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But you wouldn't know it from reading most mainstream coverage of the revealing affair.
When Congress authorized Robert Mueller and his team of lawyers to investigate "links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump," opponents of the president sensed that sooner or later, hard evidence of Trump's collusion with the Russian government would emerge.
Seven months later, after three indictments that did little, if anything, to confirm the grand collusion narrative, Mueller had former National Security Council advisor Michael Flynn dragged before a federal court for lying to the FBI. The Russia probe had finally netted a big fish.
As the details of the Flynn indictment seeped out into the press, however, the bombshell was revealed as another dud. To the dismay of many Trump opponents, nothing in Flynn's rap sheet demonstrated collusion with Russia. Instead, the indictment undermined the Russiagate narrative while implicating another, much more inconvenient foreign power in a plot to meddle in American politics.
According to plea agreement Flynn signed with Mueller, Flynn admitted to lying to the FBI about a phone call he placed to the Russian ambassador to the US, Sergei Kislyak, during the transition period between the election and inauguration -- not during the campaign. Flynn's first order of business with the Russian diplomat was to beseech him not to retaliate for sanctions imposed by Obama on Russia for still-unproven allegations that Russian intelligence agencies hacked the Democratic National Committee. In other words, Flynn was caught trying to influence Russia, not the other way around.
The only area where Flynn proposed any form of coordination with Russia was in defeating ISIS and Al Qaeda in Syria. The Trump administration's attempts to collaborate with its Russian counterparts in Syria have been the target of relentless sabotage from an opportunistic media and Obama era national security officials who considered the catastrophic semi-covert operation to arm Syrian insurgents a part of their legacy. Thanks to stifling Cold War atmosphere these elements have cultivated in Washington, the US has been reduced to an impotent bystander while Russia, Iran, and Turkey have joined together to impose an end to the proxy war that has ravaged Syria for the past five years.