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(CNN)The insurrection is far from over.
In the same week, the sitting US President warned that US democracy is in peril, a group of scholars said the American experiment could fail and a retired US general — who served, briefly, as national security adviser — seemed to endorse a military coup.
It’s hard to decide when to take this stuff seriously. It’s gotten harder to shake off since January 6, when the attack on Congress, the seat of the legislative branch, was met with a distinct lack of action by now-former President Donald Trump, then the head of the executive branch.
On the one hand, the retired general — that’s Michael Flynn — is disgraced in the eyes of his former colleagues, was prosecuted on charges of lying and foreign lobbying and then pardoned by Trump. He appeared this past weekend at a fringe conspiracy theory conference and said there’s no reason what’s happening in Myanmar (a violent coup by the country’s military) shouldn’t happen in the US.
“No reason, I mean, it should happen here. No reason. That’s right,” Flynn responded to a questioner, who was identified as a former US Marine.
A message posted to a Parler account used by Flynn on Monday, however, claimed Flynn’s words had been twisted.
“Let me be VERY CLEAR – There is NO reason whatsoever for any coup in America, and I do not and have not at any time called for any action of that sort,” he said. Read more from CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan.
There is no coup in the US. It’s clear the US military has no interest in overthrowing the government. The Army said in a statement Wednesday that it will not investigate Flynn’s statements “at this time,” and Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said “the department is not going to have an official comment one way on this,” during a press briefing.
This is not an isolated idea. Flynn is the same person who, along with his attorney Sidney Powell, was in the Oval Office in December suggesting Trump invoke martial law, according to CNN’s reporting at the time.
At the same conference this weekend, he and Powell suggested Trump could just be reinstated. Here’s a fact check on that from CNN’s Tara Subramaniam.
A coup after an election, actually. What’s happening in Myanmar wasn’t just any coup; the military seized control of the country after the election in November. QAnon extremists have been fixated on it.
When O’Sullivan talked to Trump die-hards, Myanmar came up repeatedly.
So is it sedition? Richard Painter, the White House ethics lawyer under President George W. Bush, now a Democrat, argued Monday on CNN that Flynn should be prosecuted for sedition.
I actually bookmarked the law dealing with sedition and treason after the insurrection at the US Capitol (none of those rioters have yet been charged with any such crime despite their effort to stop the counting of Electoral College votes).
Here are the definitions of some possible subversive activities in US law (or read them for yourself here):
- Treason: “Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.”
Analysis: Michael Flynn and the endless insurrection
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