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Why a Trump message to Flynn would be so important

It may be time for the political world to have a conversation about witness tampering.
This file photo taken on February 1, 2017 shows US National Security Adviser Mike Flynn speaking during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, DC.
Just last week, The Daily Beast reported that Donald Trump has "asked senior staff and the White House counsel's office multiple times" if it would be appropriate for him to reach out to Michael Flynn, whom the president fired as National Security Advisor in February. White House lawyers, the report added, have warned Trump "repeatedly" against making contact.Yahoo News reports today that the president may have ignored those warnings.

Late last month, fired National Security Adviser Michael Flynn -- under investigation by federal prosecutors, with his lawyer seeking immunity for him to testify to Congress -- met with a small group of loyalists at a restaurant in the northern Virginia suburbs. [...][O]ne overriding question among those present were his views on the president who had fired him from his national security advisor post. Flynn left little doubt about the answer.  Not only did he remain loyal to President Trump; he indicated that he and the president were still in communication. "I just got a message from the president to stay strong," Flynn said after the meal was over, according to two sources who are close to Flynn and are familiar with the conversation, which took place on April 25.

Yahoo News' report added that Flynn didn't specify how, exactly, he'd communicated with the president, but for legal purposes, it may not matter.Even if the reporting is accurate, it's certainly possible that Flynn was exaggerating for his friends, trying to make himself appear important, boasting about a message from the president that may not exist.But if Trump really did reach out to his former aide, ignoring repeated warnings from the White House counsel's office, it may be time for the political world to have a conversation about witness tampering.After all, Flynn, a former foreign agent whom the Justice Department believes was compromised by Russia, is the subject of a criminal investigation. Common sense suggests Trump should keep his distance.But we've nevertheless learned in recent days that the president asked his then-FBI director to cut Flynn some slack in the FBI's counter-espionage investigation, and now there's a report that Trump reached out to Flynn personally.I'm reminded anew of this recent piece in The Atlantic.

"I think he's worried about [Mike] Flynn," said one source close to the White House, referring to Trump's former National Security Adviser who has offered to testify before Congress."[Trump] has questioned whether or not he should have fired Flynn. They don't know what Flynn's going to say."

If those worries led Trump to reach out to Flynn, the controversy is only going to grow more serious.