politically motivated fraud charges in a case that dragged on for four years, costing him his job and much of his fortune, he famously asked: “Which office do I go to to get my reputation back?” Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who underwent a similar ordeal, must be wondering the same thing.
Donovan was charged in September 1984, conveniently just before the presidential election. If those who brought the charges thought they would ruin Republican Ronald Reagan’s reelection chances, they were very wrong. Reagan carried 49 states and just under 59% of the vote; former Vice President Walter Mondale garnered just below 42%, carrying only his home state of Minnesota and, of course, Washington, D.C.
Just as the timing in Donovan’s case was no accident, nor was it in Flynn’s case. Yes, he copped a plea, admitting that he lied to the FBI. What’s rarely mentioned is that the legal maneuvers were draining his life savings dry, and his son had been threatened with prosecution for good measure.
So he admitted to doing something he didn’t do in an investigation of a crime he didn’t commit. And Deep State operatives got their first major scalp of President Donald Trump’s administration by taking down Flynn, the president’s national security adviser, after just 24 days in office.
Thankfully, after a document dump this week of exculpatory material that Rep. Adam Schiff and other Trump-hating congressional Democrats tried to hide despite a court order, it’s now beyond any doubt that Flynn was targeted, set up and entrapped. Based on the overwhelming evidence of misconduct, the Justice Department decided to drop the whole case. Just like that, it’s done.
In their motion, the DOJ prosecutors found that “‘pursuant to the Principles of Federal Prosecution and based on an extensive review and careful consideration of the circumstances, that continued prosecution of this case would not serve the interests of justice.”
Or, as Attorney General William Barr told CBS News:
This was not a bonafide counterintelligence investigation. They were closing the investigation in December, they started that process and on Jan. 4 they were closing it. They initially tried some theories of how they could open an investigation which didn’t fly and then they found out they had technically not closed the earlier investigation and they kept it open for the express purpose of trying to catch, lay a perjury trap for Gen. Flynn. They didn’t warn him the way we would usually be required by the department. They bypassed the Justice Department. They bypassed the protocols at the White House and so-forth.
Pretty much dead on. These were charges that never should have been brought. They were purely, and solely, political in nature, an attempt to entrap Flynn, a decorated and respected Army career officer, in order to undermine Trump and perhaps even get him impeached.
Those who pushed this travesty, along with the phony Russian collusion investigation, deserve to be fired and imprisoned for their crimes.
How high did it all go? Apparently, even President Barack Obama knew that Flynn was being wiretapped by the FBI back in 2016. As Matt Margolis of Pajamas Media wrote, “Obama’s knowledge of Flynn being wiretapped raises significant questions about what Obama knew and when he knew it with regard to the attempt to railroad Flynn and prevent him from serving as Trump’s national security adviser.”
OK, but after having his life turned upside-down, where does Flynn go from here? And not just to get his good name back. He also deserves restitution for all that was taken from him by what increasingly looks like a criminal conspiracy, as we noted last week.
After all, Flynn’s military record is impeccable. It shows what kind of person he is.
In addition to being an Army Ranger, one of the military’s toughest and most dangerous assignments, Flynn received some 20 medals during his career for everything from bravery in a combat zone (a Bronze Star) to “exceptionally distinguished performance of duty” (the Defense Distinguished Service Medal) to humanitarian efforts (The Humanitarian Service Medal).
A look at the rest of his resume likewise shows a thoughtful, passionate warrior who cares deeply about his country, but often rubbed political opponents the wrong way. A registered Democrat, Flynn was appointed head of the Defense Intelligence Agency by Obama, serving from 2012 to 2014. But his relations with Obama soured after he made clear his strong opposition to Obama’s nuclear giveaway to Iran.
That is the principled man the Deep State tried to deep-six.
Now, one report says Flynn currently owes around $5 million in legal fees. He’s reportedly put his Alexandria, Va., townhouse on the market for $900,000, but that won’t even scratch the surface of what he owes.
He has also been without meaningful work for nearly four years – years that should have put him at the peak of his earning power as one of the most influential officials in Trump’s Cabinet.
Restoring his name and reputation will take time, of course. It’s important to do this, since any damage to his name will only serve to discourage other talented men and women from serving in government. Why bother if creepy Deep State operatives can make your life hell?
In the meantime, Flynn should sue the government that let all of this go forward. As California Rep. Devin Nunes, ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, recently told Laura Ingraham on her Fox News show, “Clearly Gen. Flynn is going to have a civil rights case, and I think it’s going to cost the government millions of dollars.”
Like Ray Donovan, who needlessly suffered a political persecution for daring to work with Ronald Reagan, Flynn is an honorable man who was treated dishonorably by people in powerful positions. And politics, not justice, was their main goal. They continued to pursue an innocent person even as their own investigation clearly showed “nothing derogatory.”
It’s time to restore this good man’s good name, tarnished by an illegitimate and illegal investigation by Deep State insiders, and make just restitution for his significant financial losses. It’s the least America can do.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board