In a serial arson investigation, it is always the creeper who shows the most interest in the suspicious fires who becomes the primary suspect.
Likewise, from the earliest days, President Barack Obama has shown a curious — and unseemly — obsession with the case of Gen. Michael Flynn. The whole saga began six years ago when Mr. Obama fired the retired three-star general from his post as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Ordinarily, such a firing would seem like the routine prerogative of a civilian commander-in-chief. But after all we have witnessed and learned about the Obama administration over the four years, Gen. Flynn’s firing raises a host of troubling new questions.
Remember the good ol’ days when the outgoing Clinton administration vandalized the White House as they left? They ripped off all the “W” keys from White House computer keyboards, in a slap at incoming President George W. Bush. As with everything he touched, Mr. Obama took such pedestrian partisan punking and weaponized it beyond comprehension.
It was not enough to just fire Mr. Flynn from his own administration. He launched a federal investigation into the guy after Mr. Flynn surfaced in the Trump campaign. Then he told President Trump during the transition period not to hire Gen. Flynn. Then Mr. Obama made sure to keep up with the fraudulent federal investigation into Gen. Flynn. And his administration went to bizarre efforts to normalize all of it, with a strange “memo to self” in the final flickering moments of the Obama administration.
Mr. Obama simply could not let it go.
In an Oval Office meeting shortly after Mr. Trump won the presidency, Mr. Obama scrapped the usual pleasantries in which outgoing presidents share wisdom and inspiration with the incoming president. Instead, Mr. Obama whined to Mr. Trump that he was “not a fan” of Gen. Flynn.
In a later January meeting with Vice President Joseph R. Biden, outgoing National Security Adviser Susan Rice and other top intelligence officials, Mr. Obama shocked those in attendance by asking specifically about the progress of the investigation into Gen. Flynn. At least one, Department of Justice lawyer Sally Yates, did not even know Gen. Flynn was being investigated.
But the president did. And he wanted to talk about it with his top investigative officials.
In that meeting, according to the newly declassified FBI report memorializing the meeting, Mr. Obama “specified that he did not want any additional information on the matter, but was seeking information on whether the White House should be treating Flynn any differently, given the information.”
Get it? Wink, wink? “Differently?”
And by “differently,” Mr. Obama clearly meant he wanted Gen. Flynn treated MORE favorably. More fairly than your average perp. You know, since he had fired the guy and all. And since he was already on the record for being “not a fan” of Gen. Flynn.
Which, perhaps, explains the bizarre “memo to self” email that Ms. Rice would later write as the lights went out on the Obama White House.
“President Obama began the conversation by stressing his continued commitment to ensuring that every aspect of this issue is handled by the Intelligence and law enforcement communities ‘by the book,’” she wrote on the day Mr. Trump was being sworn into office.
“The president stressed that he is not asking about, initiating or instructing anything from a law enforcement perspective,” she protested on and on. “He reiterated that our law enforcement team needs to proceed as it normally would by the book.”
Because, of course, these things never go “by the book” unless the president intervenes and instructs everybody to do everything “by the book.” I mean, isn’t that the whole reason we have “the book” in the first place? So the president doesn’t have to tell people to do things “by the book.”
All of this got curiouser and curiouser with the latest “leak” of a phone call by Mr. Obama last week, in which the great constitutional scholar claimed Gen. Flynn was charged with perjury (he wasn’t) and then claims to suddenly care about the “rule of law” after spending eight years trampling all over it.
“There is no precedent that anybody can find for somebody who was charged with perjury just getting off scot-free,” he said, packing about six lies into one short sentence.
By “scot-free,” Mr. Obama was clearly talking about Gen. Flynn losing his job, his family being left destitute and selling their home, and being threatened with watching his son charged by the same federal goons who concocted the crazy scheme against him.
Yeah, “scot-free.” Unlike Hillary Clinton and her illicit bathroom server and the tens of thousands of emails she bleach-bitted in her campaign to obstruct justice.
Indeed, there is a reason why it is always the creeper hanging around all the suspicious fires who becomes the prime suspect. Or, as the say along the swampy environs of the Potomac, “It’s not the crime. It’s the coverup.”
So, Barack Obama … what did you know and when did you know it?
• Charles Hurt is opinion editor of The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @charleshurt on Twitter.