Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) says that President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr are conveniently overlooking the facts and their own statements on why former national security adviser Michael Flynn was fired from his post in the early days of the Trump administration, even though Trump himself has repeatedly said that he dismissed Flynn for lying to Vice President Mike Pence.
Appearing on MSNBC Sunday evening, Schiff said that Trump is using the preposterous notion that the American public should ignore the facts from the Mueller report and transcripts from the House Intelligence Committee:
“It’s pathetic, not surprising, but pathetic, the degree to which the vice president will mimic anything the president says. Apparently it’s not the vice president’s view a national security adviser that lies to him about contacts he’s having with the Russians, that’s perfectly fine, he’d be happy to have him around.”
Yes, over the weekend Pence said he’d welcome having Flynn back as part of the administration, even though he pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about contacts he had with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign. Trump himself has also said that’s why Flynn was fired, tweeting back in 2017:
“I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!”
Schiff also told MSNBC host Kasie Hunt that it’s important to recall exactly what Flynn lied about:
“The Russians interfered in our election in 2016 to help elect Donald Trump, and shortly thereafter, Barack Obama imposed sanctions on the Russians for interfering in our democracy. And then Mike Flynn has a conversation with the Russians and reportedly told the Russians, ‘don’t react to these sanctions.’ The implication being, ‘we’re going to make this problem go away.’ After all, we know the Russians helped elect Donald Trump, and this is what he lied about. He lied about those conversations with the Russians that were meant to undermine the sanctions imposed on their interference in our democracy.”
Now, however, Schiff noted, Trump’s handpicked attorney general is willing to pretend Flynn never told those lies, which is nothing short of absurd:
“They couldn’t say he didn’t lie because he pled guilty repeatedly. He also said in his plea these were material lies, and so far now Bill Barr to do the president’s bidding, for Mike Pence to echo the president’s attempt to rewrite history is a full-scale assault on the rule of law.”
Maybe one day when we have an attorney general who is actually devoted to enforcing the rule of law instead of trying to curry favor with the president, all of these actions by Trump, Pence, and Barr will be investigated and the guilty parties will be charged.
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