When Robert Mueller released his sentencing recommendations regarding the guilty plea on making false statements entered by onetime Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, CNSNews.com reacted the way you'd expect.
A Dec. 5 article by Susan Jones is a surprisingly straightforward account of Flynn's offense and Mueller's recommendations -- until the last paragraph, in which she claimed: "Flynn's defenders note that he was the victim of illegal surveillance and unmasking by members of the Obama administration, but so far, no one in that orbit has been held accountable."
Jones provided no evidence that any surveillance and unmasking of Flynn under the Obama administration was "illegal." Indeed, experts have argued that surveillance of Flynn was quite legal, given that he was chatting with Russian officials as an agent for Trump and it was the Russians, not Flynn, who were the target of the eavesdropping.
Finally, Jones wrote an article claiming that the no-prison-term recommendation Mueller made for Flynn was what President Trump wanted all along, featuring another right-wing congressman (appearing on Fox News, natch):
There's a "great irony" in Special Counsel Robert Mueller asking a federal court not to put Gen. Michael Flynn in prison, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) told Fox News's Sean Hannity Tuesday night.
“The great irony, Sean, is that Robert Mueller has achieved the same outcome that Donald Trump was (after). I mean, Robert Mueller has essentially said to court, lay off of Mike Flynn -- he's a good guy. If Trump said the same thing to (former FBI Director James) Comey, they apparently want to throw him in jail for it. And it shows the double standard.”
Flash back to early 2017, when – according to notes written by then-FBI Director Comey – Trump took Comey aside the day after Flynn was fired. “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Comey quoted Trump as saying. “He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”
In his court filing on Tuesday, Mueller seemed to agree that Flynn was a good guy. He mentioned some of Flynn’s “mitigating” characteristics, including his “exemplary” military and public service. “He served in the military for over 33 years, including five years of combat duty, led the Defense Intelligence Agency and retired as a 3-star Lieutenant General.”
Of course, the threat of prison time is the leverage Mueller had over Flynn to get him to cooperate with investigators. Jones doesn't mention that, of course; instead, she quotes Gaetz ranting at length that "Flynn should never have pleaded guilty" and how Hillary Clinton is the real criminal.