(AP/J. Scott Applewhite/Manuel Balce Ceneta/Getty/Salon)

Lock him up: Michael Flynn doesn't deserve immunity. He deserves to get what he dished out

Flynn's immunity gambit is pathetic and doomed. Worse yet, it's straight out of the failed Oliver North playbook


--

Shares

Lucian K. Truscott IV
March 31, 2017 8:10PM (UTC)

Must be nice to be a retired general officer pulling down about 140 grand a year in retirement pay, and recently collecting 500 grand from the Turks to represent the Erdogan regime as a "foreign agent." I'll bet those kind of bucks will buy you a hell of defense lawyer, and in fact, we saw evidence of just that when said lawyer for ole Lock Her Up told congressional and federal investigators his client will be thrilled to testify if he is granted immunity.

You remember what ole Lock Her Up had to say last year about immunity during the campaign don't you? There was some kerfuffle involving an employee of the Clinton Foundation who had been subpoenaed by one of the many Benghazi-style committees investigating everything up to and including whether Hillary Clinton was charging her pantsuits to her campaign fund. The Clinton Foundation staffer told the congressional committee that he or she would be glad to testify if granted immunity, and ole Lock Her Up went on TV and gave an interview saying that you only asked for immunity if you were guilty.

Advertisement:

How's it feel to have your own stupid-ass words come around and bite you in the ass, ole Lock Her Up?

What Flynn is actually looking for is something called "use immunity," which is what the Congress gave Oliver North when he testified before an Iran-contra committee. Use immunity protects you in this way: Anything you tell the congressional committee can't be used to incriminate you in any future prosecution. This means the witness is free to confess to potential crimes, with one important exception. Prosecutors can still charge you and bring you to trial if they have independently developed evidence, say, from other witnesses, confirming that you, in fact, were involved in whatever crime you told the congressional committee you committed.

Prosecutors developed just this kind of evidence on Oliver North, charged him and tried him and found him guilty of doing stuff he confessed he did at Iran-contra hearings — stuff like selling arms to the Iranians and using the profits to fund the contras. North appealed the conviction and the higher court found some tiny little instance when the prosecution's evidence wasn't sufficiently "independent" of North's testimony, and they overturned his conviction and he walked.

So ole' Lock Her Up, it's come to this: The immunity scam you're trying to play is the same one Ollie North pulled. Doesn't that put you in some great company? Maybe somewhere down the line if you get sprung like Ollie did, the two of you distinguished veterans can get together over a couple of beers at the Army-Navy Country Club and swap war stories about the days when ole Ollie sold missiles to the ayatollah and you sold out your country to Russia for help with hacking Clinton's emails. Won't that be a hoot? When you're finished with your beers, you can get yourselves out there on the Army-Navy links and play a round of golf with a couple of defense contractor CEOs, and when you pause to refresh yourselves after playing the ninth hole, you can hit up your CEO pals for a few hundred grand for "consulting" on their sale of weapons parts to an ayatollah or maybe even the Russians.

I was thinking it might be a good time to ask ole Lock Her Up Flynn if he still thinks "making America great again" was such a good idea, now that he's staring the full force of the Congress and the federal government in the teeth. But then I figured it's a better idea to shoot him the same question right after he settles in at the super max out in Marion, Ohio. I just can't wait for his answer, can you?


Lucian K. Truscott IV

Lucian K. Truscott IV, a graduate of West Point, has had a 50-year career as a journalist, novelist and screenwriter. He has covered stories such as Watergate, the Stonewall riots and wars in Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan. He is also the author of five bestselling novels and several unsuccessful motion pictures. He has three children, lives on the East End of Long Island and spends his time Worrying About the State of Our Nation and madly scribbling in a so-far fruitless attempt to Make Things Better. He can be followed on Facebook at The Rabbit Hole and on Twitter @LucianKTruscott.

MORE FROM Lucian K. Truscott IV

BROWSE SALON.COM
COMPLETELY AD FREE,
FOR THE NEXT HOUR

Read Now, Pay Later - no upfront
registration for 1-Hour Access

Click Here
7-Day Access and Monthly
Subscriptions also available
No tracking or personal data collection
beyond name and email address

•••


Fearless journalism
in your inbox every day

Sign up for our free newsletter

• • •