Former national security advisor and retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn could face charges after saying a military coup, similar to the one in Myanmar “should” happen here in the United States.
Flynn issued a strong clarification Monday after he came under fire for making the remark at the “For God & and Country Patriot Roundup” event reportedly organized by QAnon supporters in Dallas, Texas this weekend. His comments came after an audience member asked, “I want to know why what happened in Myanmar can’t happen here?”
The questions elicited cheers from the crowd, as evidenced in a video that was shared on social media.
After the crowd quieted, Flynn responded, “No reason, I mean, it should happen here.”
Here is the video of former national security advisor Michael Flynn saying that he thinks a coup like the coup in Myanmar should happen in the US. pic.twitter.com/7mGYjfXg18
— Mamie 😌 (@MC_Hyperbole) May 30, 2021
In February of this year, Myanmar’s military imprisoned the country’s democratically-elected leaders after accusing them of voter fraud. In the months that have followed, the military has reportedly killed hundreds of civilians and detained thousands of protestors.
Lt. Col. Yevgeny “Eugene” Vindman, the brother of Alex Vindman, a supposed witness in the since debunked Ukraine impeachment inquiry, took to Twitter to call the comments “seditious”, saying they violated military law and offered to prosecute the case:
With these seditious remarks Comrade Flynn may have crossed the line for recall to active duty and court-martial. As a JAG I’m qualified and also happy to prosecute this case. https://t.co/7gAM2TlG8D P.S. US mil would NEVER support this. We love America.
— Yevgeny (Eugene) Vindman (@YVindman) May 31, 2021
This is not a political issue. It’s a legal issue and discussion about accountability for a Soldier that apparently violated the UCMJ – military law. Like with all my tweets, views my own.
— Yevgeny (Eugene) Vindman (@YVindman) May 31, 2021
University of Texas law professor, Steve Vladeck noted that while retired officers are still subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, he is part of a team currently challenging the constitutionality of subjecting retired service members to court-martial, instead of a civilian trial, for offenses they commit while retired in the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces & the D.C. Circuit.
Yes, Flynn’s still subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice as a retired Army officer. The constitutionality of jurisdiction over retirees for post-retirement offenses is something we’re currently challenging in the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces & the D.C. Circuit. https://t.co/RQThYguIP1
— Steve Vladeck (@steve_vladeck) May 30, 2021
Rep. Liz Cheney, who was recently ousted from GOP leadership, also reacted to the news, stating that no American should advocate for or support the violent overthrow of the United States.
Flynn was fired from his role of national security advisor for President Trump in 2017 when he pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his alleged communications with Russia. Flynn asked to withdraw his guilty plea in January of 2020 and was later pardoned by Trump.
In a December 2020 interview, Flynn told Newsmax it would not be “unprecedented” for Trump to deploy the military to “re-run” the election. He clarified, however, that he was “not calling for that”.
On Monday, Flynn took to the social media platform, Telegram, to clarify his comments:
“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. Any report of any other belief by me is a boldface fabrication based on twisted reporting at a lively panel at a conference of patriotic Americans who love this country, just as much as I do. I am no stranger to media manipulating my words and therefore let me repeat my response to a question asked at the conference: There is no reason it (a coup) should happen here (in America)”.
Attorney Sidney Powell, who has previously represented Flynn, asserted that he did not endorse “any act of violence or any military insurrection,” saying the media “grossly distorted” his comments, according to CNN.
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