Here, in plain, normal English, is the exact content of the letter from Michael Flynn’s General Counsel:
“Hey there Congress, we would love to talk. Before we all sit down and chat, there’s a few things to sort out. Let’s clear the air.”
Flynn is a 33 year veteran of the U.S. Army with a ton of medals, like a lot. Basically, his whole life has been as a servant of the United States. If you haven’t turned on the news, the only subject is how to make his career go down in flames, send him to prison and, if possible, kick his dog. Maybe punch his cat.
Because of this, it seems fair to negotiate. We aren’t going to submit ourselves to a tarring and feathering unless you promise not to completely ruin his life.”
Not that unfair. The letter has a pretty simple structure:
Paragraph 1: Introduction
Paragraph 2: Acknowledge the Reader.
Paragraph 3: Demonstrate value of subject.
Paragraph 4: Ask for something.
Now here is something important:
The biggest piece that is missing from the letter by Flynn’s lawyer is the word or insinuation of a plead for immunity. In no way, shape, or form, does the letter ever mention any sort of ‘immunity.’
Everyone right on the moment of joining military intelligence has to go into a room and read the Logan act:
“Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply, himself or his agent, to any foreign government or the agents thereof for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.”
Then, they walk out of the room and think about it for ten minutes, and then they are allowed to walk back in and agree or disagree as to signing the paper.
This is basically what was recounted to me mid-rant by a rideshare driver in Atlanta last month. The subject was an entirely different classified information issue.
Put yourself in Flynn’s shoes; forced into retirement, trying to get a few days to go fishing, only to get dragged off to Washington for more questioning and legal octopus wrestling? Rather than have to sit there and stare at the camera repeatedly claiming not to remember like some sort of crook, it’s much easier to just stick to the straight and narrow and refuse to open your mouth until you have the 5th Amendment right set in stone.
There is no difference between what he is doing and what you do when a long lost ex texts you out of nowhere and your wife and kids are asleep in the next room over.