President Donald Trump on Friday jumped into the ongoing drama surrounding his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who told special counsel Robert Mueller about efforts by Trump’s lawyers to influence his cooperation with the Russia probe.
On Thursday, a previously redacted court filing revealed attempts Trump’s lawyers made to backchannel with Flynn’s lawyers.
Trump weighed in with a tweet on Friday, saying: “It now seems the General Flynn was under investigation long before was common knowledge. It would have been impossible for me to know this but, if that was the case, and with me being one of two people who would become president, why was I not told so that I could make a change?”
Facts first: Trump’s tweet is misleading and lacks context. For starters, the Justice Department and FBI conduct all their investigations in secret, including the one into Flynn. Trump also fails to mention the that he was repeatedly warned about Flynn, though not by the Justice Department, but he ignored that political advice and gave him a top job in the administration.
It’s no surprise that Flynn “was under investigation long before was common knowledge.”
The Justice Department and FBI generally don’t publicly reveal who is under investigation and what potential crimes are being looked at. In fact, internal Justice Department policies specifically instruct US attorneys to be extremely tight-lipped in public regarding ongoing criminal investigations.