Michael Flynn and the 6 big questions

The American public deserves to know the answers to at least the first five of these questions, and will then make a judgment on the sixth.

1. Why didn’t Trump act sooner to fire Flynn? He knew about Flynn’s contact with the Russian ambassador at least since January, when then-acting attorney general Sally Yates notified the White House that Flynn had “put himself in a compromising position” with his phone call to the Russian ambassador.

2. What, if anything, did Trump authorize Michael Flynn to tell the Russians before the inauguration?

3. What other contacts did Flynn and other Trump aides have with Russia before the election? U.S. intelligence reports show that Flynn was in touch with Russian Ambassador Kislyak during the 2016 campaign, and that communications between the two continued after Nov. 8. The Russian ambassador has even confirmed having contacts with Flynn before and after the election, though he declined to say what was discussed.

4. Did Flynn or other Trump aides know of or cooperate with Russia in interfering in the 2016 election on Trump’s behalf?

5. If so, did Trump know about or encourage such cooperation?

These questions won’t go away. The FBI and the Senate Intelligence Community are investigating. Hopefully, investigative reporters are also on the case. Eventually, the truth will come out. As Richard Nixon learned, cover-ups in Washington just make things worse.

Which leads inevitably to the last question:

6. If Trump knew or encouraged, will he be impeached?

This post originally appeared at RobertReich.org.

Robert B. Reich is the chancellor’s professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley and former secretary of labor under the Clinton administration. Time Magazine named him one of the 10 most effective Cabinet secretaries of the 20th century. He is also a founding editor of The American Prospect magazine and chairman of Common Cause. His film, Inequality for All, was released in 2013. Follow him on Twitter: @RBReich.

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2 Responses to Michael Flynn and the 6 big questions

  1. Whether or not Trump knew, or encouraged Flynn to be in communication with the Russians and with Putin via Ambassador Kyslyak … Trump needs to be impeached.
    As Allen Frances, M.D.professor emeritus of psychiatry and behavior sciences at Duke University Medical Center., writes in a letter to the New York Times Editors,
    Trump “can, and should, be appropriately denounced for his ignorance, incompetence, impulsivity and pursuit of dictatorial powers.”
    In the same letter speaking of Trump, Doctor. Frances adds, “Bad behavior is rarely a sign of mental illness, and the mentally ill behave badly only rarely. Psychiatric name-calling is a misguided way of countering Mr. Trump’s attack on democracy. He can, and should, be appropriately denounced for his ignorance, incompetence, impulsivity and pursuit of dictatorial powers.”
    “His psychological motivations are too obvious to be interesting, and analyzing them will not halt his headlong power grab. The antidote to a dystopic Trumpean dark age is political, not psychological.”

    In the meantime… Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, Jason Chaffetz and the rest of many other Republicans are allowing Trump to kill the democratic form of government of this country while cementing the chains of authoritarianism in this country.
    Wake Up. Wake Up. Wake up U.S.A.

  2. Impeachment proceedings must be carefully laid out. The Constitution must be carefully studied for what are impeachable offenses. And impeachment is only a hearing, comparable to a grand jury, to determine if such offenses have been committed, and that there is sufficient evidence for a trial to be held in the Senate. The Constitution specifically mentions “high crimes and misdemeanors”, which does leave some room for interpretation of which offensive actions rise to that level. It will be necessary to formulate the argument carefully, and sufficient evidence gathered, in order to dismiss not only Trump, but the bulk of those appointees he has brought with him. Any ‘left-overs’ will only continue to taint any possibility of re-establishing sane, rational, decent governance, which, we may well suspect, will encounter considerable resistance from without DC, by those who continue to support the current agenda, for reasons yet beyond clear understanding.