General Flynn and the putsch at the Hotel Willard
The January 6 Committee’s last-minute June 28 hearing was cogently and expertly dissected by prosecutorial commentators, historians, powerbrokers, clever writers, and late-night comedians. It’s too early to predict how the surreal game of musical chairs will play out between a high-profile group of co-conspirators and a disgraced president, so I won’t go there.
Instead, I want to highlight one of the stark visual contrasts of the day’s events. Cassidy Hutchinson, the former assistant to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows during the Trump administration, was a hugely impressive, poised, and serious young woman, sitting alone in front of a swarm of photographers and a formidable camera panel. special congressional investigation.
Hutchinson, 26, had been in many rooms where bizarre things happened, and she certainly knew that what she was about to say under oath, and not without great risk, would change her life forever and, most likely, the arc of American history. . She exuded credibility, confidence and a strong sense of propriety.
As she neutrally shared the granular details of what she had observed and heard, I kept wondering why the much older male officials higher up the food chain were so reckless in their comments. and their behavior, as if there was any thought that they could be highly incriminating or that they would ever appear on national television.
Was it because she was young and had much less status? Or did they think that because she was a woman, her impressions wouldn’t matter? Or was it because they all perceived the whole cabal as a man’s game and therefore way above his head?
No one knows, but her lonely, unwavering attitude in that simple white jacket was a Joan of Arc moment in television history.
Enter, right, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, 64, 38 years older than Hutchinson. Flynn had capped a 33-year military career with an appointment from President Obama as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, the 16,000-strong nationwide cousin of the larger CIA. Another former DIA director was always upset that the CIA never issued him a permanent Langley pass, but the job is a big deal nonetheless.
Flynn’s tenure was problematic because once he was nominated, the Obama White House determined he was not the best candidate for the job; his mandate was not renewed. One part of her DIA gig was a deck of dress slides for success tips on grooming and dress for men and women who circulated the agency in 2013.
Among other advice for women: “Avoid the Plain Jane look.” “Makeup helps women look more attractive.” “Wear just enough to accentuate your features.” “Get the latest look for your figure and your personality.” “Too much makeup distracts from a professional look.”
Flynn later denied knowledge of the slide deck, but he continued to act as a point of contact for women in the capital that some of the men around them were out of touch. In 2016, “Wonkette.com” headlined “DAMES! Are you ready to dress to impress Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn? »
Flynn was fired after 22 days as Donald Trump’s national security adviser for lying to the FBI about conversations between him and the Russian ambassador before Trump took office. Trump’s request to FBI Director James Comey to “leave this [Flynn’s case] go” also led to Comey being fired. Flynn’s guilty plea to the lying charge became the basis of a convoluted court battle over his plea bargain, which dragged on until the end of 2020, when it emerged that the judge in the case would hold Flynn to his plea. On November 25, 2020, Flynn received a presidential pardon.
It was then only a few days before Flynn asked Trump to “declare martial law in an effort to have the military oversee a new national vote.” When the Jan. 6 cabal set up a war room in the Willard Hotel to coordinate what became the attack on the Capitol, there was Flynn, along with patriotic luminaries Steve Bannon (pardoned before trial by Trump) , Roger Stone (sentence commuted by Trump), John Eastman (good friend of Ginni Thomas), Rudy Giuliani and others. According to Cassidy Hutchinson, this is where Mark Meadows wanted to be on the evening of January 5.
When the clip of Flynn’s January 6 Committee testimony was shown, the look on his face resembled that of a raccoon raiding a garbage can, startled by a flashlight. Patriotic, he then answered these questions: “Do you believe that the violence of January 6 was morally justified? “Take the fifth.” “Do you believe that the violence of January 6 was legally justified? “Fifth.” “Do you believe in the peaceful transition of power? “The fifth.”
Cassidy Hutchinson, 26, mightily dressed for success by Flynn’s standards, proceeded to strike a three-star general on the straightness scale, along with the rest of the Willard Hotel Putsch and far too many Republicans in Congress, on what means “to respect and defend the Constitution.
David Irvin, Generous, is a retired lawyer and brigadier general.