T: Hey J, any new episodes of “As Flynn Turns” in the hopper today?
J: Well, Obama’s ethics guy seems to think that he’s going to turn, and he makes a pretty persuasive argument.
T: Obama’s ethics guy? Oh right, I saw that. What does Trump’s ethic guy do all day?
J: I dunno – fix Maytag washers, maybe.
T: Wow, that’s a hip reference.
J: A broken hip reference.
T: So what would Trump’s ethic guy do all day in this century?
J: Name a band that’s been on the Billboard charts during this decade.
J: Not a band.
T: Well, she’s the size of a –
J: Not. A. Band.
T: When did Amy Winehouse kick off?
J: Amy Winehouse? She’s not a band.
T: Amy and the vodka shooters?
J: Too soon.
T: Why, is Amy following the blog?
J: Nobody is following the blog.
T: Having dead mothers really cuts down on the recital attendance, doesn’t it?
J: Only you could find that analogy.
T: I mean, every recital I ever did was my mother and everyone else’s mothers. It was a bitch trying to concentrate on “Alley Cat” with all that snoring.
J: Can we move on?
T: I forgot what we were talking about.
J: So Obama’s ethics guy?
T: Oh, right. I’ve never heard of him, but I’ve never heard of a lot of these guys. Does it bother you that he sent out a tweet with a misspelling? I don’t know that I care, but I’ve gotten so used to seeing spelling and grammar errors from rightwing screen spittlers that it kind of put me off.
J: Nah, it didn’t bother me – could happen to anyone. For me, his argument is pretty sound; Flynn has criminal exposure, and has said that he wants immunity. How’s he going to get it? Give up his kid? Not likely. Rat on himself? Mueller either already knows, or doesn’t care, probably both. The only get-out-of-jail-free card Flynn has is to give up someone higher, either for collusion or obstruction in the Comey case
T: I think the key to turning him was his son. I don’t know much about him, but I know Flynn has said that he was concerned about them going after the kid. Looking at it that way, we were both right about him. I said he’d sing, while you were skeptical that he would – all that Ollie North crap – but he may have turned out of a stronger loyalty: family.
J: Yeah, I think the key was his son. Flynn would accept the consequences for himself, but he wouldn’t want his son to suffer for his bad decisions.
T: So that’s the ask? What’s the prize? To get immunity for Flynn and son, what’s the bid? What does Flynn have that Mueller doesn’t? What gets Mueller to the altar in a print dress and sensible shoes?
J: There are some possibilities; first, of course, is info on Russian contacts between the election and the inauguration. Mueller would definitely be interested in that. Second would be information on Russian contacts during the campaign; I think that’s less likely, but possible. The big casino, from Mueller’s perspective, would be Flynn saying that Trump told him something like, “I’m going to lean on Comey to knock off the investigation.” That would be yuuuuuuge. Bigger than yuuuuuuge. They’d have a hard time not impeaching Trump for obstruction of justice, if that came out.
T: I guess we should ask … does Mueller want Flynn, or is Flynn begging Mueller for a date? Who is pursuing who?
J: I’m sure Flynn is the one doing the begging. There’s little doubt that Mueller already has the goods on Flynn; he wasn’t very good at covering his tracks. So the question is, does Flynn have anything worth cutting a deal for?
T: And the answer is – … well, we don’t know; not yet. You said you have another scenario?
J: Yeah … Flynn was heavily involved in the stuff between the election and the inauguration; he might have something incriminating on Junior or Kushner, something related to that – maybe something that one or the other of them said to the Russian ambassador.
T: That makes sense. My own feeling is that Mueller is more interested in the campaign activities, but we don’t know much about what went on between all these Russian lobbyists.
Speaking of lobbyists, I read something yesterday – I wish I could remember where, I’ll have to look it up – regarding how the Beltway lobbyists are taking this investigation. If Mueller nailed Manafort, Flynn and their associates to the wall, it’s going to be surprisingly clean around the D.C. foreign lobby for awhile.
Here’s the article.:
J: Yeah, Mueller is probably more interested in the campaign aspects right now, but Flynn might be Trump’s Paula Jones, the one who opens up the whole separate line of inquiry that leads to serious shit.
T: I wonder if this will be Mueller’s primary use in the long run. If he throws the book at money laundering, that’s going to change the game is a big way.
J: K Street is going to look like Sani-Flush went through there. Those guys will squeak when they walk, they’ll be so clean.
T: I dunno about that … that money is going to move around no matter what, but it’ll be good to make it a little harder, at least. As big as Trump is on keeping wetbacks out, he’s a fucking welcome mat when it comes to greenbacks.
J: Did you see him going on about the terror attack in Egypt? He said we needed the wall and the travel ban, until someone pointed out to him that Egypt was not on the ban list.
T: He’s such a clown that it gets boring, talking about what a clown he is. Every crime begins with the same question: What color were the criminals? If they are white, he pretty much dismisses it as the work of individuals. If not, it’s always a conspiracy.
He gets away with it, though, because he’s desensitized his people to his racism; I talk to Trumpians, and they are genuinely surprised that we still think Trump is a racist. They think he explained it, even though he never really did. He just said he was going to explain it.
J: Do you think this new turn is going to take him down?
T: Trump? He’s got to be the final domino, right? I still can’t assume that he’s part of the conspiracy. Honestly, his openly racist, selfish tactics lead me to believe he’s not clever enough to maintain his role in such a deep conspiracy without leaving a trail like a snail.
J: Maybe the Russia stuff won’t get to him, but that’s not the only track Mueller is running on. There’s also the obstruction-of-justice angle, and I think that’s the likelier one to give Trump grief.
T: Doesn’t that feel like the final domino to you? All the President’s Men go down, plead for leniency and sing like canaries, while Doonesbury builds a brick wall around the White House. Trump, looking out the window, insists to Melania that he’s “not a crook!”
J: While the Maytag repairman claps. One. Clap. At. A. Time.
T: I can’t use Watergate?
J: Watergate’s ok, but Doonesbury? Why not bring back Lil’ Abner?
T: What the hell is a shmoo, anyway?