Michael Flynn faced the camera with brow creased and lips compressed. He hadn’t been born yesterday, his expression said. He was not going to fall for trick questions.
“General Flynn, do you believe the violence on January 6 was justified?” Representative Liz Cheney asked him in a video teleconference deposition for the January 6 committee.
Flynn’s lawyer pressed the mute button and switched off the camera. Ninety-six seconds passed. Flynn and the lawyer reappeared with a request for clarification. Did Cheney mean morally justified, or legally? Cheney obligingly asked each question in turn.
“Do you believe the violence on January 6 was justified morally?” she asked.
Flynn squinted, truculent.
“Take the Fifth,” he said.
“Do you believe the violence on January 6 was justified legally?” Cheney asked.
“Fifth,” he replied.
Cheney moved on to the ultimate question.
“General Flynn, do you believe in the peaceful transition of power in the United States of America?” she asked.
“The Fifth,” he repeated.
It was a surreal moment: Here was a retired three-star general and former national security adviser refusing to opine on the foundational requirement of a constitutional democracy. Flynn had sworn an oath to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Rule of law had been drilled into him for decades in the Army. [Continue reading…]