The most frightening phrase my parents ever heard was: “the 2 a.m. knock on the door.” 

That was because my parents lived under a communist dictatorship in Hungary, and the phrase referred to one group: the secret police, who invariably would come to your home in the middle of the night to make an arrest.

The arrest would not be predicated on the commission of a regular crime, for the secret police didn’t investigate bank robbers or kidnappers. Their mandate was political persecution, the use of law enforcement to target “enemies of the state,” citizens who had committed political crimes.

My father was one of those so persecuted. 

He was a man who loved the land of his birth and hated the dictatorship imposed upon it after World War II. In college, he organized a secret Christian students’ resistance cell to spy on the communist regime and get information about its crimes out to the West.

After two years, my father and his group were betrayed by Kim Philby, the notorious British KGB asset. My father was arrested in the middle of the night, tortured, and sent to prison for life, only to be liberated six years later during the glorious, but short-lived Hungarian Revolution of 1956. 

My parents escaped to the West and to true freedom. As a result, I grew up as a free man in the United Kingdom. Now I live in America, the greatest nation ever created, and I am thankful beyond measure to be a citizen of the only country ever founded on the principle of individual liberty as ordained by our creator. A nation that never had a political police force. Or so I thought.

The last four years have been a political roller coaster for our republic. It started when a nonpolitician announced his candidacy for president, to the amusement of the chattering classes and the “establishment.”

He was a man who never had run for office before, but who not only won the nomination of his party but went on to  win the general election to become the 45th president and commander in chief of the United States.

The enormity of this decision by the American people is underscored by one simple fact: Never before, since the birth of the nation in our Revolutionary War, had we chosen as president a man who wasn’t a politician or general. From George Washington to Barack Obama, all 44 prior chief executives previously had been senators, governors, congressmen, vice presidents, or senior military officers.

Yet Donald Trump, the man who would become the 45th president, was unsullied by membership in the so-called swamp.

That is in part why today we are witnessing the revelations of a political scandal the likes of which we have never seen before. It is a scandal that involved a concerted and conspiratorial effort to exploit the incredible power of federal law enforcement and the intelligence community for political purposes. 

For the record, I must register my relationship to the person who is central to these dark revelations. I consider Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn to be a friend. Additionally, he was my colleague in the White House and, before that, my superior in the official presidential transition team.

Mike Flynn is a man wronged. He is an American patriot who was targeted by the last administration and, we now know, framed.

The Heritage Foundation’s legal experts have meticulously laid out the facts of the case. As succinctly as possible, here are the details:

Flynn was fired as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency by President Barack Obama, ostensibly over a technical issue concerning drone strikes.

In fact, Flynn had revolutionized the practice of battlefield intelligence exploitation in Afghanistan, was reforming the moribund architecture at the Defense Intelligence Agency, and was speaking truthfully about the growing threat of global jihadism and new al-Qaeda franchises such as ISIS.

Most importantly, Flynn was dead set against Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran that would release over $140 billion to the murderous mullahs in Iran without any truly meaningful concessions.

For all these reasons, after 33 years in uniform, a great American had to be removed from government service. But Flynn would become a true threat only to the vested interests that had removed him from his position as director of the DIA when, after his retirement, he became a vocal supporter of candidate Donald Trump and eventually his pick to become America’s next national security adviser.

Why? Because Flynn knew where the skeletons of the last administration’s policies were buried, policies such as the Iran deal, that did not serve American interests.

But, secondly, as former DIA director, he would be ideally positioned to uncover the true breadth and depth of what now has been described, even by Trump, as Obamagate, a systematic use of the FBI, National Security Agency, and CIA for political purposes.

Obamagate covers a multitude of nefarious and illegal actions by the last administration, including, as the Justice Department’s inspector general has uncovered, dozens and dozens of unconstitutional aspects of the secret court warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act used to spy on the Trump campaign and Trump administration.

Obamagate also includes the inordinate number of “unmaskings” of U.S. nationals in hundreds of communications intercepts, unmaskings that, thanks to the acting director for national intelligence, Richard Grenell, we now know, were requested by officials as high up as by Obama’s vice president, Joe Biden.

That’s why Mike Flynn, a retired three-star Army general and Trump’s new national security adviser, had to be targeted for removal, as the contemporaneous, now available FBI notes on the infamous January 2017 interview of Flynn at the White House prove.

The notes show that Obama administration holdovers saw several options: “Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?”

It is not the job of the FBI, the National Security Agency, or any other part of the enormous apparatus of federal government to use intelligence intercepts to trawl for politically useful information that could be used during an election campaign.

And the Federal Bureau of Investigation is meant to catch bank robbers, terrorists, and spies. It’s not to get the national security adviser to a president chosen by 63 million voters fired, charged with a crime that didn’t happen, and put on a federal court docket. That is what secret police were invented for, the kind who knock on your door at 2 a.m.

It is now patently clear that many members of the last administration committed felonies. A former U.S. attorney and Justice Department special counsel has identified which former FBI and Justice Department officials are in the greatest legal jeopardy and what felonies they can be charged with.

Whether they are charged or not will be the ultimate test of whether we remain a republic with rule of law and justice for all.