In a year of the nonstop bizarre, President Donald Trump’s enduring affection for Michael Flynn has stood out. Trump, according to James Comey, cleared the Oval Office to ask the then-F.B.I. director to go easy on Flynn. Even after firing his national security adviser for lying to his vice president, Trump went out of his way to publicly declare Flynn a “wonderful man.” Even after Flynn pleaded guilty to a felony and began cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller, Trump wailed that he felt “very badly” for Flynn, whose life was being unfairly “destroyed.”

So the news that Trump’s defense lawyers are preparing to turn on Flynn and attack the former lieutenant general’s credibility seemed like a big deal. Unless you are a defense lawyer.

“Imagine that—a defense attorney is going to attack the prosecution’s witness, if Flynn has anything bad to say about Trump,” says Sol Wisenberg, a Washington white-collar defense attorney who was deputy independent counsel in the Whitewater and Lewinsky investigations. “Wow—the next thing you’re going to tell me is Dewey took Manila. If Flynn has some real dirt on Trump, then, yeah, they’ll have to destroy him.”