In an extraordinary turn of events, former national security advisor and 3-star general Michael Flynn has been rebuked and warned of likely prison time by a federal judge. In December of 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators about contacts that he had with the Russian government while serving on the Trump transition team. After the campaign, Trump appointed Flynn to be his national security advisory — one of the most powerful and most sensitive positions in government. But Flynn did not keep his job for long.
From his appointment to his time in the White House, political cartoonists capture the General’s fall from grace.
The Trump administration gave positions in the White House to people with little-to-no government experience — such as Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner — and members of the political fringe, such as Steve Bannon. In those early days, General Michael Flynn was seen as one of the adults in the room.
A week before Trump’s inauguration, reports surfaced that Flynn was in touch with the Russians during the transition. Four days after the inauguration Flynn was interviewed by the FBI — a meeting we know now that he lied during. The Washington Post broke a story that Flynn was in touch with the Russian ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, during the transition and negotiated foreign policy while having no official capacity and while another administration was in place. On February 13, less than a month into the administration, Michael Flynn resigned, clearly caving to pressure from inside the White House.
Two days after the election, Flynn wrote an op-ed for The Hill titled “Our ally Turkey is in crisis and needs our support." In March, Flynn filed documents with the Justice Department showing that he has earned more than half a million dollars as a consultant for Turkey.
The big question in the fall of 2017 was whether Flynn would cooperate with Muller or not.
On December 1st, 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about his contacts with the Russian ambassador. Flynn agreed to cooperate with the special counsel’s investigation.
Some cartoonists noted the irony that Flynn faces a prison sentence, given that he led a “lock her up” chant during the Republican National Convention in July 2016.
Before the sentencing hearing, the office of special counsel Robert Muller filed a sentencing memo about Flynn to the judge. The memo was redacted, and the only information we learned from it is that Flynn cooperated with Muller.