In a stunning revelation, CNN is now reporting that Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, was sending messages to at least one congressman even as he was cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller.
Flynn pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI about his contact with Russian officials, and this week, his cooperation with the special counsel investigation is once again in the limelight after court records unsealed on Thursday revealed that Flynn had told Mueller that “persons connected to the administration or Congress” had contacted him. He had even told Mueller about an attorney for President Trump contacting him during the course of the investigation, which could be potential obstruction of justice.
Now, Twitter DMs obtained by CNN show that Flynn appeared to message Congressman Matt Gaetz, a close ally of Donald Trump, to ask him to raise questions about the credibility of the Mueller probe on national media. In a message Flynn reportedly sent Gaetz in April 2018, he commended the Florida Republican for criticizing the Mueller probe, encouraging him to “keep the pressure on” the special counsel investigation.
“You stay on top of what you’re doing. Your leadership is so vital for our country now. Keep the pressure on.”
Remarkably, as the report states, on the same day that Flynn sent the message to Gaetz, the Florida Republican went on Fox News’ Lou Dobbs Tonight to criticize the Mueller probe.
“We’ve got to play a far stronger role in exposing the hypocrisy at the Department of Justice,” Gaetz said in the April 3, 2018, interview.
“With no evidence of collusion, with no evidence of any crime whatsoever, they unleashed Bob Mueller to go investigate things that happened before Donald Trump was even contemplating running for president.”
Shortly after entering a cooperation agreement with Mueller, Michael Flynn sent an unsolicited text message to Mueller critic Rep. Matt Gaetz to "keep the pressure on"https://t.co/ULCq7XsGEj
— POLITICO (@politico) May 18, 2019
Ugh. Flynn’s huge imprudence aside, there remains a team out there. There has always been a team. Gaetz is on the team. Nunes is on the team. It is not a truth telling team. It is not a rule of law team. It is not an integrity team. https://t.co/XBWQFfZVxw
— Harry Litman (@harrylitman) May 18, 2019
Gaetz has said that he didn’t respond to Flynn’s messages, but it would be a massive coincidence for the Florida Republican to go on television and blast the special counsel probe on the same day that Flynn sent him the message.
According to the report, Flynn also sent Gaetz a message in February of this year after the confirmation of Attorney General William Barr. Although there was no written text this time, the former Lieutenant General sent Gaetz GIFs of a bald eagle and an American flag.
The messages shed new light on the role Michael Flynn played in the Mueller probe, as CNN‘s report alleges that he was constantly undermining the investigation even as he was cooperating with investigators. It also could raise questions on whether the Trump administration has a “team” which protects him from attacks by his critics by coordinating their actions.