House Republicans released a new report on Russian election interference and claimed that Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn didn't break the law. But Flynn pleaded guilty to doing exactly that.
House Republicans are strangely asserting that Trump's disgraced former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, is innocent of a crime he already pleaded guilty to.
Flynn admitted to lying to the FBI and is cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. Trump has been worried that key insider figures like Flynn, who was a senior adviser to his campaign, may testify against him.
When Flynn worked on the Trump campaign, he met with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. He later lied to the FBI about the details of that meeting.
Flynn has been a celebrity in conservative circles, and has even gone on the campaign trail for Republican congressional candidates, apparently hoping to make some sort of political comeback, despite his guilty plea and pending sentencing.
In their final report on Russian election interference from the House Intelligence Committee, Republicans bent over backward to make excuses for Trump's former adviser.
In "Finding #22," the document notes Flynn's guilty plea for lying to FBI officials, then states: "Federal Bureau of Investigation agents did not detect any deception during Flynn's interview."
But the assertion that someone speaking to federal officials can only be guilty of lying if the deception is detected in real time is absurd.
If that were the case, witnesses who perjure themselves could only be charged in the moment of committing the perjury. If their statements were determined to be untruthful after the fact, they would escape prosecution.
Furthermore, Flynn has readily admitted that he broke the law.
In the legal documents he signed, he stated that he "made materially false statements and omissions during an interview with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on January 24, 2017, in Washington, D.C."
In an accompanying statement, he said, "I recognize that the actions I acknowledged in court today were wrong, and, through my faith in God, I am working to set things right." He added, "I accept full responsibility for my actions."
Yet his own words and admission of culpability was simply waved away by House Republicans.
Such a blatant rejection of the facts likely explains why House Democrats refused to sign on to the final report.
"The Majority’s report reflects a lack of seriousness and interest in pursuing the truth," Democrats stated in their "minority view" release.
Republicans refused to call in several key witnesses or request documents that were believed pertinent to the case.
Committee Democrats blasted this behavior.
"The Majority hobbled the Committee’s ability to conduct a credible investigation that could inspire public confidence," they said.
Proclaiming that Flynn is innocent of the crimes he has already admitted to bolsters the allegation that Republicans never took the investigation seriously and are attempting to whitewash the entire affair to assist Trump's presidency.
Flynn is guilty. He has admitted it. No biased report from House Republicans can change that.