Gutknecht: The Framing of General Flynn

He had to be smeared and discredited. Desperate times called for desperate actions. Consider the lengths to which the FBI went to in order to frame this great man. It is beyond criminal. It is reprehensible!

If you went to central casting looking for a military leader, he would be your choice. It was as if the uniform was cut just for him. Lt. General Michael Flynn was what my Dad would call a man’s man. He exuded character.

Members of Congress get to meet a lot of interesting people including military officers. General Flynn made such an impression that years later I still remember where and when we met. There were people with stars on their shoulders who got them by mastering butt kissing, not making waves and always saying the right things. Michael Flynn was not one of them. He was a straight shooter. He didn’t graduate from West Point. He didn’t have a military family pedigree. He earned every promotion he ever received. He did it the old fashioned way, by the book.

Perhaps that explains why high ranking people in the Obama Administration feared him and what he might do as the incoming National Security Advisor. He would have direct access to information which would be (at minimum) embarrassing to the Obama White House. Benghazi and pallets of cash flown to the Iranian Mullahs promised to be just the tips of several icebergs. They wanted to be remembered as scandal free. Remember the cryptic last-minute memo stating that they “did everything by the book?” A seasoned no-nonsense guy like Flynn might well rewrite their book. Besides spying on Team Trump there were likely other nefarious activities they needed to bury.

He had to be smeared and discredited. Desperate times called for desperate actions. Consider the lengths to which the FBI went to in order to frame this great man. It is beyond criminal. It is reprehensible!

The most recent batch of documents confirms that corrupt insiders were determined to destroy General Flynn. Rules, precedents and constitutional rights be damned. Taking pages right out of the KGB playbook, they monitored him. They targeted him. They set him up. They blackmailed him. Worse, James Comey bragged and joked about sending two “guys” (including Peter Strzok) over to the White House to trick and frame General Flynn. They thought they might get him on a violation of the Logan Act or failing to register for representing foreign interests. As a last resort, they would trap him into a lie. This is now a matter of public record.


Focusing the long knives on Flynn was a twofer. They thought they could keep him from becoming NSA Director while bolstering their case for spying on Trump and his campaign.

A more troubling question is why has it taken so long for these documents to be released? According to Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch, the FBI is still sitting on thousands of pages of texts and documents. Documents that were subpoenaed long ago. Director Wray has been on the job for three years. His top priority has been to clean up this mess, hold people accountable and restore trust in the FBI.

So, how is he doing? Has he been in a witness protection program somewhere?

Do you know what you call a coach who has had three consecutive losing seasons? You call him a former coach. Laws were clearly broken. Basic civil rights were trampled. Courts were lied to. All by people sworn to uphold the law. Roger Stone and Paul Manafort sit in prison. Strzok, McCabe, Comey and others remain at large. If Director Wray cannot do the job, it’s time to find someone who can. We suspect the patience of AG Barr is wearing thin.

The president has a lot on his plate. Since he was the real target of this coup, he may feel somewhat hamstrung. But in a larger sense, this is not about him or Michael Flynn. It’s about defending the rule of law. The buck stops stops with the President. The time has come for him to call Director Wray to the Oval Office. He should demand an explanation for these insufferable delays. What about the pledge for greater transparency? The president should insist on a report from Wray outlining his recommendations for holding these lawless lawmen accountable.

Our faith in the rule of law hangs in the balance.

Gil Gutknecht

Gil Gutknecht is a former Republican congressman from Minnesota.