At last year's Republican National Convention, retired Gen. Michael Flynn, a prominent member of Donald Trump's inner circle, delivered a speech in which he chanted, "Lock her up!" in reference to Hillary Clinton.
"If I did a tenth of what she did, I would be in jail," Flynn added at the time.
It's a quote to keep in mind today.
Former U.S. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was charged with making false statements to the FBI and is expected to plead guilty Friday morning in federal court in Washington. [...]Flynn, who was fired after just 24 days on the job, was one of the first Trump associates to come under scrutiny in the federal probe now led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into possible collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign.
It's a development that's worth pausing to appreciate: the former White House national security adviser is facing a criminal charge for lying to the FBI about his conversations with a Russian official -- following Russia's attack that helped put Donald Trump in power.
This comes roughly a month after Mueller's special counsel team indicted former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his longtime associate Rick Gates. The same day, we already learned that George Papadopoulos, one of only a handful of Trump foreign policy advisers, pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents about his contacts with Kremlin-connected Russians, and he's now struck a cooperation agreement with Mueller's team.
After those charges were reported in late October, Trump World could plausibly claim that those officials worked on the president's campaign, but not in the president's White House. As of today, that's no longer the case: Flynn worked with Trump in the West Wing before being fired three weeks into his tenure.
Today's news comes a week after we learned that Flynn's lawyers cut off communications with Trump's lawyers, which was widely seen as evidence that Flynn was either "cooperating with prosecutors or negotiating a deal."
What's more, NBC News reported a few weeks ago that Mueller's team has "gathered enough evidence to bring charges" against Flynn and his son. One possible avenue for Flynn would be to flip on someone higher up the ladder.
There are still some questions that need to be answered. Today's news suggests Flynn may now be working with Mueller's team -- in other words, he's likely "flipped" -- but what Flynn has to offer is far from clear.
While that comes into focus, there's still a core truth to consider: when a former White House national security adviser pleads guilty to lying to the FBI about talks with a foreign adversary, it's a story that should jolt the political world. If you've been inclined to believe the president's assurances that the entire Trump-Russia scandal is "fake news," today's developments offer profound evidence to the contrary.