On Monday, the White House announced that Michael Flynn had resigned from the post of US President Donald Trump's National Security Adviser and that retired Lieutenant General Keith Kellog had been appointed to take his place.
In his resignation letter, Flynn said that he had not provided the White House with full information about his contacts with Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak.
Flynn's phone communications with Kislyak prior to Trump's inauguration on January 20 have raised questions about whether the adviser broke a law forbidding private US citizens from engaging in diplomatic disputes with foreign nations.
Former Pentagon official Michael Maloof said that accusations that Flynn allegedly violated this law hold no water.
"The matter is that we do not know exactly what Flynn discussed with Kislyak during a telephone conversation. They want to accuse Flynn of breaking the so-called Logan Act of 1799, which has never been applied in the judicial practice. This is madness!" Maloof was quoted by RT as saying.
Russian political analyst Viktor Olevich, for his part, told RT that certain members of the American establishment wanted to benefit from the scandal around Flynn.
"The scandal was advantageous to those in the US establishment and the US legislature, who tried to force the Trump Administration to adhere to the foreign policy that is beneficial to the American political establishment, and not to drastically alter the current relations between Washington and Moscow", Olevich told RT.
Olevich was echoed by Pavel Podlesny from the Moscow-based Institute for US and Canadian Studies, who said Flynn's resignation is the result of internal conflicts within the new US Administration.
"The Trump Administration includes a whole array of people with different views who have never met before. So there may be some mutual friction and disagreements caused by any plausible pretext," he said.
Podlesny added that the 1799 Logan Act was used in order to drive another wedge between the United States and Russia and complicate the work of the new US Administration.
"Yes, Flynn called the Russian Ambassador in Washington, but these were not formal negotiations. This was a pretext to remove the man who called for the improvement of Washington's relations with Russia," he pointed out.
Michael Maloof, for his part, said that the resignation of Michael Flynn is an unfortunate development, and something that can be called a victory for the Democrats.
"This is a victory of [the US] mainstream media and the Democrats. They dislike the current Administration so they will do their best to prove its unreliability. This is just the beginning," he said.
He recalled that from the very beginning, the US elite wereopposed to Flynn's nomination and the fact that Flynn appeared on RT as a political analyst only added fuel to the fire.
Meanwhile, the US political journalism website Washington Free Beacon has reported that members of the former US Administration allegedly conducted "a secret, months-long campaign" to discredit Michael Flynn.
The Washington Free Beacon referred to "multiple sources in and out of the White House who described… a behind-the-scenes effort by these officials to plant a series of damaging stories about Flynn in the national media."
"The operation primarily focused on discrediting Flynn, an opponent of the Iran nuclear deal, in order to handicap the Trump Administration's efforts to disclose secret details of the nuclear deal with Iran that had been long hidden by the Obama administration," the Washington Free Beacon said.
The Washington Free Beacon also cited a congressional adviser as saying that "the Obama Administration knew that Flynn was going to release the secret documents around the Iran deal, which would blow up their myth that it was a good deal that rolled back Iran," and that "in December the Obama NSC started going to work with their favorite reporters, selectively leaking damaging and incomplete information about Flynn."
Never miss a story again — sign up to our Telegram channel and we'll keep you up to speed!