Michael Flynn is a rather unique figure in American public life. After the retired Army lieutenant general spent much of 2016 as a partisan attack dog, calling for Hillary Clinton's incarceration, Donald Trump chose Flynn to serve as his White House national security adviser.
That didn't work out especially well. Flynn had secret conversations with Russian officials, lied to the FBI about the chats, and according to Team Trump, lied to the White House, too. Flynn was forced to resign in disgrace, and soon after, he pleaded guilty to a felony. The former presidential aide is currently awaiting sentencing.
Flynn also, incidentally, was forced to acknowledge that he worked as an unregistered foreign agent during his time as an adviser to Trump's presidential campaign, among his other controversial activities.
Common sense suggests someone in this situation, finding themselves discredited and humiliated, would simply disappear from public life. But in contemporary American politics, that's apparently not how things work anymore: the Wall Street Journal reports today that Flynn "has joined a global lobbying and investment advisory firm." [Update: see below]
As he awaits sentencing for lying to federal investigators, he is going into business with Washington lobbyist Nick Muzin and his New York partner Joey Allaham with a new firm called Stonington Global LLC, they told The Wall Street Journal. [...]Stonington Global will provide consulting and lobbying services for U.S. and foreign clients, Messrs. Muzin and Allaham said in a statement. The firm also will "help private investors and sovereign-wealth funds develop and execute investment strategies."
In other words, people with money, unconcerned with Flynn having lied to the FBI, will voluntarily pay this firm for guidance and investment advice.
The former Trump aide and his partners will be joined by Michael Flynn Jr., who is perhaps best known for peddling ridiculous conspiracy theories online.
The WSJ report added:
Messrs. Muzin and Allaham previously worked together helping a failed political candidate in Albania and on an influence campaign for the embattled Persian Gulf nation Qatar, according to foreign lobbying records. The pair ended their work with Qatar last month, after helping its royal family connect with U.S. Jewish leaders and associates of President Donald Trump to repair the country's image, according to interviews with Messrs. Muzin and Allaham and foreign lobbying reports filed with the Justice Department.Neither man knew Mr. Flynn, they said, but Mr. Allaham approached him about joining the firm because "his experience speaks for itself."
On this, we agree. Flynn's experience does speak for itself.
More than a decade ago, the New York Times' Paul Krugman wrote, "One important pillar of conservative political dominance, I believe, is the phenomenon sometimes called 'wingnut welfare': loyalists are always assured of decent employment, no matter how badly they perform."
Reading about Flynn's new gig, Krugman's piece comes to mind.
Update: In a follow-up report, the Wall Street Journal went on to say, "Hours after a new lobbying firm aimed at domestic and global clients announced it was partnering with former national security adviser Mike Flynn, attorneys for the embattled Mr. Flynn said the deal was off and the notice had been released as a result of a 'misunderstanding' among the participants in Stonington Global LLC."
It's hard to imagine how this kind of "misunderstanding" could happen, but this is the latest information we have.