Former Trump security adviser Michael Flynn has pleaded guilty to lying about his contacts with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak. Flynn is accused of urging Russia not to take counter measures against sanctions announced by the Obama administration after it was learned Russia had tried to intervene in the presidential election by spreading false information through social media. He has also admitted to attempting to sabotage a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel for its settlement policy, a resolution the Obama administration had decided not to contest. This would appear to violate the Logan Act, which forbids meddling in US foreign policy by those not in government. Trump was not yet president at the time.
Flynn has also announced his intention to cooperate with the Mueller investigation. Flynn says he talked to senior administration officials both before and after his contacts with the ambassador, making the Trump administration’s Sergeant Schultz defense increasingly weak. Further, the fact Flynn was charged with only a single offense when he could have been charged with others indicates he has most likely made a deal to minimize his punishment. This puts pressure on other administration officials with knowledge of Trump-Russia contacts to make their own deals while there are still deals to be made. The earlier you cooperate, the lighter your punishment is likely to be.
So we know a hostile foreign power attempted to influence the presidential election and we know the Trump administration worked hand in hand with that foreign power both before and after it took office. It appears very likely the Mueller investigation will uncover, if it hasn’t already, impeachable offenses by the president. That’s great news for the left, and for anyone who wants to return to the days of government by sane people, right?
Here’s the problem. As Dahlia Lithwick points out in Slate, we no longer live in the United States of America. We live in the US of Bizarroworld, where roughly 30% of the population and almost an entire political party have decided to ignore provable, irrefutable truth and believe what it wants. They will say these latest developments mean nothing, that Flynn was only part of the administration for a short time and that his guilty plea incriminates him and no one else. They will turn on talk radio and Fox News and they will be told what they believe is true. When Donald Trump says or does something and the legitimate news media report that thing accurately, they will put their fingers in their ears and say “fake news.” They will insist Bill and Hillary Clinton should be locked up their crimes, in Bill’s case, Presidenting While Democratic and in Hillary’s case, trying to.
Is it too late to save us? I hope not, but I’m not holding my breath.