Patterico's Pontifications

5/2/2020

Why Flynn Is Not Vindicated, Part Two: The Evidence Does Not Suggest a Plot to Get Flynn Fired

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:36 pm



This is Part Two of a two-part series on why I believe Michael Flynn is not vindicated by the latest round of Shocking Revelations that has Trump fans up in arms. Part One, dealing with the allegation of a secret deal not to prosecute Flynn’s son, is here.

So here is the central document that Trump fans think is proof that James Comey and Andrew McCabe were looking to get Flynn fired:

I don’t think those notes show that at all. It seems to be generally accepted that the notes were written by then-FBI counterintelligence chief William Priestap. The notes also say:

  • I don’t see how getting someone to admit their wrongdoing is going easy on him
  • If we get him to admit to breaking the Logan Act, give this to DOJ and have them decide
  • Or, if he initially lies, then we present him [redacted] and he admits it, document for DOJ, and let them decide how to address it
  • If we’re seen as playing games, WH [White House] will be furious
  • Protect our institution by not playing games

The key argument of Flynn partisans appear to be that these notes indicate a desire on the part of the FBI 1) to get Flynn fired, which is none of the FBI’s business, and 2) to violate an alleged longstanding FBI procedure of telling a target what the evidence is against him before asking the target about his wrongdoing. Related to the second point is an argument that Flynn’s answers could not be “material” if the agents already knew the truth.

I’ll take these in turn — at some length, as you will see. The TL;DR is: 1) the notes do not indicate a desire to get Flynn fired; 2) I strongly dispute that the FBI always tells people the evidence against them before asking them about it — and the proof of the pudding is that they regularly charge people with lying to them about things they already knew. And the courts have repeatedly upheld such lies as “material” even though the agents knew the truth and their investigations were impeded not one whit by the lies.

1. The Notes Do Not Show a Desire to Get Flynn Fired

It is amazing and rather distressing that the document embedded above is so readily interpreted as a desire to get Flynn fired.

To me, looking at the notes through the eyes of someone who is not a partisan looking to exonerate Flynn on any pretext, there is an obvious and reasonable interpretation of that document that is 100% at odds with the interpretation being offered by the pro-Flynn crowd.

Let me illustrate by example. I’ll use my friend Larry O’Connor in the example, because he asked me about this on Twitter. Let’s say Larry has an idea to change the format of his highly-rated drive time radio show in Washington, D.C., from a show about politics and pop culture to a show that is devoted exclusively to playing showtunes. One of his producers has been thinking about the idea in preparation for a producers’ meeting, and decides he doesn’t like it at all. The producer brings handwritten notes with him to the meeting, and one of the lines reads: “What is our goal here? To get the best ratings possible for Larry’s show, or to spread the joy of musicals to D.C. and fatten the bank account of Stephen Sondheim?”

If Larry’s bosses go for the format change, does that prove their goal was to fatten the bank account of Stephen Sondheim? Not at all! Sure, as a lifelong aficionado of musicals, Larry would be perfectly content to see Stephen Sondheim’s bank account fattened even further than it has been already, from royalties from productions ranging from Sweeney Todd to Into the Woods. But that would only be a happy side effect of Larry’s proposal. Larry’s real goal is to spread the joy of musicals throughout Washington, D.C., because Larry is convinced this will drive away partisanship and bring Democrats and Republicans together.

His producer made the comment rhetorically, you see, knowing that not one person in the room believed that one of the rhetorically invoked “goals” (fattening Sondheim’s bank account) was indeed the true goal of the action Larry proposed. The producer was presenting two possible actions, and arguing against the one he disfavored by characterizing one of the goals of that potential actions as a goal that is improper. And the obvious retort is: That’s not the goal. We have other goals here. (About which more below.)

Is it possible Larry has a secret side deal with the 90-year-old god of musical theater? Sure, I guess it’s possible, theoretically. If you could prove such a side deal with independent evidence, would these producer notes be useful evidence in your case? They might well be, depending on other evidence of what transpired at the meeting. But without any other evidence, do these notes by themselves establish Larry has a side deal with Sondheim? Nope! All they show is that a member of the meeting used a rhetorical question to make an argument.

If you got lost in the hypothetical, I’ll bring it back to Flynn. To me, it’s obvious that Priestap is asking a rhetorical question here. He is contrasting two possible courses of action: a) telling Flynn what they have on him, or b) hiding it from him. He is arguing against the latter action, and invoking what he clearly thinks is an obviously improper goal (although as I will argue below I’m not sure it’s actually improper!) as a rhetorical move to show that the proposed course of action that he disagrees with is wrong. But the fact that Comey and McCabe choose the latter course of action is not an admission that getting Flynn fired is their goal.

OK, I hear the Flynn partisans asking: so what were their goals? I think the narrow answer was investigating a possible violation of the Logan Act — but the broader goal (and this is critical) was to use that violation, or any lie Flynn might tell, as an effort to gain leverage in a larger collusion investigation. [UPDATE 5-24-20: It is now clear to me that their actual goal was to pursue a counterintelligence investigation.]

Now: to me, the narrow justification (investigating a violation of the Logan Act) is not particularly compelling — but not to be entirely sneezed at. (I assume by now you know what the Logan Act is: a statute that makes it a crime to negotiate with certain foreign governments without authorization). But I think the bigger issue was the need to investigate what at the time seemed like potential collusion with the Russian government.

BUT FIRST MY ASIDE ON WHY THE LOGAN ACT SHOULD NOT BE ENTIRELY SNEEZED AT: It is quite true that the Logan Act has not been enforced since the mid-1850s and has never resulted in a conviction. Nobody would consider it a valid basis for prosecuting anyone unless Hillary Clinton had allegedly violated it — in which case Trump fans would chant in mindless unison: “Lock her up!” (I am not being entirely facetious here. I remember Trump fans, and myself, being contemptuous of James Comey’s letting Hillary off the hook despite having violated the clear terms of a federal criminal law regarding the handling of classified information. Comey’s explanation was that prosecutors do not typically enforce the law as written without certain additional factual requirements not met in her case. We didn’t like that explanation, did we?) The law is the law, unless the law is used to target your political allies, in which case the law is custom only. It is this kind of fair-weather friendship of the rule of law that disgusts me about Republicans these days. END ASIDE

The argument I am about to make here won’t appeal to Trump fans who have decided that “Russia Russia Russia” was a Giant Hoax perpetrated by the Deep State and Do-Nothing Democrats and that the Mueller Report conclusively established that there was No Collusion, No Collusion At All. To the more reasonable of you, who have read the Mueller report and seen the unusually high number of contacts between corrupt and dishonest Trump campaign officials and Russia; who have considered Trump’s cheerful acceptance of Russia’s help in the campaign and his odd love for a murderous dictator; who have thought about the fact that Trump’s campaign manager, son, and son-in-law met with someone purporting to represent the Kremlin who supposedly had dirt on Trump’s opponent (and was in fact there to push the repeal of the Magnitsky Act, Putin’s greatest foreign policy goal) … in light of all that and more, reasonable people like you believe that there was a need to investigate the possibility that Trump had colluded with the Russian government. So now, here was a guy (Flynn) who (the FBI knew) had spoken to the Russian ambassador about sanctions, in direct violation of a (little used) law but also in a direct attempt to undermine the sanctions that the then-current President of the United States (Obama) had ordered as retaliation for election interference. This played right into the question of possible collusion between the Trump campaign.

And with all this going on, I think it’s very possible that FBI leadership didn’t want to just tell Flynn that they had caught him on a wiretap. (As an aside: Remember how Trump superfans once told us confidently that the wiretaps had actually been of Flynn himself? And how they laughed at people like me who said the wiretaps were obviously of Russian officials? Good times.) Because, you see, they wanted to find out whether Flynn would lie about it. And if he would lie about such a thing, why would he lie? And the not-unreasonable conclusion, which I still believe to be true, is that Trump told Flynn to do this. Which, at the time, seemed like possible payback to the Russians for their help in the campaign. (I still think it looks like that, even without direct evidence of collusion.)

A lie by Flynn would matter, in other words.

And (because this post is filled with asides) along those lines: You know who once pretended that it matter that Flynn was lying about this? One Donald Trump!

Now, was this sincere? Well of course it wasn’t. Donald Trump doesn’t care about lying per see. Donald Trump lies six times before breakfast and then lies throughout the rest of the day. He tells about one lie per every 5-10 breaths he takes, and has done so his entire adult life. The only reason he cares about lying (or anything) is to the extent it affects him. Trump now says he might have Flynn back in his administration. So wait: did Flynn not lie to Pence all of a sudden? Or is that all of a sudden not a problem? Does Trump think Flynn lied to Pence but told the truth to the FBI? Do you, Dear Reader? Do you really?

Anyway, putting Trump’s view aside, of course it matters whether Flynn was going to lie about this. And the thing Flynn’s defenders seem to forget is: Flynn had already lied about it to Pence. Aaron Blake lays out the chronology in the Washington Post:

And here’s the important point: The official had very good reason to believe Flynn would lie about this … because he already had.

On Jan. 12, 2017 — 12 days before the Flynn interview — The Washington Post’s David Ignatius first reported the contact between Flynn and Kislyak and raised the prospect of a Logan Act violation. The next day, Jan. 13, incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer denied Flynn had discussed sanctions with Kislyak, saying they had just discussed a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. “That was it, plain and simple,” Spicer said.
AD

Two days later, on Jan. 15, Vice President-elect Mike Pence was even more explicit in denying Flynn and Kislyak had discussed sanctions. “They did not discuss anything having to do with the United States’ decision to expel diplomats or impose censure against Russia,” Pence said.

After Trump was inaugurated, Spicer in a Jan. 23 White House briefing again denied it — this time citing Flynn’s own denial to him. Spicer said he spoke to Flynn “again last night” and that Flynn had told him the call focused on four subjects, none of which was sanctions.

The Bombshell Notes cited above are dated January 24, 2017 — after Flynn had already told all these lies to Pence and others in the administration, and the lies had been splashed across the pages of our nation’s newspapers. And we are told that FBI counterintelligence should have no concerns about this?!

Ah, but the Flynn defenders say: Priestap himself says FBI agents “regularly show subjects evidence with the goal of getting them to admit their wrongdoing.” To which I say: ORLY? (I also say a lot more. In fact, the whole next section fleshes out my ORLY reaction.)

2. The FBI Does Not Always Show Targets All the Evidence Against Them Before Asking Them About Their Wrongdoing

In discussing this issue, I think it’s important to note an ambiguity here. Is Priestap saying that it is normal FBI procedure to confront a target with the evidence against them before they deny wrongdoing or after they deny wrongdoing, but in the same interview? It’s not entirely clear, is it?

The distinction matters. If it’s normal FBI procedure to show the target the evidence after they deny wrongdoing, but in the same interview, then any provable lie the target told before the disclosure of the evidence is still a crime. If the target denies wrongdoing, and it can be proved that he lied at the time he denied it, then it doesn’t “undo” that lie for the target later to say, after being shown the evidence against him: “oh, right, now that you mention it, I did engage in that wrongdoing.” If the target can convincingly allege that seeing the evidence had refreshed their recollection, and that they had not lied before the evidence was disclosed, then a conviction is more difficult. But if you can prove the initial statement was a lie, the crime is done, and any walkbacks do not undo the crime. (Think Andy McCabe telling the IG investigators four days later that, come to think of it, he did remember leaking some info. That later statement makes his initial lie (if it was a lie) harder to prove — especially because he was not confronted with contrary evidence in the interim — but it does not undo the lie or deprive prosecutors of the ability, in theory, to charge him.) (McCabe’s situation also reminds us that sometimes people lie about things they had the right to do, if the legal thing they did looks bad. So: even if you think Flynn’s conversation with Kislyak should have been (or was) legal, he might have lied for other reasons.)

In other words, if it is normal FBI procedure to confront a target with the evidence against them after they deny wrongdoing, but in the same interview, then adherence to this procedure would not prevent Flynn from committing the crime of lying to the FBI, and violating the procedure would not be a “but for” cause of his lies to the FBI.

If, by contrast, Priestap is saying that it is normal FBI procedure to confront a target with the evidence against them before they deny wrongdoing, then adherence to that procedure might have prevented Flynn from committing a crime entirely.

Since people are claiming that Flynn is innocent, I assume it is this latter scenario (confronting a target with the evidence against them before they deny wrongdoing) that they are saying is the normal FBI procedure, per Priestap. Because if it is the former (confronting a target with the evidence against them only after they deny wrongdoing) that does nothing to prevent Flynn from committing a crime.

I submit that while advising people about the evidence after their illegal denial may be a usual FBI practice, doing so before asking them about their wrongdoing is not the invariable FBI policy.

Let me give one caveat right off the bat: I am not personally an expert on FBI procedures. I have dealt with FBI agents off and on during the course of my job, and also dealt with some who “worked” on my SWATting case. I have been almost uniformly impressed with the FBI agents I have encountered professionally, and — how shall I put this — I was somewhat less impressed with the agents who worked on the SWATting. No real surprise there. Every organization has hard workers and slugs; smart people and dumb people; honest agents and dishonest ones. I think the FBI is better than most on all counts. But am I personally an expert on how agents approach their interview subjects? No. That said, I am able to make some observations based on what I read in the public record.

First of all, I find it interesting that Priestap (if he is the one who wrote the notes) says that he “agreed yesterday that we shouldn’t show Flynn [redacted] if he didn’t admit.” Here, [redacted] almost certainly refers to transcripts of Flynn’s wiretapped conversations with the Russian ambassador. Then he says he thought about it again and changed his mind.

First, the language “if he didn’t admit” strongly suggests that Priestap is not talking about confronting Flynn with the transcripts before asking him if the sanctions conversation happened. He is clearly talking about whether to confront Flynn “if he didn’t admit” — in other words, after Flynn denied the conversation.

So my first question is, if it is the invariable practice of the FBI to show such evidence to people before speaking with them, why did Priestap agree to violate that procedure to begin with?

But more critically, if the FBI always gives people the evidence in advance before asking them what they did, then why are there so many cases in which people lie to the FBI about things the FBI already knew about?

This question is related to the “materiality” point raised above: if Flynn lied to the FBI, we’re told, the lie could not have been “material” because the agents already knew about it. Well, that is a defense that has been raised in many a case over the years. It is an argument advanced by no less a distinguished partisan hack than Alan Dershowitz of Harvard Law School, in connection with the Flynn case. Dershowitz has said: “When questioning any suspect, officials should not ask questions whose answers they already know, for the sole purpose of seeing whether the suspect will lie. If they do ask such questions, untruthful answers should not be deemed ‘material’ to the investigation, because the FBI already knew the truth.”

The problem is that this is not the law, as former federal prosecutor Ken White explained at length in a post entitled Alan Dershowitz Is Lying To You:

So: Professor Dershowitz’ proposition is that a lie is not material under Section 1001 if the government actor lied to already knows the truth. Every court to consider this argument — and there have been many — has flatly rejected it. See United States v. Mercedes, 401 F. App’x 619, 620 (2d Cir. 2010) (rejecting argument that false statement about citizenship could not have been material because interviewing agent had already “ruled out the possibility of relying on the statement”); United States v. Moore, 708 F.3d 639, 649 (5th Cir. 2013) (“A statement can be material even if the agency already knew the answers given by the defendant and even if the receiving agent knows they are false.”); United States v. LeMaster, 54 F.3d 1224, 1230–31 (6th Cir. 1995) [(]”It is irrelevant what the agent who heard the statement knew at the time the statement was made. A false statement can be material even if the agent to whom it is made knows that it is false.”[)] (“The fact that the FBI already knew that LeMaster received $6,000 in cash from Spurrier did not affect the materiality of his false statement to the FBI. A false statement 1231 can be material even if the agent to whom it is made knows that it is false.”); United States v. Whitaker, 848 F.2d 914, 916 (8th Cir. 1988) (“A false statement 1231 can be material even if the agent to whom it is made knows that it is false.”); United States v. Goldfine, 538 F.2d 815, 820 (9th Cir. 1976) (“Darrell Goldfine contends, however, that since the Compliance Investigators knew the answer and were not misled by the falsity, the statement was not materially false. . . . [T]he statement here was clearly material.”); United States v. Henderson, 893 F.3d 1338, 1351 (11th Cir. 2018) (“Indeed, a false statement can be material even if the decision maker actually knew or should have known that the statement was false.”)

I am not aware of any cases construing Section 1001 that go the other way. Nor is there any credible indication that the United States Supreme Court would go the other way and decide that a false statement to the government does not violate Section 1001 if the government already knows that it is false.

How in the world did so many defendants decide to lie when the rule is that the FBI shows you the evidence before they ask you what happened? The answer is, of course, that this is not what the FBI does.

Because this is already a long post, let me take just one example from the giant string cite in Ken’s post: United States v. LeMaster, 54 F.3d 1224, 1230–31 (6th Cir. 1995). You can read the decision at this link. LeMaster was the Chairman of the Business Organization(s) and Profession(s) (BOP) Committee of the Kentucky State Senate, which was considering a horse racing bill. A harness horse racing industry lobbyist named Spurrier, working undercover for the FBI, gave LeMaster $6000 in cash on numerous occasions while wearing a wire. Five days after the final payment, FBI agents interviewed LeMaster. Did they say: “Mr. LeMaster, we want to first tell you that we have tape recordings of you accepting cash from this lobbyist. Now that you understand that, did you?” Why, no, they did not. Instead, they asked him: “did anyone give you any cash while you were on that trip?” After he denied it, we see this: “Later during the interview the agents advised LeMaster that they had tape recordings of him accepting cash from Spurrier in Florida and Kentucky.”

“Later during the interview.” As in “not before they first asked him about wrongdoing.”

I submit to you, based on the “if he didn’t admit” notation in Priestap’s notes, the representations of Ken White on Twitter, the huge body of case law dealing with cases in which targets lie about things the FBI already knows the truth about, and the representative example I have given you, that if the FBI has a practice of showing people the evidence against them, that practice is at most to show them the evidence after they have lied about the wrongdoing and thereby committed a federal crime.

For Priestap and Andrew McCabe to debate whether to give Flynn the chance to explain himself after Flynn lied and broke the law proves nothing.

I’m going to wrap this up, but I want anyone who is still skeptical of the Flynn prosecution to read two documents before asking me any questions about it. Those documents are 1) a memorandum opinion written by Hon. Emmet G. Sullivan, United States District Judge and the judge in Flynn’s case, denying numerous motions brought by Flynn; and 2) a transcript of proceedings before Judge Sullivan held on December 18, 2018.

In the latter document, Flynn says he knew lying to the feds was a crime when he did it. He says he does not want to challenge the circumstances of his interview. He says he has no concerns about potential Brady material, and he reaffirms that he is indeed guilty. His lawyer denies that Flynn was entrapped and affirms that Flynn’s rights were not violated by his not having had an attorney present for the FBI interview. In the former document the judge addresses and rejects all kinds of claims that are still being made by Flynn’s lawyers.

If you want to yammer about the “original 302” or how the 302 was edited or how the interviewing agents thought Flynn was telling the truth or how there is missing exculpatory evidence or how the interview was pretextual or how Flynn had to reason to lie or how they didn’t read him his Miranda rights or warn him that lying would be a crime or anything along those lines, I am going to want you to certify to me that you have first read and digested the contents of those documents and that the answer to your question is not contained therein. If the answer to your question is actually contained therein, I will simply respond to your question by reminding you to read those documents. If you think the answer to your question is not contained therein, the burden will then be on you to cite the relevant passage, quote it, and explain how it does not address your concerns. In other words, if you’re going to ask a question of me, after I have done all this work and given you both of these links, you’re going to have to do some work of your own to justify why I should do any more. My default is going to be that I have given you over 4,300 words on the topic today, without pay, and I don’t feel like expending any more energy — especially if the answer is out there and you are just too lazy to look it up even though I gave you the links.

I hope this helps shed some light on my thoughts on this matter. Honest and informed discussion is welcome.

212 Responses to “Why Flynn Is Not Vindicated, Part Two: The Evidence Does Not Suggest a Plot to Get Flynn Fired”

  1. Anyone who read every word gets a gold medal.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  2. I read every word but no gold medal required. My reward is being a smarter, better informed citizen.

    DRJ (15874d)

  3. You are assuming for some reason that the FBI, (strozc, McCabe, et. Al. Are acting in good faith. It seems strange that they prosecute Flynn, when they told him he would not need a lawyer. Who else has been threatened with being prosecuted for violating the Logan act. Why isn’t John Kerry held to the same standard? Why wasn’t Hillary Clinton was not held to the same standard. If we really did have “the rule of law”, there would not be one standard for the Obama Administration and an entirely different one for the Trump Administration. You insist on treating this case in isolations if the parties involved had ethics and integrity.

    DaveMac (4cc9b4)

  4. I have long feared that many prosecutors are far more concerned about winning their cases than finding the truth or justice. If you believe that the FBI behaved honorably in this prosecution, you have confirmed my fears. I have agreed with many things you have said and disagreed with others, but I never had reason to question your integrity. Until now. I say this with sadness, not hatred.

    Keith Tellinghuisen (892a20)

  5. Patterico, I’ll be honest. I only read almost every word. I skimmed the quote from Popehat. But I’ve heard him explain what material means on AtPL before so I think it get it well enough for this conversation.

    I have a question for you. I hope I worded it clearly, it’s genuine and not intended as any sort of gotcha. Assuming that what we know already is factual and accurate can you describe what you feel would be the minimum level of evidence to reasonably support an assertion that the FBI acted with enough impropriety to justify retracting the guilty plea and or dismissing the charges?

    I think that unless they can show evidence (testimony or documentary) his son was threatened with an unjustified prosecution or that the FBI didn’t reasonably believe there was a valid reason to question Flynn the plea deal should stand. But I’m an amateur at this and I’m genuinely curious what you think.

    Time123 (235fc4)

  6. Wanted to add, thank you for taking the time to lay this out clearly and thoroughly.

    Time123 (235fc4)

  7. A LOT of people do not have the first clue about how a Miranda warning works.

    First, any LEO can question you ’til the cows come home OR you ask to leave. There is NO Miranda warning required from them UNLESS a custodial arrest has been made (and this varies a LOT from jurisdiction to jurisdiction).

    Second, as the Miranda warning clearly makes plain, even AFTER a custodial arrest has been made and the warning issued, information divulged subsequent to that event cannot be used against the arrestee IF they ask for counsel AND THEN SHUT UP. If they keep talking, everything comes into evidence. ADDITIONALLY, if they talk about another person, that information is fair game as pertains to that other.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  8. @4, I think your reaction is overblown. If the FBI were investigating a crime (a Fentynal smuggling ring, stock fraud, whatever) and thought I might know something useful, they would be far harder on me than they’ve been on Flynn if I lied to them.

    None of you would care either. They do the same thing as standard practice and none of you care. I know because you never bring that up. Trump and Barr don’t care. I know that because they’ve done nothing to reform the system they run, and they have the power to make changes in this area.

    Time123 (653992)

  9. This isn’t about Miranda warnings, it’s about disparate treatment of officials from different administrations and whether the FBI applies the law consistantly and is acting with good faith and integrity.

    DaveMac (4cc9b4)

  10. I have had several discussions with judges in my state about the lax code of ethics for lawyers and prosecutors. They agree serious reform is needed but is difficult as entrenched interests make it very difficult. It would probably require amending the state constitution to force the necessary change. Discussing this with some state legislators as well.

    DaveMac (4cc9b4)

  11. The challenge at the federal level is an order of magnitude more difficult. Far more entrenched interests and a significant threat to the status quo.

    DaveMac (4cc9b4)

  12. This isn’t about Miranda warnings, it’s about disparate treatment of officials from different administrations and whether the FBI applies the law consistantly and is acting with good faith and integrity.

    So, what you are intimating is that if A is treated legally by a different standard than B…by your calculus…a wrong has been done.

    AND by insinuation this delicate standard ONLY applies to “officials”, NOT the ordinary moke.

    Interesting.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  13. No, let’s not “entirely sneeze” at the Logan Act. Very careful wording, that.

    Meaning, I suppose, we can choose to sneeze at it, or not. Is there another way to read that?

    Who chooses?

    And, how is the act of choosing not “fair-weather friendship of the rule of law”, particularly by those with the power to run someone through a legal meat grinder?

    beer ‘n pretzels (742996)

  14. 12. I haven’t insinuated any such thing. There should be one standard and tests for when statutes apply regardless of how well connected they are. Any conflict of interest should be exposed. This clearly did not happen because of political agendas. You need more practice reading people’s minds.

    DaveMac (4cc9b4)

  15. In agreement with DRJ, no medal required. I have been edified. Thank you for going to all of that trouble; it was not wasted on me.

    felipe (023cc9)

  16. I have long feared that many prosecutors are far more concerned about winning their cases than finding the truth or justice. If you believe that the FBI behaved honorably in this prosecution, you have confirmed my fears. I have agreed with many things you have said and disagreed with others, but I never had reason to question your integrity. Until now. I say this with sadness, not hatred.

    I am banning you. I say this with indifference.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  17. “This isn’t about Miranda warnings, it’s about disparate treatment of officials from different administrations and whether the FBI applies the law consistantly and is acting with good faith and integrity.”

    Black Lives Matter.

    Davethulhu (744195)

  18. Still trying to figure out why FBI went after Flynn for violating Logan Act, when no one has ever been convicted of violating it, or charged with it for 100 years. In fact, everyone reaction to Ted Kennedy, Kerry, or anyone else violation Logan act is always “haha the Logan act Haha”.

    But somehow with Flynn it was super serious.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  19. All this information was supposed to be shown to the judge and Defense BEFORE this. And why weren’t US public told about this during Mueller investigation? You can say it doesn’t PROVE this or that, but it sure does lead you to ask questions about what the heck was going on at the FBI.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  20. Also don’t really understand why if lying to FBI is such a serious matter, why these conversations aren’t taped. From what I understand, the FBI agents write up interview NOTES, after the interview. Seems rather dicey, if its the basis of perjury charge.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  21. Can we all agree, that based on his own words, that Comey wasn’t telling Trump the truth when “Mr. FBI integrity” met with him for Dinner and talked to him alone. Or briefed him, when he was still a candidate. Sessions claimed he told Trump to fire Comey on Day 1 because he was untrustworthy. Seems like Jeff was right.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  22. All this information was supposed to be shown to the judge and Defense BEFORE this. And why weren’t US public told about this during Mueller investigation? You can say it doesn’t PROVE this or that, but it sure does lead you to ask questions about what the heck was going on at the FBI.

    I’m … guessing you did not read the links at the end of my piece.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  23. Pretty amazing that “Keith Tellinghuisen” — a guy who has never commented here before — has zero argument. No points to make. Doesn’t understand that I am not saying “yes the FBI did these scummy things” but rather “there’s actually no evidence that the FBI did do these scummy things.” Just comes here to insult me and say I have no integrity.

    Is any rational person on Earth convinced by such a drive-by?

    Patterico (115b1f)

  24. This clearly did not happen because of political agendas. You need more practice reading people’s minds.

    You are the one reading what happens according to your political agenda. It’s wonderful innocence to think that everyone will be treated precisely the same by very different…and presumptive utterly good-faith…LEOs. As I’ve pointed out elsewhere, you’re expecting “right” and “justice” from a system of imperfect rules and flawed human agents. It’s a vain expectation.

    I don’t read minds. I DO read what people write. It’s a failing, I’m sure…

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  25. Then you need more practice interpreting what people write. When in the history of the republic has the Logan act been applied to ordinary blokes as you say. Obviously that law was not intended to apply to ordinary blokes? It is possible to write laws with clarity and with tests for applications. It is also possible to apply the law with some degree of consistency. You are trying to have it both ways when you demand we live under the ‘rule of law’, and make excuses when lawyers fail to write good laws or enforce them with consistency.

    DaveMac (4cc9b4)

  26. I read every word, and a ton of other words.
    It’s important to note that Priestap ran FBI counter-intelligence, and it can’t be emphasized enough that Flynn was part of that counter-intelligence investigation. Putin basically attacked America with his hacking/disinformation operation and Priestap was the guy to investigate Putin’s attack. Marcy Wheeler:

    Every single person claiming that Flynn was coerced to lie by the FBI — which necessarily concedes he did lie — is also accusing Flynn of perjuring himself in a recent sworn statement before Judge Emmet Sullivan. If what they say is true, then Flynn committed a crime in January, one for which the statute of limitations will extend until 2025.
    Take this concession from right wing propagandist Jim Hanson, where he states that, “it seems clear he did lie.”

    I’m not arguing Flynn’s guilt or innocence
    It seems clear he lied
    But there was a truly unprofessional & perhaps criminal abuse of power in the pursuit if him & all of Trump Russia
    And the media pile on tp @PressSec shows WaPo lying more clearly then her

    Hanson appears to excuse these lies because he doesn’t much care that, in the wake of an attack by a hostile foreign country, Flynn called up that country and told them it was no big deal, all while taking steps to hide that he had done so. That is, Hanson seems to excuse the lie because (in his mind, apparently) it is admirable for a man to work secretly with a country that has attacked America to help them avoid any repercussions for having done so.
    Remember: Flynn told the FBI he thought an appropriate punishment for tampering with our elections would be a single Russian diplomat being sent home.

    Flynn isn’t as bad a liar as Manafort (or it as good a liar as Manafort), but it’s enough to justify some jail time for his lying and for his working for a foreign government (the Erdogan regime) while working for the Trump campaign and transition team.

    Paul Montagu (b3f51b)

  27. And about the Logan Act, the only time I’ve seen it used is by partisans who use it as a political baseball bat. Beyond that, it’s pointless and irrelevant to invoke this archaic legislation that is most likely unconstitutional.

    Paul Montagu (b3f51b)

  28. Excellent comment Paul. I am astonished that a judge hasn’t declared the law unenforceable and unconstitutional by now.

    DaveMac (4cc9b4)

  29. Nothing in the article surprises me. I’m a transactional lawyer, not a litigator or a criminal defense lawyer. But it still seems to me that the government prejudiced Flynn’s defense when it didn’t turn over the documents that said they were about to close the Flynn case and Strzok stopped it – whether that is close enough to exculpatory evidence that was withheld, I don’t know, but had Flynn’s counsel been aware of it I would have thought it would open up completely new lines of discovery that may have shed light on his innocence or guilt and his defense was denied that option because the documents weren’t produced. I’d be interested in the thoughts of people who live and breathe this kind of material in their legal jobs. I suspect Judge Sullivan won’t be sympathetic, especially since he already told Flynn that Flynn is a traitor, but I’d be interested in the legal reasoning behind what I suspect his decision will be.

    Lazlo Toth (cbb623)

  30. Flynn isn’t as bad a liar as Manafort (or it as good a liar as Manafort), but it’s enough to justify some jail time for his lying and for his working for a foreign government (the Erdogan regime) while working for the Trump campaign and transition team.

    The basic defense of Flynn seems to be that the FBI, once they realized Flynn was an asset of an unfriendly country, was obliged to sit around and do nothing.

    It’s consistent at least, since that’s their basic complaint about “Crossfire Hurricane”.

    Kishnevi (ecadcd)

  31. How can the judge possibly be objective when he believes a defendant is guilty of a crime he has not been charged with? This seems like sufficient cause to get a new judge.

    DaveMac (4cc9b4)

  32. Kishnevi, what is the precise legal definition of an unfriendly country? Which countries would fit under this condition? What is the test? What constitutes being an asset to a country? What is the test? Are these parameters testable such that every person who meets these tests is prosecuted regardless of political connections? For example, is China an unfriendly country? Is everyone who has financial interests in China an asset? Who are examples of people who should be charged with a crime under these tests?

    DaveMac (4cc9b4)

  33. How can the judge possibly be objective when he believes a defendant is guilty of a crime he has not been charged with?

    Hmm! Could it be because the defendant pleaded guilty and the judge asked him this specific question, “Are you pleading guilty because you are guilty?” and the defendant replied, “Yes, Your Honor.” What do you think? Could it?

    nk (1d9030)

  34. The judge said Flynn was a traitor but he has not been charged with the crime of treason. Reference to comment 29.

    DaveMac (4cc9b4)

  35. It is also possible to apply the law with some degree of consistency. You are trying to have it both ways when you demand we live under the ‘rule of law’, and make excuses when lawyers fail to write good laws or enforce them with consistency.

    Bullswipe. We DO have to live under the rule of law, unless you suggest an alternative, and I made zero “excuses” for any damn thing. I made a couple of unassailably TRUE observations which you just want to run away from.

    To recap…

    1. good-faith agents charged with law enforcement may readily treat the same offense differently, and
    2. we do not have a system of “justice”, but only of laws and rules written and enforced by fallible humans.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  36. Great post, Patterico.

    And I don’t know if it’s FBI standard procedure to tell a suspect they’re questioning what evidence they have against him, but it is definitely not standard police procedure. Just the opposite. If a policeman tells you any such thing, he’s bluffing, trying to scare you into confessing.

    nk (1d9030)

  37. How can the judge possibly be objective when he believes a defendant is guilty of a crime he has not been charged with?

    Flynn confessed to his guilt, under oath, Dave. Are you criticizing Judge Sullivan for actually believing his guilty plea?

    Paul Montagu (b3f51b)

  38. DaveMac, we saw something like this with Roger Stone. Judges are allowed to consider other “bad acts” of the defendant when sentencing him, even if he has not been convicted of those crimes, as long as the sentence the court finally imposes is within the maximum range prescribed by the statute for the crime he has been found guilty of or pleaded guilty to. Federal judges even more so than state judges.

    nk (1d9030)

  39. I have plenty of alternatives. It is a major failing of the legal profession that so many lawyers are unable to write laws with clarity. I am involved with complex contract negotiations and statements of work. It is clearly possible to write good contracts. This occurs on a regular basis. It is pretty easy to tell the difference between a well written contract and a poor one. My alternative is to have a much more rigourous process for screening potential lawyers, a much tougher code of ethics, and institute training for how to write good laws. It can be done because well written laws exist. Well written contracts exist. Lawyers and judges give far to much leeway in how they write and apply the law.

    DaveMac (4cc9b4)

  40. Priestap’s note together with text messages written by Lisa Paige indicate that Priestap had misgivings about the manner in which the Flynn case was proceeding. Paige indicated that in a meeting with “D and DD” which I infer refers to Director and Deputy Director, “Bill” which I assume is Prisstap. I do not believe the questions and comments Priestap posed in his notes are rhetorical.

    Priestap was the chief of the FBI’s counter-intelligence division. I assume that he was thoroughly knowledgeable of that field. The only people above him in the Bureau hierarchy were the Director and Deputy Director. I find it extremely odd that such a high ranking official would write a memo like that and leave it where it would be found

    The cases you and Ken White cited clearly show that a false statement that the FBI knows is false can be used to convict a defendant of a False Statement violation. However, note that in the cases cited the false statements were related to serious crimes that were charged and convicted—Mercedes, a multimillion-dollar securities fraud; Moore, police officers acting under color of authority who beat a victim so severely that he later died of the wounds; Henderson, Possession of Crack Cocaine and firearms violations.

    Flynn was not a professional criminal. He was a 33-year veteran of the US Army. Unlike the defendants in the above cited cases, he was not charged or convicted of anything other than a FARA violation that prior to Mueller was rarely prosecuted and the false statement.

    The FBI had concluded “The goal of the investigation was to determine whether [Flynn], associated with the Trump campaign, 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,” the FBI memorandum formally closing its investigation of Flynn stated. “Following the initiation of captioned case, the [Crossfire Hurricane] team conducted a check of logical databases for any derogatory information on [Flynn].”

    “No derogatory information was identified in FBI holdings,” the memo stated. The FBI also asked the CIA for a search of its records and said, “No derogatory information was reported back to the FBI, the memo concluded.

    I have previously written that Flynn pled guilty and when offered a chance to withdraw his plea by Judge Sullivan, Flynn re-affirmed it. I also believe based on Judge Sullivan’s record that if he finds the government has not complied with Brady requirements, he will take appropriate action. So far he has found the government in compliance.

    Stu707 (52fdfe)

  41. The judge said Flynn was a traitor but he has not been charged with the crime of treason. Reference to comment 29.

    Dave, what kind of “patriotic” American takes a big fat paycheck from a foreign government while working for a candidate for president and continues for the guy as president-elect?

    Paul Montagu (b3f51b)

  42. You are missing the point. The judge should not be making these kinds of comments to a defendant he is trying. It calls into question is ability to be objective. Flynn may not be the most patriotic person but he is a military veteran that should count for something. You appear to be making a value judgement, not a legal one.

    DaveMac (4cc9b4)

  43. It is a major failing of the legal profession that so many lawyers are unable to write laws with clarity

    You have it all backwards. A clearly written law is a bad law, because real life isn’t clear.

    Want to make something a crime? You need to write it out in detail, so people don’t guess what is and what is not legal to do, so police and prosecutors can’t use their own whims to if decide Person A should be charged and Person B should not be charged, to say in what context the law should be read, and so on.

    The same thing with contracts. There’s a reason for fine print. It’s not to help the store cheat customers. It’s to keep everyone from cheating everyone else.

    Kishnevi (ecadcd)

  44. he is a military veteran that should count for something.

    Ahem. That right there is a value judgment.

    Kishnevi (ecadcd)

  45. Yes it is with regards to patriotism. Treason has a specific legal definition.

    DaveMac (4cc9b4)

  46. I have to agree with DaveMac that many federal laws are written so broadly and vaguely that you, yourself, don’t know that you’re guilty until the jury says so, and I believe that it is done deliberately to give the Justice Department, which is the principal lobbyist for those laws, as much discretion (and power) as possible. However, there are safeguards, such as circuit-wide pattern jury instructions that define them more clearly and narrowly.

    nk (1d9030)

  47. Thanks for the great post Patrick.

    Dave (1bb933)

  48. When Johnson said “patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels”, he was referring to military recruitment.

    The venacular definition of treason is a lot broader than the legal definition.

    Kishnevi (ecadcd)

  49. The vernacular definition does not apply to a judge in a criminal trial.

    DaveMac (4cc9b4)

  50. DaveMac, your comments give me the feeling that you have never been present during a legal hearing or a trial.

    “The vernacular definition does not apply to a judge in a criminal trial” is correct only when referring to the crime charged. If Flynn was charged with treason, you would be right.

    If Sullivan was talking about lying to investigators, and used a broad nonlegal definition of the word “lying”, you’d be right.

    But neither of those applies here, so you’re wrong.

    Kishnevi (ecadcd)

  51. Dave, Flynn already pled guilty, in excruciating detail as to his involvement with the Turkish dictator.

    Paul Montagu (b3f51b)

  52. BUT FIRST MY ASIDE ON WHY THE LOGAN ACT SHOULD NOT BE ENTIRELY SNEEZED AT: It is quite true that the Logan Act has not been enforced since the mid-1850s and has never resulted in a conviction. Nobody would consider it a valid basis for prosecuting anyone unless Hillary Clinton had allegedly violated it — in which case Trump fans would chant in mindless unison: “Lock her up!” (I am not being entirely facetious here.

    Andy McCarthy has in the past, in print, accused both Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama of Logan Act violations. In the case of Pelosi, he did argue that she nevertheless shouldn’t be prosecuted; he made no such concession in the case of Obama. But in neither case did he even hint that the Logan Act was a dead letter or that it was unconstitutional. He argued that each of them had committed a crime.

    David Nieporent (9c8c00)

  53. Nothing in the article surprises me. I’m a transactional lawyer, not a litigator or a criminal defense lawyer. But it still seems to me that the government prejudiced Flynn’s defense when it didn’t turn over the documents that said they were about to close the Flynn case and Strzok stopped it – whether that is close enough to exculpatory evidence that was withheld, I don’t know, but had Flynn’s counsel been aware of it I would have thought it would open up completely new lines of discovery that may have shed light on his innocence or guilt and his defense was denied that option because the documents weren’t produced.

    Lazlo: don’t be fooled by Sydney Powell’s approach of throwing everything at the wall and hoping something sticks. Flynn pleaded guilty to one thing: lying to the FBI about his conversations with the Russian ambassador. He was not charged with, and did not plead guilty to, treason, to being a Russian agent, collusion, or anything like that.

    Nothing about the memo saying that they were closing their investigation of Flynn has anything at all — anything — to do with what he pleaded guilty to. It is therefore not exculpatory, and failing to turn it over did not prejudice his case at all. It would not have opened up “new lines of discovery” — discovery is extremely minimal in federal criminal cases, by the way — and could not have shed any light on his innocence or guilt.

    This isn’t just bluster or ipse dixit; it’s impossible under the laws of this universe for that memo to be relevant. Why? Because that memo is from January 4, and Flynn didn’t lie to the FBI until January 24. So the memo could have no bearing on his guilt or innocence.

    David Nieporent (9c8c00)

  54. I have plenty of alternatives. It is a major failing of the legal profession that so many lawyers are unable to write laws with clarity.

    Um, you understand that legislators, not lawyers, write laws, right? (They may get legal assistance, of course, but that would be a handful of lawyers, not “so many” lawyers.)

    Also:

    The judge should not be making these kinds of comments to a defendant he is trying.

    Flynn. Pleaded. Guilty. He wasn’t being tried. Not by Sullivan, not by anyone.

    David Nieporent (9c8c00)

  55. Good post. Thorough and well-organized. I look forward to Trump cultists ignoring it, distorting it, and mocking the author without reading it.

    lurker (d8c5bc)

  56. On Jan. 12, 2017 — 12 days before the Flynn interview — The Washington Post’s David Ignatius first reported the contact between Flynn and Kislyak and raised the prospect of a Logan Act violation

    N.B. The story by David Ignatius was the product if an illegal leak.

    Probably from the FBI, although could be DOJ. But they worked together in regards to the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

    While the motive may have been genuinely patriotic, the FBI was clearly not acting in an above board manner and didn’t trust Trump, or at least his judgement.

    Or else they would have gone to Donald Trump with proof he lied to Mike Pence and others. (maybe they meant to and their way of doing so was by planting a story in the Washington Post)

    So, Because the David Ignatius column failed to do anything about Mike Flynn’s appointment as National Security Adviser, they tried this sting operation.

    William Priestap was confused as to what was going on here. Did they simply want an admission, or were they trying to (prosecute him or get him fired)

    Sammy Finkelman (af3697)

  57. Re #54, what percentage of legislators have law degrees, what percentage of legislators are advised by lawyers? If legislators pass a law that is vague or ambiguous in some fashion it can be thrown out, and any lawyers involved can be sanctioned. With regard to Flynn having pled guilty when Sullivan made the treason remark, it’s true. However, Flynn has not yet been sentenced, so his Animus against Flynn would call into question his ability to be objective about the sentence.

    DaveMac (4cc9b4)

  58. #43, first you say a clear law is a bad law, and then you say, if you want to make something a crime, write it with clarity. Which is it? You say contracts are written with a lot of detail and fine print? Is that not clarity?

    DaveMac (4cc9b4)

  59. Bottom line: Flynn should walk. He was convicted of a process crime using dubious evidence. If lying under oath, or to congress, or to the FBI was really an important matter than Bill Clinton would’ve been removed from office, and James Comey and Andrew McCabe would’ve been convicted.

    Comey/McCabe went after Flynn as a way to damage Trump. this is what this is all about. And Stone should be pardoned. We have one rule for Republicans and One rule for Democrats. We need equal application of the law.

    rcocean (846d30)

  60. Nobody cares about the Logan act. It was a bogus reason to begin an FBI Investigation by an out-of-control Obama appointed “Life long Republican” FBI director and his side-kick McCabe.

    rcocean (846d30)

  61. Comey always makes me laugh. His wife and daughters are all extreme vagina-hat wearing Leftists. He’s friends with Left-wing left professors (that he leaks data to), but he’s a “Life long Republican” – even though he was appointed by Obama to the FBI, tried to destroy Trump, and now has left the Republican party. Assuming, he was ever really in it. The MSM needed to explain away his motives, so to discard any political motives, we were told he was a “Life Long Republican”. But then so was Bill Wed. So was Chaffee. So was Jacob Javits. So was Annita Hill in 1991, not to mention Jennifer Rubin and Max Boot.

    10% of Self-identifying Republicans voted for Obama, Hillary, and Clinton. See the voter demographics.

    rcocean (846d30)

  62. Your are hilarious!

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  63. Yes, rocean, repeated confessions are “dubious evidence,” and any Trump opponent who claims to be a lifelong Republican is lying.

    Comey contributed to McCain in 2008 and Romney in 2012. You think that’s typical behavior for lifelong non-Republicans? Do you think Patterico was never really a Republican either?

    Pull your head out of the sand. No True Republican-ing everyone who sees this president for what he is doesn’t persuade a single person. It just make you dumber.

    lurker (d8c5bc)

  64. Flynn pardonned/Stone shanked or Epsteined is a necessary reluctant tradeoff for me much like Cubs WS/Trump Ascension and Jason Van Dyke guilty/Brett Kavanaugh confirmed.

    urbanleftbehind (5766f6)

  65. 10% of Self-identifying Republicans voted for Obama, Hillary, and Clinton. See the voter demographics.

    “I know Hillary and I think she would make a great president”
    – Donald Trump

    “I think she’s going to go down, at a minimum, as a great senator. I think she is a great wife to a president, and I think Bill Clinton was a great president.”
    – Donald Trump

    “The First Lady is a wonderful woman who has handled pressure incredibly well.”
    – Donald Trump, The Art of the Comeback

    Dave (1bb933)

  66. He was convicted of a process crime using dubious evidence.

    One, another word for “process crime” is felony. Two, people don’t make guilty pleas based on “dubious evidence”; they go to trial. Flynn was caught red-handed, telling multiple lies.

    Paul Montagu (f9dfb2)

  67. 43. Kishnevi (ecadcd) — 5/2/2020 @ 8:18 pm

    The same thing with contracts. There’s a reason for fine print. It’s not to help the store cheat customers. It’s to keep everyone from cheating everyone else.

    The fine print is because the deafult isn’t right, and that’s maybe something tat shold be corrected, but it an also be to che party which didn’t wrte the fine print, and t is sometimes disregarded by courts even.

    Sammy Finkelman (af3697)

  68. The law is the law, unless the law is used to target your political allies, in which case the law is custom only.

    The Logan Act is deader than adultery laws. To use that as the pretext for an investigation shows exactly the kind of deranged animus that you attribute to “Trump fans.” That some knee-jerk partisans might use X, does not mean that when other people use X they are being reasonable.

    The Logan Act is not even “custom.” The custom, for over a century, has been to treat it as a dead letter.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  69. One, another word for “process crime” is felony.

    So, you have no problem with partisans in the DoJ hauling someone in and asking them endless questions about a sensitive phone conversation that they have secretly recorded, to see if they can get the person to lie about something (you have no other reason since he cannot tell you anything your do not already know). Then they shop the results to a special prosecutor desperate for scalps after their own bosses refuse to play along.

    That’s not law, that’s thuggery. If Trump’s people did this to, say, Elizabeth Warren, there would be hell to pay.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  70. @66: A process crime is a technicality that is a direct product of the investigation. No investigation, no crime. No Flynn interview, no prosecution for lying.

    McCabe also was brought up on a process crime. One difference is that nobody likely wrote notes beforehand pondering if the purpose of interviewing McCabe was to get him to lie. He just did. Another difference is that McCabe was let off.

    In contrast, a Logan Act charge would not have been a process crime. It just would’ve been laughed at.

    beer ‘n pretzels (db7354)

  71. So, you have no problem with partisans in the DoJ hauling someone in and asking them endless questions about a sensitive phone conversation that they have secretly recorded, to see if they can get the person to lie about something…

    No one accused Bill Priestap, the guy in charge of FBI counter-intelligence, of being a “partisan”. Flynn made his bed. He consciously chose to lie.

    Paul Montagu (b3f51b)

  72. Bottom line: Flynn should walk. He was convicted of a process crime using dubious evidence. If lying under oath, or to congress, or to the FBI was really an important matter than Bill Clinton would’ve been removed from office, and James Comey and Andrew McCabe would’ve been convicted.

    Comey/McCabe went after Flynn as a way to damage Trump. this is what this is all about. And Stone should be pardoned. We have one rule for Republicans and One rule for Democrats. We need equal application of the law.

    rcocean (846d30) — 5/3/2020 @ 4:52 am

    He wasn’t convicted, he please guilty. Stone was convicted of witness intimidation and lying to congress.
    If you want ‘process crimes’ decriminalized than the GOP should start working on that.
    If you want Comey and McCabe charged talk to Trump and Barr. Because either their isn’t evidence and the news media you follow has been lying to you, or Trump & Barr are part of the deep state trying to cover up crimes against Trump.

    Time123 (cd2ff4)

  73. Kevin, I think Patrick did a good job of explaining this.

    The FBI was conducting an intelligence investigation into the Russian attack on our election. Trump’s campaign was the intended and actual beneficiary of that attack and numerous people involved in the campaign – including Flynn – had suspicious Russian contacts.

    Under those circumstances, whether Flynn – who was about to become the freaking National Security Advisor, with unlimited access to the most sensitive classified information – would lie to law enforcement to try to obfuscate his back-channel communications with high-ranking Russian officials was a very relevant question that the FBI had every reason to learn the answer to.

    Dave (1bb933)

  74. Just to clear up some (sorta) popular misconceptions…

    A good law is not easily drafted. It’s sort of stupid to ASSume they are.

    Even a good law can be royally screwed up as it sees the passage of time and perverse interpretation by judges and regulators. It isn’t hard to cite quite a few with carefully drafted provisions that have become nullities over the years of their existence.

    For several decades, I have advocated that all laws should contain a sunset provision. This does several good things, IMNHO. It provides a mechanism whereby laws that are of dubious value just go away, leaving us a set of laws that is trim and more easily comprehended. It provides a mandate for the legislature to revisit their handiwork and correct mistakes they’ve made and counter perverse rulings by courts and regulators (I’ll note here that I don’t see why this cannot be a process in which other branches of government could contribute). Finally, it would TEND to make drafting a new law a more responsible process, contra some of the very sloppy laws which are written to REQUIRE expansive interpretation by regulators and courts.

    BUT until that happens, a law (including one you don’t like) is still a law, and the people who work to enforce the law can’t be blamed if they enforce it. If you don’t like it, get it changed or removed.

    I may be mistaken, but I think that adultery is still a violation of the UCMJ, and for good reason.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  75. It’s not that people who work to enforce the law are enforcing it that bothers me, it’s that they are enforcing it one way for people they like or are politically connected and an entirely different way for people they don’t. If you are going to enforce the Logan act, then enforce it, don’t ignore it 99% of the time and enforce it 1% of the time.

    DaveMac (4cc9b4)

  76. #43, first you say a clear law is a bad law, and then you say, if you want to make something a crime, write it with clarity. Which is it? You say contracts are written with a lot of detail and fine print? Is that not clarity?

    I think I misunderstood you on that point last night. See what a good night’s sleep can do?

    I do in fact agree with you about “clarity” in laws.

    Kishnevi (c2a547)

  77. The treatment of Flynn vs the treatment of Hillary contains a contrast similar to the treatment of Kavanaugh to the treatment of Biden.

    The only curious thing is why people are surprised that people ignore it or even worse, defend it.
    _

    harkin (8f4a6f)

  78. Flynn wasn’t charged under the Logan Act so that isn’t the issue. The issue is lying.

    DRJ (15874d)

  79. So, you have no problem with partisans in the DoJ hauling someone in and asking them endless questions about a sensitive phone conversation that they have secretly recorded, to see if they can get the person to lie about something (you have no other reason since he cannot tell you anything your do not already know).

    The questions did not have to be endless. This was not a fishing expedition, Kevin M. They had one fundamental question: did you discuss sanctions with the Russian ambassador? He had lied about it to the administration. Would he lie about it to them? And he did.

    Were you this upset about questions being posed to McCabe?

    Patterico (115b1f)

  80. Were they pondering beforehand whether the goal was to get McCabe to lie?

    beer ‘n pretzels (ca0aeb)

  81. I’m still waiting for McCabe to be prosecuted.

    DaveMac (4cc9b4)

  82. Comey contributed to McCain in 2008 and Romney in 2012. You think that’s typical behavior for lifelong non-Republicans? Do you think Patterico was never really a Republican either?

    Given that McCain wanted Joe Liebermann as his VP, said he would run a Bi-partisan Presidency (after the nomination), and that both Mittens and McCain hate/hated Trump were A-OK with Hillary being President, I”m not sure that support of either of these clowns is evidence Comey was some great Conservative. And Comey gave money in 2008 and 2012, while he worked for Lockheed Martin, so his donations were more job security than anything else.

    In any case, I’ll just restate the point. You can be a “Republican” and be a liberal. Chaffee and Jim jeffords were. You can be a Republican and hate anyone to your Right, or agree with the D’s on almost everything. Comey liked Obama. Comey liked Hillary. Comey is big pals with Chuck Schumer. He’s now, NOT a Republican and working for Biden. If you remember, he was a loose cannon during the Bush administration, and didn’t like Bush, or Gonzalez, or Andrew Card.

    rcocean (846d30)

  83. Like Rod Rosenstein with Sessions, its unclear why Ashcroft chose Comey to be his deputy AG. I think its because Ashcroft had already decided to leave after the 2004 election, and Comey was just a place holder – appointed in December 2003. Either Bush would lose or he’d win and the AG Gonazles would choose his own Deputy AG.

    Comey’s appointment to the FBI by Obama is also a mystery. Comey wasn’t an old FBI hand, he’d been out of Government for 8 years in 2013, and wasn’t some great Bi-partisan figure, liked by R’s and D’s. I suppose appointing him pleased his buddy Mueller, and was a figure in the eye to all the Bushies, who remember his testimony against Gonzales.

    rcocean (846d30)

  84. I’m still waiting for McCabe to be prosecuted.

    You’d have to get a grand jury to agree that he should be. Seems like the government could not accomplish that.

    You seem to be among those who think the national security adviser lying to the FBI about his contacts with a foreign government is a process crime that should not be prosecuted, but an FBI official possibly lying about whether he authorized a leak he was authorized to make should be. This does not strike me as a consistent position on your part, unless you think (contra all indications) that the evidence against McCabe is somehow stronger. If you think that, let’s not speak further, as any continued conversation would be a waste of my time.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  85. Were they pondering beforehand whether the goal was to get McCabe to lie?

    Probably.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  86. So what if they were? That’s what investigators do all the time.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  87. If you remember, he was a loose cannon during the Bush administration, and didn’t like Bush, or Gonzalez, or Andrew Card.

    If you remember, Trump was harshly critical of the Bush administration and said that Hillary Clinton would be a terrific president.
    But now, unwavering personal loyalty to Trump appears to be the one non-negotiable criterion for being counted a real Republican.

    Radegunda (354236)

  88. #84 you are mistaken about what I seem to be. You don’t know me. You know nothing about my motives. You need more practice reading minds. I’m banning myself from this blog. I say this with indifference.

    DaveMac (4cc9b4)

  89. #84 you are mistaken about what I seem to be. You don’t know me. You know nothing about my motives. You need more practice reading minds. I’m banning myself from this blog. I say this with indifference.

    K bye

    Patterico (115b1f)

  90. Under those circumstances, whether Flynn – who was about to become the freaking National Security Advisor, with unlimited access to the most sensitive classified information – would lie to law enforcement to try to obfuscate his back-channel communications with high-ranking Russian officials was a very relevant question that the FBI had every reason to learn the answer to.

    Hmmm. So now the FBI is going to vet political advisors to the president? This wasn’t an advise-and-consent position. And they are doing so because they are worried about what the President-elect is doing? It is hard to deny (and you don’t) that it was an FBI trap, done for no other reason than to see if they could get the guy to lie. The Logan Act investigation was still a pretext.

    Patterico discusses other cases where there was indictable criminal activity going on, and that a perjury-trap conducted there was a furtherance of the other investigation. Here, though, there was nothing indictable other than a law that no one has been charged with since Lincoln was a lawyer.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  91. There must be a limit to the number of hoaxes some Americans can stomach…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  92. They had one fundamental question: did you discuss sanctions with the Russian ambassador? He had lied about it to the administration. Would he lie about it to them? And he did.

    Uh, no. Their question was not “did you discuss sanctions with the Russian ambassador?” — they knew what he said. If they believed that he had lied about it to the administration, they could have TOLD the administration that he was lying.

    Their only questions was: would he lie to them? They could have been asking his favorite color or the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow, for all it furthered their investigation. It was simply, and only, a trap.

    Perhaps they hoped he’d say that Trump told him to lie.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  93. So now the FBI is going to vet political advisors to the president?

    In January 2017, the president and his advisors were not yet above the law.

    Dave (1bb933)

  94. You seem to be among those who think the national security adviser lying to the FBI about his contacts with a foreign government is a process crime that should not be prosecuted

    Truly, he should have told them to “Eff off.” Politely, through his lawyer. They had no power to require an answer.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  95. On the Logan Act and the Clinton comparison:

    Comey read intent in as an extra element of a statute that lacked it where there are actual, and recent, past indictments and convictions. David French outlines the problem here:

    https://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2016/07/05/a-double-standard-for-clinton-or-the-right-standard-for-prosecutors/by-not-charging-clinton-comey-isnt-following-the-law

    The Logan Act has precisely zero convictions in its history. It’s last indictment was in the 1800s.

    Second, even if we buy into the necessity to police Logan Act violations – Flynn is an incoming NSA of an administration about to take office. There is no plausible defense of charging him for a LA violation except as a matter of strict liability. That is more than a bridge too far.

    So we actually have an inversion in the comparison. A soon-to-be public official having high-level discussions in the run up to an administration taking office are simply not what the Logan Act was about. But as French notes, the statue that applies to Clinton’s conduct places a special burden on public officials entrusted with the nation’s secrets.

    So Comey’s interpretation of the Clinton-applicable statue not only adds a false element, it runs contrary to a purpose of the statue itself. While the FBI’s Logan Act gambit is precisely the opposite side of the coin – a tendentious reading of a dead-letter law applied in the most ridiculous context possible.

    Comey’s strained interpretation of the statute to excuse Clinton was motivated and unreasonable. So was the FBI’s invocation of the Logan Act.

    D.GOOCH

    GOOCH (d83d3a)

  96. Patterico discusses other cases where there was indictable criminal activity going on, and that a perjury-trap conducted there was a furtherance of the other investigation. Here, though, there was nothing indictable other than a law that no one has been charged with since Lincoln was a lawyer.

    It appears to have been part of the investigation into Russia interference in our election. There were numerous indictments from that. Mostly of Russian criminals. Read part 1 of the Meuller report.

    Additionally, Flynn could have avoided this by not lying or not talking. He could also have finished his plea deal and been done with probation by now. The government wasn’t looking to lock him up for life after all.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  97. Uh, no. Their question was not “did you discuss sanctions with the Russian ambassador?”

    You don’t think they asked him that question, in some form, in the interview?????????????

    ?????????????????????????

    Patterico (115b1f)

  98. @92 What a person will or will not lie about can also tell an investigator things.

    There is a really sneaky way to get out of a “perjury trap” of course. You can tell the truth.

    Nic (896fdf)

  99. @28 “Excellent comment Paul. I am astonished that a judge hasn’t declared the law unenforceable and unconstitutional by now.”

    The rules of justiciability. We don’t get advisory opinions from the federal courts. With no conviction (and no indictments in 150 years) of anyone for a Logan Act violation, it’s unlikely anyone has standing to challenge the law (or reason to go through the time and expense to do so). I actually think a facial challenge on 1st Amendment grounds might survive a justiciability analysis, but you need a party willing to take it forward.
    D.GOOCH

    GOOCH (d83d3a)

  100. Their only questions was: would he lie to them? They could have been asking his favorite color or the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow, for all it furthered their investigation. It was simply, and only, a trap.

    And Flynn walked right into it and committed a crime. As he has admitted under oath.

    Why should I care that the FBI used a tactic — asking someone about something they know the answer to — that they use *all the time*? Oh, because this time it hurt someone close to Donald Trump! I don’t remember ever hearing you complain about this tactic in any other context.

    You’re so confusing to me. You claim to dislike Trump, but you take these completely unreasonable Trumpist positions nearly daily. This one makes no sense at all.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  101. Truly, he should have told them to “Eff off.” Politely, through his lawyer. They had no power to require an answer.

    Quite true. You know what he did instead? He talked to them, voluntarily, and lied to them, which was a crime. Then he was prosecuted for it. Yawn. Happens every day.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  102. Kevin M (ab1c11) — 5/3/2020 @ 1:48 pm

    If they believed that he had lied about it to the administration, they could have TOLD the administration that he was lying.

    They did – in a safe way for them that wouldn’t jeopardize their jobs..

    They leaked it (illegally) to David Ignatius of the Washington Post.

    But it didn’t stop Donald Trump from sticking with his intention to name Mike Flynn his national security adviser.

    Sammy Finkelman (af3697)

  103. They leaked it (illegally) to David Ignatius of the Washington Post.

    6AM SWAT Team through the front door raid, CNN cameras blazing (I kid), arrest, frog-march ’em to the vehicles. For a start.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  104. Speaking of Flynn and his 302, here’s a link to it. The final sentence: “Flynn stated that he did not have a long drawn out discussion with Kislyak where he would have asked him to ‘don’t do something'”. The interview didn’t solely focus on Flynn’s call with Kislyak.

    Paul Montagu (b3f51b)

  105. We’ve been told – and shown – that’s the way it’s done, so get it done, goddamit!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  106. @100

    A false statement is not necessarily a lie. The FBI did all that it could not to alert Flynn that his words were being judged for their veracity as a legal matter. People say things in “casual” conversation as a matter of course, that may be false, but we do not hold them legally liable for doing so.

    Had the FBI followed *their* standard procedures in interviewing Flynn, I would have much more confidence in the proposition that Flynn *knowingly* made false statements to the FBI on a material matter.

    As such, I have little such confidence. The fact that the agents themselves did not believe Flynn to have been deceptive, and that the FBI was prepared to drop the case entirely, until it was kept afloat by FBI top brass (top brass that has all been fired and investigated, btw), and then resurrected by Mueller, give me little confidence.

    It is quite plausible that Michael Flynn answered the agents’ questions honestly *to the best of his recollection* but that that recollection was flawed, resulting in an unintentional misrepresentation of the facts. That, in fact, is what the agents themselves thought – that he had answered truthfully. Since what Flynn denied was perfectly within his purview to do in the first place (discuss sanctions with Kislyak), the motivation to lie here is rather weak – we have to conclude Flynn is willing to perjure himself in order to avoid an embarrassing news cycle. I find the innocent explanation more likely. D.GOOCH

    GOOCH (d83d3a)

  107. @104: The original 302, or the edited version? So confusing.

    beer ‘n pretzels (73045a)

  108. If this sort of thing is common practice for the FBI and they can bankrupt and ruin a person’s life based on what’s said in these interviews, perhaps they should record them and not just take notes.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  109. The FBI was conducting an intelligence investigation into the Russian attack on our election. Trump’s campaign was the intended and actual beneficiary of that attack and numerous people involved in the campaign – including Flynn – had suspicious Russian contacts.

    No, he did not have suspicious Russian contacts. I know this because the FBI and CIA said so. If the FBI had found no suspicious evidence – and from the recent document release we know they found none in his phone records, none in any databases owned by the FBI and CIA, and none from physical surveillance, then why did they need to ask him about them?

    I hope this case can get to the heart of the problem with law enforcement: they get a lot of leeway – too much leeway – when it comes to their investigations, especially when it comes to FBI interviews. “You lied to us” the FBI can say, but what evidence do we have? Oh, their notes. Convenient.

    Hoi Polloi (dc4124)

  110. @108 “If this sort of thing is common practice for the FBI and they can bankrupt and ruin a person’s life based on what’s said in these interviews, perhaps they should record them and not just take notes.”

    This. D.GOOCH

    GOOCH (d83d3a)

  111. Trump adviser Flynn paid by multiple Russia-related entities, new records show

    Michael Flynn, who was forced to resign as national security adviser amid controversy over his contacts with Russia’s ambassador, collected nearly $68,000 in fees and expenses from Russia-related entities in 2015, a higher amount than was previously known, according to newly released documents.

    The records show that the bulk of the money, more than $45,000, came from the Russian government-backed television network RT, in connection to a December 2015 trip Flynn took to Moscow. Flynn has acknowledged that RT sponsored his trip, during which he attended a gala celebrating the network’s 10th anniversary and was seated near Russian President Vladi­mir Putin.

    Dave (1bb933)

  112. 106. GOOCH (d83d3a) — 5/3/2020 @ 2:32 pm

    It is quite plausible that Michael Flynn answered the agents’ questions honestly *to the best of his recollection* but that that recollection was flawed, resulting in an unintentional misrepresentation of the facts. That, in fact, is what the agents themselves thought – that he had answered truthfully.

    Tats;s what they wrote – and leaked to CNN – after President Trump said to FBI Director James Comey on February 14, 2017

    “I hope you can let this go,”

    He did.

    He wanted to give Trump something.

    Mike Flynn wasn’t the main topic of that Feb 14 conversation, although Comey in his memo tried to make it appear so.. The main topic was the story that had appeared that morning in the New York Times.

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

    Comey said the story wasn’t true, and then went through the motion of asking people in the FBI if it could be true and also told Senators it wasn’t true.

    Since what Flynn denied was perfectly within his purview to do in the first place (discuss sanctions with Kislyak), the motivation to lie here is rather weak

    He lied because he had already liked to Mike Pence.

    The question, incidentally, wasn’t whether he had discussed sanctions but whether he had made any promises (like to remove them) Mike Flynn hadn’t, because he would be exceeding his authority if he did. He hinted at it though and Russia did not impose retaliatory sanctions.

    Mike Flynn, knowing that was speaking about this on his own without consulting Trump, had denied the conversation mentioned sanctions at all.

    Sammy Finkelman (af3697)

  113. * He lied because he had already lied to Mike Pence (and through him, and others, to the public) after the David Ignatius story was published..

    Sammy Finkelman (af3697)

  114. Hmmm… doesn’t say Flynn broke any laws.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  115. The Logan Act was just an excuse for the interview.

    Sammy Finkelman (af3697)

  116. #95 thanks for the concise summary.

    rcocean (846d30)

  117. “There is a really sneaky way to get out of a “perjury trap” of course. You can tell the truth.”

    Actually the best way is to get a lawyer and not talk to the police at all.

    Davethulhu (744195)

  118. Like Rod Rosenstein with Sessions, its unclear why Ashcroft chose Comey to be his deputy AG. I think its because Ashcroft had already decided to leave after the 2004 election, and Comey was just a place holder – appointed in December 2003. Either Bush would lose or he’d win and the AG Gonazles would choose his own Deputy AG.

    Funny then that Ashcroft stood with Comey, and against Gonzales and Card, in the legendary Battle of Ashcroft’s Bedside. I guess Ashcroft was a phony Republican too.

    lurker (d8c5bc)

  119. It’s a myth that has gotten legs that Sessions hired Rod Rosenstein. Trump hired Rod Rosenstein. Twice. First time to replace Sally Yates. Then when Sessions was confirmed as AG he requested Rosenstein’s resignation which Rosenstein submitted. At that point, Trump overrode Sessions and rehired Rosenstein as permanent DAG.

    nk (1d9030)

  120. I miss Jimmy Carter.

    nk (1d9030)

  121. Telling the truth or getting a lawyer were options for Flynn. Not selling our country out to our enemies for a big check was also an option. The military revolving door is just as bad as the politician/lobbyist/media one.

    Dustin (e5f6c3)

  122. Flynn can’t possibly have broken the Logan Act for the simple reason that he was a member of the transition team and had a place in the incoming Trump Administration.
    He was duly authorized to perform the level of negotiations he was beginning to perform.

    It’s as if the government tried to get a search warrant on ‘possession of burglary tools’ to arrest you for the perfectly normal screwdriver that you have in your toolbox in your closet. The screwdriver is perfectly legal for your personal use where it’s at. In and of itself, without a fact pattern around it of you being a career burglar wanted for a dozen other things, it’s totally legal.

    Similarly, the conversation was totally legal for Flynn to have at that level and so it can’t legally be used as a predicate for the Logan Act.

    Ingot9455 (cfa567)

  123. The conversations with the Russian ambassador that Flynn lied about were during the campaign while Trump was still waiting for Putin to steal the election for him, not during the transition.

    nk (1d9030)

  124. The fact concerning the 302, is a fictional recreation must be ignored at all cost.

    According to Mueller report, two calls, 12-29 & 12-31, with Kislyak were immediately after Obama sanctions. What dates were contacts prior to election? The sanctions in question happened after the election

    January, 4 FBI DC field office informs The Intell community they were shutting down the Flynn investigation. Having found zero derogatory information, and the Intell community reported they had searched and came up empty on derogatory information. Again, why did Comey send agents to the White House to interview Flynn?

    nkinnick (67ef6c)

  125. I’m sorry, Ingot9455, you were right, I was wrong. The calls at issue were in December 2016, during the transition.

    nk (1d9030)

  126. PS I am not nkinnick and have no idea who he is.

    nk (1d9030)

  127. Hmmm… bad link. Sorry.

    Let’s try that again.

    lurker (d8c5bc)

  128. It is quite plausible that Michael Flynn answered the agents’ questions honestly *to the best of his recollection* but that that recollection was flawed, resulting in an unintentional misrepresentation of the facts.

    It’s not plausible at all. He testified under oath that he knew he was lying when he spoke to the FBI.

    Unless you’re saying he committed lied to the court?

    Time123 (ca85c9)

  129. He was duly authorized to perform the level of negotiations he was beginning to perform.

    So the Biden transition team will be authorized to talk with Chinese, Mexican, etc. officials and undermine Trump Administration policies?

    DRJ (15874d)

  130. @130: I can’t wait to hear about the counterintelligence investigation already launched against Biden.

    beer ‘n pretzels (b61153)

  131. c’mon, Durham!!! Let’s see some 6AM raids and perp walkin’…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  132. @130, Trump super fans seem to be primarily a kind of nationalist who strive for the glory of God, King and Country. Their definition of God and Country can take some explaining but their King is trump. So if it doesn’t glorify him, they’ll oppose.

    That’s the principle they adhere to, not consistency to a stated legal interpretation.

    Time123 (ca85c9)

  133. @130: I can’t wait to hear about the counterintelligence investigation already launched against Biden.

    beer ‘n pretzels (b61153) — 5/4/2020 @ 8:44 am

    The announcement of that will come in Oct.

    Time123 (ca85c9)

  134. We are back to the facts, there was no reason to interview Flynn. The phone call was clean, and the FBI and IC., both found no derogatory information regarding Flynn.

    nkinnick (67ef6c)

  135. Flynn was on the Trump transition team and was dealing with Russia, Turkey, and other Soviet bloc countries. At that time, the Obama administration was putting into place sanctions to punish Russia for its criminal theft of DNC emails, but Flynn was recorded telling Russia not to retaliate – implying Trump would reverse or undermine those sanctions. Flynn said this to Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in December 2016. He denied doing so to FBI agents on January 24, 2017, the day after Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s first press briefing where Spicer said Flynn had told him the night before that he did not discuss sanctions with the Russian diplomat.

    The Obama DOJ knew Flynn did talk about sanctions with Kislyak because they had the recordings, and thus they knew Russia had powerful blackmail leverage over Flynn if he had lied to Spicer. The FBI interviewed Flynn the day after Sean Spicer’s press briefing because they knew Flynn or Spicer was lying. The FBI is supposed to investigate possible illegality and government officials who may be subject to blackmail.

    DRJ (15874d)

  136. Report that the DOJ warned Trump in late January 2017 — immediately after the FBI interviewed Flynn — that Flynn could be blackmailed by Russia. Flynn resigned in February.

    DRJ (15874d)

  137. My guess: Trump probably told Flynn to lie, because Trump responds to every problem by lying, and that is why Trump will pardon Flynn for keeping his mouth shut and being loyal.

    DRJ (15874d)

  138. I wrote several responses, but in the end chose not to post because I was still incensed over this ordeal.

    Pat… After reading the links you provided and re-reading your posts, I will submit that you do make a very compelling argument… for the prosecution. When you look at everything in isolation based on the government’s position… all of it seems kosher.

    Seems.

    However, my fundamental question to you is this:
    Why is it hard for you to consider that Flynn was pressured based on bad-faith actions by the Mueller Team to take the plea deal? And that why are you so vehemently opposed to Flynn rescinding his plea?

    Judge Emmitt should allow Flynn to withdraw his plea and definitely not throw out the case. Flynn should be given the opportunity fight the charges in court (Fast statements, FARA, etc…) now that the alleged “threat” to his son is now public. I think there’s more fire than smoke regarding that alleged threat and it probably be adjudicated in court whether or not that threat existed.

    It’s not without cost to Flynn either, as the government could then “throw the book” at him beyond that false statement charge.

    You’re so willing to argue that Trump abuses his power, and yet you won’t at least consider that someone in Trump’s orbit was at the receiving end of governmental abuse. Can you square this one?

    I think the NR crew is closer to the mark:
    https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/05/michael-flynn-case-is-a-travesty/
    https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/05/fbi-set-up-michael-flynn-to-preserve-trump-russia-probe/
    https://www.nationalreview.com/news/records-show-peter-strzok-intervened-when-fbi-moved-to-close-investigation-of-flynn-after-finding-no-derogatory-information/

    whembly (c30c83)

  139. @138

    Report that the DOJ warned Trump in late January 2017 — immediately after the FBI interviewed Flynn — that Flynn could be blackmailed by Russia. Flynn resigned in February.

    DRJ (15874d) — 5/4/2020 @ 11:47 am

    I’m sorry, but I don’t buy that.

    Flynn *knows* that it’s standard practice that US intelligence monitors calls with foreign adversary.

    It’s not much of a blackmail when both sides knows what was said.

    whembly (c30c83)

  140. 138, 139.
    Your link goes to WAPO, using Yates, Clapper, and Brenen, as sources. All of them are involved in the Russia hoax. It is the core of this whole sham. IC and DoJ, “leaking” information, to WAPO, etal, then DoJ, citing media reports to predicate investigations, and file for FISA warrants to spy on Americans.
    And a “guess” about a probability. Got it.

    nkinnick (67ef6c)

  141. Great sources there, sheesh…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)


  142. The CIA Inspector General has taken more than a year to clear the release of a House Intelligence Committee report which contradicts the key conclusion of the intelligence community assessment on Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to the former chief of staff of the National Security Council.
    The January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA), prepared at the behest of President Barack Obama, claimed that Russia interfered in the presidential election in order to help candidate Donald Trump. The House Intelligence Committee’s public report (pdf) on Russia had already challenged the analytic tradecraft behind this central claim and suggested that the process of arriving at the assessment was not free of political interference.

    A separate, classified report holed up at the office of the CIA Inspector General (IG) sheds damning light on the role then-CIA Director John Brennan played in the preparation of the report, former National Security Council Chief of Staff Fred Fleitz learned from House Intelligence Committee staff. A source familiar with the report’s fate would not deny that the report went to the office of the CIA IG.

    The report states that Brennan overruled agency analysts who wanted to include strong intelligence in the assessment to show that Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted Hillary Clinton to win the election, Fleitz says, citing conversations with House Intelligence Committee staffers. Brennan had also rejected analysts who wanted to strike weak intelligence from the report which suggested that Russia favored Trump, Fleitz said.

    “So Brennan actually slanted this analysis, choosing anti-Trump intelligence and excluding anti-Clinton intelligence,” Fleitz told The Epoch Times.

    https://www.theepochtimes.com/cia-watchdog-sitting-on-secret-house-report-allegedly-critical-of-brennans-role-in-russian-meddling-assessment_3337863.html

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  143. It’s not much of a blackmail when both sides knows what was said.

    whembly (c30c83) — 5/4/2020 @ 2:14 pm

    But one side was publicly denying what was said. That is the perfect blackmail scenario.

    DRJ (15874d)

  144. 142.

    138, 139.
    Your link goes to WAPO, using Yates, Clapper, and Brenen, as sources. All of them are involved in the Russia hoax. It is the core of this whole sham. IC and DoJ, “leaking” information, to WAPO, etal, then DoJ, citing media reports to predicate investigations, and file for FISA warrants to spy on Americans.
    And a “guess” about a probability. Got it.

    nkinnick (67ef6c) — 5/4/2020 @ 2:15 pm

    143.

    Great sources there, sheesh…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0) — 5/4/2020 @ 2:42 pm

    It is one WaPo report but it is consistent with the facts that we know turned out to be true — that Flynn did talk to Kislyak about sanctions. Feel free to ignore it but not all stories that hurt Trump are untrue.

    DRJ (15874d)

  145. Exactly what lie did Flynn tell? Its important to know. I haven’t waded through the legaleese. Thanks in advance for the help

    nkinnick (67ef6c)

  146. Exactly what lie did Flynn tell? Its important to know. I haven’t waded through the legaleese. Thanks in advance for the help

    Maybe you should read the guilty plea by Flynn. It’s a public record, educate yourself.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (305827)

  147. @145

    It’s not much of a blackmail when both sides knows what was said.

    whembly (c30c83) — 5/4/2020 @ 2:14 pm

    But one side was publicly denying what was said. That is the perfect blackmail scenario.

    DRJ (15874d) — 5/4/2020 @ 5:18 pm

    No…I don’t think so.

    We’re talking about a conversation whether or not the Russian “sanctions” came up. We don’t know why Flynn told Pence that it didn’t come up. Maybe it wasn’t that meaningful of a conversation…we don’t really know for sure until that transcript is made public. But even Pienka and Strokz didn’t think Flynn was trying to lie to them.

    But, that being worthy of blackmail? No… not even close. I don’t think anyone would bat an eye if it came out later that sanctions were briefly discussed between the Ambassador and the incoming National security advisor. In fact, it’s under his purview to discuss these sort of things.

    whembly (c30c83)

  148. @145 Exactly. The only motivation to lie is essentially a bad press cycle. There is no basis for legal jeopardy over anything Flynn said to to the Russian Amb. This would include if he had suggested to K that the Trump administration would not follow through on sanctions. It is important to remember that Trump was going to become POTUS in a matter of weeks. POTUS gets to establish FP. As absolutely wrong-headed, bordering on corrupt, I thought the Obama Iran deal was, ultimately, it was within his purview to negotiate it (although it should have been treated as a treaty, giving the Senate its trump card). I would no more support a criminal case against Obama over the Iran deal than I would over whatever policy Trump wanted to institute with Russia as far as sanctions. D.GOOCH

    GOOCH (d83d3a)

  149. Whoops. The @ in 150 should be to 149, not 145. D.GOOCH

    GOOCH (d83d3a)

  150. Whether it is blackmail worthy or not, that is the kind of thing the FBI investigates. The starting point is questioning Flynn, and they did.

    DRJ (15874d)

  151. Flynn was the Army’s very-top-top spy. He didn’t know any conversation with Kislyak would be monitored by the NSA/FBI/CIA and the rest of the alphabet? George Carlin had a joke about military intelligence 45 years ago. Who’s that old to have heard it (but not too old to remember it)?

    nk (1d9030)

  152. How did the FBI have a copy of the phone call? January 4, the DC field office sent notice they were closing the Flynn investigation. The IC had looked at Flynn and found nothing. Who unmasked Flynn, how did the FBI, get the transcript?

    nkinnick (67ef6c)

  153. The DOJ / AG is in charge of electronic surveillance, including foreign surveillance (FISA) and its guidelines.

    DRJ (15874d)

  154. The FBI is the investigative arm of the DOJ.

    DRJ (15874d)

  155. whembly (c30c83) — 5/4/2020 @ 5:47 pm

    We’re talking about a conversation whether or not the Russian “sanctions” came up. We don’t know why Flynn told Pence that it didn’t come up.

    Because it was portrayed in the Washington Post article by David Ignatius as something he shouldn’t have doe, that might be illegal and because he had ben acting completely without consulting Donald Trump. Now, in the conversation he didn;t commit Trump to anything or say what Trump would do.

    But even Pienka and Strokz didn’t think Flynn was trying to lie to them.

    We don;t know that. We don;t have the 302 of Pienka. If I understsand this correctly, it was heavily edited bt Strzok, and then replaced by a 302 of an interview of Strzok. I haven;t been able to follow exactly what was altered.

    But, that being worthy of blackmail? No… not even close. I don’t think anyone would bat an eye if it came out later that sanctions were briefly discussed between the Ambassador and the incoming National security advisor.

    The blackmail idea is pretty stupid – something borrowed from other circumstances and inapplicable here, especially blackmail by the Russians. Blackmail by the FBI and ex-Obama officials in DOJ another story, but they were interested in getting him fired, not blackmailing him.

    And supposing the Russians decided to reveal he had lied publicly how could the Russians prove it?

    Sammy Finkelman (af3697)

  156. 150. GOOCH (d83d3a) — 5/4/2020 @ 7:30 pm

    The only motivation to lie is essentially a bad press cycle. There is no basis for legal jeopardy over anything Flynn said to to the Russian Amb.

    But Flynn didn’t know that!

    What does the David Ignatius column in the Washington Post of January 9, 2017 say about his legal jeopardy for discussing the lifting of sanctions with the Russian Ambassador before Trump took office?

    Can somebody look that up?

    Sammy Finkelman (af3697)

  157. 155. I read the guidelines. The FBI can gather foreign intelligence if requested in writing, by the IC. We know from the time line above, both the IC, and FBI had concluded Flynn was clean, at the time of the phone call. By your standards the FBI had no legal standing to posses this foreign intelligence

    nkinnick (67ef6c)

  158. Former FBI agent who has evolved over time to conclude that Flynn was “railroaded”:
    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/michael-flynn-was-railroaded-by-james-comeys-fbi


    I know it sounds strange to hear me make such an accusation. I’m the guy who long attempted to thread the needle, accounting for honest human frailties, trusting that mistakes should not always be chalked up to malice or sinister intent. Cautious skepticism was a default mindset that served me well across a quarter century as an FBI investigator. That condition failed me here because one thing is clear.

    Michael Flynn got railroaded.

    whembly (51f28e)

  159. Michael Flynn got railroaded.

    Only by Trump to create a tin martyr for the nosepickers. A tin martyr from a tin soldier. Trump can shut down the whole show today by pardoning Flynn if Barr won’t go along with outright dismissal of the case. Why doesn’t he?

    nk (1d9030)

  160. NK, Flynn served a full career in the military and saw combat. Tin solder is an unjustified insult.

    Time123 (b87ded)

  161. 155. I read the guidelines. The FBI can gather foreign intelligence if requested in writing, by the IC. We know from the time line above, both the IC, and FBI had concluded Flynn was clean, at the time of the phone call. By your standards the FBI had no legal standing to posses this foreign intelligence.

    nkinnick (67ef6c) — 5/5/2020 @ 5:17 am

    I understand what you are saying but can you explain the basis for your statement that they knew “Flynn was clean, at the time of the phone call”? Spicer said Flynn told him that Flynn did not talk about sanctions in his Russian calls but he had. How is that a basis to exonerate Flynn or prevent the FBI from investigating?

    DRJ (15874d)

  162. He may have been railroaded. He may have been pressured by many people or by events. That doesn’t mean there was no basis to investigate what he had done or was doing with his foreign lobbying or his efforts on behalf of Trump.

    DRJ (15874d)

  163. NK, Flynn served a full career in the military and saw combat. Tin solder is an unjustified insult.

    I don’t think so, Time123. Desk pilot in military intelligence from the time he was commissioned. Ranger tab but that only means he graduated the course. No combat badges, no combat medals, no “V” on his Bronze Star.

    nk (1d9030)

  164. A theory regarding how the FBI learned of the Flynn-Kislyak call and why it was concerned. According to Andy McCabe’s book, it involved a request from the Obama White House reacting to comments by Russian President Putin:

    Near the end of December, the administration and National Security Council prepared sanctions on Russia as punishment for their involvement in the election … The sanctions were announced on December 29.

    The next day, Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, issued an unusual and uncharacteristic statement, saying that he would take no action against the United States in retaliation for those sanctions. The PDB [Presidential Daily Brief] staff decided to write an intelligence assessment as to why Putin made the choice he did. They issued a request to the intelligence community: Anyone who had information on the topic was invited to offer it for consideration. In response to that request, the FBI queried our own holdings. We came across information indicating that General Mike Flynn, the president-elect’s nominee for the post of national security advisor, had held several conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, in which the sanctions were discussed. The information was something we had from December 29. I had not been aware of it. My impression was that higher-level officials within the FBI’s counterintelligence division had not been aware of it. The PDB request brought it to our attention.

    DRJ (15874d)

  165. @158 – How do you know Flynn doesn’t know that? I’d say our presumption should be that Flynn believed his call with Kislyak was “perfect” (or at least not illegal), especially given that it, was in fact, perfectly legal. To presume the other way – that Flynn thought he was doing something illegal, even though he wasn’t, seems rather ridiculous to me. D.GOOCH

    GOOCH (d83d3a)

  166. @165 From the Wiki: “His military assignments included multiple tours at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, with the 82nd Airborne Division, XVIII Airborne Corps, and Joint Special Operations Command, where he deployed for the invasion of Grenada and Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti.[30] He also served with the 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana, and the Army Intelligence Center at Fort Huachuca, Arizona.[7]

    Flynn served as the assistant chief of staff, G2, XVIII Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, from June 2001 and the director of intelligence at the Joint Task Force 180 in Afghanistan until July 2002. He commanded the 111th Military Intelligence Brigade from June 2002 to June 2004[7] and was the director of intelligence for Joint Special Operations Command from July 2004 to June 2007, with service in Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom) and the Iraq War (Operation Iraqi Freedom). The subject and his superior, General McChrystal, streamlined all intelligence so as to increase the tempo of operations and degrade the networks of Al-Qaeda in Iraq.[31] He served as the director of intelligence of the United States Central Command from June 2007 to July 2008, as the director of intelligence of the Joint Staff from July 2008 to June 2009, then the director of intelligence of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan from June 2009 to October 2010.”

    GOOCH (d83d3a)

  167. So, that “gentleman’s agreement” between Flynn’s original lawyers and Mueller’s team to not go after Flynn’s son is a much MUCH bigger deal than I thought.

    The reason why the Mueller team didn’t want it documented and disclosed (required per Giglio v. US) is because they wanted Flynn’s cooperation during the special counsel investigations.

    Could you imagine that, had they documented it and disclosed it in future indictments where Flynn would be used by the prosecutor against Trump (or Trump’s orbit)?? The defense would get to impeach Flynn’s cooperation by asking “Isn’t it true that during your plea the prosecution promised not to go after your son?

    There’s your rationale…

    whembly (51f28e)

  168. @158 – How do you know Flynn doesn’t know that? I’d say our presumption should be that Flynn believed his call with Kislyak was “perfect” (or at least not illegal), especially given that it, was in fact, perfectly legal. To presume the other way – that Flynn thought he was doing something illegal, even though he wasn’t, seems rather ridiculous to me. D.GOOCH

    GOOCH (d83d3a) — 5/5/2020 @ 11:33 am

    His motivation to lie doesn’t matter.
    If he lied because he erroneously thought he committed a crime then he lied.
    If he lied because the truth was politically embarrassing for himself or his boss then he lied.
    It’s a crime either way. If you want to change the definition of what count’s as a criminal lie to the FBI then Congress should pass that law.

    If you want to see better presecutorial discretion Trump & Barr can release instructions to that effect for the entire DOJ tomorrow.

    Time123 (c9382b)

  169. @169, it’s not clear that there was any such agreement. It’s asserted by Flynn that there was, but it hasn’t been established yet.

    One question I have for any lawyers here; Are there circumstances where agreeing not to prosecute a family member is an acceptable part of such a plea?

    Time123 (c9382b)

  170. 163. Flynn was clean, because the FBI and IC, both stated the had found no derogatory facts in their investigation. That notice went to DC January 4.
    Yes we all agree Obama would claim concern about Flynn. He was the one honest man to blow the whistle on all of his domestic spying.

    And, there’s your motivation.

    nkinnick (bbb95d)

  171. @171 per wiki:

    Giglio v. United States, 405 U.S. 150 (1972), is a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that the prosecution’s failure to inform the jury that a witness had been promised not to be prosecuted in exchange for his testimony was a failure to fulfill the duty to present all material evidence to the jury, and constituted a violation of due process, requiring a new trial.[1] This is the case even if the failure to disclose was a matter of negligence and not intent. The case extended the Court’s holding in Brady v. Maryland,[2] requiring such agreements to be disclosed to defense counsel.[3] As a result of this case, the term Giglio material is sometimes used to refer to any information pertaining to deals that witnesses in a criminal case may have entered into with the government.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  172. @172, what I’m asking is under what circumstances is it permissible for the persecution to offer not to prosecute a 3rd party as part of my plea deal? Or said another way, when can the prosecution threaten to prosecute a 3rd party if I don’t accept a plea deal?

    Time123 (b87ded)

  173. 170. What the facts are against you, pound the table and argue the law.
    When the law is against you, pound the table and argue the facts.

    To me it is incomprehensible, you endorse President Trump continuing to operate the FBI and CIA, as political tools, the way Omaha did.

    nkinnick (67ef6c)

  174. So, that “gentleman’s agreement” between Flynn’s original lawyers and Mueller’s team to not go after Flynn’s son is a much MUCH bigger deal than I thought.

    Do you have some evidence there was such an agreement? So far the only people who are saying they know of one also say Trump didn’t talk about injecting disinfectant and that Trump was exonerated for collusion with Russia. Liars.

    Dustin (e5f6c3)

  175. One question I have for any lawyers here; Are there circumstances where agreeing not to prosecute a family member is an acceptable part of such a plea?

    Time123 (c9382b) — 5/5/2020 @ 12:15 pm

    If they were conspirators and one claims to be primarily responsible for the conduct, taking the fall. It sounds cruel but there’s a reason a lot of conspiracies rely on blood being thicker than water.

    Dustin (e5f6c3)

  176. @175 Pat posted it in part one:
    https://www.scribd.com/document/458177953/Flynn-Supplement-to-Motion-to-Dismiss-April-pdf#fullscreen&from_embed
    Particularly the unredacted email that stated:

    “The only exception is the reference to Michael Jr. The government took pains not to give a promise to MTF [Gen. Flynn] regarding Michael Jr., so as to limit how much of a ‘benefit’ it would have to disclose as part of its Giglio disclosures to any defendant against whom MTF may one day testify.

    Leaving quite a bit still redacted. I suspect we’d can get further context of these emails if the redacted sections becomes public.

    Pat thinks its a stretch to deem this as proof that Flynn was ever threatened. I disagree… as someone had to literally write this email to explain to the defense that the ‘government took pains not to give a promise” to Flynn regarding Jr… it ALSO went on to explain to LIMIT how much of a ‘benefit’ to avoid disclosure (see the bolded section). To me, this email confirms my suspicion that at the very least, there were some threats towards Jr. I think Pat would be more on point if that bolded section wasn’t articulated, because if there truly no threats, it wouldn’t needed to be stated.

    Frankly, we shouldn’t be surprise that the Mueller team did threaten Flynn… as they were extremely aggressive to everyone one of their investigations in Trump’s orbit. (while, paradoxically very uninterested in Clinton’s orbit)

    whembly (51f28e)

  177. 173. Time123 (b87ded) — 5/5/2020 @ 12:49 pm

    Or said another way, when can the prosecution threaten to prosecute a 3rd party if I don’t accept a plea deal?

    Anytime they have a legitimate case against the third party.

    Sammy Finkelman (ea6ca0)

  178. Dustin @175.

    Trump was exonerated for collusion with Russia.

    Or, more precisely, Russia was exonerated from collusion with Trump.

    Sammy Finkelman (ea6ca0)

  179. He was convicted of a process crime using dubious evidence.

    He was convicted based on his admission in open court that he did it, not using “dubious evidence.” (Unless your point is that anything Flynn says is somewhat dubious.)

    Nobody cares about the Logan act.

    Then why was Flynn so terrified about being convicted of violating it?

    Comey always makes me laugh. His wife and daughters are all extreme vagina-hat wearing Leftists. He’s friends with Left-wing left professors (that he leaks data to), but he’s a “Life long Republican” – even though he was appointed by Obama to the FBI,

    He was appointed by GWB as USA SDNY. He was appointed DAG by GWB. And, you know, adults are actually friends with people of different political persuasions.

    David Nieporent (9c8c00)

  180. Trump was exonerated for collusion with Russia.
    Or, more precisely, Russia was exonerated from collusion with Trump.

    Even more precisely, no exonertion. There was evidence that Putin people and Trump people conspired to help Trump get elected, but insufficient to conclude with confidence, per the Mueller report.

    Paul Montagu (b3f51b)

  181. Hmmm. So now the FBI is going to vet political advisors to the president?

    Political advisors? He was National Security Advisor. Surely his purview is not politics, but you know, national security?

    David Nieporent (9c8c00)

  182. Dustin @175.

    Trump was exonerated for collusion with Russia.

    Or, more precisely, Russia was exonerated from collusion with Trump.

    Sammy Finkelman (ea6ca0) — 5/5/2020 @ 2:11 pm

    Absolutely false. We also know that part of the scam is an endless stream of liars convincing Americans that the investigation is actually proof of what a victim Trump is.

    Trump may not be president for long. Until the DOJ is out of his hands, no real investigation can happen, but it’ll happen. I’m sure we’ll see some hilarious pre-emptive pardons on the way out the door though.

    Dustin (e5f6c3)

  183. 182. The newest documents reveal the intelligence assessment that claimed Russia was working in favor of Trump was a fabrication of Brennen. The actual intelligence showed Russia favored Clinton.

    nkinnick (67ef6c)

  184. @170 “His motivation to lie doesn’t matter.”

    Uh, yeah it does. The discussion you responded to is about which scenario, Flynn lied or Flynn forgot, is more plausible / probable. His motivation to lie obviously plays a big part in that calculation. Your invocation of the perjury statute is an irrelevant tangent to this discussion.

    But that said, here is the relevant statute:

    https://casetext.com/statute/united-states-code/title-18-crimes-and-criminal-procedure/part-i-crimes/chapter-47-fraud-and-false-statements/section-1001-statements-or-entries-generally

    I will draw your attention to (a): “Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully..”

    So the current statute clearly makes Flynn’s “motivation to lie” a tangible issue, as the absence of a motivation to lie goes to the question of whether he “knowingly and willfully” made a false statement.

    To suggest otherwise would be to contend that it wouldn’t matter if Bob, being investigated for the murder of Frank, made a false representation that he had not been at the Piggly Wiggly when Frank was murdered in the produce section, when he was, versus Bob making a false representation that he was at the Piggly Wiggly when Frank was murdered, when he was not.

    D.GOOCH

    GOOCH (d83d3a)

  185. Flynn can’t possibly have broken the Logan Act for the simple reason that he was a member of the transition team and had a place in the incoming Trump Administration.
    He was duly authorized to perform the level of negotiations he was beginning to perform.

    You are confused. There is one president of the United States at any given time, and that is the only person authorized to conduct foreign policy on behalf of the United States. Hint: it’s not the person with the title of “incoming president.” Before January 20, 2017, Trump couldn’t authorize Flynn to water the plants in the Oval Office, let alone to negotiate with Russia.

    David Nieporent (9c8c00)

  186. I know it sounds strange to hear me make such an accusation.

    It really doesn’t, given that he has published a “I used to assume the FBI was awesome, but after this latest news I can no longer support them” at least once a month or so.

    David Nieporent (9c8c00)

  187. Uh, yeah it does. The discussion you responded to is about which scenario, Flynn lied or Flynn forgot, is more plausible / probable. His motivation to lie obviously plays a big part in that calculation.

    That would be true if we were the jury in Flynn’s trial. But since he already admitted that he lied, we don’t really need to do that calculation anymore.

    David Nieporent (9c8c00)

  188. @ 186 – Let me know when you call for locking up John Kerry, Barack Obama, and every other living President and member of a presidential transition team who talked to foreign government representatives prior to taking office. I’ll wait.

    @ 188 – No, it has nothing to do with being on Flynn’s jury. And apparently you’ve been living on an island for awhile: Flynn he has repudiated his admission. He claims he plead guilty on bad advice from conflicted lawyers, in order to end a ruinous legal battle that had financially bankrupted him, and in order to protect his son from Mueller’s aggressive prosecutors, who he claims threatened to throw the book at his son. He further claims his admission was influenced by the government having withheld Brady information that would have demonstrated his innocence.
    So unless you’re ready to talk about this topic circa May, 2020, your comment doesn’t have alot to recommend it. D.GOOCH

    GOOCH (d83d3a)

  189. — General Flynn, you say you lied when you told me you were pleading guilty because you were guilty.
    — Yes, Your Honor.
    — But you’re telling the truth now.
    — Yes, Your Honor.
    — I see.
    — General Flyn, what you pleaded guilty to was lying to the FBI. Are you now saying you did not lie to the FBI?
    — Yes, Your Honor.
    — I see.
    — General Flynn, the courts are allowed to take judicial notice of matters which are generally known. Could you tell us, for the record, what are “Flynn facts”?

    nk (1d9030)

  190. 158. Correction

    What does the David Ignatius column in the Washington Post of January 9, 2017 say about his legal jeopardy for discussing the lifting of sanctions with the Russian Ambassador before Trump took office?

    Can somebody look that up?

    The David Ignatius column in the Washington Post was on January 12, 2017.

    ike Flynn lied to Mike Pence between then and Sunday, January 15, 2017.

    The David Ignatius column said he might hae broken the law in his conversation with the Russian ambassador.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-did-obama-dawdle-on-russias-hacking/2017/01/12/75f878a0-d90c-11e6-9a36-1d296534b31e_story.html

    According to a senior U.S. government official, Flynn phoned Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak several times on Dec. 29, the day the Obama administration announced the expulsion of 35 Russian officials as well as other measures in retaliation for the hacking. What did Flynn say, and did it undercut the U.S. sanctions? The Logan Act (though never enforced) bars U.S. citizens from correspondence intending to influence a foreign government about “disputes” with the United States. Was its spirit violated? The Trump campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment….

    ….UPDATE: The Trump transition team did not respond Thursday night to a request for comment. But two team members called with information Friday morning. A first Trump official confirmed that Flynn had spoken with Kislyak by phone, but said the calls were before sanctions were announced and didn’t cover that topic. This official later added that Flynn’s initial call was to express condolences to Kislyak after the terrorist killing of the Russian ambassador to Ankara Dec. 19, and that Flynn made a second call Dec. 28 to express condolences for the shoot-down of a Russian plane carrying a choir to Syria. In that second call, Flynn also discussed plans for a Trump-Putin conversation sometime after the inauguration. In addition, a second Trump official said the Dec. 28 call included an invitation from Kislyak for a Trump administration official to visit Kazakhstan for a conference in late January.

    I got a link that didn’t prevent me soon from reading the article and ask for money through:

    https://www.justsecurity.org/36263/president-elect-logan-act/

    Sammy Finkelman (375edc)

  191. 182. The newest documents reveal the intelligence assessment that claimed Russia was working in favor of Trump was a fabrication of Brennen. The actual intelligence showed Russia favored Clinton.

    nkinnick (67ef6c) — 5/5/2020 @ 3:44 pm

    Oh hi you’re the troll who was obsessed with me last week right?

    I’m sure Putin would have been happy to own either Trump or Hillary. but he owns Trump.

    You need to provide a link though to your claim the collusion between Trump and Putin was some deep state fabrication. Trump didn’t even conceal the collusion.

    Dustin (e5f6c3)

  192. fabrication of Brennen

    Brennen who?
    Brennen Taylor is a 25 year old actor I never heard of before Google found him for me now.
    How is he a part of the Deep State?

    Kishnevi (dfa879)

  193. Sammy, try right clicking your link and opening in incognito mode. Sometimes that avoids the paywall.

    Dustin (e5f6c3)

  194. LOL… or you can follow the rules and subscribe, Sammy.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  195. 193… I think he means that toad-mouthed John Brennan, kishnevi.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  196. The actual intelligence showed Russia favored Clinton.

    Per the Mueller report, the actual intelligence showed that Putin favored Trump. Brennan was one of many who came to the same conclusion.

    Paul Montagu (b3f51b)

  197. 8kun (formerly 8chan), founded by Fredrick Brennan, is not actual intelligence. Neither is QAnon nor Alex Jones, and definitely not Trump’s White House.

    nk (1d9030)

  198. LOL… or you can follow the rules and subscribe, Sammy.

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

    Ow my ankles hurt. Boomer got the good dentures on tonight.

    Dustin (e5f6c3)

  199. brennan gonna be doing time in the crow bar hotel with comey.

    mg (8cbc69)

  200. prosecutor van grack suppressed evidence to protect the prosecutors, his team, and the cadre of malfeasant FBI agents from the discovery of their negligence, crimes, and wrong doings.
    sing sing here we come

    mg (8cbc69)

  201. The report states that Brennan overruled agency analysts who wanted to include strong intelligence in the assessment to show that Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted Hillary Clinton to win the election, Fleitz says, citing conversations with House Intelligence Committee staffers. Brennan had also rejected analysts who wanted to strike weak intelligence from the report which suggested that Russia favored Trump, Fleitz said.

    From a Previously classified document by the CIA IG

    nkinnick (bbb95d)

  202. The FBI 302 documenting the interview of Flynn shows that it did not probe possible violations of any criminal statute or examine counterintelligence issues. Instead, it focused on exploring what the Trump administration might do differently than the Obama administration. In other words, it was an interview about policy differences between two presidencies.

    Kevin R. Brock, former assistant director of intelligence for the FBI, was an FBI special agent for 24 years and principal deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC).

    https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/496170-did-the-fbi-target-michael-flynn-to-protect-obamas-policies-not-national

    Stu707 (52fdfe)

  203. Gooch, so far as I know Flynn has not claimed that he just didn’t remember. If he hasn’t done that it appears that there’s no basis to conclude he merely forgot.

    Time123 (441f53)

  204. Stu707 (52fdfe) — 5/6/2020 @ 9:13 am

    In other words, it was an interview about policy differences between two presidencies.

    If the interview is about possible violations of the Logan Act, however much of a non-law it may be, that’s what you would focus on.

    If Flynn is agreeing with what the Obama Adminisration is doing, then he’s not undermining President Obama and negotiating with Russia before his time.

    Sammy Finkelman (375edc)

  205. @202

    The FBI 302 documenting the interview of Flynn shows that it did not probe possible violations of any criminal statute or examine counterintelligence issues. Instead, it focused on exploring what the Trump administration might do differently than the Obama administration. In other words, it was an interview about policy differences between two presidencies.

    Kevin R. Brock, former assistant director of intelligence for the FBI, was an FBI special agent for 24 years and principal deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC).

    https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/496170-did-the-fbi-target-michael-flynn-to-protect-obamas-policies-not-national

    Stu707 (52fdfe) — 5/6/2020 @ 9:13 am

    This article highlights two things:
    1) We need to see the original 302 and what was it that Strzok/Page had changed, but keep ‘s voice??
    2) Re-reading the available 302, its really apparent that we need to see the Flynn-Kislyak transcript to see of Flynn truly did lie to the FBI.

    whembly (c30c83)

  206. “, but keep ‘s voice??” should be “, but kept redacted’s voice??”

    whembly (c30c83)

  207. 203. Time123 (441f53) — 5/6/2020 @ 9:41 am

    Gooch, so far as I know Flynn has not claimed that he just didn’t remember.

    That’s what he said initially.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/14/us/politics/mike-flynn-resign-pence-russia.html

    Mr. Flynn and other Trump officials, including Mr. Pence and Sean Spicer, the press secretary, denied that Mr. Flynn had raised sanctions in the phone call with Mr. Kislyak. Mr. Spicer said the call had focused on the logistics of a planned phone call between Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin after the inauguration. Mr. Flynn later backed away from that assertion, saying his memory might have been faulty. In his resignation letter, he said he had “inadvertently” misled Mr. Pence.

    He obviously pled guilty because he could have been prosecuted on more serious charges. Now he says only because his son ocould have been prosecuted (for not registering s a foreign agent)

    He didn’t gve that reason untl he was sure the chances of being prosecuted n more serious charges were safely over.

    Sammy Finkelman (375edc)

  208. https://www.politico.com/f/?id=00000171-ebc4-d2fd-a9f5-efe5ebf00000

    This is a more unredacted Rosenstein scope memo for Mueller’s Special Counsel…

    whembly (c30c83)

  209. Hope this isn’t too much of a thread-necro…

    https://www.nationalreview.com/news/top-prosecutor-moves-to-withdraw-from-michael-flynn-case/
    Prosecutor Brandon Van Grack on Thursday submitted a request to withdraw from the team prosecuting former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

    whembly (c30c83)

  210. AP reports Justice Department dropping Flynn case. https://apnews.com/ae1ad252bb13490db2ceffc5d17b6d92

    In court documents being filed Thursday, the Justice Department said it is dropping the case “after a considered review of all the facts and circumstances of this case, including newly discovered and disclosed information.” The documents were obtained by The Associated Press.

    Stu707 (52fdfe)


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