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What A Tangled Web

Mother could be the absolute best at untangling things. She had a real talent for rubbing a thin chain, balled up as it may be, between her thumb and forefinger that would loosen the knot so that it could be straightened out. She also had a whole network of spies (namely, every other mother in that part of town) who would notify her anytime I rode my bicycle to the Green Acres shopping center after she told me not to go there.

And she had this charming habit of asking me questions about with whom I had gone riding (once I was old enough to drive) when she knew full well that I had been out with that friend she thought was a bad influence. We can only hope that Robert Mueller has her investigative skills. And I suspect he does.

This week, Michael Flynn’s sentencing memo from Mueller came out, and it wasn’t surprising that so much attention was made to the heavily redacted portion of the addendum. After all, it is what we can’t see and can’t have that we tend to most want.

While I do love a mystery, any ardent reader of Miss Agatha Christie knows it is best to analyze the clues that are readily available. And since we can assume there are more “bombshells” to come, we might as well take a crack at trying to read between the lines—redacted as they may be.

So Flynn “provided firsthand information about the content and context of interactions between the [Presidential] transition team and Russian government officials.” Then we get, “Several senior members of the transition team publicly repeated false information conveyed to them by [Flynn] about communications between him and the Russian ambassador regarding the sanctions.” And then the lights go out and the redactions kick in again.

For those of us playing the home edition of the Mueller investigation, it’s a bit maddening. Which transition team members had interactions with Russia? Which senior members repeated Flynn’s lies? Did they know they were lies and spread them anyway? Just think about the bold faced names that are or might be part of the answers to those questions.

We can start with Pence, who chaired the transition team, and go from there. Michael Flynn himself was a vice-chair, and so were Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, and Jeff Sessions. The Executive Committee included Devin Nunes, Reince Priebus, Jared Kushner, and the three eldest children of Trump. Even Ben Carson is in there for a little comic relief.

Now I’m not suggesting we get ahead of ourselves here, especially since this seems more complex than figuring out that Miss Scarlett did it in the ballroom with a candlestick. Or with Colonel Mustard for that matter. Perhaps we should look to Miss Christie herself for clues.

Sometimes Miss Christie provided a single person as the murderer, as in The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side or And Then There Were None. Then there are the killing couples from Death on the Nile and Evil Under the Sun. But sometimes, Miss Christie goes full on collusion, or should I say conspiracy, and virtually everyone in the Calais coach is guilty of Murder on the Orient Express.

We all have our favorite Christie mystery, and I’d need to ask you whether you prefer Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple before trying to guess which one is yours. Unless your name is Robert Mueller, in which case I’m pretty sure his favorite is The Mousetrap. For non-redacted reasons.




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