By Larry K layman
No matter how hard President Trump’s lawyers try to spin it, or favorably disposed media try to downplay it, the criminal charges filed today, with the entry of a plea against and cooperation agreement concerning retired Gen. Michael Flynn, do not bode well for the White House. Flynn pleaded guilty of one count of lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and with yet another leak from the special counsel it appears that no jail time will be recommended, only probation, if Flynn cooperates with Mueller and his team of Trump-hating leftist and Muslim lawyers and gives up the goods on the president, his associates and his family. Indeed, the speaking criminal information made public today in the open court of the Honorable Rudolph Cantreras speaks to Flynn’s admissions of likely so-called collusion (however legal in reality) with Russia over the removal of sanctions imposed by former President Barack Obama.
While the usual inexperienced political pundits on the conservative side of the spectrum rushed to made glowing assessments that if this is all Mueller has, then President Trump is “out of the woods,” those with any degree of real criminal defense experience, particularly inthe legal culture of the Washington, D.C. swamp, know better.
The simple and hard fact is this: Given all of the illegal grand jury leaks of the Mueller prosecutors over the last many months that Flynn would ultimately be indicted for several alleged crimes, some of which if provable are very serious, the general pleading only to this very limited charge shows that the special counsel got a lot in exchange,
implicating, at best, those in and around the president for other alleged crimes. While I believe Flynn to be an honorable man and hero, the other hard fact is that Mueller and his hack prosecutors were without any doubt threatening to destroy him, his son and his family if the general did not “turn state’s evidence.”
And, as the old adage goes, a sinking and drowning man will grab on to anything to save his life, even if the suborned perjury at the request of Mueller is necessary to save oneself and his family.
That in simple terms is why today’s events, caused by a special counsel who is the product of both the Democratic and Republican establishments – most of whom would like to see the Trump presidency incinerated short of a nuclear attack by North Korea – is so dangerous for the president and all of his men and women who, only for now, have
been left standing. And, to underscore the partisanship of Mueller, he chose to make his plea and cooperation agreement with Flynn known in open court, and elsewhere, on the very day of President Trump’s biggest legislative triumph to date: the passage by the U.S. Senate of tax reform, after the House of Representatives voted similarly a few
Mueller thus intended to take the media focus away from this Trump victory by smearing him with the Flynn criminal charges, plea and a cooperation agreement before a federal judge in Washington, D.C., who was nominated by former President Barack Obama. While I am not casting any aspersions on Judge Cantreras, one hopes that he will administer to the sentencing of Flynn impartially, as well as address any further criminal leaks of grand jury information by Mueller and his prosecutors.
I fully expect that over this weekend we will hear a drumbeat from the president’s lawyers, Ty Cobb, John Dowd and especially Jay Sekulow, the latter of whom has taken on the role of legal spokesperson, that all is well in Gotham. And, while I like Jay and think that he is a fine religious-rights lawyer at the American Center for Law and Justice, he, like his other two colleagues, is ill-suited to now wage a strong defense of the president and those around him in the months ahead.
Indeed, Ty Cobb, the great-great-grandson of the famous baseball player, has “struck out.” And, I have had my own experience with Cobb during the Clinton years, when he ran interference for the Bonnie and Clyde of American politics by representing John Huang, the suspected communist Chinese spy Bill and Hill placed at Ron Brown’s Commerce
Department. There, Huang, who had worked for the Chinese Riady family and its Lippo Bank before moving to the Democratic National Committee and then Commerce, was believed to have passed classified economic information to the Chinese as a quid pro quo for the Chinese government illegally lining the coffers of the Clinton-Gore re-election campaign in 1996.
Not coincidentally, the Riady family were huge donors to Bill Clinton when he ran for governor of Arkansas and later the presidency. In several depositions I took of Huang, where he was held in contempt by a federal magistrate judge over 150 times for refusing to answer my questions under oath, Cobb was present to protect not just his client
but also the Clintons. Why, then, would President Trump want him as his criminal defense counsel?
As for John Dowd, he is pure Republican establishment, that same establishment that has repeatedly tried to drive a stake in the president’s heart. And, Jay Sekulow, while loyal to the president, lacks the experience and thus depth to represent him in a criminal defense setting.
Now that Mueller’s handwriting is on the “Trump White House Wall,” the president must now be true to himself and his instincts and retain seasoned and hard-hitting criminal defense lawyers outside of the incestuous Washington, D.C., legal swamp – where most attorneys put their own clubby political and other interests ahead of their clients.
The best defense for the president is a good offense. In this way he can keep the ball away from the Mueller team.
At Freedom Watch I filed suit late last week to have Mueller removed as special counsel based on the continuing criminal leaks and conflicts of interest. You can see our complaint at www.freedomwatchusa.org. It’s time the president hire lawyers who will also go on the offense and not only join our case, but also sue Mueller and his friend James Comey for the illegal wiretaps and unmasking the FBI and Obama administration initiated on the Trump Tower and team.
Now is not the time for President Trump to listen to his legal defense team and be consoled that all is going well. It’s time to wake up and with new lawyers go on the offense before it is too late. In the famous words of The Donald, “Your fired!” At this perilous point, the president does not need any more ill-suited conflicted, weak and inexperienced “apprentices”!
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Larry Klayman is a former Justice Department prosecutor and the founder of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch. His latest book is “Whores: Why and How I Came to Fight the Establishment.”