Republicans will try to use the three-year Justice Department case against retired Lt. Gen Michael Flynn as an election cycle issue to motivate their base.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic that has crushed a once thriving economy under the Trump administration, Republicans see an opportunity to tell their constituents that the president and his allies were spied on by the previous administration. And according to this narrative, it was done with the help of an out-of-control FBI, intelligence community, and Obama-era holdovers who stayed in the federal government during Trump’s first term in office.
Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, was fired in February 2017 after a Washington Post column penned by David Ignatius suggested that he misled Vice President Mike Pence and other officials about his discussions with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
Flynn’s phone conversations with Kislyak were intercepted by the federal government during the Obama administration, and he pleaded guilty to giving false statements to federal agents in 2017 regarding those calls with the Russian envoy. However, he filed to withdraw his guilty plea earlier this year after the Justice Department recently requested the judge issue a sentence of up to six months in prison.