T: Hey John, when Michael Flynn offered to sing for immunity, why didn’t the investigator take the offer?
J: At the time, they probably thought it was premature.
T: Is it possible they thought gaining Flynn the rat wasn’t enough of an asset to be worth losing Flynn the defendant?
J: Sure. But now we’re seven months further down the rabbit hole, and they still haven’t indicted him (I know … “yet”). So why haven’t they?
He’s got to be the next domino, right?
T: Yeah, he’s the obvious next domino.
J: He was pretty clearly guilty, and he didn’t do much of a job of concealing it.
T: So Flynn’s next?
J: I would give him the best odds right now… him and his son, and maybe another small-to-medium fish, like Page or Stone.
T: Have you heard anything concrete-ish about Mueller’s schedule?
J: No… I would think he’s probably going to move soon though, strike while the iron is hot.
T: Do you think there will be any more indictments this week?
J: I wouldn’t be surprised… I think he’ll do it as soon as he’s ready.
T: I get the sense, from the pace of his investigation, that he makes decisions like a lawmaker, not a politician. I don’t think the concept, “strike while the iron is hot,” would ever occur to him. “cross the fuckin’ T’s” sounds more like his style.
J: Well, he went from appointment to indictment in about five months, which is very, VERY fast; a year would be more typical.
T: Why do you think he’s rushing, then?
J: I think there’s a measure of calculation in this; I think he’s trying to put pressure on the larger targets to cooperate with him – guys like Kushner and Junior who haven’t been as forthcoming as Mueller wants them to be.
T: So the indictment pace, in your mind, is Mueller’s way of putting pressure on his targets?
J: I think so. I think he’s trying to create a sense of urgency in his targets, like “we better get on top of this before he brings it to us.”
T: I can see Kushner cooperating, but I wouldn’t even entertain the notion that Trump, Jr. is anything but a 100 percent hostile witness. Unturnable.
J: I agree with that assessment; no way Junior flips on his dad; he’ll go down with the ship.
T: Hey, J, what are the odds any of these characters goes full stoolie and starts singing like a canary? Should we handicap the turnables?
J: That sounds horrifying. Let’s do it!
T: Do we have a cast?
J: Well, off the top of my head, how about …
T: That’s a good start.
J: That’s not the entire cast of characters, of course, just the ones who are most liable to wind up under indictment.
T: Lessee … Conway, Ivanka, the other brother, Spicer, Huckabee-Sanders, Chaffetz …
J: Oh, and Priebus.
T: And Assange.
J: Nunes, Issa, Ryan, McConnell …
T: Might as well go whole hog – McCain, Flake, Corker, The Donald, of course, Hillary …
J: The Last Hurrah Caucus.
T: That DNC head who got fired, what was her name? I have Marcia Strausman in my head, but that was Welcome Back Kotter’s wife. Her sole purpose in life was to listen to Gabe Kaplan’s jokes and shepherd the sweat hogs around when Kotter was busy. She was like Ed McMahon to Kaplan’s Johnny Carson, but flatter chested.
J: Debbie Wasserman “Sergeant” Schultz (she knows NOZINK about rigging tinks in favor of Hillary). I remember her as “whasshername?” to keep it straight in my head.
T: Bill, Bernie, Lincoln, Washington, Nero, Aristotle …
J: Cleopatra, Joseph, Caleb, Job, Isaac …
T: Julie, Gopher, Doc …
J: Cain, Abel …
T: We should probably stick to the Republicans, and the creeps and sycophants who love them. That’s plenty.
Donald Trump Jr. 1,000/1: He’s loyal. He’ll go down with the ship; he won’t cop to anything until and unless they prove it.
Jared Kushner 10/1: I don’t think he feels the same loyalty as Junior. If he’s facing a lengthy prison term, my gut feeling is that he’d sing.
Paul Manafort 3/5: The likeliest to flip early, in my opinion. He’s facing a lengthy prison term; he pled not guilty, but I’m sure he’s trying to cut a deal behind the scenes.
Michael Flynn Sr. 20/1: I disagree with you on this one. I think he’d take responsibility if they charged him with something. Loyalty to the Commander in Charge, and all. I might be wrong, but I think he’d own it rather than flip.
Michael Flynn Jr. 5/1: Doesn’t seem to have inherited Dad’s sense of duty. I think he’d flip.
Roger Stone 5/1: Talks a big game, but when the rubber meets the road I’m thinking he’d fold like a cheap card table.
Carter Page 1/1: Like Stone, except without the big talk. Would fold even faster.
Mike Pence 100/1: Was probably smart enough to keep his hands clean, and even if he wasn’t he’s smooth enough to finesse it.
Kellyanne Conway 50/1: Probably wouldn’t flip, even in the unlikely event she actually had any information.
Ivanka Trump 1,000/1: Definitely wouldn’t flip. Too invested in the child-care thing.
Eric Trump 500/1: Less invested but probably doesn’t have any relevant info.
Sean Spicer 100/1: Just a flack. Probably knows less than Mueller.
Reince Priebus 100/1: Knows more than Spicer but probably less than Mueller, too.
Sarah Huckabee-Sanders 50/1: See Spicer.
Jason Chaffetz 500/1: Doesn’t figure in this at all. Spent the last four years yelling “BENGHAZI!”
Darrell Issa 1,000/1: Another “BENGHAZI!!” yeller. Not going to flip on Trump.
Devin Nunes 100/1: A little more of an honorable guy, but still loyal to Trump. Not a flipper, even if he had anything.
Paul Ryan 100/1: Third in line for the presidency, so if he has ambitions he might flip…. but I think his party loyalty would prevent him from sinking Trump.
Mitch McConnell 100/1: Same as Ryan, except without the presidential aspirations in the background.
Donald Trump Sr. 10,000/1: These odds don’t take into account the possibility of him blurting out something incriminating; he’s pathologically incapable of admitting fault, so I doubt he’d resign or anything like that unless his position was absolutely untenable, which it’s not, at least not yet.
Donald Trump Jr. – forget it. He’s going down with the ship, if the ship goes down.
Jared Kushner – 100/1. He’s family, and this is the sort of family that might kill HIS family if he turned. He has to understand this.
Paul Manafort – 4/5. It’s possible he’s already turned. Every indication I’ve seen shows that Manafort knows he’s toast unless he cooperates, and he has a family to look after.
Michael Flynn, Sr. – 2/5. Didn’t he already shop for a deal? Flynn’s middle name is “I am for hire to the highest bidder when I’m not trying to inject every conspiracy theory ever into my arm with a dirty needle.” He’ll sell himself, his country, his family and whatever’s left of his testicles for a mess of potage. Hell, half a mess.
Michael Flynn, Jr. – No idea. I can’t imagine he’ll matter if his dad sings, and his dad carries a karaoke machine around in the trunk of his car, just in case.
Roger Stone – 3/1. My first inpulse was to go higher, but history is riddled with ersatz tough guys who turn like little bitches when they find out they might wind up in prison with the real thing. Stone might talk tough, but he wipes his butt with 2-ply and dabs the angry spittle off his chin with a silk handkerchief.
Carter Page – 5/2. I might be too high on him. I’d take my own bet, to be honest. But I went a little higher because (1) Page might not know anything Manafort and Flynn aren’t already selling, and (2) there is a high likelihood, if he in fact does know anything, that Page will wind up dead in a dumpster with Flynn Jr.’s dick jammed up one of his nostrils.
Mike Pence – 99/1. Pence is nuts, and a Neanderthal to boot, but he’s a pro and a veteran. Plus I don’t really believe he would have gotten involved in anything sleazy enough to be at risk. I don’t like him, but I’d trust him to run the country. He’d run it like that asshole from Good Morning, Vietnam (“I’ve covered for you a lot of times cause I thought you were a little crazy. But you’re not crazy. You’re mean.”), but he wouldn’t plow it into a mountain.
KellyAnne Conway 250/1 (or 2/1). The 250/1 represents my opinion of her involvement; I don’t think she was involved with anything, mostly because these are mostly old white men who don’t allow women like KellyAnne – or women named KellyAnne – anywhere near the table. The second number represents the chance she turns if she has anything to sell. She ain’t going to jail for these assholes; she’s rich ’cause she married some other asshole.
Ivanka Trump – 16/1. The number is arbitrary, but it’s either zero – like Donald, Jr. she’s family – or 1/50 if she was molested and she decides it’s time to put that raping bastard she used to call Daddy away. She is an interesting longshot.
Eric Trump – if he had something to sell I wouldn’t put it past him, but he’s family and I doubt his daddy raped him.
Sean Spicer – 60/1. Isn’t he working on a book?
Reince Priebus – 400/1. He’s a company man, so I don’t see him as a likely target. If they find Page in a dumpster, though, check his neck for Preibus’ prints.
Sarah Huckabee-Sanders – Infinity/1, maybe a little higher. I don’t know why I even brought her up; she’s just a tool.
Jason Chaffetz – 99/1. I don’t see him turning – he’s like Preibus in that way, a pro – but he acted guilty and resigned under strange circumstances. I’m not dismissing him out of hand.
Darrell Issa – 1,000,000,000,000-1. I lost count of the zeros, but you can add as many as you feel like adding. I’d vote for him; he ain’t perfect, but he has more common sense than the rest of the GOP combined.
Devin Nunes – 7/2. Like a lot of ‘em, he’s either squeaky clean, or in so deep his breath smells like Trump’s stool.
Paul Ryan – Millions to one. He’s dumb as shit, but honest as shit, too.
Nolan Ryan – 50/1. You never know with bankers, plus he hangs out with GW Bush, that thieving whore who traded Sammy Sosa.
Mitch McConnell – Millions to one, too. I despise every beat of his black, thieving heart, but he slithers down a different axis of evil.
Donald Trump, Sr. – 25/1. There is a 99 percent chance he’s complicit, so he has to be in the lower odds area, but he’s about as stubborn as a man can be and dumb enough to hold onto it. He will likely go down with the ship, even if they offer a deal. Which they won’t; there is a 80-90 percent chance he ain’t getting any deals offered in the first place. Multiply 5/1 to 5/1 and you get 25/1.
T: I’m pretty sure Flynn is nuts. I don’t mean in some Trumpian, “I can’t tell truth from lies” nuts. I mean in an, “I believe little green men are coming from Mars to anal rape me” nuts.
J: We’re talking odds of flipping …I think Flynn is concerned about immunity for his own actions, and probably much less so about turning on other people.
T: That’s how turning works, though. Believing in altruism is about as productive as believing in little green men, or jealous, overbearing lords in flowing robes.
J: The reason he’s in trouble is because he lied to Pence. And probably to Trump, too.
T: Do you think that’s all? He was pretty much a rogue agent, selling his plasma all over the world like he was made of blood and all the world was a blood bank. Didn’t he offer to kidnap the Lindbergh baby for 30 bucks and a groupon for the Olive Garden?
J: Flynn has a lot of the same problems Manafort has, except he was doing them while he worked on the campaign. And the Olive Garden sucks. Italian food? I’d rather eat a bologna omelet.
T: Manafort was dealing for millions, while Flynn was dealing for thousands, but they were both dealing, and often with the same people. In a way, Flynn was what I keep accusing Page of being – a small fish trying to act like a big fish. And I like bologna.
J: Flynn was basically being the shadow Secretary of State before Trump was inaugurated, taking meetings with the Russians and all that shit and lying about it. And I wouldn’t eat Bologna if that was Beyonce’s secret agent nickname.
T: I believe Flynn’s real crimes – the ones that Mueller will beat him to death with – happened during the campaign. What about SPAM?
J: Could be. And stop it.
T: The “he talked to the Russians” thing, to me, is overblown.
J: Well, it is illegal. One President at a time, and all that.
T: It’s like Pete Rose’s confession about baseball. Technically that was his predicate crime, but he confessed to Giamati in order to mask tax evasion and connections with mobsters and steroid dealers. Flynn’s call to the Russians was bad enough – as you say, it’s illegal – but do you think that alone would have gotten him canned? My guess is that they knew about Flynn’s dealing with Turkey and Ukraine, and they knew he had to go before it all became public. It’s hard to claim that there ain’t no collusion with Flynn standing behind you with a pocket full of Turkish money.
J: Yeah, that does kinda undermine your argument.
T: Yaknow … is Flynn’s foreign involvement the key to the whole mess? I bet they want him on the other side because they are worried he won’t be believable enough to get the guys they really want. It’s the Sadie/LInda Kasabian conundrum. The Manson
prosecutors originally gave the deal to Susan Adkins, but they were relieved – I’m talking 3000 PSIs of airy, popcorn fart relieved – when she repudiated her testimony. Why? Because she was a shit tard witness: batshit crazy, pathologically violent and all over the place. Sound familiar? Little green men?
J: I assume Mueller has enough on Flynn to put him in the dock if he wants to; the question is, does he want to or does he want to have him on the witness stand?
T: Is Flynn Sadie, or Kasabian?
J: I think Flynn would be a lot more believable than Atkins; he’d wear that dress uniform and look the part, and people would believe in ass-fucking little green men (at least Trump voters would).
T: They don’t want Flynn because they are afraid the public will just transfer all the blame onto him, and let the bigger fish escape. Actually, think about it. Do the investigators want to reenact the Ollie North testimony?
J: Trump wants a scapegoat. He NEEDS a scapegoat. Who’s it gonna be?
T: Trump might try to throw Junior under the bus, actually, but that’s way down the road
and part of one of my wilder scenarios. Let’s put the pin back in that one. Manafort – does he turn? Has he turned already?
J: I think he does; he’s 68 and looking at spending the rest of his life in prison. No way he doesn’t sing like a canary.
T: How much time would you expect him to serve? The Watergate guys were all out in less than 2 years, weren’t they? Did they make deals?
J: I think most of them cut deals for shorter sentences… Liddy did four and a half years, I think he got the most time. The rest of them got relatively short sentences (months).
T: My guess is Manafort cooperates, but does he really matter to the Trump side? My guess is that he’s more likely involved with the foreign agents than the campaign stuff. I think Flynn is more likely to be part of the campaign issues. How connected were Flynn and Stone?
J: Flynn and Stone weren’t joined at the hip or anything, but they were definitely in touch with each other. And I think you’re right: Manafort is the big fish on the money-laundering side, but Flynn is the big fish on the campaign side.
T: I have always associated Flynn with Stone and Page, in some sort of unholy trinity.
J: Page was a hanger-on.. Stone was the action guy, the driver of all that stuff.
T: I would bet Manafort could get Trump financially, but in this political climate it might not work. Trump’s base doesn’t give a fuck if he’s a criminal, as long as he doesn’t stop being a racist. And don’t dismiss the hangers-on; Katie Krenwinkle was one of those, and she stabbed Abigail Folger so many times they thought her gown was red.
J: You think Mueller might subpoena Trump’s tax returns based on Manafort’s testimony?
T: A return subpoena would be a bombshell, wouldn’t it? Why do I keep comparing the campaign to the Manson family?
J: It would be yuuuuuuge, to coin a phrase. I’ve always said I think Trump would resign rather than give up the tax returns.
T: I see Manafort as either irrelevant to Trump but guilty as hell, or peripherally relevant, like Paula Jones to Monica Lewinsky. The tax returns could be the connection.
J: Oh, Manafort is guilty as hell, but will he be Trump’s Paula Jones? Maybe Cleopatra to Trump’s Antony?
T: Cleopatra again … what would she be if she were alive today?
J: I dunno – an asp kisser?
T: “She made it to the top by kissing asps, until one kissed her back.”
J: She’s gotta be pushing what, 2,100 years old? Even if she exercised and didn’t eat fried foods, that’s a lot.
T: So … retired, then?
J: Yep. But still brutalizing Caesar’s bloated, festering corpse. Love never dies.