Who is Jake Guzik?
He was Al Capone's "greaser"--the legal and financial adviser for the Chicago "Outfit." It was partially Guzik's records that were decoded by Fed forensic accountant Frank Wilson that put Capone behind bars for tax evasion. Guzik never went to prison. The media wants us to believe that Mike Flynn is President Trump's Jake Guzik. They want us to believe that Flynn's deal with Mueller will unravel the whole Russia collusion thing.
The New York Times Trump A-Team (Schmidt, Apuzzo and Haberman) have thrown out another bombshell over Thanksgiving claiming that Michael Flynn's legal team "notified the president's legal team in recent days that they could no longer discuss the special counsel's investigation."
Note the language: "could no longer discuss" seems to imply that there's some black-letter ethics rules standing behind it. Flynn's legal team, despite the fact that Flynn himself was fired for lying to Vice President Pence (in addition to being an absolutely horrible pick to lead the NSC), had been cooperating with Trump's lawyers regarding the Mueller investigation. Now that has ended.
That agreement has been terminated, the four people said. Defense lawyers frequently share information during investigations, but they must stop when doing so would pose a conflict of interest. It is unethical for lawyers to work together when one client is cooperating with prosecutors and another is still under investigation.
What could cause a conflict of interest?
Those who use "All the President's Men" as mental porn want to believe that Flynn has the goods on Trump and has turned "state's evidence." They can fantasize all they want, but it's unlikely Flynn has anything more than Manafort, Page, or Papadopoulos.
The NYT article claimed "none of those men match Mr. Flynn in stature, or in his significance to Mr. Trump." Meh. Flynn was giving the Trump campaign foreign policy "advice" from early on, but it's naive to argue that Manafort, who ran the campaign for months, had less significance to Trump.
There could be a tie-in with Flynn's son, and with Flynn's prior Russian and Turkish dealings that could be compromised by disclosing information to Trump's legal team. Any number of things could set off a conflict of interest, or compromise delicate negotiations with Mueller's team.
What we do know is that Mueller plays hard ball. The way he treated Manafort and Page and other reports of the former FBI director's attack dog style over the years means that experienced lawyers have learned to be very careful in the way they deal with other lawyers or potential witnesses around him. Mueller even reportedly used ruses to try to trap defense lawyers and tempt them to suborn perjury--this story from Harvey Silvergate:
Years later I ran into Mueller, and I told him of my disappointment in being the target of a sting where there was no reason to think that I would knowingly present perjured evidence to a court. Mueller, half-apologetically, told me that he never really thought that I would suborn perjury, but that he had a duty to pursue the lead given to him. (That “lead,” of course, was provided by a fellow that we lawyers, among ourselves, would indelicately refer to as a “scumbag.”)
And I think that's the most probable reason Flynn's team quit their cooperation with Trump's lawyers. Trump's lawyer Jay Sekulow speculated that Flynn's team's action may have zero to do with Trump.
“It is probably a plea deal,” Jay Sekulow told CBS News. “That is the assumption. And if it is a plea that doesn’t necessarily mean it has anything to do with the president. The Manafort indictment didn’t have anything to do with the campaign or Trump.”
Of course, Mueller's team is going to uncover any lead, from any source, scumbag or not, and use it as leverage. At some point, cooperating with Trump's legal team became a liability, or an actual conflict of interest which could cause Flynn's legal team to have to explain something Trump (or his family) said or did. And they might not want to explain that, or it could become counter to their client's interest to have to explain it or defend it.
But the NYT and the left want to have their fantasy, so we'll keep hearing how Flynn is Trump's Jake Guzik.