Former national security adviser has become a prominent figure in the QAnon conspiracy movement since leaving the White House
Lieutenant Colonel Yevgeny “Eugene” Vindman, en US Army officer fired and derided by Donald Trump, said he would be willing to prosecute a court martial of Michael Flynn, the former president’s one-time national security adviser, over comments he made suggesting he wanted to see a coup in the US similar to the one that took place in Myanmar.
Mr Flynn made the statements during the “For God & Country Patriot Roundup,” in Dallas on Sunday.
An attendee asked Mr Flynn “why what happened in Myanmar can’t happen here?”
“No reason. I mean, it should happen here,” han sa, receiving cheers from the crowd.
Mr Vindman took to Twitter to denounce Mr Flynn and offer his services to prosecute the retired lieutenant general.
“With these seditious remarks Comrade Flynn may have crossed the line for recall to active duty and court-martial. As a JAG I’m qualified and also happy to prosecute this case,” he wrote. “PS, US mil would NEVER support this. We love America.”
“JAG” refers to the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, the military branch concerned with justice.
Steve Vladeck, a professor at the University of Texas School of Law, pointed out on Twitter that despite being retired, Mr Flynn still is subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
“Ja, Flynn’s still subjected to the Uniform Code of Military Justice as a retired Army officer. The constitutionality of jurisdiction over retirees for post-retirement offenses is something we’re currently challenging in the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces & the DC Circuit,” han sa.
Both Mr Flynn and Mr Vindman were ousted from their jobs, but for significantly different reasons.
Mr Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI concerning his deals with Russia’s ambassador prior to Mr Trump taking office. He was later pardoned by Mr Trump.
Mr Vindman was fired from his role as the deputy legal adviser to the National Security Council after he raised concerns about Mr Trump’s phone call with the president of Ukraine in 2019.
His twin brother, Alexander Vindman, also a member of the NSC, was called as a key witness in Mr Trump’s first impeachment inquiry.
The brothers were both fired from the NSC shortly after Mr Trump’s acquittal in the Senate.
As for Mr Flynn, since leaving the White House he has become something of a celebrity in the world of QAnon and extremist right wing Trump supporters.
Some QAnon adherents believed Mr Flynn actually was Q, and he appears to have leaned into these whispers by occasionally signalling to the conspiracy theorists by using a phrase associated with the movement, “Where we go one, we go all.”
He even began promoting a digital store where he sold QAnon merchandise including hats and T-shirts.
The coup Mr Flynn was referencing occurred in Myanmar, which is also known as Burma, and involved the military seizing power after the candidate it supported lost the country’s election in a landslide.
The military claimed – without evidence – that widespread voter fraud had occurred, and used the dubious allegations to justify its undemocratic actions.
The international community has largely condemned the coup.