Win for Trump on tax overshadowed by Flynn situation

EDITORIAL

News out Friday that Michael Flynn, the former security adviser to Donald Trump, had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI sent political journalists into a frenzy almost matching the one that gossip columnists were in over the announcement earlier last week of the engagement of Prince Harry to American actress Meghan Markle.

The big significance is that Flynn has agreed to co-operate with Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating whether there was any collusion between the Trump campaign team and Russia over its meddling in the US election.

Flynn has agreed to testify about conversations he had with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak, which some believe will point the finger at Trump’s senior adviser and son in law Jared Kushner. Mueller, considered a relentless investigator, now has two co-operating witnesses with Flynn joining former Trump adviser George Popadopolous.

Trump told the press Flynn had done nothing illegal, but a tweet at the weekend saying he had to sack Flynn because he lied to the vice-president and the FBI could land Trump in hot water, because he allegedly asked the former FBI head not to pursue Flynn.

Annoyingly for Trump, the development came as he enjoyed his first legislative triumph with the Senate passing sweeping tax cuts worth $1 trillion. The greatest tax change in 30 years will slash corporate tax, abolish inheritance tax and cut the tax rate for high-income earners.

The biggest news story in New Zealand last week was the police decision there would be no prosecution over the collapse of the CTV building in which 115 died in the February 2011 earthquake.

It came after a three-year investigation costing $1.18 million, and was hugely disappointing to families. Although it confirmed significant deficiencies in the design of the building, the advice to police was that the evidence failed to provide a reasonable prospect of conviction. It was a sad end to a major investigation, and a contrast to the good feelings for many from the engagement announcement of Harry and Meghan.

News out Friday that Michael Flynn, the former security adviser to Donald Trump, had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI sent political journalists into a frenzy almost matching the one that gossip columnists were in over the announcement earlier last week of the engagement of Prince Harry to American actress Meghan Markle.

The big significance is that Flynn has agreed to co-operate with Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating whether there was any collusion between the Trump campaign team and Russia over its meddling in the US election.

Flynn has agreed to testify about conversations he had with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak, which some believe will point the finger at Trump’s senior adviser and son in law Jared Kushner. Mueller, considered a relentless investigator, now has two co-operating witnesses with Flynn joining former Trump adviser George Popadopolous.

Trump told the press Flynn had done nothing illegal, but a tweet at the weekend saying he had to sack Flynn because he lied to the vice-president and the FBI could land Trump in hot water, because he allegedly asked the former FBI head not to pursue Flynn.

Annoyingly for Trump, the development came as he enjoyed his first legislative triumph with the Senate passing sweeping tax cuts worth $1 trillion. The greatest tax change in 30 years will slash corporate tax, abolish inheritance tax and cut the tax rate for high-income earners.

The biggest news story in New Zealand last week was the police decision there would be no prosecution over the collapse of the CTV building in which 115 died in the February 2011 earthquake.

It came after a three-year investigation costing $1.18 million, and was hugely disappointing to families. Although it confirmed significant deficiencies in the design of the building, the advice to police was that the evidence failed to provide a reasonable prospect of conviction. It was a sad end to a major investigation, and a contrast to the good feelings for many from the engagement announcement of Harry and Meghan.

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