A little detail within former national security advisor Michael Flynn’s plea deal has the White House on edge. As part of the bargain, Flynn agreed to participate “in covert law enforcement activities” – not the least of which could include wearing a wire.
White House attorneys and private counsel representing both current and former Trump aides told POLITICO they immediately checked in with their clients once they learned about Mueller’s plea agreements with Papadopoulos and Flynn, asking whether they’d had any communications with their former colleagues which could have been secretly recorded while also reminding them to be diligent in avoiding conversations with anyone except their lawyer related to the Russia investigation.
Having cooperating witnesses wear a wire might be standard practice for law enforcement, but there are limits to what Mueller can do with it:
[R]ecording conversations without consent from all the parties involved carries serious risks for Mueller…. The biggest red line is that the special counsel is not supposed to wire up a witness to talk with a person who he knows already has a lawyer representing them on the subject matter that is being discussed on the tape. That includes conversations covering details of a joint legal defense strategy.
Nevertheless, one attorney representing a senior Trump aide summed up the paranoia:
“They’re probably shitting bricks. How can you not?”