By Ellie Kreidie
On Friday, December 1, the world’s jaw collectively dropped as news broke that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn not only plead guilty to a single charge of lying to the F.B.I. in December 2016, but he also announced that he was cooperating with Robert Mueller’s team. This news shocked Washington and the entire Trump White House as it not only became the second guilty plea in the Mueller investigation, after George Papadopoulos in October, but also came from Flynn, an individual who worked in the White House at a senior position.
Mueller has reportedly gotten an important testimony for Flynn which is why the plea he received was the least severe he could manage to get with the overwhelming evidence of his work with the Russian government. In exchange for the shortened plea, Flynn’s cooperation is likely to involve further testimony specific to the campaign and transition relationship with the Russians as evidence for possible collusion. And it is through Flynn that the case is reaching the inner workings of the Trump family, specifically the infamous Jared Kushner.
Jared Kushner, senior adviser to Trump, is going to be the next one to fall. Whether it be his involvement in the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with Natalia Vishnevskaya, a lawyer closely associated with Putin, or his involvement with the firing of James Comey, there seems no one more likely to be indicted or charged in the Mueller investigation than the Kush. Even though he’s family, it doesn’t seem like Trump would even align himself with Kushner if he were to be charged, which according to insiders is what Trump is anticipating, as stated in an opinions piece in Bloomsburg. In recent weeks, Kushner’s public presence in White House photos and events has become noticeably limited, after months of being at every event and in every photo by Trump’s side. Even his role behind the scenes has gone down, most notably with Kellyanne Conway now taking over one of Kushner’s original jobs of the opioid crisis. Combine it with multiple news reports that Flynn is expected to testify that it was Kushner, a top member of the transition team, who gave the go-ahead for Flynn to speak to the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak on the Russian sanctions. Nothing looks good for Kushner because he seems to be involved with every possible instance of collusion and obstruction of justice.
I’m someone who follows the Mueller investigation incredibly closely, the amount of news alerts I get a week is incredible. Since Manafort, the amount of stories and predictions from many news outlets increased severely. But it wasn’t until the Flynn incident, only a week ago, that I’m now getting more news alerts per day than I was getting a week, months ago. The White House keeps telling the American people that this investigation is wrapping up, that after Flynn there is no one else they can charge. Behind the scenes, White House staffers are stunned, they are scared, and they are concerned that, with Flynn’s cooperation, Trump is likely to go down, according to Politico.
I have a close friend, a Republican, who whenever I mention the Russian investigation gets angry that I focus on that “fake news.” He says I can’t be looking in the past and should just focus on supporting our President. I can’t faithfully support a President who may be working with the Russians and whose campaign’s mission was to collude with Putin and the Kremlin. The American people can’t stand for it and the party of Reagan can’t support that. And trust me when I say that when Mueller makes a charge against Kushner, which all indications show is destined to happen and which predictions site the timeline to be closer than we think, the Republican party must get ready to talk about impeachment. Once Kushner is taken down, his father-in-law is a step behind him.
Ellie is a freshman.