Posted by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large, earlier today — Friday, 12.1: “The guilty plea by MichaelFlynn is different — and more serious — than the charges against one-time Trump campaign chairman PaulManafort. Manafort was a part of Trump’s inner orbit for a handful of months during the spring and summer of 2016. But he was long gone by the time Trump won the White House. And the charges against Manafort have to do with money laundering and the Ukraine, not Russia.
“It’s also impossible for Trump to dismiss the role Flynn played in his campaign and White House as he did with George Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about interactions with foreign officials close to the Russian government.
“The Flynn guilty plea comes from someone who, until the day he was reluctantly fired by Trump as national security adviser, sat at the absolute epicenter of Trumpworld. And, unlike Manafort, Flynn’s charge deals directly with his interactions with the Russian ambassador — and goes to the very core of Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and any possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.
“The following things are facts:
“Mueller was appointed as special counsel by Trump Justice Department deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Flynn was an extremely close and influential adviser to Trump as a candidate and as president. Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his interactions with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
“There’s no ‘fake news’ media in either of those three sentences. Or Democrats. Or hoaxes. Or witch hunts.
“And, with the Flynn guilty plea, there is absolutely no thinking person who could possibly believe that Trump’s presidency is not in some level of peril now. “Peril does not mean Trump is a goner. But it does mean that Mueller’s Russia investigation almost certainly will get worse for Trump before — and if — it gets better.
“The Flynn charge is unmistakeable proof that this whole thing is inside Trump’s White House. And Flynn’s guilty plea is unmistakeable proof that it’s not going to be leaving the White House any time soon.
“And that is — no matter how many tweets he sends — absolutely awful news for Donald Trump.”