National Security Adviser Mike Flynn Resigns
National Security Adviser Mike Flynn resigned last night after reports suggested he had not completely disclosed the contents of conversations with the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the transition.
Flynn had initially said he not not discussed sanctions with the ambassador, at which point he was defended by Vice President Mike Pence and White House spokesman Sean Spicer. Flynn later conceded that he may well have discussed the sanctions.
Critics have said his lack of disclosure may have put Flynn in a compromised situation, and may have been a violation of the Logan Act, a law prohibiting private or non-authorized citizens from engaging in diplomatic efforts on behalf of the United States. (Author’s note: This last is a red herring, the Logan Act is a law that dates to 1799 and has never been prosecuted. Members of Congress have violated the Logan Act dozens of times without consequence.)
Kellyanne Conway told Fox News this morning Flynn resigned only because he provided misleading, incomplete or “forgetful” information regarding these conversations. This lack of frankness with the administration was the issue and the “cumulative effect” of the news covereage made the situation untenable.
The New York Times headline indicated they dealings were “innappropriate” which is not the case. Acting attorney general (and Obama appointee) Yates warned a couple of weeks ago the administration that Flynn could be vulnerable to blackmail by Moscow. This is also non-sensical. This has been described as a “coverup without a crime.” However, as Nixon found out in 1974, coverups are often carry more risk than the crime.
Genera Keith Kellogg has taken over as acting national security adviser. Candidates for a successor include Kellogg, plus David Petraeus, a former CIA director and retired general, and Vice Adm. Robert Harward, a former deputy commander of the U.S. Central Command.