Why Michael Flynn's $50 million 'malicious prosecution' lawsuit is so 'audacious': Rachel Maddow producer

Why Michael Flynn's $50 million 'malicious prosecution' lawsuit is so 'audacious': Rachel Maddow producer
Image via Gage Skidmore.

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn is among the many allies of former President Donald Trump who has faced major legal problems, including a federal prosecution for lying to the FBI. But that hasn't made him shy about openly making extreme proposals.

In December 2020 — after Trump lost a presidential election to now-President Joe Biden by more than 7 million votes — Flynn urged Trump to declare martial law in order to stay in power. And when he appeared on stage with the Rev. John Hagee (a far-right Christian nationalist and proponent of dominionism), Flynn declared that fundamentalist Christianity should be the United States' only religion.

Flynn told the crowd, "If we are going to have one nation under God, which we must, we have to have one religion. One nation under God, and one religion under God."

READ MORE: 'A dangerous normalization of lunacy': Michael Flynn and a Proud Boys leader are now poll watchers in Florida

Now, Flynn is suing the federal government for malicious prosecution. In a MaddowBlog opinion column published by MSNBC on March 9, Steve Bannon — who produces MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show" — lays out some reasons why Flynn's lawsuit is so "audacious" and badly flawed.

"Flynn is seeking $50 million in damages," Benen explains. "To appreciate what makes this so extraordinary, let's revisit our earlier coverage and review how we arrived at this point. It was just a few years ago when federal prosecutors charged Flynn, accusing him of lying to the FBI about his conversations with the Russian government, lying to investigators about being a paid foreign agent, and acting illegally as an unregistered foreign agent while working on Trump's 2016 campaign."

Benen continues, "Flynn soon after admitted he lied, twice pleaded guilty — under oath and in open court — and became a cooperating witness with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. Flynn then changed his lawyers, at which point he stopped helping the Mueller probe and decided he was no longer guilty of the crimes he'd already pleaded guilty to. Soon after, then-Attorney General Bill Barr took an interest in the case, and the Justice Department announced it was dropping all of the charges against Trump’s former aide."

Trump pardoned many of his loyalists during the lame duck period of late 2020 and early 2021, including Paul Manafort (his former 2016 campaign manager), GOP operative Roger Stone and "War Room" host/former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon. Trump's pardon for Flynn, Benen notes, came the day before Thanksgiving 2020.

READ MORE: These Christian activists are pushing back against Roger Stone and Michael Flynn's 'toxic' MAGA fundamentalism

The "Rachel Maddow Show" producer observes, "It's against this backdrop that Flynn is now suing, claiming federal law enforcement subjected him to malicious prosecution when they charged him with crimes he had twice pleaded guilty to in open court."

READ MORE: Michael Flynn bizarrely predicts governors might 'declare war' soon

Read Steve Benen's full column at this link.

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