Patterico's Pontifications

5/8/2020

Benjamin Wittes et al. on the Travesty of the DoJ’s Abandonment of the Flynn Case

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am



Susan Hennessey, Quinta Jurecic, and Benjamin Wittes have a great piece on the shameless hackery of Bill Barr’s torpedoing of the Flynn case, titled An Ugly Day for the Justice Department. Read it all, but this part is central to rebutting the government’s analysis:

[T]o take the view that the FBI had no reasonable investigative predicate for the Flynn case on Jan. 24, 2017, one has to believe that the following fact-pattern, considered in its entirety, provides no reasonably articulable basis for a counterintelligence concern:

  • A senior official with a TS/SCI (top secret/sensitive compartmented information) clearance working in the White House has ties to various Russian government entities.
  • He has traveled to Russia and taken large sums of money from a state-controlled Russian media outfit.
  • As the investigation of these matters was winding down, he had phone conversations with the Russian ambassador at a time when the United States had just imposed sanctions on Russia for interfering in the 2016 elections. In those conversations, he had asked that Russia to respond only in a measured fashion.
  • He subsequently lied to the vice president of the United States and other White House officials about the substance of those calls, causing the White House to issue inaccurate statements to the public.
  • The Russian government was aware of these lies, having participated in the phone calls, and the official was thus potentially subject to blackmail.

Yeah, I can’t see any problem there, can you? No counterintelligence issues at all!

The piece goes on to note the absurdity of the position that, under such circumstances (a clear justification for the interview), it’s totally fine and not illegal for this senior official to lie about the substance of the calls to federal investigators.

As the piece says, the notion that it was wrong for the FBI to continue the investigation after learning about the call means it’s wrong to continue an investigation when you learn new evidence. (Narrator: that is not actually wrong.)

As with the Roger Stone case, the lead prosecutor in this case, Brandon Van Grack, moved to withdraw from the case just before a dishonest defense-oriented brief was submitted by a party hack knowing nothing about the case (and demonstrating that in his factual recitation).

If you think the career prosecutor withdrew because he was a-skeered the judge would yell at him for all his awful Brady violations (that he didn’t actually commit) then I submit to you that you have been taken in my a truckload of partisan nonsense. I submit you have not read the judge’s decision that addresses the bogus Brady claims, even though I asked skeptics of the case to read it. If the judge wants to yell at Van Grack, he can still order him to appear and yell at him. (Heck, he can deny the request to withdraw if he wants. He can deny the government’s motion to dismiss, too!) What the judge is very likely to do, at a minimum — as the judge did in the Roger Stone case — is bring the party hack in and ask him a lot of very probing questions. Watch and see.

Because if you’ll recall, the whole point of having a Special Counsel was the need to insulate these investigations and prosecutions of cronies of the President from interference by a political appointee. I didn’t come up with that myself:

Robert Mueller closed his office too soon, I think, and now the troll Barr is seeking to upend all his work, first by misrepresenting the report, then by interfering in cases where the criminal President’s criminal buddies were charged. Does Barr care about justice, or “winning”? You be the judge, based on his own words:

The smirk on his face is really quite something.

Troll Barr

I agree entirely with Orin Kerr:

This is disgusting. Trump is the President of criminals. He hopes to bring back Flynn. Maybe he and the liar Flynn can march around and campaign with war criminal Eddie Gallagher. Let these criminals be the face of the Trump campaign. Let ’em. Might as well let people know exactly what they are voting for.

270 Responses to “Benjamin Wittes et al. on the Travesty of the DoJ’s Abandonment of the Flynn Case”

  1. Yeah, I can’t see any problem there, can you? No counterintelligence issues at all!

    You neglected to list the likely main reason: He works for Trump and maybe we can get him to turn and incriminate the president.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  2. You neglected to list the likely main reason: He works for Trump and maybe we can get him to turn and incriminate the president.

    Let’s assume you’re right. Your observation does nothing to support the government’s claim that there was no reason to interview Flynn. Put another way: let’s assume you’re wrong. There is still reason to interview Flynn.

    Do you disagree, Kevin? Can you look at that list of bullet points and say “yup, the FBI done bad interviewing him”? How far down this ridiculous partisan road are you willing to travel?

    Patterico (115b1f)

  3. I guess this is Part 3.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  4. Kevin M,

    Given the timeline of Flynn’s actions and lies, at the very least Flynn would have incriminated Prince Jared if not the King himself.

    DRJ (15874d)

  5. There are no rules that the FBI can’t expand its investigations if the facts go there. And it is not surprising that Obama was involved in watching Flynn at an early point given his actions.

    DRJ (15874d)

  6. The possibility that somebody may implicate Trump in a crime or breach of national security is not a reason to stop from questioning that person.

    Victor (4355e3)

  7. But was the alleged smirk ‘punchable’?
    _

    harkin (8f4a6f)

  8. Good summery. I’m afraid it will persuade very few, but I appreciate you taking the time to write and share it.

    Time123 (daab2f)

  9. Just a reminder that the Obama administration weaponized the IRS against his political opponents and used his own Attorney General as a cut out for an investigation against Hillary. If you think it’s beyond him to weaponize the FBI as well…

    NJRob (4d595c)

  10. Sean Davis
    @seanmdav

    It’s also beginning to look like the corrupt scheme to entrap Flynn originated in the Oval Office in January 5, 2017. That’s the meeting that Susan Rice chose to memorialize in a bizarre Inauguration Day memo claiming Obama told them to do everything “by the book.”

    https://twitter.com/seanmdav/status/1258481826345213953?s=20
    __ _

    Sean Davis
    @seanmdav
    ·
    Spoiler alert: Literally nothing was done by the book, unless the book was “How To Run An Illegal Coup Against The Elected Government Of The United States.”

    _

    harkin (8f4a6f)

  11. @9, if that was True why has the Trump administration done nothing about it?

    Time123 (66d88c)

  12. harkin,

    One inflammatory, content-less tweet does not rebut Patterico’s post regarding the facts of Flynn’s case.

    DRJ (15874d)

  13. I think Obama did bad things, NJRob, and Trump’s response has been to do likewise.

    DRJ (15874d)

  14. “History is written by the winners.” Very original. Very profound. I’ll have to write it down so I won’t forget it. At least the dung beetle had the good taste not to say that his duty is to justice and not to history.

    nk (1d9030)

  15. My problem with the Flynn investigation is not that he’s a good guy, or that Trump is one either. It is with the pretextual use of a moribund law to devise a perjury trap. It’s clear that there were many people who thought Flynn to be a terrible choice for NSA, but he could have been (end shortly was) fired for the behavior that is listed as the real cause of the investigation.

    If the object of the FBI probe was to rescue the nation from a nogoodnik national security advisor, they did not have to proceed in this way. They had the recorded call, and — assuming that the claim that they knew he had lied to Pence was accurate — they could simply have briefed Pence, Gates, etc, and been done with it.

    And in fact, the FBI dropped the case when he was fired. It only came back when the Special Counsel needed some leverage and they indeed used it to try to get Flynn to turn. Why Flynn pleaded guilty when there was at least an argument that the investigation was pretextual and the charge was without foundation is a mystery, but it’s not hard to suppose that he and his lawyer were lied to and facts were suppressed.

    The State has ENORMOUS power when focused on an individual. If that power is used for political reasons is is abuse. If that power is used due to animus, it is abuse. We have seen a number of cases where this seemed to be true, where technical violations that harmed no one (e.g. the political prisoner D’Souza) were used to silence government critics. I believe that the power of the State, and particularly the federal State needs to be dialed back rather a lot.

    The charges against Flynn — obstruction — are both technically true and meaningless. I see no harm to anything other than the power of the State in dismissing them. It needs a black eye now and then to keep it honest. I suspect that the next FBI agent who decides to create a perjury trap when he has no other case to file will get more review than before. Which is good.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  16. Do you disagree, Kevin? Can you look at that list of bullet points and say “yup, the FBI done bad interviewing him”? How far down this ridiculous partisan road are you willing to travel?

    See #15, which is the best answer I can give.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  17. “Members of the jury. This case is being prosecuted by Donald Trump’s Justice Department. Do I need to tell you that the only offenses [my client’s name] is truly guilty are not being a friend of Donald Trump, not being a mega-donor to Donald Trump, and not looking good in a military uniform?”

    nk (1d9030)

  18. Trump is the President of criminals.

    Trump is POTUS. More info will be forthcoming, more that will incriminate the coup plotters.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  19. I don’t see much in the response, except a bunch of name calling. Why PRECISELY did the FBI talk to Flynn in Jan 2017? What information did they expect to get from him, that they didn’t already know? As far as I can tell, nothing. Why didn’t they show Flynn the transcript of his call with Russia and ask him questions based on that? Why didn’t they tell Flynn his remarks could result in a perjury charge if he lied? Why did they tell Flynn the meeting was just to ‘ask him a few questions’ when it was an “official on-the-record you’ll go to jail if you lie to us” meeting?

    As Barr states, flynn’s “Lies” weren’t material in nature and had no impact on the investigation the FBI was conducting. in fact, the FBI agents were CLOSING that investigation into Flynn-Russian when comey/mccabe told them to set up Flynn for a perjury trap.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  20. It is with the pretextual use of a moribund law to devise a perjury trap.

    First, Flynn was questioned about his conversations with foreign diplomats. That is not about the Logan Act. Second, there was no perjury trap. He chose to lie for whatever reason.

    DRJ (15874d)

  21. That is not solely about the Logan Act but also his susceptibility to bribery.

    DRJ (15874d)

  22. If you think prosecuting Flynn was a righteous, even-handed pursuit of justice, I strongly disagree.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  23. As usual, people are stating – without evidence – that Trump pressured Barr to let Flynn go.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  24. To some degree I view Trump and his crew as “government critics” and it’s not hard to see the so-called Deep State’s reaction to him as acknowledgment of this. The bipartisan consensus that exists (despite surface differences) and the career bureaucracy both disliked Trump and his disruptive ways.

    Yet people had voted for Trump just for this reason — they wanted disruption of the status quo, and the system resisted disruption. It is this context in which the Flynn investigation operated, and while there are plenty of reasons why it might have proceeded, they were also informed by the politics.

    Others have behaved this badly or worse and their crimes have either been ignored (Clapper) or allowed to plead to a misdemeanor (Berger). But they were part of the system, not among its critics.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  25. More immediate worries out here with this a-hole Gov. Newsom.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  26. Per the Brief:

    The FBI had in their possession transcripts of the relevant calls. See Ex. 5 at 3; Ex. 13 at
    3, FBI FD-302, Interview of Peter Strzok, July 19, 2017 (Date of Entry: Aug. 22, 2017).
    Believing that the counterintelligence investigation of Mr. Flynn was to be closed, FBI
    leadership (“the 7th Floor”) determined to continue its investigation of Mr. Flynn on the basis of
    these calls, and considered opening a new criminal investigation based solely on a potential
    violation of the Logan Act

    The FBI never opened an independent FBI criminal investigation.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  27. Ooooh, “fact patterns”. Pathetic spin. This is why we have the famous saying that prosecutors could indict a ham sandwich should they care to.

    1) The Washington Field Office of the FBI found no derogatory information on Flynn and was poised to close their investigation when Strzok intervened.
    2) Flynn had 30+ years of honorably serving his country.
    3) Nothing untoward happened during Flynn’s call with Kislyak according to Jensen and Shea.
    4) McCabe said the two agents – Strzok and Pienka – thought Flynn was being truthful/honest.
    5) The original 302 is “missing” and there is ample evidence Strzok edited it to his liking.

    This is the “alternative” fact pattern…..

    6) Has ties to various entities – oh? Name them and the nature of the relationship. Even the EC didn’t specify and neither can Wittes, Patterico, or name your AntiTrumpanzee pundit.
    7) Traveled to Russia and taken large sums of money. You mean like Bill Clinton?
    8) Asked Russia to respond in measured tones? Makes sense to me and 99% of reasonable folk. Jensen, Shea, and other highly regarded federal prosecutors – not aligned with lefty ideologues – obviously thought so too. Are all of them hacks now that they don’t buy the partisan BS of the left?
    7) Subject to blackmail? You’ve read too many LeCarre novels.
    8) Flynn lied to Pence and got fired, as he should have been.

    Ken White, Sidney Powell, Brett Tolman, and too few others have written extensively about the power given to prosecutors and how they abuse that power. The arrogance that dwells in their evil souls drive them to destroy human lives all out of proportion to the mission of a prosecutor – to find truth and justice. Americans have seen this over and over and agree with Barr that there are two systems of “justice” in the U.S.

    glib (915cc3)

  28. First, Flynn was questioned about his conversations with foreign diplomats. That is not about the Logan Act

    Um, how is a private citizen’s discussion with foreign diplomats, presumably under color of upcoming authority, not about the Logan Act? It would seem to be so, and had the Act not been moribund, it might even be valid.

    Why did they question him if they had the tape of the conversations? What could they learn? It’s possible they might have wanted to know motivations, but that’s hardly the FBI’s job. The only thing they could get from the interview would be some contradiction they could use against him.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  29. Per the brief, Comey disregarded DoJ and sent the FBI to talk to Flynn:

    Matters came to a head on January 24, 2017. That morning, Yates contacted Director
    Comey to demand that the FBI notify the White House of the communications. Ex. 3 at 5; Ex. 4
    at 4. Director Comey did not initially return her call. Ex. 4 at 4. When Director Comey called
    her back later that day, he advised her that the FBI agents were already on their way to the White
    House to interview Mr. Flynn. Ex. 3 at 5; Ex. 4 at 4. Acting Attorney General Yates was
    “flabbergasted” and “dumbfounded,” and other senior DOJ officials “hit the roof” upon hearing
    of this development, given that “an interview of Flynn should have been coordinated with DOJ.”
    Ex. 3 at 6; Ex. 4 at 5

    rcocean (1a839e)

  30. The logan act is either a Joke or it ins’t. People need to stop switching back and forth.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  31. “As the investigation of these matters was winding down, he had phone conversations with the Russian ambassador at a time when the United States had just imposed sanctions on Russia for interfering in the 2016 elections. In those conversations, he had asked that Russia to respond only in a measured fashion”

    You would have to be a complete hack to see this as a “problem”.

    Al S (4fa42a)

  32. The bit about Comey ignoring Yates and DoJ was typical of him. Comey never believed he had to answer to anyone. He ignored the DAG in the Hillary Email scandal, and did it here.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  33. And the simple fact that every one of the Obama sappers and Deep State a-holes that participated in this slow-rolling, attempted coup will skate is not reassuring.

    And the US attorneys that slow-walked this, hoping to make it last at least until November 3rd, can take a flying roger at a rolling donut, the rotters.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  34. #31 don’t you understand, Russian Commie agents ALWAYS ask Russia for a measured response to sanctions. LOL!

    rcocean (1a839e)

  35. This should make everyone (except’s Comey’s mother) blood boil:

    In advance of the interview, Director Comey determined that they would go interview
    Mr. Flynn the following day without notifying either DOJ or the White House. In a December 2018 interview with MSNBC and NBC News analyst Nicolle Wallace, he stated this course of action was “something we, I probably wouldn’t have done or gotten away with in a more organized administration.”

    rcocean (1a839e)

  36. Now, let us even assume that Obama et al were right and Flynn was a security risk. Not a spy — they had no evidence whatsoever to suggest that — but just someone undeserving of a high clearance. So, the FBI brings him in (less than a week after the inauguration) and interviews him regarding a transition-period conversation they have a transcript of, and on one or more points his characterization of the discussion differs from the transcript.

    Then he is fired, not even making a month in office, for lying to others. At this point the FBI/DoJ decides that there is no need to carry this any further. Justice is satisfied.

    Later the Special Counsel sees this as a lever to get information. Blah blah blah to the present day. I see no reason why a dismissal of a case that the criminal prosecutors chose not to bring in the first place constitutes the grave attack on the Rule of Law that some suggest.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  37. Meh. An oligopoly of criminals run our government. Color me shocked.

    Gryph (08c844)

  38. @Patterico. Ben Witte et and el are wrong.

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/strzok-stopped-bureau-from-ending-flynn-probe-despite-lack-of-derogatory-evidence-unsealed-documents-reveal

    According to the January 4 memo, the goal of CROSSFIRE RAZOR was to determine whether Flynn “was directed and controlled by” or “coordinated activities with the Russian Federation in a manner which is a threat to the national security” of the United States or a violation of federal foreign agent laws.

    In pursuit of information on Flynn, the “Crossfire Hurricane” team investigating the Trump team “conducted a check of logical databases for any derogatory information” on Flynn. The January 4 FBI report states that “no derogatory information was identified in FBI holdings.”

    The memo also discusses additional FBI efforts to check information on Flynn, apparently through other US agencies. Just like the FBI, they also found “no derogatory information” on Flynn.

    So, to reiterate: The lower echelon FBI staff cleared Flynn by finding no derogatory information from FBI and other agencies resources. Except that disgraced FBI leader Peter Strzok intervened to prevent the lower FBI staff from closing CROSSFIRE RAZOR…when he wanted keep investigating Flynn without finding another predicate for a new case. The same Peter Strzok who texted to his paramour “First we F*CK Flynn…then we F*CK Trump”.

    Do you not see how this is a problem?

    So let’s look at the bullet points:

    A senior official with a TS/SCI (top secret/sensitive compartmented information) clearance working in the White House has ties to various Russian government entities.

    He was cleared by the FBI on Jan 4th, 2017 – (only that Peter Strzok later kept the case open because he didn’t want to find another pretext to open up a separate criminal investigation)

    He has traveled to Russia and taken large sums of money from a state-controlled Russian media outfit.

    He was cleared by the FBI on Jan 4th, 2017 – (only that Peter Strzok later kept the case open because he didn’t want to find another pretext to open up a separate criminal investigation)

    As the investigation of these matters was winding down, he had phone conversations with the Russian ambassador at a time when the United States had just imposed sanctions on Russia for interfering in the 2016 elections. In those conversations, he had asked that Russia to respond only in a measured fashion.

    He was cleared by the FBI on Jan 4th, 2017 – (only that Peter Strzok later kept the case open because he didn’t want to find another pretext to open up a separate criminal investigation)

    He subsequently lied to the vice president of the United States and other White House officials about the substance of those calls, causing the White House to issue inaccurate statements to the public.

    Why is it of any business of the FBI here? We don’t really know for sure why he lied to Pence, but remember the context of the time: Everyone was losing their mind over Trump’s election and the Russian election interference. Mere association of anything-Russian at that time automatically assumed guilt.

    The Russian government was aware of these lies, having participated in the phone calls, and the official was thus potentially subject to blackmail.

    This is a laughable pretext. Flynn (and Kislak for that matter) knew their calls were monitored by both US and RU agencies.

    It boggles my mind that during the impeachment, you kept arguing that what Trump did was an abuse of power worthy of impeachment. Yeah, here, you cheer lead for an obvious partisan abuse of power by Obama-era officials.

    When, just YESTERDAY the DNI/House HSCI transcript of the House’s investigation showing Obama-era officials under oath denying that they saw/heard any evidence whatsoever that there were collusion between Trump campaign (which includes Flynn) and Russia. There’s a dichotomy here: Obama-era officials did everything they could to taint the Trump administration by pushing the Russian collusion crap, yet put on the witness stand and under oath, they sung a different tune in that they didn’t have any evidence of collusion whatsoever.

    Try squaring the public actions of these officials to the statements under oath and tell us everything was kosher.

    I don’t think anyone can…

    Ben Witte et and el are spinning hacks who cannot disengage their Trump-animus to see the obvious abuse of power by Obama-era officials.

    whembly (c30c83)

  39. @9, if that was True why has the Trump administration done nothing about it?

    Time123 (66d88c) — 5/8/2020 @ 9:05 am

    The did.

    The IRS admitted they were wrong and settled the lawsuits. The IRS IG found a lot of bad actions, but most didn’t rise to criminal indictments.

    Remember, government officials can do a lot of wrong, unsavory things that are not illegal.

    whembly (c30c83)

  40. A senior official with a TS/SCI (top secret/sensitive compartmented information) clearance working in the White House has ties to various Russian government entities.
    He has traveled to Russia and taken large sums of money from a state-controlled Russian media outfit.
    As the investigation of these matters was winding down, he had phone conversations with the Russian ambassador at a time when the United States had just imposed sanctions on Russia for interfering in the 2016 elections. In those conversations, he had asked that Russia to respond only in a measured fashion.
    He subsequently lied to the vice president of the United States and other White House officials about the substance of those calls, causing the White House to issue inaccurate statements to the public.
    The Russian government was aware of these lies, having participated in the phone calls, and the official was thus potentially subject to blackmail.

    1. The ties were known to US authorities. He was briefed before and debriefed after meetings by US intel agents.
    2. How much money did he receive?
    3. He was acting as the incoming NS adviser to the president-elect. What is wrong with asking Russia to respond in a measured fashion?
    4. True
    5. The US government was also aware of the details of the conversation. Thus, a threat to tell the US about that conversation is meaningless.

    Stu707 (52fdfe)

  41. @20

    It is with the pretextual use of a moribund law to devise a perjury trap.

    First, Flynn was questioned about his conversations with foreign diplomats. That is not about the Logan Act. Second, there was no perjury trap. He chose to lie for whatever reason.

    DRJ (15874d) — 5/8/2020 @ 9:17 am

    It most definitely was a perjury trap.

    The biggest indicator was the fact that they didn’t share the transcript of the call.

    whembly (c30c83)

  42. I don’t see what the problem is, per se, with Flynn having spoken to the Russian ambassador during the transition period in December 2016. Aren’t conversations like that the norm when a new administration is coming in? Flynn knew or should have known the conversation would not be private, which to me dispels the threat he could be blackmailed for it, and I don’t see anything wrong with him asking that Russia “respond only in a measured fashion” to the sanctions the Obama administration had imposed. I’d rather see someone who is about to become an American official tell a foreign government not to take harsh action against the US than to say things that might inflame the situation. Yes, one could read a statement like Flynn’s as an implied “you go easy on us, we’ll go easy on you” but is there any evidence that Trump then did go easy on Russia?

    But the problem I do have with Flynn is, why lie to Pence? That’s what still is mystifying, and Flynn’s supporters really haven’t explained it. I can’t see any way to spin lying to the VP as a good thing or even a harmless thing. What was really going on?

    RL formerly in Glendale (40f5aa)

  43. Are perjury traps unethical now on the part of LEO? When will the DOJ be releasing policy that along those lines?

    Time123 (daab2f)

  44. A DOJ that has a “reasonable investigative predicate” for Flynn wouldn’t need to bum rush established White House protocol, carefully shape the interview so counsel isn’t present, and rely on the defunct Logan Act.

    As for turning the SC reg on its head, is Jensen any less independent than Weissmann? Is he more of a political appointee than Jeannie Rhee? Mueller did indeed close his office too soon if he wanted to avoid independent review of his hatchet job.

    beer ‘n pretzels (73045a)

  45. Nice proposal from Ken white on how to modify the rules to the new “Friend of Trump Standard

    I propose to amend 18 USC 1001, to which Gen Flynn plead guilty, as follows,to reflect the admirable sensibilities reflected in DoJ’s motion to dismiss and the statements supporting it:

    (a) No conviction for lies in an in-person interview unless the agents recorded the interview, informed the person that lying in the interview would be a felony, and informed the person they could have an attorney present.
    (b) no conviction unless the false statement was material, with material now meaning “significantly misled, impaired, or obstructed an investigation.”
    (c) No conviction if, viewed from the perspective of the time of the prosecution, the finder of fact believes the agents lacked a reasonable basis to suspect the person of a crime when they conducted the interview.

    Time123 (66d88c)

  46. So what if he lied to Pence. What has that got to do with this?

    rcocean (2e1c02)

  47. ‘You neglected to list the likely main reason: He works for Trump and maybe we can get him to turn and incriminate the president.’

    Worse: he worked in the Reagan Administration. Helps to know the history of the players in the game. If a fella’s got a rep as a base stealer, expect him to steal bases if he joins a new team. The old rodents scurrying around Washington today from Ronnie Times past still leave their droppings in the punch bowl and carry biting fleas which ‘plague’ America today.

    Patriot Games; the score:

    Rule of Men – 2,020
    Rule of Law – 0

    “If a fella steps on a round pebble and he falls down, breaks his neck, it ain’t the pebble’s fault, but the guy wouldn’t a done it if the pebble hadn’t been there.” – George Milton [Burgess Meredith] ‘Of Mice And Men’ 1939

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  48. 39… but… but it’s not in the Democrat TPs.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  49. Scanning this thread, I see a curious pattern…

    Sure, Flynn is a liar, but Obama.

    Logan Act, but “moribund”.

    Interviewing agents bad because…reasons.

    None of which address the facts around the lying pos Flynn.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  50. It seems to me that the truth is that Flynn never lied to the VP. He just said he did in order to cover up that the entire Presidential Transition Team was working with Russia to let it know that the sanctions imposed by Obama were going to be reversed – maybe in return for Russian interference in the election, maybe simply because Trump’s team disagreed with the sanctions. Flynn took the fall, didn’t rat anyone out, and now he’s being let off the hook.

    DEHdad (970754)

  51. So what if he lied to Pence. What has that got to do with this?

    To you, a T-rump cultist, not a thing. You’ve given up any capacity to think.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  52. I knew about the IRS settlement regarding heighten scrutiny. But the claim was that Obama directed them to target his enemies. Here’s a summary from Wiki.

    In late September 2017, an exhaustive report by the Treasury Department’s inspector general found that from 2004 to 2013, the IRS used both conservative and liberal keywords to choose targets for further scrutiny, blunting claims that the issue had been an Obama-era partisan scandal.[2][3] The 115 page report confirmed the findings of the prior 2013 report that some conservative organizations had been unfairly targeted, but also found that the pattern of misconduct had been ongoing since 2004 and was non-partisan in nature.

    Time123 (daab2f)

  53. But the problem I do have with Flynn is, why lie to Pence? That’s what still is mystifying, and Flynn’s supporters really haven’t explained it. I can’t see any way to spin lying to the VP as a good thing or even a harmless thing. What was really going on?

    Probably because of the Turkey thing where his company was paid $600k to facilitate the extradition of Gulen from PA. One of the reasons why Flynn didn’t get charged with this crime, was he flipped on these two guys.

    According to the indictment, Flynn, Kian and Alptekin’s secret lobbying effort against Gulen, initially dubbed the 90-day “Truth Campaign” and later named “Project Confidence,” began in late July 2016, after the U.S. Justice Department rejected the Turkish government’s request to extradite Gulen from the United States earlier that year.

    In November of 2016, The Hill published an op-ed written by Flynn comparing Gulen to Osama bin Laden and urging the U.S. to “adjust our foreign policy to recognize Turkey as a priority.”

    “The forces of radical Islam derive their ideology from radical clerics like Gülen, who is running a scam,” Flynn wrote. “We should not provide him safe haven. In this crisis, it is imperative that we remember who our real friends are.”

    Though not mentioned in the indictment, ABC News has also previously reported that Flynn was also accused of raising the idea of kidnapping Gulen to be turned over to the Turkish government. Flynn’s lawyer has denied any such discussion.

    The IC actually had the call recording of him and Kislyak, which has not been shared with Congress or leaked, or both. So who knows what’s on it, seeing who is opposing it’s release tells you something, or maybe not.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (9878f6)

  54. None of which address the facts around the lying pos Flynn.

    Cool. Now do Andy McCabe.

    beer ‘n pretzels (73045a)

  55. None of which address the facts around the lying pos Flynn.

    Cool. Now do Andy McCabe.

    beer ‘n pretzels (73045a) — 5/8/2020 @ 10:41 am

    You mean the guy they couldn’t get the grand jury to indict?

    Time123 (daab2f)

  56. Cool. Now do Andy McCabe.

    How does that address Flynn? The point just flew unmolested over your head.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  57. Michael Flynn’s prosecution was a travesty of justice
    By Andrew McCarthy
    https://nypost.com/2020/05/07/michael-flynns-prosecution-was-a-travesty-of-justice/

    Stu707 (52fdfe)

  58. Seems that it took the FBI weeks to file the 302 from the Flynn interview when it was supposed to be filed in 3 days. Further, Page/Storkz and others were involved in writing it, when that’s not supposed to happen. Only the FBI agents AT THE INTERVIEW are supposed to write it.

    This whole thing stunk to high heaven.

    rcocean (2e1c02)

  59. Glad Andy McCarthy is now on board given that he was defending the FBI and the whole Mueller-Rosenstein Scam for 2 years.

    rcocean (2e1c02)

  60. Btw, the fake Cons at The Dispatch and The bulwark seem blasé about the whole thing, They’re more interested in defending BIden from Ms. Reade.

    rcocean (2e1c02)

  61. What’s really sad is that something that shouldn’t be political was made so. We all should be glad Flynn will be freed and the case dropped. It was a travesty of Justice. But to the liberal/left and their allies everything is political. Flynn was supposed to suffer because it was a way to get Orange Man. And everything is permitted when it comes to hating Orange Man

    rcocean (2e1c02)

  62. It most definitely was a perjury trap.

    Judge Sullivan threw out that notion last December, and the “evidence” put forth by Powell and Jensen subsequent to his decision is hardly new.

    Paul Montagu (9297d0)

  63. @62, he was an unregistered agent of Turkey, liek to the FBI and was looking at a couple weeks of probation.

    Time123 (66d88c)

  64. It seems to me that the truth is that Flynn never lied to the VP.

    “I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!”
    –Donald J. Trump, 12/2/2017

    Paul Montagu (9297d0)

  65. Paul, How can you believe Trump when we all know what a liar he is?

    Time123 (66d88c)

  66. To you, a T-rump cultist, not a thing. You’ve given up any capacity to think.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9) — 5/8/2020 @ 10:30 am

    DRJ,

    here’s more of that name calling and direct insults that I keep mentioning over and over again.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  67. Btw, the fake Cons at The Dispatch and The bulwark seem blasé about the whole thing.

    Um, no and no. Seems to me that, if you want to remark about those outlets, you should actually read them instead of just sneer at ’em.

    Paul Montagu (9297d0)

  68. Paul, How can you believe Trump when we all know what a liar he is?

    Fair point, Time.

    Paul Montagu (9297d0)

  69. “It was a travesty of Justice.”

    Performative outrage. If you and everyone else continually braying this actually believed it, there’d be a push for systemic reform.

    Davethulhu (a122fb)

  70. Paul @65 – I know what Trump and Pence said. I’m saying that they knew what Flynn was doing, and that he claimed that he lied to protect them. The question is why he would need to do that, if (as Trump said) there was nothing wrong with what Flynn was doing communicating with Russia?

    DEHdad (970754)

  71. “ Information released in the Justice Department’s motion to dismiss the case it brought against Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn confirms the significance of a January 5, 2017, meeting at the Obama White House. It was at this meeting that Obama gave guidance to key officials who would be tasked with protecting his administration’s utilization of secretly funded Clinton campaign research, which alleged Trump was involved in a treasonous plot to collude with Russia, from being discovered or stopped by the incoming administration……

    ……A clearer picture is emerging of the drastic steps that were taken to accomplish Obama’s goal in the following weeks and months. Shortly thereafter, high-level operatives began intensely leaking selective information supporting a supposed Russia-Trump conspiracy theory, the incoming National Security Advisor was ambushed, and the incoming Attorney General was forced to recuse himself from oversight of investigations of President Trump. At each major point in the operation, explosive media leaks were a key strategy in the operation to take down Trump.

    Not only was information on Russia not fully shared with the incoming Trump team, as Obama directs, the leaks and ambushes made the transition chaotic, scared quality individuals away from working in the administration, made effective governance almost impossible, and materially damaged national security. When Comey was finally fired on May 9, in part for his duplicitousness regarding his handling of the Russia collusion theory, he orchestrated the launch of a Special Counsel probe that continued his efforts for another two years.That probe ended with Mueller finding no evidence of any American colluding with Russia to steal the 2016 election, much less Trump or anyone connected to him.“

    https://thefederalist.com/2020/05/08/obama-biden-oval-office-meeting-on-january-5-was-key-to-entire-anti-trump-operation/
    _

    It was a so-far failed coup, but it did plenty of damage.
    _

    harkin (8f4a6f)

  72. To whembly above:

    Your analysis is facile. You start out by saying the “goal” of Crossfire Razor was (blah blah blah) and Flynn had been cleared of that goal.

    No investigation, in the history of law enforcement, has any “goal” in mind other than the determination of the truth, and if facts arise that show *any* crime MAY have been committed, law enforcement may pursue it within the parameters set by law.

    I am a former defense attorney and I can tell you examples of law enforcement overreach that will curdle your blood. But the notion that — if you’re cleared of one possible crime, you’re cleared of all of them (which is what you’re saying) — has got to be the most laughably insane argument.

    Kman (18529a)

  73. ake the view that the FBI had no reasonable investigative predicate for the Flynn case on Jan. 24, 2017, one has to believe…

    I think the legal point is not that there was no peredicate for a counter-intelligence investigation into Mike Flynn, but that in fact there was no such investigation open on the day of the interview; and that interviewing him about his conversations with the Russian Ambassador, when they had the transcript of the conversations and found nothing more than a somewhat friendly attitude toward the Russian government, which was not at variancw with that of Trump’s, was not going to help them decide anything.

    Patterico:

    Your observation does nothing to support the government’s claim that there was no reason to interview Flynn.

    There were reasons to interview Flynn, but not to ask him only about those conversations. Whatever he said would not be material to anything, except, if he lied, as a point of argument to get Flynn fired.

    Sammy Finkelman (375edc)

  74. “scared quality individuals away from working in the administration”

    lol, I’m dying.

    Davethulhu (a122fb)

  75. Wittes:

    A senior official with a TS/SCI (top secret/sensitive compartmented information) clearance working in the White House has ties to various Russian government entities.

    He has traveled to Russia and taken large sums of money from a state-controlled Russian media outfit.

    President Barack Obama tried to discourage President-elect Donald Trump from apppointing Mike Flynn as his national security adviser, but he didn’t give his full reasons, or maybe even any specific reasons.

    Sammy Finkelman (375edc)

  76. DEHdad (970754) — 5/8/2020 @ 11:36 am

    . The question is why he would need to do that, if (as Trump said) there was nothing wrong with what Flynn was doing communicating with Russia?

    He could not know in advance that Trump would say that what he said was OK, because he’d had these substantive cnversations with Kislak without rior approval from Trump.

    And, in fact, there wasn’t too much to object to. All that he did was prevent Russia from retaliating.

    Sammy Finkelman (375edc)

  77. 59 Peter Strzok was one of the two agents who did the interview, so of course he wrote it. But he also edited and almost completely revised the other guy’s 302.

    I think there was a 302 f an interview of Strzok about the interview with Flynn.

    I’m not at all clear about all of this.

    Who write various 302s when?

    Sammy Finkelman (375edc)

  78. Btw, the fake Cons at The Dispatch and The bulwark seem blasé about the whole thing, They’re more interested in defending BIden from Ms. Reade.

    Where are your links? Or is this more of your MO where you simply make sh!t up about people who are not sufficiently sucking up to your Great Goad Cheeto? We’ll wait.

    NJRob, better report me for saying true stuff!

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  79. “ Justice Department prosecutor Brandon Van Grack withdrew from his position as federal counsel on a handful of court cases after allegedly withholding potentially exonerating evidence from the trial of retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.

    Van Grack, who worked on ex-special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, withdrew from at least three cases on Thursday, the most conspicuous being the DOJ prosecution of Flynn, a former adviser to President Trump. The DOJ did not state a reason in the filings for Van Grack’s withdrawals, and a department spokeswoman declined to comment after an inquiry by The Daily Wire.”

    https://www.dailywire.com/news/lead-prosecutors-abrupt-withdrawal-from-flynn-case-comes-after-accusations-he-withheld-evidence
    _

    harkin (8f4a6f)

  80. Another big deal… from Crowdstrike’s own President:
    https://www.dni.gov/files/HPSCI_Transcripts/2020-05-04-Shawn_Henry-MTR_Redacted.pdf
    Crowdstrike, the firm behind the accusation that Russia hacked & stole DNC emails, admitted to Congress that it has no direct evidence Russia actually stole/exfiltrated the emails.

    whembly (c30c83)

  81. Flynn was supposed to suffer because it was a way to get Orange Man. And everything is permitted when it comes to hating Orange Man

    Getting their hated nemesis was – and still is – the most important objective to ALL of these chowderheads. It clouds every thought that crosses their brains. And we are fortunate to have exposed that.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  82. lol, I’m dying.

    Bless your heart…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  83. If you and everyone else continually braying this actually believed it, there’d be a push for systemic reform.

    What a stark contrast to the outrage about lying and Logan Act violations, which is so very heartfelt and genuine. The push for reform is impressive, as of like yesterday.

    beer ‘n pretzels (b61153)

  84. Former Obama administration defense official Evelyn Farkas testified under oath that she lied during an MSNBC interview when she claimed to have evidence of alleged collusion, a newly declassified congressional transcript of her testimony shows. Farkas testified before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on June 26, 2017, as part of the committee’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election between Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

    Lawmakers keyed in on an appearance Farkas made on MSNBC on March 2, 2017, in which she urged intelligence community bureaucrats to disseminate within the government and potentially even leak to media any incriminating information they had about Trump or his aides.

    https://thefederalist.com/2020/05/08/obama-defense-official-evelyn-farkas-admitted-she-lied-on-msnbc-about-having-evidence-of-collusion/

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  85. 81. What a rich fantasy world you inhabit! Do you wear a cape when posting?

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  86. 15. Kevin M (ab1c11) — 5/8/2020 @ 9:10 am

    If the object of the FBI probe was to rescue the nation from a nogoodnik national security advisor, they did not have to proceed in this way. They had the recorded call, and — assuming that the claim that they knew he had lied to Pence was accurate — they could simply have briefed Pence, Gates, etc, and been done with it.

    Well, they couldn’t show that he lied, unless he also lied to them. Till they interviewed him, it was only hearsay (from Pence) that the public version of Flynn’s telephone calls came from Flynn.

    They did indeed then pass on to the White House – maybe the White House counsel – the contradiction between what Flynn told them and what the transcripts of the eavesdropped conversations showed.

    .. But Flynn didn’t get fired!

    Sammy Finkelman (375edc)

  87. “Bless your heart…”

    Who were the “quality individuals” scared away?

    Davethulhu (a122fb)

  88. The Trump administration seemed disposed to take that in stride.

    What to do?

    Sammy Finkelman (375edc)

  89. @80, was there indirect or circumstantial evidence with which they were able to reach a conclusion?

    Time123 (66d88c)

  90. They then, four weeks after the original leak that merely mentioned the fact of the call, and two weeks after the interview, in February, by which time Donald Trump had been inaugurated and Mike Flynn had been appointed National Security Adviser, around February 9, they (illegally but not unprecedently) leaked the fact that not only that conversations had taken place but that Flynn had lied about them (per Mike Pence)

    This time not only to the Washington Post, but also to a variety of other news outlets:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/national-security-adviser-flynn-discussed-sanctions-with-russian-ambassador-despite-denials-officials-say/2017/02/09/f85b29d6-ee11-11e6-b4ff-ac2cf509efe5_story.html

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/official-flynn-discussed-sanctions-russians-taking-office-n719271

    National Security Advisor Mike Flynn discussed hacking-related sanctions with the Russian ambassador before the Trump administration took office, contrary to the public assertions of Vice President Mike Pence and White House spokesman Sean Spicer, a U.S. intelligence official told NBC News.

    The official said he was told there was no quid pro quo and that there has been no finding inside the government that Flynn did anything illegal….

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/09/us/flynn-is-said-to-have-talked-to-russians-about-sanctions-before-trump-took-office.html

    Throughout the discussions, the message Mr. Flynn conveyed to the ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak — that the Obama administration was Moscow’s adversary and that relations with Russia would change under Mr. Trump — was unambiguous and highly inappropriate, the officials said.

    The accounts of the conversations raise the prospect that Mr. Flynn violated a law against private citizens’ engaging in diplomacy, and directly contradict statements made by Trump advisers. They have said that Mr. Flynn spoke to Mr. Kislyak a few days after Christmas merely to arrange a phone call between President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and Mr. Trump after the inauguration.

    But current and former American officials said that conversation — which took place the day before the Obama administration imposed sanctions on Russia over accusations that it used cyberattacks to help sway the election in Mr. Trump’s favor — ranged far beyond the logistics of a post-inauguration phone call. And they said it was only one in a series of contacts between the two men that began before the election and also included talk of cooperating in the fight against the Islamic State, along with other issues…

    That did it.

    Sammy Finkelman (375edc)

  91. Lara Logan has HER act together…

    https://twitter.com/LizRNC/status/1258797309745410051

    Get some!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  92. I’m saying that they knew what Flynn was doing, and that he claimed that he lied to protect them.

    That doesn’t explain Trump’s statement that Flynn lied to Pence, which was one of the two causes for his sacking.

    Paul Montagu (9297d0)

  93. “What a stark contrast to the outrage about lying and Logan Act violations, which is so very heartfelt and genuine. The push for reform is impressive, as of like yesterday.”

    You don’t know me, don’t pretend that you do.

    Davethulhu (a122fb)

  94. The words That did it are not part of the quote from the New York Times.

    50. DEHdad (970754) — 5/8/2020 @ 10:28 am

    the entire Presidential Transition Team was working with Russia to let it know that the sanctions imposed by Obama were going to be reversed… –

    The sanctions were not in fact reversed, although maybe if things had playrd out differently, they might have been.

    Mike Flynn did not, in fact, promise the Russian Ambassador that they would be reversed.

    I think he said, though, that if retaliatory sanctions were imposed, Donald Trump would be less likely to reverse them.

    Putin unexpectedly stood down, and Obama and others wondered why.

    They knew Kislyak had talked to some American, and they had his identity unmasked (Susan Rice did) and then, it is assumed looked at the transcripts.

    There was no there there.

    Sammy Finkelman (375edc)

  95. Sure seeing some interesting info as the sunlight disinfects…

    https://twitter.com/greg_price11/status/1258552012569899009

    https://twitter.com/brithume/status/1258525768193208321

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  96. 66. Time123 (66d88c) — 5/8/2020 @ 11:21 am

    Paul, How can you believe Trump when we all know what a liar he is?

    Who says he was;t lying?

    The following sentence in that quote is a lie:

    It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful.

    Donald Trump knew it wasn’t 100% clear that they were lawful.

    Although nobody in Washington would want it to be unlawful. Nobody wants a liberal interpretation of the Logan Act.

    Sammy Finkelman (375edc)

  97. Bless your heart…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0) — 5/8/2020 @ 12:11 pm

    You sure take this personally.

    It’s hilarious.

    Dustin (e5f6c3)

  98. here’s more of that name calling and direct insults that I keep mentioning over and over again.

    NJRob (4d595c) — 5/8/2020 @ 11:24 am

    I sympathize. It is not helpful to attack each other, just as it is not helpful for Trump to attack people. You can notify Patterico at his email address or you can engage with the concepts involved. The former is easier but the latter benefits everyone.

    DRJ (15874d)

  99. Dropping the charges against Flynn increases the likelihood that the Trump Administration is hiding things. Did Trump approve of Flynn’s Russian contacts and communications? It seems likely. Trump wants to be in charge. He rarely delegates, especially in the beginning of his Presidency and most especially with Putin and the Russians. And we know this to a virtual certainty because Kislyak talked to Putin before responding to Flynn, because these were discussions at the highest levels. The only people who don’t know, or don’t care, what was going on are the American public.

    DRJ (15874d)

  100. or you can engage with the concepts involved. The former is easier but the latter benefits everyone.

    Is it an utter and complete lack of self-awareness that I’m observing here or arrogance on steroids?

    PTw (fe0b52)

  101. Ok, PTw, educate me.

    DRJ (15874d)

  102. It is hard to engage with hurtful commenters, which is why I sympathized, but sometimes we have to keep reaching out to those who disparage us.

    DRJ (15874d)

  103. It was a rhetorical question. The answer is, surprisingly or not, both.

    PTw (fe0b52)

  104. Thank you for your thoughts. Nice to see you back.

    DRJ (15874d)

  105. There was no legally sufficient reason to interview Flynn. Of the reasons listed by Wittes that Pat cites, let’s take each in turn:

    – A senior official with a TS/SCI (top secret/sensitive compartmented information) clearance working in the White House has ties to various Russian government entities.
    – He has traveled to Russia and taken large sums of money from a state-controlled Russian media outfit.

    To the extent the first is but a general reference to the second, specific reference, it’s the same charge. But if it is more, then we need to see more. What ties? What is meant by ties?
    With whom? What was the nature of the relationship? Look, you can always make general references to “ties” and “connections” that will seem damning but when put in context, or are actually specified, turn out to be nothingburgers. Flynn had spent years as a high-level member of the military and intelligence community. If he didn’t have “ties” to “Russian government entities” then he probably wasn’t doing his job.

    On the second – Flynn was paid $45K for a speech. I’m going to leave aside whether it was a good idea for Flynn to accept that speaking fee – speech engagement in the first place. But what is clear is it is perfectly legal for US citizens to take speaking fees from foreign sources to give speeches. If it wasn’t, Bill Clinton, and about 2/3rds of the former Washington establishment, would need to be thrown in the dock along side Flynn. Flynn was paid $45K for the speech. As someone who personally runs a small grant for speakers, I can tell you, $45K for a speaking fee is *not* a large sum of money, as these things go. Particularly given it was overseas.

    So let’s be clear – if either of these are sufficient as a predicate for a counterintelligence investigation – there is almost no one working in the D.C. foreign policy community for whom there is not a predicate for an CI investigation.

    – As the investigation of these matters was winding down, he had phone conversations with the Russian ambassador at a time when the United States had just imposed sanctions on Russia for interfering in the 2016 elections. In those conversations, he had asked that Russia to respond only in a measured fashion.

    In fact, the investigation into CROSSFIRE: RAZOR was not only winding down, it had been marked for closure due to the fact they found “no derogatory information” on Flynn to justify keeping it open. In other words, the FBI itself had investigated our two previous Wittes justifications, and concluded there was nothing there. It was only the intervention of Strozk and the “7th floor” that kept the investigation open. And we have texts from Strozk and Paige where they are mocking their own institution, the FBI, for allowing them to do so. Claiming the FBI’s incompetence in *not* closing the investigation was “serendipitous.” You can’t make this stuff up.

    And why was he having a phone conversation with the Russian ambassador? Flynn was the incoming NSA for the Trump administration. It’s his *job* to have contacts with foreign government representatives as part of the transition. This phone call was *disclosed* to the transition team. Furthermore, the FBI and Obama administration have the *transcripts* of the calls. They already know nothing happened on those calls that was illegal or improper. As Andy McCarthy notes in his column today: “There was no basis to believe Flynn, a decorated former US combat commander, would ever be Moscow’s mole, much less that he had committed a crime.”

    – He subsequently lied to the vice president of the United States and other White House officials about the substance of those calls, causing the White House to issue inaccurate statements to the public.

    First off, if Flynn lied to the VP – that is not something the FBI is supposed to be independently investigating. I have seen precisely zero Flynn prosecution apologists attempt to argue that because Flynn lied to the VP, that was a sufficient predicate for the FBI to conduct an investigation. And indeed – this was not used as a predicate for the investigation. Probably because, as bad an idea as it would be to lie to the VP, it isn’t illegal. The “7th Floor” used the call itself as a pretense to keep the C:R investigation open – they didn’t open a new one. Second, it isn’t clear that Flynn was lying. Flynn was engaged in a flurry of talks with a host of foreign dignitaries. Furthermore, Flynn did not, in his conversation, offer to end the sanctions if Russia would not retaliate – as was claimed by some. And indeed, from the transcripts it is reported that Flynn only briefly touched on the sanctions – in the context of asking the Russians not to retaliate. According to the Flynn dismissal document, VP Pence asked Flynn if his conversation with the Russian Ambassador had been “about” the sanctions. Without transcripts its hard to know, but it is at least plausible that some combination of misremembering the details, and ambiguity in the questions, had Flynn answering the way he did. But to the extent that Flynn had been inaccurate in what he reported to Pence, the proper way to handle it for the FBI and DOJ was to *inform* the White House – not investigate Flynn. Indeed, that is exactly what DOJ – and Sally Yates – wanted to do. It was Comey who refused to do it – instead sending over his agents to set up the perjury trap.

    As the dismissal document notes:

    Had the FBI been deeply
    concerned about the disparities between what they knew had been said on the calls and the
    representations of Vice President Pence or Mr. Spicer, it would have sought to speak with them
    directly, but did not. Whether or not Mr. Flynn had been entirely candid with the future Vice
    President or Press Secretary did not create a predicate for believing he had committed a crime or was beholden to a foreign power.

    – The Russian government was aware of these lies, having participated in the phone calls, and the official was thus potentially subject to blackmail.

    I frankly find this to be the most ludicrous of claims. It’s the snake eating its tail. Even read in its best light, the idea that the Russians would be able to “blackmail” Flynn because he reported inaccurately on the call with the Russian Ambassador, a call that Flynn and everyone knew was being monitored by U.S. intelligence, is simply difficult to take seriously. Again – Flynn knew that the government had a transcript of the call. What does this blackmail look like? “Hey Flynn, if you don’t do what we want, we’ll tell the US government you said what they already know you said, since they were recording the call?” Sally Yates pushed this notion to McGhan, and in her Senate testimony, at the same time she was pushing a Logan Act violation. The blackmail claim is nearly as ludicrous as the Logan Act argument.

    So no, I don’t think any of this justifies Comey sending agents to set a perjury-trap for Flynn. No, I do not think any of the above, taken in whole or in part, constitute a defensible investigatory predicate, thus I agree with DOJ that whatever Flynn told the agents on this matter was not material to a real investigation. Which is why Barr was right to drop it. D.GOOCH

    GOOCH (d83d3a)

  106. **what D.GOOCH** said.

    @Time123: Also, in regards to those 302s…
    https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2020/05/08/new_red_flags_emerge_from_fbis_handling_of_flynn_case_123520.html


    Former FBI agents and federal prosecutors tell RealClearInvestigations that the documents show suspiciously irregular handling and editing of Flynn’s FD-302 form, the official document used to record what happens in FBI interviews.

    FBI policy requires 302 forms to be submitted within five working days of an interview. The FBI took three weeks to deliberate on and compose Flynn’s 302 form, and it was mislabeled a “DRAFT DOCUMENT,” requiring a resubmission of the form three months later. A prosecutor working in the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, which eventually charged Flynn, was required to submit a separate document to a federal judge to explain that irregularity.

    In one text, dated February 10, Strzok tells Page he is heavily editing Pientka’s 302 form to the point he’s “trying not to completely re-write” it. Other messages reveal that Page, who did not attend the interview, reviewed the 302 form and made editing suggestions. On February 14, Page texts Strzok, “Is Andy good with the 302?” – presumably referring to FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe. The next day, February 15, the Flynn 302 was officially submitted and filed with the FBI.

    FBI supervisors, however, are not supposed to rewrite other agents’ 302 forms. Nor are 302 forms supposed to be edited by FBI personnel who were not present at the interview, and both of these things happened in the Flynn case. “I’ve probably written in the close to the low thousands of 302s. I’ve probably supervised or overseen thousands upon thousands of more of those,” James Gagliano, retired 25-year veteran of the FBI and current CNN analyst, told RealClearInvestigations. “This is not how we do business as an FBI supervisor. I never, ever materially altered a 302.”

    Former Special Agent Thomas J. Baker agreed: ”We never changed an agent’s 302. An agent would fight a supervisor who wanted him to change the 302, because it’s what that agent observed and heard and in his interview. So for us to read, what’s documented in this new material, that coming back from that interview with Flynn, which is a key event, that Peter Strzok said he virtually rewrote the whole thing – it damned them with their own words.”

    Both former agents also expressed concern that Page, who was not present at the interview, was editing the 302 form against FBI protocol. “For [Strzok] to send that 302 to Lisa Page, a non-badge wearing, non-credential-having FBI agent, is unconscionable,” says Gagliano.

    Baker said it was “not normal and suspicious” that it took three weeks for Pientka’s 302 form chronicling the Flynn interview to be filed. Gagliano also found the time delay concerning. “If the interview is on Monday, you better have that 302 uploaded on Friday. That’s a requirement. Now if you go outside of that, does that mean that there’s some skullduggery afoot? No, but you’re going to explain that in court,” Gagliano said. “A defense attorney worth his or her salt will make hay with that. ‘Hey agent Gagliano, you know what the requirement is in the Bureau, right? Why was this thing typed up seven days after the interview?’ And then you sit there hemming and hawing and a dead-to-rights case gets blown open because you didn’t follow a protocol.”

    Even after the Flynn 302 was collectively written during the weeks-long delay in submission, the original wasn’t initially used in the case. Instead, Baker said, Mueller’s team submitted their own interview with Strzok “about his recollection of the interview with Flynn five or six months ago. Now that’s just bizarre.”

    Read the whole thing.

    whembly (c30c83)

  107. @30 It’s a joke. Indeed, it’s an unconstitutional joke. It was unconstitutional even at its birth, despite the fact there was at least a color able reason for the Logan Act then – in a pre-modern age, people pretending to be representatives of the US government abroad was a tangible possibility. And even if the Logan Act weren’t a joke today, it sure as hell would be a joke to try and apply it to an incoming NSA and member of a presidential transition team.

    I am absolutely gobsmacked that anyone and everyone who raised this as a serious issue, not to mention took discrete investigatory steps based on it as responsible government officials, hasn’t been pilloried perpetually in the press. Oh. Wait… D.GOOCH

    GOOCH (d83d3a)

  108. “Now that’s just bizarre.”

    A lot of that going around…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  109. Bizarre behavior… Deep State leadership telling Americans one thing on TV, and then doing a 180 in front of Congress, when it can be used to hang them.

    And they’ve had NeverTrumpGumps eating out of their hands for well over 3 years.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  110. It would be hilarious, if it weren’t so batsh*t crazy.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  111. Other messages reveal that Page, who did not attend the interview, reviewed the 302 form and made editing suggestions. On February 14, Page texts Strzok, “Is Andy good with the 302?” – presumably referring to FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe. The next day, February 15, the Flynn 302 was officially submitted and filed with the FBI.

    It was edited, in the end, after President Trump had asked FBI Director James Comey late on February 14, if he could see his way to letting Flynn go, to say that Flynn was truthful.

    At 6:25 am February 15, Zero Hedge has this: (that’s Feb 15 in spite of the URL
    saying Feb 14)

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-14/mike-flynn-may-face-felony-charges-lyin
    g-fbi

    But by 10 pm Zero Hedge reports:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-15/fbi-reportedly-will-not-pursue-charges-
    against-cooperative-and-truthful-mike-flynn

    See:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/jimsciutto/status/832013379124486148?p=v

    Jim Sciutto
    @jimsciutto

    Breaking: FBI NOT expected to pursue charges against #MichaelFlynn regarding phone calls w/Russian Ambassador, reports @evanperez

    3:45 PM – 15 Feb 2017

    ———–

    Jim Sciutto
    @jimsciutto

    Replying to @jimsciutto

    More: FBI says Flynn was cooperative and provided truthful answers

    3:47 PM – 15 Feb 2017

    Sammy Finkelman (375edc)

  112. In between, Comey had a covnersation with Donald Trump.

    Contrary to his Senate testimony, I think he did exactly the thing that he says the president asked him to:

    He did in fact not press charges against Mike Flynn, or at least hastened to let CNN know he wouldn’t.

    Most of that conversation was actually about leaks. Probably mainly this leak, which Comey assured Donald Trump, and later Senators, was not true:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/14/us/politics/russia-intelligence-communications-trump.html

    Sammy Finkelman (375edc)

  113. @42

    But the problem I do have with Flynn is, why lie to Pence? That’s what still is mystifying, and Flynn’s supporters really haven’t explained it. I can’t see any way to spin lying to the VP as a good thing or even a harmless thing. What was really going on?

    We don’t actually know that he lied to the VP – as in intentionally and willfully mislead the VP as to the facts of the call. We certainly know there was a miscommunication. But what we don’t know is if it was a function of ambiguous questions by the VP, a failure of memory by Flynn, some combination of the two, or a willful attempt to mislead.

    I think you are asking precisely the questions that leads to why many have concluded this was likely an innocent mistake and not a malicious lie. As we all know – the only reference to sanctions in the call with Kislyak was Flynn asking the Russians to restrict themselves to a “reciprocal” reaction – i.e. not to ratchet up the level of response.

    So we ask ourselves – what is the motivation for Flynn to hide or misrepresent what he said to Kislyak when quizzed on it by VP Pence? I cannot come up with one. Not only did Flynn do nothing wrong, in asking the Russians to be measured in their response, it is precisely consistent with the incoming administration’s stated policy towards Russia. It was, in and of itself, a reasonable thing to say. Not only should Flynn not be hiding this fact, he should be trumpeting it as an example of effectively carrying out his NSA duties.

    So what might he have been denying? Well, to hop in the way-back machine, in December of 2016 and January of 2017 – there was concern in the media (and a host of leaks coming out of the Obama administration) that Trump would eliminate the sanctions Obama had put on Russia (for their alleged interference in the US election) once he took office. See for example:

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/dec/30/donald-trump-russia-obama-sanctions

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/12/28/trump-on-alleged-election-interference-by-russia-get-on-with-our-lives/

    The WP (based on an illegal leak never prosecuted because of course) had reported that Flynn had spoken with Kislyak the day that Obama instituted the new sanctions – so there was speculation, at the time, that Flynn might have offered to reduce or remove the sanctions in that phone call. Now, the call wasn’t about the sanctions – it was part of Flynn’s transition team conversations. The sanctions were raised briefly – and Flynn made no specific reference to the sanctions themselves (Kislyak had brought it up) – Flynn simply asked them to keep their response proportionate.

    Now, did Flynn just completely forget that he told Kislyak that? Possibly. Or maybe he knew he had offered that warning, but since the call wasn’t about sanctions, and he didn’t bring them up, and didn’t offer any kind of a quid pro quo, he answered the way he did. Or maybe he tried to explain it that way, and it got misinterpreted by the VP or Spicer. Or maybe he was parsing his words – although if that was what he was up to, then you would think the two agents would have picked up on an effort to deceive.

    So Flynn’s motivation to lie isn’t clear at all. Had he offered the Russians a quid pro quo, had the call been specifically to address the sanctions with the Russians, had Flynn raised the issue of sanctions with the Russians and made reference to a ‘softer’ position on them once the Trump administration took office – well, then we have a clear motivation to lie – both to the public and to everyone else. Outside of that, there isn’t much. I mean, I suppose it could have been an intentional exaggeration, but why he would do that, when he knows there is a transcript, is beyond me. The safest thing to say is, “yes, the sanctions were raised by Ambassador Kisylak briefly in the course of a standard transition team call. I made no promises or offers to him regarding the Trump administrations continuation of those sanctions. I did caution the Russians to limit themselves to a proportionate response. And that was the sum total of our conversation on the topic.” That seems perfectly defensible to me. And it doesn’t require lying about a conversation you know has been recorded. But people do do stupid things, I suppose. I would like more concrete evidence to that effect. As it stands, I think it more reasonable to conclude he forgot. D.GOOCH

    GOOCH (d83d3a)

  114. 115.

    We don’t actually know that he lied to the VP – as in intentionally and willfully mislead the VP as to the facts of the call. We certainly know there was a miscommunication. But what we don’t know is if it was a function of ambiguous questions by the VP, a failure of memory by Flynn, some combination of the two, or a willful attempt to mislead.

    He first gave acomplete outline to the campaign or I should say transition (somebody or some people on it) of everything that he said was discussed, and before going on TV, Mike Pence double checked with Flynn.

    There was speculation they talked about the sanctions and he must have been asked point blank questions about that.

    Why lie? Mike Flynn didn’t want Trump and others to think he was making policy on his own, and there was the Logan Act.

    Sammy Finkelman (375edc)

  115. GOOCH and whembly make excellent points. It’s interesting no one makes a serious effort to refute their arguments. I thought making personal attacks was not allowed, yet Ragspierre gets away with it continuously. Why hasn’t he beeen banned?

    DaveMac (71709b)

  116. And I’m surprised Patterico did not ban me.

    DaveMac (71709b)

  117. The WP (based on an illegal leak never prosecuted because of course)

    Never investigated in a way that miight determine who leaked it.

    had reported that Flynn had spoken with Kislyak the day that Obama instituted the new sanctions – so there was speculation, at the time, that Flynn might have offered to reduce or remove the sanctions in that phone call

    Also because Russia, unexpectedly, did not retaliate with other sanctions. No U.S. diplomats were expelled from Russia. And then Trump said Putin made a wise decision.

    Sammy Finkelman (375edc)

  118. I wish Trump would start dismantling the Deep State but he seems to be re-populating it.

    DRJ (15874d)

  119. I thought making personal attacks was not allowed, yet Ragspierre gets away with it continuously. Why hasn’t he beeen banned?

    For the love of G-d man, you know you’re not supposed to notice such things. Now avert your eyes and pretend this subject never came up.

    PTw (fe0b52)

  120. So we ask ourselves – what is the motivation for Flynn to hide or misrepresent what he said to Kislyak when quizzed on it by VP Pence? I cannot come up with one.

    Because Trump or Kushner asked Flynn not to discuss it, because they knew it would lead back to them and portray them as undermining Obama’s sanctions before the Inauguration. Trump did not want a partisanship image.

    DRJ (15874d)

  121. #122 do you have any specific evidence for this conclusion? Or is it just a hypothetical?

    DaveMac (71709b)

  122. I thought making personal attacks was not allowed, yet Ragspierre gets away with it continuously. Why hasn’t he beeen banned?

    I count one comment were I noted the other poster was a T-rump cultist, which is amply supported by his behavior.

    Patterico also uses the term, again with ample reason.

    I consider your comment a personal attack, and one predicated on a false claim. What’s your purpose in trying to silence me?

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  123. Patterico has warned Ragspierre in the past.

    DRJ (15874d)

  124. Calling someone a Trump Cultist is clearly a personal attack. Your standard of personal behavior is not a good reason for judging someone a Trump Cultist and appears to be driven by animus towards the individual. The criteria for being a Trump cultist is purely subjective.

    DaveMac (71709b)

  125. 123.

    Flynn was at Trump’s first intelligence briefing in August 2016 and was Trump’s first national security adcviser. Flynn later said he discussed the sanctions with senior Administration officials before the Kislyak call:

    Flynn also admitted that he lied to investigators about a Dec. 29 conversation that he had with Kislyak. On the day of the conversation, the Obama administration announced sanctions against Russia in response to Russia’s meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Flynn called to discuss the new sanctions with “a senior official” of the Trump transition team “who was with other senior members of the Presidential Transition Team at the Mar-a-Lago resort” that Trump owns in Florida.

    Immediately after the call to Mar-a-Lago, Flynn called Kislyak and “requested that Russia not escalate the situation and only respond to the U.S. Sanctions in a reciprocal manner,” the plea agreement said. Kislyak agreed that Russia would “moderate its response to those sanctions” as a result of his request, according to the U.S. special counsel’s office.

    That is circumstantial evidence.

    DRJ (15874d)

  126. #124 As a simple thought experiment, invert the argument and think about someone who decides to call you a “never Trump cultist” based on your behavior. You could clearly argue that that would be a personal attack.

    DaveMac (71709b)

  127. A cult requires a fetish, an object of worship. So we who are #NeverTrump cannot be cultists. We are deniers of the Trump cult fetish. We call us Rationalists.

    nk (1d9030)

  128. WeCall us Rationalists.

    nk (1d9030)

  129. Or old school. people used to care if our leaders were conspiring with the Russians, the Chinese, etc. Now they get indignant when you point it out.

    DRJ (15874d)

  130. Mollie
    @MZHemingway

    May 7
    Do not expect the media who led and perpetuated the Russia collusion hoax to report honestly about any aspect of the Russia collusion hoax. They have to defame Barr and Jensen in order to save themselves. Be smart. Be skeptical of their furious spin.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  131. America is fortunate to have William Barr as AGOTUS. Both he and Durham are of the Deep State, but I hope that they have the wisdom to rid the DOJ of garbage people and hang on to those who do honest work and are worth saving.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  132. Conspiring with the Russians and Chinese to do what, specifically. Are you accusing trump of treason which has a specific definition under the law? Attempting to influence an election through propaganda is not a crime. Doing it badly is even less of one.

    DaveMac (71709b)

  133. Disney/ABC has significant financial interests in China. One could easily make an argument that Disney/ABC are colluding to influence U.S. elections in Chinas favor. Should ABC be forced to file as a lobbyist for China? Should they be Charged with a crime for attempting to influence an election to benefit their joint financial interests?

    DaveMac (71709b)

  134. When we put Trump on trial, then we’ll use the legal definitions. I promise. Meantime, the dictionary definitions are fine, just fine, for an orange Judas.

    nk (1d9030)

  135. “Should ABC be forced to file as a lobbyist for China? Should they be Charged with a crime for attempting to influence an election to benefit their joint financial interests?”

    Go back to Russia with that regulation talk, comrade.

    Davethulhu (a122fb)

  136. Jim Jordan wrote an Op-ed.

    https://thefederalist.com/2020/05/08/rep-jim-jordan-a-look-back-on-the-russia-mueller-and-flynn-investigations/

    Rep. Jim Jordan: A Look Back On The Russia, Mueller, And Flynn Investigations
    MAY 8, 2020 By Jim Jordan

    We were right about everything.

    Yes… yes you were.

    whembly (c30c83)

  137. I’ve never been to Russia and have no plans to go. Are you accusing me of being a Marxist? A Russian sympathizer? On what grounds do you make this accusation. Be specific in your evidence.

    DaveMac (71709b)

  138. “Jim Jordan wrote an Op-ed.”

    You made a typo, his name is “Gym Jordan”.

    Davethulhu (a122fb)

  139. NK, I will await that charge and trial for treason, and will follow it with great interest if and when it actually happens. I’m not going to be too surprised though if it doesn’t.

    DaveMac (71709b)

  140. The Ratfu… er, Rationalists will cling to their dreams of a coup. The dreams didn’t cure their enuresis and what is coming won’t cure what ails them.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  141. I do, however, disagree with the idea that Trump is establishing his own Deep State. No Trump flunky lasts long enough to become embedded — either he or his policies. Sooner or later, and usually sooner, the ghost of Roy Cohn appears to Trump while he’s watching Hannity and tells him to fire So-and-So, and out the door So-and-So goes. If we named administrations the way the Japanese name Emperors’reigns, this would be the Mayfly Administration. How much longer do you think Barr will last? Through the convention? Through the election?

    nk (1d9030)

  142. By the way, Trump has accused the Obama DOJ of treason. I think he is incorrect. They may be guilty of various crimes but treason isn’t one of them because their actions did not cause severe damage to the security of the United States for the benefit of a foreign government. It was for the benefit of a U.S. political party and the damage to U. S. Security is debatable.

    DaveMac (71709b)

  143. Trump is always accusing others of his own misdeeds. It’s a dispositive fact. If you want a list of Trump’s misdeeds and malfeasances, faults and shortcomings, just go back and see what accusations he has leveled at other people.

    nk (1d9030)

  144. Full Queeg this morning:

    “I learned lot from Richard Nixon.”– President Donald Trump, ‘Fox & Friends,’ May 8, 2020

    As the valets say, =cough= ‘Cottage cheese and ketchup, or just strawberries tonight, Captain, sir?’

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  145. Nk,

    I enjoyed you better when you didn’t spend all your posts trying to get a rise out of Trump supporters.

    This too shall pass.

    NJRob (8a76dc)

  146. NK, you could say the exact same thing about most democrats. Donald Trump is not unique among office holders for making self serving statements. This includes Mitt Romney and Jimmy Carter as well as Ronald Reagan.

    DaveMac (71709b)

  147. “Trump is always accusing others of his own misdeeds.”

    nk promoting the new NeverTrump Playground Law of “Him what Smelt It, Dealt It”

    Ashdodd's Alter (f34ae6)

  148. How much longer do you think Barr will last? Through the convention? Through the election?

    Trump would be a fool to get rid of Barr, the guy who tainted the Mueller Report and ran a whole gamut of legal interference ever since. Barr is Trump’s most important appointee, what with all the legal protections he’s given him, and loyal to Trump to a fault.

    Paul Montagu (b79095)

  149. Conspiring with the Russians and Chinese to do what, specifically.

    The same as Obama did when he asked Medvedev to tell Putin he would have more flexibility in the future. Trump/Kushner wanted Flynn to tell Kislyak and Putin to go along with them now for the benefit of their future relationship.

    DRJ (15874d)

  150. Barr is to Trump as Holder was to Obama. Their fixers, their consiglieres.

    DRJ (15874d)

  151. Really, if you’re going to convince us to take these arguments seriously, at least try not to source them directly from the most likely coup co-conspirators.

    Oh Steppy it’s been a few days since the last alias.

    Coup: a sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a government.

    I must have missed this, when did this violent action take place?

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (305827)

  152. It will soon become irrefutable common knowledge that Adam Schiff is and has been full of schiff for some time now.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  153. Crossfire Razor determined there was nothing Flynn had done, but that didn’t stop these a-holes.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  154. I dont theyll ever learn coronello, no do they care to.

    Narciso (7404b5)

  155. UMMMM….ACKSHUALLY, A COUP IS *BY DEFINITION* VIOLENT AND *HAS* TO HAPPEN QUICKLY THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A SLOW MOVING COUP…yeah, yeah, your teachers growing up just loved a kiss-ass.

    So, there was no coup, no attempted coup, nothing coup-like, coup-adjacent, or did you just misspell coupe, like a Mustang or something? Thanks.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (305827)

  156. Barr is to Trump as Holder was to Obama. Their fixers, their consiglieres.

    Or RFK to JFK for that matter.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  157. “I learned lot from Richard Nixon.”– President Donald Trump

    The 50-year experiment where we respected journalists, judges, and law enforcement over the President is ending now, as the long train of abuses and usurpations of their power and offices has been far more regular, far more horrific, far more often excused, and far easier for rich men and foreigners to bribe.

    AshDodd's Alter (d14ad7)

  158. Narciso!!! Welcome to Fantasy Island!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  159. But since the commenters aren’t exactly presenting a challenge, let me just go straight to Pat’s tainted source:

    “Benjamin Wittes

    @benjaminwittes
    If you’re outraged by the FBI’s tactics with Flynn, keep in mind that they do these things every day against drug dealers, gang members, and terrorists. Except those people are black, Hispanic, and Middle Eastern—not “lock ‘er up” lily white.”

    Drug dealers, gang members, and terrorists aren’t targeted for investigation and prosecution because they have different political positions from those of the U.S. Attorney with regard to departmental organization, immigration policy, or foreign policy. They’re targeted for investigation and prosecution because there was probable cause that they’ve already been involved in fraud, narcotics dealing, targeted gangland murders, and plots to cause slaughter and mayhem.

    Flynn was targeted for investigation and prosecution because Obama didn’t like him sniffing around his political appointees and his appointment as NSA presaged a significant change in U.S. policy which the people pursuing him opposed. As a pretext, they had (illegally, of course) obtained recordings of his conversations which the NSA-designate to the new President illegally leaked.

    As admitted by the Great Gangly Giant while giggling like a schoolgirl, they then used the opportunity of the transition of one Presidential administration to the next to talk to Flynn under the pretense that they were aiding in the transition’s security but with the (now stated in their ugly but quite clear hand-writing) purpose of getting him fired and prosecuted.

    There was no peaceful transition of power, and this is and has always been Civil War by other means.

    AshDodd's Alter (ea066b)

  160. I see a big influx of Trump supporters this evening, old, new, and renamed. Hey, guys, did Jared Kushner issue you all lipstick from his national stockpile to put on the Flynn debacle pig?

    nk (1d9030)

  161. You could ask dr. Hatfill of the wondersof the wonders of mueller justice

    S

    Narciso (7404b5)

  162. How’s it going, Narciso?

    nk (1d9030)

  163. Welcome back narciso.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  164. I dont need a new hash to point a great injustice was committed, a serious misude of govt for no justifiable reason, we used to be able to agree on that notion.

    Narciso (7404b5)

  165. “Drug dealers, gang members, and terrorists aren’t targeted for investigation and prosecution because they have different political positions from those of the U.S. Attorney with regard to departmental organization, immigration policy, or foreign policy. They’re targeted for investigation and prosecution because there was probable cause that they’ve already been involved in fraud, narcotics dealing, targeted gangland murders, and plots to cause slaughter and mayhem.”

    A truly galactic brain take. “It’s ok to use these unjust tactics if I agree with who is targeted.”

    Davethulhu (a122fb)

  166. Rod Blagojevich was a political prisoner.

    nk (1d9030)

  167. No thats your line, as for blago worse than madigan burke daley gov creosote please.

    Narciso (7404b5)

  168. @168 It’s one of the great frustrations of this political moment. Even folks who mostly agree with us on policy, once we’ve divided on you-know-who, apparently can’t come together even in instances where the facts dominate. Everyone who disagrees must be turned into a partisan hack.

    I was more of a reflexive law and order sort when I was younger. I have walked, not ran, towards a position of civil libertarianism over the years. But even my younger self would have done a double-take on these facts. D.GOOCH

    GOOCH (d83d3a)

  169. Blago’s said it. On national television. After Trump commuted his sentence. Another innocent victim of the tyrannical FBI Deep State.

    nk (1d9030)

  170. “I see a big influx of Trump supporters this evening, old, new, and renamed.”

    Yes, we try not to forget the people who talked confident nonsense about Flynn being unimpeachably guilty for spurious reasons, and do try to loudly remind others of their most egregiously failed predictions whenever possible.

    Doing donuts on the public lawns of proudly defiant and unrepentant losers on days of vindication is a great communitarian moral activity. I’d say you should try it sometime, but you’d have to win at least an argument first, much less a highly publicized, precedent-setting case where every time-server and open political operative was pushing their lines 24-7.

    “A truly galactic brain take. “It’s ok to use these unjust tactics if I agree with who is targeted.”

    The galactic brain take is that the failure to file the right forms or speak the right words to the right people is in any way comparable to murder, rape, and enslavement for profit, and it’s the type of argument I generally expect from Benjamin Witts and his smoothbrained followers.

    But I’m not surprised that the constant losses have you resorting to desperate and unreal comparisons to fit your hateful excuses and delusions. But with neither the cash nor the political backing to keep them in the public eye, they shall not be enforced for much longer. And that is a fact that all good men can celebrate.

    AshDodd's Alter (d14ad7)

  171. “The galactic brain take is that the failure to file the right forms or speak the right words to the right people is in any way comparable to murder, rape, and enslavement for profit, and it’s the type of argument I generally expect from Benjamin Witts and his smoothbrained followers.”

    Your unstated assumption is that everyone the FBI goes after (other than Flynn) is guilty. And, hey, they lied to the FBI, so they must be guilty.

    Davethulhu (a122fb)

  172. I’m fascinated by the content of this thread since I retired last night.

    It’s full of “personal attacks”, and many are far worse than anything I’ve said.

    But the bottom line here is that the T-rump fan bois are celebrating and defending a known liar and general pos.

    Which, one must note, at least consistent…

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  173. DaveMac, I’d like an answer to my question, please;

    1. why are you trying to silence me, and

    2. why did you launch that personal attack on a false predicate?

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  174. You know who was right about all of this, not ben wittes not susan hennessey;im just saying

    Narciso (7404b5)

  175. “Well, history is written by the winners.” Not always, Mr. Attorney General. There are plenty of winners that went on to a less than glorious finish. Some of our most notorious monsters started out by winning bigly.

    noel (4d3313)

  176. 179… they’ll clutch at anything to keep them fooling themselves into thinking this wasn’t one of the biggest fusterclucks of all time. Trying to take down a POTUS. Shameful.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  177. 164. I’ve noticed that after about 100 comments. Those citing real facts using real source documents, dominate the discussion. In this case, FBI found Flynn, afte in-depth investigations, did nothing wrong. Until the coup plotters came up with the perjury trap, and illegal leaks to a corrupt dnc media, got Flynn fired.

    Real documents coming to light, despite Crooked Schiff hiding from public view, reveal not a single Obama official ever saw a single source that shows Russia worked wit the Trump team.

    There is not, nor have there ever been a “Russia” story. Never

    nkinnick (67ef6c)

  178. Being the optimist I am, I’d hoped that Barr would be a good AG. At least a strong AG who would stand up to the Orange Raccoon in his more insane criminality.

    What a disappointment. We have another Holder.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  179. Hopefully, truth puts it’s thumb on the scale of history. When young, we were taught that our forefathers were these great men and they were in many respects. But, as time goes on, we may be starting to see more of their whole story written. And is that not what we want…. the truth?

    Dictators write history without truth. But they don’t live forever.

    noel (4d3313)

  180. My dear comrades, nine out of ten scumbags who pass through the criminal justice system are
    — innocent
    — they were entrapped
    — they were framed
    — it was a drug deal gone bad
    — those were not their pants
    — some other guy did it
    — the cops lied
    — their lawyer sold them down the river
    — they were entrapped
    — the cop is a racist
    — the judge is a racist
    — the jury was racist
    — the system is racist
    — the cops planted the evidence
    — the search was unconstitutional
    — the confession was unconstitutional
    — the law is unconstitutional
    — the system is unconstitutional
    — “The Man is always putting us down.”
    — “Attica! Attica!”

    All you all Flynn-flammers have demonstrated is that Flynn is just like any other scumbag who passes through the criminal justice system.

    nk (1d9030)

  181. E por se move.

    Narciso (7404b5)

  182. nkinnick writes: “There is not, nor have there ever been a “Russia” story. Never”

    The question is… Was there evidence of Russia trying to influence the election, possibly with the help of the Trump campaign? And there is plenty of evidence that Russia meddled and multiple contacts that they had with the Trump campaign that were being DENIED. Of course the investigation was justified. How could anyone think differently?

    noel (4d3313)

  183. There was no such evidence, they admitted under oath.

    Narciso (7404b5)

  184. Like rcocean, nkinnick’s (nom dujour for a Canadian Nazi) job is to flood the internet with lies. Ignore him.

    nk (1d9030)

  185. And AshDodd’s Alter is Steppe Nomad, the dog who can’t stay away from his own vomit.

    nk (1d9030)

  186. There is not, nor have there ever been a “Russia” story. Never

    Well, that’s an odd, false statement that simply ignores a LOT of reality.

    There is no doubt that Russia improperly tried to corrupt our election process, is trying today, and will try tomorrow. No. Doubt.

    I personally have never had enough to go on vis the whole T-rump/Russia collusion to take a position. But there is, again, no doubt that T-rump agents did meet with Russian agents promising information useful to T-rump political interests. No. Doubt.

    So, there are LOTS of “Russia stories”, and there will be in the future. Russia under Putin is not our friend.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  187. Marcy Wheeler:

    The record is crystal clear, however: When the investigation into Mike Flynn was opened on August 16, 2016, he was being investigated as a witting or unwitting Agent of a Foreign Power (Barr’s DOJ — and DOJ IG — have both made the same error in suggesting this was just about FARA, but the investigation was also predicated under 18 USC 951). Timothy Shea conceded in his motion to dismiss the prosecution that that investigation was never closed. And evidence from three different contemporaneous witnesses — Jim Comey, Mary McCord, and Bill Priestap — say that’s why the FBI interviewed Flynn on January 24, 2017.
    Bill Priestap made clear that they did this interview to find out whether Flynn was acting as an agent for Russia.
    The FBI’s provided rationale for doing the interview was that the existence of the investigation had already leaked, so Flynn was already aware that the information was being discussed publicly and there was no element of surprise. Priestap told the group the goal of the interview was whether to determine whether or not Flynn was in a clandestine relationship with the Russians.

    That’s what Comey said, too.

    MR. COMEY: To find out whether there was something we were missing about his relationship with the Russians and whether he would — because we had this disconnect publicly between what the Vice President was saying and what we knew. And so before we closed an investigation of Flynn, I wanted them to sit before him and say what is the deal?

    The Priestap notes that the frothy right is pointing to as proof of abuse makes quite clear that the point of the interview was not to create a perjury trap, but to see whether Flynn would be honest about his relationship with the Russians.

    Obviously, Flynn was not being honest and got busted for it.

    Paul Montagu (b3f51b)

  188. Bob Litt at Lawfare shreds the DOJ motion to withdraw.

    To understand why this is wrong, imagine the following: Someone who holds a grudge against you calls an FBI office and says that you are a Russian agent, providing fictitious details of invented meetings you have had with FSB agents. Before that call, the FBI had no information at all about you—let alone an open predicated investigation—but follows up with a public records search and an interview of you, and determines that there is no basis to the claim.
    The logic of the department’s position in the Flynn case is that the person who maliciously reported you to the FBI could not be prosecuted for making a false statement, because at the time the statements were made, those statements “were not ‘material’ to any viable counterintelligence investigation . . . initiated by the FBI.” Or, to put it differently, the FBI can’t investigate whether someone is a Russian agent unless it already has evidence that the person is a Russian agent.
    That isn’t the way either counterintelligence investigations or 18 USC § 1001 work. To begin with, the language of § 1001 does not support the department’s position. Section 1001 makes it a crime to make a materially false statement “in any matter within the jurisdiction of” a federal agency. This language does not require that there actually be an open investigation, but simply that the matter be “within the jurisdiction” of the FBI.
    Counterintelligence is certainly within the FBI’s jurisdiction. And it beggars the imagination to suggest that following up on the Flynn-Kislyak conversation, along with Flynn’s false statements to Vice President Mike Pence and press secretary Sean Spicer, was outside the FBI’s jurisdiction. At a minimum, as many have noted, the fact that the Russian government would know that Flynn had lied left him open to potential blackmail by a hostile foreign power—surely a realistic counterintelligence concern.

    He also mentions the Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide, which forms the basis for predicates. I suggest avoiding ad hominem reactions and addressing the contents.

    Paul Montagu (b3f51b)

  189. @196

    I don’t know who Marcy Wheeler is, but she isn’t telling the truth.

    hen the investigation into Mike Flynn was opened on August 16, 2016, he was being investigated as a witting or unwitting Agent of a Foreign Power (Barr’s DOJ — and DOJ IG — have both made the same error in suggesting this was just about FARA, but the investigation was also predicated under 18 USC 951).

    I can only guess she thinks she is going to get away with this because she is expecting that her readers aren’t going to have actually read the DOJ dismissal document.

    This from *literally* page 3 of the dismissal, the FIRST PARAGRAPH of the factual background section:

    “Opening of the CROSSFIRE
    RAZOR Investigation,” Aug. 16, 2016. Code-named “Crossfire Razor,” the investigation’s stated “goal” was to determine whether Mr. Flynn “was directed and controlled by and/or coordinated activities with the Russian Federation in a manner which is a threat to the national security and/or possibly a violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, 18 U.S.C. § 951 et seq., or other related statutes.” Ex. 1 at 2; Ex. 2 at 2.

    Not only have they not made this error, the document discusses at length how CROSSFIRE: RAZOR was targeting Flynn for possible coordination / collusion / being an agent of a foreign power (i.e. Russia).

    Timothy Shea conceded in his motion to dismiss the prosecution that that investigation was never closed

    Utterly false. I…really don’t know how you can even write those words. There is absolutely no concealment. Shea doesn’t just make passing reference to this fact – the shenanigans the FBI leadership engaged in keeping the investigation open is a significant component of their argument the case should be dismissed.

    Believing that the counterintelligence investigation of Mr. Flynn was to be closed, FBI leadership (“the 7th Floor”) determined to continue its investigation of Mr. Flynn on the basis of these calls, and considered opening a new criminal investigation based solely on a potential violation of the Logan Act, 18 U.S.C. § 953…The FBI never opened an independent FBI criminal investigation…On January 4, 2017, FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok learned that “RAZOR’s closure” had not been timely executed, and the counterintelligence investigation into Mr. Flynn was, unexpectedly, still formally open. Ex. 7 at 1-2. Mr. Strzok immediately relayed the “serendipitously good” news to Lisa Page, the Special Counsel to FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, remarking that “our utter incompetence actually helps us.” Id. at 1. Ms. Page reacted with surprise and relief. Id. Mr. Strzok, moreover, instructed agents to “keep it open for now” at the behest of “the 7th Floor.” Id. Mr. Strzok indicated that there was a “[n]eed to decide what to do with him.” Id. Other internal FBI messages from that afternoon reflect apparently related conversations about a potential “interview.” See id. at 2 (“i heard pete say, ‘Andy and [redacted] will interview.…”). As of January 4, 2017, then, the FBI kept open its counterintelligence investigation into Mr. Flynn based solely on his calls with Kislyak—the only new information to arise since the FBI’s determination to close the case.

    The rest of Paul’s quote from Ms. Wheeler attempts to argue that the predicate for the FBI interview with Flynn was the original predicate for CROSSFIRE: RAZOR. That they were still investigating Flynn for possibly being a foreign agent of Russia. That. Simply. Doesn’t. Fly.

    Let’s go over this again for the cheap seats. CROSSFIRE: RAZOR was the FBI’s investigation of Flynn as part of the umbrella CROSSFIRE: HURRICANE investigation into the Trump Campaign and possible collusion with Russia. That investigation was concluded with *no derogatory information” found on Flynn. It was designated to be closed. Then in December, Flynn had his two calls with Kislyak. The FBI had complete transcripts of those calls. Nothing Flynn said on those calls was illegal, or raised any specter of Flynn being a foreign agent. While clearly the FBI was seriously considering predicating a new investigation of Flynn on the ludicrous basis of a Logan Act violation, the original C:R investigation was still technically open. That is what all those texts between Strzok and Paige trumpeting the “incompetence” of the FBI was about. Strzok intervenes to keep it open on behalf of the “7th Floor.”

    The FBI’s provided rationale for doing the interview was that the existence of the investigation had already leaked, so Flynn was already aware that the information was being discussed publicly and there was no element of surprise.

    Just to note – this is a very rich claim. The leak almost certainly came from the FBI itself, and as covered in other media, was likely designed to put Flynn at ease. Indeed, the leak had stated that Flynn was “not a target of the investigation.” Which, as admitted here, he most certainly was. As Admiral Akbar would say: “It’s a Trap!”

    The Priestap notes that the frothy right is pointing to as proof of abuse makes quite clear that the point of the interview was not to create a perjury trap, but to see whether Flynn would be honest about his relationship with the Russians.

    WHAT relationship with the Russians? Nothing in the two Kislyak calls even hints at a “relationship” with the Russians. And that is ALL of the new evidence that the FBI is ostensibly acting on. I mean, the dishonesty and false information replete in just this small excerpt from Wheeler’s article as absolutely breathtaking. D.GOOCH

    GOOCH (d83d3a)

  190. Either Flynn already had a relationship with the Russian government or the government wanted one, because Flynn visited Russia in 2015 and attended an RT (Russian government-funded TV) banquet seated by Putin:

    2015

    Dec. 10 — Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn speaks at RT’s anniversary conference in Moscow. RT is a Russian government-funded TV station once known as Russia Today. Flynn, who would become a foreign policy adviser to Trump during the campaign and national security adviser in the Trump administration, sits next to Russian President Vladimir Putin at the event.

    In remarks at the event, Flynn is critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy and supportive of working with Russia to battle ISIS. (It is later learned that he was paid $45,000 for his appearance, and failed to report the income on his government financial disclosure forms.)

    DRJ (15874d)

  191. @197

    From the Red State article by a former DOJ prosecutor of 22 years:

    This passage exposes their ignorance of the policies and procedures of the Department of Justice and FBI that govern the manner and circumstances under which US citizens can be interviewed by agents of the FBI. The first rule is that no interviews are allowed except with regard to properly predicated and open investigations. Agents aren’t allowed to just show up on your doorstep and ask you questions. They can only get there by following well-established rules and procedures by which they establish a legitimate reason to knock on your door.

    And:

    If there was a legitimate inquiry to be made about whether Gen. Flynn’s calls violated the Logan Act, then the FBI should have opened a properly predicated criminal investigation naming Gen. Flynn as a subject of the investigation, and violation of the Logan Act as the suspected crime. They did not do so. Whether they “could” have done so is irrelevant. The fact is they didn’t. And that is how the procedure is designed to work and that is how it does work. The FBI does not go out interviewing citizens based on a “hunch”.

    As for the hypothetical, I’m not a lawyer (though I do study the law), and I don’t play one on television, but there is:

    https://law.justia.com/codes/us/2011/title-18/part-i/chapter-47/section-1038/

    Note that it does not contain any “material” restriction in its provision as to the false information or hoax. D.GOOCH

    GOOCH (d83d3a)

  192. Also @197

    I’m not sure why Bob Litt is focusing on the portion of 1001 having to do with the jurisdiction. I don’t think that’s in dispute. What is in dispute was whether Flynn’s false statements (assuming, arguendo, they were false) were “materially false.” From page one of the dismissal document:

    This crime, however, requires a statement to be not simply false, but “materially” false with respect to a matter under investigation. 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(2). Materiality is an essential element of the offense. Materiality, moreover, requires more than mere “relevance” or relatedness to the matter being investigated; it requires “probative weight,” whereby the statement is “reasonably likely to influence the tribunal in making a determination required to be made.” United States v. Weinstock, 231 F.2d 699, 701 (D.C. Cir. 1956) (emphasis added).

    An element of the crime is that the false statements had to be material – that’s why the question of whether there was an already existing, properly predicated, investigation to justify holding the interview, and eliciting the Flynn statements, is so crucial to the decision to dismiss the charges. D.GOOCH

    GOOCH (d83d3a)

  193. @198 Correction: “concealment” should be “concession.” D.GOOCH

    GOOCH (d83d3a)

  194. I don’t see where Ms. Wheeler isn’t telling the truth, GOOCH. She’s been following this closer than pretty much anyone, and I dare say more than you.
    It is simply true that the CI investigation didn’t close. They were going to close it, but then the phone call, and the phone call itself bespoke a relationship with Russians, specifically Kislyak.

    Paul Montagu (b3f51b)

  195. From the Red State article by a former DOJ prosecutor of 22 years…

    Sorry, I won’t read a word from a site that permanently banned me. They’re a bunch of one-sided hyperpartisan hacks.

    Paul Montagu (b3f51b)

  196. @203

    I don’t see where Ms. Wheeler isn’t telling the truth, GOOCH.

    I wrote a rather long post detailing it.

    She’s been following this closer than pretty much anyone, and I dare say more than you.

    You dare to presume. But in any case, her following the case closely only make her false and misleading statements more damning.

    It is simply true that the CI investigation didn’t close.

    As the facts make clear, there was nothing “simple” about it.

    They were going to close it, but then the phone call, and the phone call itself bespoke a relationship with Russians, specifically Kislyak.

    What relationship? The fact he called the Russian Ambassador proves they had a relationship? That’s a fascinating claim. And even if they had some kind of “relationship” – that is a long way from being evidence Flynn was an agent of a foreign power, such that it would justify keeping an FBI investigation of him open.

    @204 So you’re going to ignore evidence and argumentation because it appeared on a site you don’t like? Interesting. I think that’s how epistemic closure happens. D.GOOCH

    GOOCH (d83d3a)

  197. It’s good to see 0bama getting his fan club together to hear him talk of his concern for the Rule of Law.

    Flop sweat.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  198. Except Ms. Wheeler’s comments weren’t misleading, GOOCH. If you can’t acknowledge that Flynn had a relationship with a Russian, enough of one that he would have multiple conversations with him sanctions were levied, then I’ll acknowledge that this conversation is going exactly nowhere.

    Paul Montagu (b3f51b)

  199. @208

    Except Ms. Wheeler’s comments weren’t misleading, GOOCH.

    I addressed this in detail. You haven’t engaged with any of my evidence or argument. You’re just saying the equivalent of “nuh uh.”

    If you can’t acknowledge that Flynn had a relationship with a Russian,

    What Russian? Kislyak? The Russian Ambassador? The Russian Ambassador whom Flynn called in his role as incoming NSA? A call disclosed to the transition team? A call that in no way suggested Flynn was an agent of a foreign power? You see, I deal in specifics. You seem to want to keep this conversation at a level of abstraction where we can just make ominous references to “relationships” or “ties” or “connections” and then wave our hands at the rest. But the Devil is in the details.

    enough of one that he would have multiple conversations with him sanctions were levied,

    He. Was. The. Incoming. NSA. It. Was. His. Job. To. Talk. To. People. Like. Kislyak. He had one conversation with Kislyak the day of the sanctions, and there was a very brief exchange on them. He had an earlier discussion with regards to the UN resolution, as part of multiple calls to multiple foreign government representatives with respect to that vote.

    What do you think any of that proves? You haven’t even articulated an argument here.

    then I’ll acknowledge that this conversation is going exactly nowhere.

    The conversation isn’t going anywhere because you aren’t engaging with the facts, nor are you making an argument. As the old Monty Python skit demonstrated, contradiction is not an argument. D.GOOCH

    GOOCH (d83d3a)

  200. The Schiff is getting deeper and deeper for the bulging eyed flake…

    https://twitter.com/EliLake/status/1259107147251625984

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  201. The conversation isn’t going anywhere because you aren’t engaging with the facts…

    Um, no, what’s going on is we’re not agreeing on the facts. But if you want to sea-lion about it, your call.

    Paul Montagu (b3f51b)

  202. Um, no, what’s going on is we’re not agreeing on the facts. But if you want to sea-lion about it, your call.

    Q.E.D. D.GOOCH

    GOOCH (d83d3a)

  203. For the record, this is the final, factual version of events – a concise summary of what transpired in the Flynn saga:

    https://justthenews.com/accountability/russia-and-ukraine-scandals/dirty-dozen-12-revelations-sunk-muellers-case-against

    Arguing over these facts is an exercise in futility. Yet I expect to see even more delusional justifications by the butt-hurt anti-Trump AnkleBiters over the coming months as Durham’s criminal investigations begin to expose the treasonous and anti-Constitutional acts from Obama’s administration.

    I expect Trump, Flynn, and many others will exact their pound of flesh.

    Mo Hawk (6c01b3)

  204. #178. I am not trying to silence you in particular, it just seems that this does not have consistent standards for banning people for personal attacks. You are just the most recent offender.
    Second, based on your logic – someone makes a comment that you don’t like. This gives you grounds to call that person names. You have your own set of standards that don’t seem to apply to anyone else. By your logic, if you made comments that I didn’t like, I would then have the right to make a personal attack on you. You shouldn’t get to set your own standards. There should be consistent clear standards that apply to everyone. If you think that’s trying to silence you, or is a,personal attack, well tough.

    DaveMac (4cc9b4)

  205. From “Ball of Collusion” by Andy McCarthy on the whole “blackmail” rationale:

    Since this Logan Act theory does not pass the laugh test, Yates also had a fallback rationale: “blackmail.” This may have been even more ludicrous.

    It turned out that the Obama administration had not only been surveilling Flynn’s communications with Kislyak; it had also been monitoring the Trump transition team’s political commentary. (Once you’ve been surveilling your political opposition for a few months, it’s apparently hard to stop.) Obama officials had thus heard Vice President Pence (among other Trump spokesmen) deny that Flynn had discussed sanctions with Kislyak. They deduced that Flynn must have misled his superiors.

    This was preposterous. The Justice Department would have been very busy indeed if every untrue statement made publicly by an Obama official had been grounds for investigation. It was no business of federal prosecutors whether Pence had inaccurately reported Flynn’s conversation in a press statement, or whether Flynn had inaccurately informed Pence. Yet Yates surmised that Russia now had “leverage” over Trump’s national-security adviser: The Kremlin knew Flynn had discussed sanctions with Kislyak and, hence, that he must have lied to Pence. So, the — um — reasoning went, Putin could secretly threaten to expose this lie, which would intimidate Flynn into doing Putin’s bidding.

    Got that? Me neither.

    That’s because its silliness is palpable. First, Flynn and Russia also knew that the U.S. intelligence services had a recording of Flynn’s conversation with Kislyak. Blackmail works only if the compromising information is secret. The very fact that Yates knew what was on the recording illustrates that Russia had no unique knowledge that it could hope to exploit against Flynn. In fact, as the Kremlin had to know, so many American officials were aware of the Flynn–Kislyak conversation that one of them had leaked it to David Ignatius.

    Second, Russia would not have concluded that Flynn necessarily misled Pence just because Pence repeated an inaccuracy. Broadcasting misinformation about diplomatic contacts is common — it was the story of Obama’s Iran deal. The Kremlin would probably have assumed that the fledgling Trump administration was telling a politically useful lie: The media and Democrats were so agitated about Obama’s Russia sanctions that, if they admitted discussing them, Trump officials risked cries of “Treason!”

    And before you throw this book at me, I didn’t say political or diplomatic lies are admirable. I said they’re not prosecutable. We don’t want the Justice Department monitoring our politics or diplomacy.

    D.GOOCH

    GOOCH (d83d3a)

  206. that’s why the question of whether there was an already existing, properly predicated, investigation to justify holding the interview, and eliciting the Flynn statements, is so crucial to the decision to dismiss the charges. D.GOOCH

    There was an investigation, but only because they hadn;t roperly closed it yet.

    When Peter Strzok found out, he texted Lisa Page: “Our utter incompetence actually helps us.”

    https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/press-briefing-press-secretary-kayleigh-mcenany-050820/

    Press Briefing by Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany

    Issued on: May 8, 2020

    ames S. Brady Press Briefing Room

    12:38 P.M. EDT

    MS. MCENANY: Good afternoon. Today marks the 75th anniversary of VE Day….

    …Now, as I move to my next subject…

    …Michael Flynn didn’t violate the Logan Act. Even the FBI did not think that General Flynn’s telephone call provided the predicate for a criminal investigation. In fact, in January of 2017, an internal FBI document concluded that Flynn was, quote, “no longer a valid viable candidate for investigation.” Disgraced FBI agent and noted Trump hater, Peter Strzok, disagreed, texting this: “Hey, if you haven’t closed that Flynn case yet, don’t do so yet.” End quote. So the Flynn case remained active. This was a good thing for Peter Strzok, but it was a bad thing for justice. It was a bad thing for the rule of law.

    According to yesterday’s motion to dismiss the case against Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, it said this: Mr. Strzok immediately relayed the, quote, “serendipitously good” news to Lisa Page, special counsel at the FBI, remarking, quote, “our utter incompetence actually helps us.” That’s right. Their utter incompetence to close the case against Lieutenant General Michael Flynn was something to be serendipitously celebrated.

    Sammy Finkelman (375edc)

  207. Your link is hard to read, Big Al. It has a lot of words and an endpoint, but it is hard to follow swc’s logic.

    DRJ (15874d)

  208. It’s also the third time someone’s post that same crap.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  209. swc used to guest post here and, if you look at the end of the link, he took the time to single out, criticize, and link Patterico’s post.

    DRJ (15874d)

  210. The parting was not on good terms.

    DRJ (15874d)

  211. A very Happy Mother’s Day to all that qualify!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  212. We all had Moms so Happy Mother’s Day to all (with special thoughts to DCSCA).

    DRJ (15874d)

  213. @216: He isn’t the only one to note the Yates – Comey dynamic.

    McCarthy:
    https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/05/flynn-and-the-anatomy-of-a-political-narrative/

    The Justice Department appears to have spent much of its time “flabbergasted,” to quote McCord again. But in the end, it would always go with the collusion flow. Meanwhile, empowered and emboldened, the FBI ran rings around its nominal superiors.

    Even a partisan hack like Yates seemed not wholly on board, yet even with three years of retrospective the “conservative” Wittes is all in.

    beer ‘n pretzels (3a6988)

  214. 204. beer ‘n pretzels (3a6988) — 5/10/2020 @ 8:25 am

    Even a partisan hack like Yates seemed not wholly on board,

    Yes, because Obama had told them, while he was still president – and Comey was in that meeting – to do things “by the book.” Probably referring to getting rid of Mike Flynn. (technically, investigating him)

    DOJ did do things more by the book.

    Now the reason for doing things “by the book” was partially to protect themselves. At least from accusations of partisanship. Obama didn’t want to undermine the long-term reputation of U.S. government counterintelligence type institutions.

    Sammy Finkelman (375edc)

  215. If we are linking other views, here are quotes from 11 law professors whose opinions some will reject solely because of their (highly relevant) jobs:

    1. “Under US law — though not necessarily that of some other countries — it is within the prosecutor’s discretion to drop a case for almost any reason. In that sense, the decision appears to be legal. To do so after a federal judge has accepted the defendant’s under-oath guilty plea is highly unusual, however, and in this instance the surrounding circumstances truly are extraordinary.”

    2. “Any change to how the FBI handles cases like Flynn’s should be done across the board, for all defendants. What we’re left with is a criminal justice system that has different rules for Donald Trump’s friends than it has for everyone else. That’s corruption, plain and simple.”

    3. “Attorney General Bill Barr has been a wonderful attorney for the president, but not always for the American public. He has done a great deal to politicize the Department of Justice.”

    4. “On the face of it, this appears to be nothing more than another attack on the rule of law perpetrated by those working in the Trump administration.”

    5. “At this stage, it would be impossible to see the DOJ’s action through anything other than a political lens.”

    6. “As a former federal prosecutor and U.S. Assistant Attorney General, it deeply saddens me to witness the severe and incalculable damage being inflicted to the independence and integrity of the Department of Justice.”

    7. “Contrary to what the Department of Justice is now saying, this was a legitimate charge that was strongly supported by the evidence. Flynn presented these same arguments of entrapment and prosecutorial overreach to the federal judge in charge of his case — a judge who has a history of holding prosecutors accountable — and the judge definitively rejected them.”

    8. “The new motion is predicated on a bizarrely narrow application of the concept of “materiality” — an application that is completely out of step with how the department applies that concept in other prosecutions.”

    9. “Between Michael Flynn’s freedom and Bridget Anne Kelly’s freedom, this has been a stellar moment for white-collar criminals getting away with crimes for which others would have been incarcerated.”

    10. “This is a pardon disguised as a technical legal matter.”

    11. “Bill Barr has taken extraordinary steps to “erase” the Mueller investigation on the president’s behalf, from misrepresenting Mueller’s findings to the public, to intervening in Roger Stone’s sentencing proceedings, to attacking the federal agents and prosecutors who investigated Russian interference in the 2016 election.”

    DRJ (15874d)

  216. Not only was the parting between Patterico and swc less than amicable, it’s also telling that swc continues to bring it up in a public forum. Adults can agree to disagree, and then let the matter go. Other adults, like swc, cannot stand being challenged and have their arguments found wanting. As a result, they are compelled to find ways to needle their “opponent,” and bait them back into an argument, all the while revealing their own sad insecurity.

    Dana (0feb77)

  217. Side 1
    This was a case of malicious prosecution for transparently political motivation which is now being terminated justly and appropriately

    Side 2

    This was an entirely appropriate prosecution with no political motivation which is now being terminated for reasons that are entirely political and probably corrupt.

    The truth
    Is likely that what I put in bold is true and what I put in italics is false.

    Kishnevi (b39b48)

  218. DRJ (15874d) — 5/10/2020 @ 9:01 am

    What we’re left with is a criminal justice system that has different rules for Donald Trump’s friends than it has for everyone else.

    That is something that both Republicans and Democrats agree upon.

    Donald Trump, in particular, thinks so, and so does Attorney General William Barr and he’s trying to correct that.

    3. “Attorney General Bill Barr has been a wonderful attorney for the president, but not always for the American public. He has done a great deal to politicize the Department of Justice.”

    If you assume everything was normal before. But it wasn’t.

    Sammy Finkelman (375edc)

  219. As an Instapundit reader since its inception, I’m more than familiar with Patterico. I’ve read articles on this site numerous times over the years, but the mendacity of the never-trumpers and their common cause with the left wing is far, far, far beyond the pale.

    Kevin (67fe29)

  220. 7. “Contrary to what the Department of Justice is now saying, this was a legitimate charge that was strongly supported by the evidence. Flynn presented these same arguments of entrapment and prosecutorial overreach to the federal judge in charge of his case — a judge who has a history of holding prosecutors accountable — and the judge definitively rejected them.”

    There’s an important point lost here.

    Judges do not like people pleading guilty, and then raising defenses on grounds of law. (If someone agrees on the facts, or facts that would satisfy the indictment,but not on the law, they can also plead guilty with the right to appeal.)

    The judges before whom he appeared knew that Flynn would have had strong grounds to appeal on the charge of lying to the FBI if he convicted by a jury of what he pleaded guilty to. And like the Bridgegate defendants in New Jersey he might have won, but he waived that with his guilty plea.

    So why did Flynn plead guilty to tis?

    A. Because it was plea bargain.

    Flynn now argued that he agreed to that plea bargain because his son might have been prosecuted (and that that made it illegimate because…I didn’t follow it enough but maybe it’s that the prosectors lied to the court. And another reason Flynn gave was that he did not know the full extent of how strong a defense he had on grounds of materiality. (Flynn, for public relations reasons, was also denying that he lied, citing the FBI 302s)

    But the truth is he pled guilty because of other things he could have been prosecuted for:

    1) Not registering as a foreign agent.

    For which there was a defense – that he didn’t know he was a foreign agent of Turkey because he was working for a publisher who was a supporter of Erdogan, or that he was required to register. Now this is not often criminally prosecuted.

    2) Lying (basically by omission or checking a NO box) on various forms connected with his security clearance, or as part of background investigations for being appointed to jobs.

    3) Possibly most seriously, something he knew, but which hadn’t been discovered.

    And also because the prosecutors wouldn’t settle for less, because he had no information to give about Trump. (Some Democrats would say he didn’t want to)

    He had to find something to plead guilty to.

    Sammy Finkelman (375edc)

  221. 8. “The new motion is predicated on a bizarrely narrow application of the concept of “materiality” — an application that is completely out of step with how the department applies that concept in other prosecutions.”

    It may very well be so.

    In most cases, any attorney general backs up his prosecutors, and there is probably much charging where the facts don’t fit the law, particularly with plea bargains.

    They don;t get re-examined.

    Of course, withdrawing a plea bargain enables other charges to be reimposed, as Barr acknowledged.

    But, at this late date, and with the Mueller investigation over, this is not going to happen.

    Sammy Finkelman (375edc)

  222. #199 DRJ

    Flynn’s RT visit with Putin wasn’t nefarious. In fact, it was cleared by his former employer, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and he received a defensive briefing before he went to Russia and debriefed with U.S. intelligence after he returned.

    https://justthenews.com/accountability/russia-and-ukraine-scandals/dirty-dozen-12-revelations-sunk-muellers-case-against

    Stu707 (52fdfe)

  223. That’s because the DIA doesn’t actually have either a crystal ball, or a time machine. Flynn was free to do legal things, he could also do illegal things later, and be prosecuted for them, and plead guilty to them.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (305827)

  224. Anyhow, this is as up to speed as Trump’s FUBAR Presidency will ever get. Doing a shady favor for a crony. Nothing more that that. Even if Trump had the balls for anything bigger, which he does not, he and his flunkies do not have the competence. Most worthless President ever.

    nk (1d9030)

  225. “ the mendacity of the never-trumpers and their common cause with the left wing is far, far, far beyond the pale.”

    – Kevin

    Try not to miss your fainting couch on the way down.

    Leviticus (6159e1)

  226. I remember when one of the selling points of Trump by his supporters was that he would be under constant scrutiny. Does anyone else remember that? How about that he was a billionaire and wouldn’t use the office to enrich himself? Does anybody remember that?

    nk (1d9030)

  227. 233.

    Flynn’s RT visit with Putin wasn’t secret, but that doesn’t make it not nefarious, or indicative of something else unknown that was nefarious.

    Flynn’s visit to GRU headquarters in 2013, while head of the DIA, was also cleared. (A repeat visit the next year was not approved and he didn’t do it.)

    Interestingly today the New York Times in along article about Flynn, mentions possible reasons he was fired, but doesn’t mention anything about Russia, which they previously reported a few years ago.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/09/us/politics/michael-flynn.html

    But his chaotic management style and increasingly hard-edged views about counterterrorism gave colleagues pause, and his superiors viewed him as insubordinate, former Pentagon officials said. His defenders said the Obama administration bristled at his tough line on Iran.

    His two-year term was not extended, thrusting him into the civilian world at age 55, an embittered man.

    But in 2017, it printed:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/18/us/politics/michael-flynn-intel-group-trump.html

    Mr. Flynn believed that Moscow could be cultivated as an ally against Islamist militants. As director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, he had even visited the headquarters of the G.R.U., the Russian military intelligence service.

    His colleagues in the American intelligence community took a less favorable view, especially when he continued to push for closer ties after Russia’s seizure of Crimea in 2014. They believed Mr. Flynn was willing to be used by Russia if he could advance his views on forging a united front to battle the Islamic State.

    Sammy Finkelman (375edc)

  228. 237. nk (1d9030) — 5/10/2020 @ 1:33 pm

    I remember when one of the selling points of Trump by his supporters was that he would be under constant scrutiny.

    Well, he is.

    How about that he was a billionaire and wouldn’t use the office to enrich himself?

    Arguments that he’s doing that are just plain silly. (although tax laws tend to preserve his after tax income)

    But he does want to stay president.

    Sammy Finkelman (375edc)

  229. #238

    I understand that being non-secret does not mean not nefarious. And something can be nefarious in a variety of ways. That Flynn told US intelligence about his visit in advance, received a briefing, and was debriefed afterward indicates that his visit was not part of an anti-US intelligence scheme.

    I don’t doubt your point that there were differing views within the US intel community about how to manage US-Russia relations.

    Like any high ranking official, Gen. Flynn served at the pleasure of the President–Obama in the case you mentioned.

    Stu707 (52fdfe)

  230. Thanks for the link, Stu707. I read that Flynn participated in briefings before and after his contacts, and that he had been cleared to travel, meet with and talk to foreign leaders, diplomats and agents. (He may or may not have disclosed foreign payments.) But it is the FBI’s job to combat foreign influence, including investigating when anyone may be “targeting U.S. officials and other U.S. persons” and to make sure American officials and citizens have a “common understanding of the threat.” The FBI is not in the trust business when it comes to counterintelligence.

    DRJ (15874d)

  231. There are vast amounts of money and influence in the Russian sphere being used to woo Americans. Even people like Flynn.

    DRJ (15874d)

  232. I feel sure concerns about Russian influence and dealings were made clear to Flynn during his briefings and debriefings. That is why reports that Flynn told Pence and Spicer something different than was in the Flynn-Kislyak transcripts would concern the FBI.

    DRJ (15874d)

  233. In other words, the detailed briefings and debriefings that give you such comfort about Flynn are why I think the FBI was concerned and justified in its concern. Flynn was told how Russians and other foreigners might try to hurt American interests through him. Then Flynn mislead (confused, lied, whatever you want to call it) Pence, Spicer and possibly others about his conversations. Everything he said to the Trump people and other government officials in his briefings, NSA role, and his FBI interview should have been consistent. If they were not, that is a concern that should be investigated.

    DRJ (15874d)

  234. The obvious answer here is that Trump and/or Kushner were telling Flynn what to do and keeping everyone else in the dark. They can engage in all kinds of secret, side diplomacy when Trump is President but doing it when someone else is President (even if only for days) is a risk to the country and to participants like Flynn.

    DRJ (15874d)

  235. Can we not remember that Flynn started his career in military intelligence in 1981, where the focus was on the USSR, you know, Russia. He ran the Defense Intelligence Agency…until he was fired.

    So he wasn’t some wet behind the ear naive child that didn’t know what being questioned by the FBI entails. He knew the risks of cavorting with Putin (and Erdogan). He was perfectly aware the jeopardy, he chose to lie, just like he chose to plead guilty…because he was.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (305827)

  236. The higher ups of both parties always think the rules don’t apply to them, only to the rest of us, and apparently they are right.

    DRJ (15874d)

  237. Look at the briefings and stock sales by Senators, most of them GOP. The rest of us would be tarred and feathered for that.

    DRJ (15874d)

  238. 246. Colonel Klink (Ret) (305827) — 5/10/2020 @ 4:41 pm

    So he wasn’t some wet behind the ear naive child that didn’t know what being questioned by the FBI entails. He knew the risks of cavorting with Putin (and Erdogan). He was perfectly aware the jeopardy, he chose to lie, just like he chose to plead guilty…because he was.

    The FBI pretended it was a very casual conversation, so he didn’t think they were prepared.

    He had to lie, because it had to be consistent with what he told Mike Pence. Saying something different now would create more problems.

    And as for the press stories, he would just deny they were right.

    When they kid of hinted that they knew sanctions were discussed, he expressed a lack of confidence in his memory.

    Sammy Finkelman (375edc)

  239. The FBI pretended it was a very casual conversation, so he didn’t think they were prepared.

    He had to lie, because it had to be consistent with what he told Mike Pence. Saying something different now would create more problems.

    And as for the press stories, he would just deny they were right.

    When they kid of hinted that they knew sanctions were discussed, he expressed a lack of confidence in his memory.

    So he’s a scumbag. He knew he was lying, why he was lying, and the risk of lying. Seems like you think he know what he was doing…guilty.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (305827)

  240. 245. DRJ (15874d) — 5/10/2020 @ 4:30 pm

    The obvious answer here is that Trump and/or Kushner were telling Flynn what to do and keeping everyone else in the dark.

    That;s the ut to say Flynn was not being dishonest with Trump.

    Actually the feeling I get is that Flynn he couldn’t commit Trump to anything and was afraid he had taken onto himself too much authority. That’s why he initially lied after the first leak. (about the bare fact of the conversation) which had noted the timeline.

    Kushner was negotiating or trying to get what Russia had to say. The Russian ambassador had said they should work together against ISIS in Syria and there was aproposal by their generals.

    (This was probably just an excuse for Russia to have private comunications with Flynn.)

    Donald Trump didn’t want Mike Flynn communicating alone and so he sent Jared Kushner to be with him when Flynn mwt physically with Kislyak. Then the Russian Ambassador said he didn’t want the Obama AAdministraton to know and he had no secure means of communications. Why not use what you use to communicate with Moscow (which Ruasia is obviously confident is securely encrypted) said Kushner.

    No, no said Kislyak.

    His bluff was called.

    Sammy Finkelman (375edc)

  241. Colonel Klink (Ret) (305827) — 5/10/2020 @ 5:28 pm

    He knew he was lying, why he was lying, and the risk of lying. Seems like you think he know what he was doing…guilty.

    Right.

    And he didn’t try to deny it to the court.

    The whole premise that he didn’t lie was based on the idea his memory was bad.

    Sammy Finkelman (375edc)

  242. After Sally Yates turned over the evidence of what Mike Flynn had actually said in the calls (the transcript) to the White House counsels office, they reviewd=ed it, and decided that there was no violation of the Loan Act here.

    And the way things turned out, with Russia not imposing retaliatory sanctions, eithot Trump promising to lift what Obama had imposed, looked very good to Trump.

    Mike Flynn was not fired for lying.

    And all the people who wanted him fie=red saw that he wasn’t being fired. Trump seemed disposed to forgive this offense.

    So that’s when they (illegally) leaked to many news outlets that not only had Flynn had conversations with the Russian Ambassador but specifically they had discussed sanctions

    (I think more details later came out)

    This would have made Mike Pence out to be a liar, or dishonored him. and when Spicer and others questioned Flynn, he babbled about a bad memory.

    Flynn was fired.

    Sammy Finkelman (375edc)

  243. Mike Flynn was not fired for lying.

    Well, Trump said he was fired for lying. It’s pretty obvious he was actually fired because Trump thought that would end it, not make it worse. Trump’s an idiot, so of course he thought that, it’s what an idiot would think.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (305827)

  244. Trump had to ask James Comey to end it.

    And he did.

    Things turned on a dime:

    At 6:25 am February 15, Zero Hedge has this: (that’s Feb 15 in spite of the URL saying Feb 14)

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-14/mike-flynn-may-face-felony-charges-lying-fbi

    But by 10 pm Zero Hedge reports:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-15/fbi-reportedly-will-not-pursue-charges-against-cooperative-and-truthful-mike-flynn

    https://mobile.twitter.com/jimsciutto/status/832013379124486148?p=v

    Jim Sciutto
    @jimsciutto

    Breaking: FBI NOT expected to pursue charges against #MichaelFlynn regarding phone calls w/Russian Ambassador, reports @evanperez

    3:45 PM – 15 Feb 2017

    —-
    Jim Sciutto
    @jimsciutto

    Replying to @jimsciutto

    More: FBI says Flynn was cooperative and provided truthful answers

    3:47 PM – 15 Feb 2017

    The case was dead – it was later brought back from the dead.

    Sammy Finkelman (375edc)

  245. 244

    In other words, the detailed briefings and debriefings that give you such comfort about Flynn are why I think the FBI was concerned and justified in its concern. Flynn was told how Russians and other foreigners might try to hurt American interests through him. Then Flynn mislead (confused, lied, whatever you want to call it) Pence, Spicer and possibly others about his conversations. Everything he said to the Trump people and other government officials in his briefings, NSA role, and his FBI interview should have been consistent. If they were not, that is a concern that should be investigated.

    DRJ, Flynn’s contacts with Russians including the RT speech and dinner were known to the FBI at the time they circulated the electronic message to close their investigation of Crossfire Razor (Flynn). The memo said there was no derogatory information in FBI or CIA files regarding Flynn. However, “the 7th floor” prevented the closure of the investigation so that the FBI could interview Flynn. That interview concerned his conversations with Kysliak. Nothing in the record indicates that Flynn did anything wrong during his contacts prior to the Kysliak conversation.

    Stu707 (52fdfe)

  246. However, “the 7th floor” prevented the closure of the investigation so that the FBI could interview Flynn. That interview concerned his conversations with [Kislyak].

    And then he lied to Pence and others about it. Before his interview.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  247. This is the most unethical, immoral, ignorant, self-indulgent ;piece of crap hit piece I have ever read! How in the HELL have you not been disbarred for incompetence, falsification, ignorance of the law, and misrepresentation?!?!?!? You are a stain on the legal profession.

    Howard H Wemple (1df8d0)

  248. And you, Howard, you just gotta be one of those Trump voters whose vote Trump sewed up when he went on the The View and said he’d “date” his daughter.

    nk (1d9030)

  249. #257 Yes, he lied to Pence before the interview. Lying to Pence was not criminal and is not a basis for prosecuting Flynn for a False Statement made to the FBI.

    The memo closing the case said there was no derogatory information about Flynn in FBI or CIA files.

    Stu707 (52fdfe)

  250. Patterico (115b1f) — 5/10/2020 @ 11:15 pm

    And then he lied to Pence and others about it. Before his interview.

    As I stated, I think the purpose f the interview was for the FBI to be able to get evidence in its own possession that Mike Flynn lied. All they had before the interview was hearsay. And it could have been Mike Pence who lied, which they didn’t consider likely.

    They turned it over to DOJ. DOJ forwarded the contradiction between what the transcript said and what Pence said (and what Flynn had said to the FBI before expressing uncertainty although maybe they didn’t forward that. Sally Yates claimed Flynn could be blackmailed, which was absurd as far as the Russians were concerned, although not so absurd if the or son to be ex-Obama officials and the FBI were going to do the blackmail. But they didn’t do that. They were patriotic in this respect.)

    The White House counsel’s office evaluated the transcript (the fact that it was the transcript they had is redacted, but it is obvious) for a possible violation of the Logan Act, and determined that there was none, or even the shadow of one.

    And some people discussed this whole thing with Trump, and they and Trump came to the conclusion that what Flynn had said about sanctions, while unauthorized, had worked out pretty well: Russia did not impose retaliatory sanctions and Trump did not have to do anything. So Trump sort of ratified Flynn’s conversation.

    And that was that.

    Flynn wasn’t fired.

    So the people who wanted Flynn fired had to leak a report about his conversation a second time – this time saying specifically that he had talked about sanctions with Kislyak, although still not reporting any details about the conversation in order to minimize the amount of classified information they were leaking illegally; and also this time to many news outlets, and not just to the Washington Post.

    You have to say this was for patriotic reasons – it wasn’t because of animus toward Donald Trump.

    But not everything they did is so patriotic. A little over a year ago, somebody illegally leaked to CNN that an arrest and search warrant was going to be executed on Roger Stone – and they made sure the arrest of Roger Stone was very cinematic. (CNN claims they had their cameras there because they made a good guess.)

    Sammy Finkelman (375edc)

  251. 260. Stu707 (52fdfe) — 5/11/2020 @ 10:32 am

    The memo closing the case said there was no derogatory information about Flynn in FBI or CIA files.

    Hard information.

    Doesn’t mean that they didn’t think he could be another Alger Hiss.

    Sammy Finkelman (375edc)

  252. Flynn wasn’t fired.

    Quote:

    I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!

    So was Trump lying about firing Flynn? There’s so much lying going on between those two, it’s hard to keep track.

    Paul Montagu (b3f51b)

  253. #260 Sammy Finkelman

    Hard information.

    Doesn’t mean that they didn’t think he could be another Alger Hiss.

    I don’t get the analogy. The FBI knew about his contacts with the Russians. The FBI did close the counterintelligence investigation of Gen. Flynn. This implies that they did not think he was another Alger Hiss, i.e. someone who held high office and was in regular contact with Soviet espionage agents for the purpose of transferring secret information to the Russians. They don’t need probable cause to open or maintain a CI investigation. The CI goal is to protect the country, not prepare a case for prosecution.

    Besides, the government had lots of hard information on Alger Hiss.

    Stu707 (52fdfe)

  254. The CI goal is to protect the country, not prepare a case for prosecution.

    And when they find a foreign mole, they send out Double-Oh-Oh with a license to kill? Or just call up Guido and Rocco to work him over?

    nk (1d9030)

  255. Lying to Pence was not criminal and is not a basis for prosecuting Flynn for a False Statement made to the FBI.

    But the inconsistency between what Flynn said to Kislyak and what Pence and Spicer said Flynn told them did raise counterintelligence issues that the FBI ia authorized to investigate and supposed to investigate, and it did.

    DRJ (15874d)

  256. #267
    The counterintelligence investigation was ordered closed by an FBI supervisor on January 4, 2017. The Spicer press conference was on 1-23-2017. I don’t have the date of the FBI interviews with Pence and Spicer handy.

    Spcier and Pence giving conflicting versions of what Flynn said would arouse suspicion. In light of the official closure of the previous investigation (prevented from actulally closing by Strozk’s intervention at the behest of the “7th floor”),they ought to have opened a new one.

    If their interview of Flynn was truly a CI investigation and not an effort trick Flynn why the unprecedented manner of approaching Flynn and why not confront him with the transcript of the Kysliak call, the Pence and Spicer statements?

    Stu707 (52fdfe)

  257. My understanding (from reading the Exhibits to the government’s Motion to Dismiss filed in Flynn) is that the FBI had not closed the Flynn case because of a paperwork delay, not any manipulation by an agent. Had it been closed, however, it would have been reopened once additional information was available. In this case, the additional information were public statements by Pence and Spicer that Flynn had told them about his calls and their content did not include sanctions.

    DRJ (15874d)

  258. Aren’t you assuming they knew Flynn was on America’s side of the counterintelligence equation? I trust he is, too, but Americans have sold out before and I don’t think trust is the best tactic in counterintelligence investigations.

    DRJ (15874d)

  259. At Pages 4- 5 of the government’s motion to dismiss there is discussion of the efforts to prevent the authorized closure from taking place.

    I don’t assume they knew or believed Flynn was a loyal American, but they had before them the text of the closing report that there was no derogatory information in either the FBI or CIA files. “It stated (P4) that the investigation had failed to produce any information on which to predicate further investigative efforts.” If they were conducting a fair CI investigation they would have started with a neutral attitude.

    Stu707 (52fdfe)

  260. Stu,

    Here is the government’s (pre-Barr) position on what Flynn said about his Russia calls.

    DRJ (15874d)

  261. #265

    I just notice that nk. No, they don’t send out 00 whatever, they send a drone armed with a Hellfire missile.

    Stu707 (52fdfe)

  262. It seems to be detailed in Exhibit 7 to the Motion to Dismiss. It reads as juvenile and incompetent/unprofessional but I don’t see anything that sounds devious.

    DRJ (15874d)

  263. DRJ, I will be off line for a while. I have to take my wife to the hospital early Tuesday AM for surgery. It had been postponed for months because of the virus.

    Stu707 (52fdfe)


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