Today was another spectacular speculative day on Twitter and in the media due to Michael Flynn’s guilty plea to one count of lying to the FBI regarding Flynn’s communications with the Russian Ambassador in late December 2016.

A somewhat moribund Russia-collusion conspiracy community sprang back to life instantaneously.The treason-choir found its voice again.

Pundits speculated endlessly about what it all means — in a distinctly binary manner: Trump is a gonner, or it’s a big nothing burger.

The Logan Act, that never-enforced hobgoblin of small minds, was trending.

So what to make of the latest feeding frenzy?

Here’s my take:

1. The only thing of which I am certain is that Mueller wants Donald Trump to take a perp walk, or at least be impeached based on the findings of Mueller’s investigation. Mueller wants it more than Mueller has ever wanted anything before in his law enforcement and prosecutorial life. And he will stop at nothing to get The Donald. Sure, he’ll charge or convict Manafort and Flynn, and anyone else he can find, but they are just stepping stones.

2. The less Mueller has on The Donald, the harder he will squeeze people lower down on the food chain. Mueller didn’t assemble a team almost the size of the entire US Attorney’s Office for the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations in order to send Mike Flynn to a federal leisure camp for a few months.

3. If Mueller can’t perp walk The Donald or get him impeached, Mueller will settle for The Donald’s family members. Don, Jr. and Jared Kushner would be consolation prizes, but Mueller will take them if he can get them.

4. If all Mueller gets are process crimes and matters unrelated to the pre-election day campaign, he has failed in his quest. Mueller knows that. He may have started with Manafort (pre-Trump campaign) and Flynn (post-Trump campaign) charges, but it can’t end there, or Mueller will go down as a failure. Remember, he’s supposed to be investigating Russian interference in the election, not the political calculations of the Trump transition team as to how best to prepare for the imminent assumption of the presidency.

5. We don’t know what we don’t know about what it means. Equally “rational” arguments could be made that the Flynn plea is (a) a big nothing burger because it’s post-campaign, and lying about something that itself wasn’t illegal, or (b) a big f-ing deal because Flynn would not be offered such a sweet plea unless he gave up the goods.

6. You want me to speculate like everyone else? Is that what you really want? Okay, here goes: Mueller doesn’t have the goods on The Donald so far. And it’s frustrating him and his team. He’ll keep up with the process crimes and the non-campaign related crimes, so that when he comes up short he has something to show for what likely will be many tens of millions of dollars spend in pursuit of The Donald.


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