Remember that time President Barack Obama followed the rules and didn't break any laws but Trump tried to still create scandals about him and blame him for all the sh*t Trump can't get right himself? Well, in the most recent fiasco where Trump did that, his pathetic "Obamagate" tantrum, he couldn't help but make things even worse for himself — and Michael Flynn, the convicted felon who admitted to lying to the FBI.
During Phase 1 of Trump's attempt to launch "Obamagate" into the news cycle, Trump's acting DNI, Richard Grenell released classified documents related to Flynn's case that showed...wait for it...Obama had done nothing wrong. During Phase 2 of the launch, Trump was aided by his brand newly-confirmed Director of National Intelligence (DNI) John Ratcliffe. In order to prove the Obama administration's keeping an eye on Flynn was a witch hunt of the highest order — a conspiracy to destroy Trump! — Ratcliffe released the transcripts to Flynn's conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak! That'll show 'em!
It turns out, those conversations prove nothing except that Flynn was most definitely a traitorous conspirator with Russia, working to undermine free and fair elections in the good ole U S of A. David Corn, of Mother Jones wrote:
In these calls, Flynn beseeched Russia not to over-react to Obama’s sanctions, noting that would make it tougher for the incoming Trump administration to work with Russia.
But what is most scandalous and damning in these transcripts is what Flynn did not say.
At no point does Flynn castigate Kislyak for Russia’s intervention in the 2016 election. He does not confront the Russian ambassador for Putin’s covert operation to subvert American democracy. He does not tell Kislyak that Moscow will have to pay a price for hacking the Democrats and using the stolen information to influence the election for Trump’s benefit. Flynn, a former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, does not warn Kislyak against any further Russian information warfare targeting the United States. As the Obama administration was trying to impose a punishment on Putin for that attack, Flynn, on behalf of the Trump gang, was sending an utterly different message: We don’t care about that.
Think about this perverse set of interactions: the incoming national security adviser was essentially telling a foreign adversary that the new president wasn’t concerned about an attack on the United States and, moreover, indicating that Trump didn’t intend to do anything about it. In fact, Flynn was signaling to Putin that once Trump took office, Trump wouldn’t be pursuing the matter and, instead, would be reaching out to Russia as a partner. (A few months later, Trump, in the Oval Office, would tell Kislyak that directly.)
This certainly makes it harder to explain why in any legal universe the Department of Justice should drop the charges against Michael Flynn. Tragically, though, we are living in the legal universe of Bill Barr's Department of Justice. Things just aren't the same there.