Now That Flynn Has Resigned, Will Others Follow Him?

For President Trump and his cabinet, it is survival of the unfittest.

Trump Cabinet Problem

Let me start by pointing out that there is a huge difference between “You’re compromised by Russia, pack your shit,” and “It’s out in the open, I’ll expect your letter of resignation.” What has recently unfolded with General Michael Flynn is the latter. Trump could have easily fired the man, saved face, and let the right-wing press run with the idea that the Russian connections ended with Flynn (they do not). But, it appears the administration is uninterested in formalities: It is, after all, in the process of trying to stem the rising tide. Flynn’s departure has already roused Democrats like Nancy Pelosi into an uncharacteristic sequence of action.

“The American people deserve to know the full extent of Russia’s financial, personal, and political grip on President Trump and what that means for our national security,” reads Pelosi’s statement on Flynn’s departure. This opening sentiment was revealed to be truer than anyone knew Tuesday afternoon when it was reported that Trump knew of Flynn’s treasonous dealings with Russia weeks ago. “Flynn’s resignation is a reflection of the poor judgment of President Trump and demands answers to the grave questions over the president’s involvement,” Pelosi continued. “By what authority did Flynn act and to whom did he report? The FBI must accelerate its investigation of the Russian connection with the Trump Administration, and Congress must call for a bipartisan, independent, outside commission to fully investigate Russia’s influence on the administration and the election.”

Pelosi’s statement echoes the calls of other members of Congress, including former vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine, who are slowly speaking up following an impropriety too explicit to ignore or make reassuring noises about. As Senator Kamala Harris, who serves on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, pointed out, “General Flynn’s resignation has raised far more questions than it’s answered, including who authorized or was aware of the calls...and why the administration failed to act.” The biggest question, however, is who will follow Flynn out the door.

Smart wonk money seems to be on Reince Priebus. As the Republican chairman, he wasn’t in on the ground floor of Trump’s run, but gambling minds across the pond are already protecting themselves from a longer-term payout: As of yesterday, UK bookmaker Ladbrokes had the odds of a Trump impeachment before Jan. 2021 set at 11:10. For reference, American Pharoah, the 2015 Triple Crown champion and most celebrated racehorse in decades, ran that year’s Kentucky Derby at 5:2. More resignations and investigations are bound to come from Congress to the White House in the near future, and that’s a good start.

Flynn’s resignation will hopefully empower the opposition to aggressively go after more members of Trump’s island of misfit sociopaths administration. Eventually, there will be no more tweet-wranglers, bullet-takers, scapegoats, yes-men, or weaklings left for the president to hide behind and he’ll have no choice but to answer for himself. Remember, the standard for impeachment is covering up a break-in or getting a blow job. Collusion with a foreign government against a democratic election should be a no-brainer.

Written on February 15, 2017 by

Tim Baker

Tim Baker is a New York-based writer and sometimes editor whose work has appeared in Newsweek, TV Guide, CBS and Discovery Special Editions, and can regularly be found at thrillist.com. He has an MFA in creative writing from The New School and also attended Hunter College of the City University of New York.