Last night, many of us were digesting the highly disturbing documents released in the case of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. As I discussed this morning in a Hill column, the documents reveal an effort to entrap Flynn, including the use of a blatantly unconstitutional statute to achieve that “goal.” However, there appears far more than has not been released, according to various sources. The release of the Flynn documents highlight what Attorney General William Barr said on “The Ingraham Angle” on April 10th and stated that “far more troubling” material will be released as a result of the investigation of U.S. Attorney John Durham. I believe it is a mistake for Barr to give such foreshadowing interviews before the release of the Durham report. While I agree with Barr ordering these reviews (and his view of the evidence so far), these interviews only undermine the credibility and that of the eventual report. (For full disclosure, I testified in favor of Barr’s confirmation before the Senate Judiciary Committee). Putting that aside, the evidence strongly supports Barr’s effort to force the disclosure of material that has been buried despite the claims of full investigations by Congress and the Inspector General. Bizarrely, the media and many liberal commentators are struggling to ignore these troubling disclosures and the obvious abuses that they reflect within the Justice Department.
Barr stated that “My own view is that the evidence shows that we’re not dealing with just the mistakes or sloppiness.” He added “there was something far more troubling here. We’re going to get to the bottom of it. And if people broke the law and we can establish that with the evidence, they will be prosecuted.” Referring to the Russian investigation as “one of the greatest travesties in American history — without any basis,” he stated that the evidence shows “a whole pattern of events while he was president … to sabotage the presidency … or at least have the effect of sabotaging the presidency.”
Once again, I agree with Barr on the damning character of this evidence and what is emerging as the likely political purpose or bias behind decisions at the Justice Department at the start of the Trump Administration. Despite the rationalizations of media experts, this is one of the most thuggish records I have seen as a criminal defense attorney. This was not an effort to investigate a crime, it was an effort to create a crime. Flynn had not committed any crime in meeting with the Russian and the Logan Act is universally denounced as unenforceable and unconstitutional. So these top Justice officials were planning to create a crime for which Flynn might be prosecuted solely out of the desire to prosecute him or force him out of office.
The remarks do indicate that the Durham investigation is at an advanced stage. Many of us have heard that Durham was not satisfied with the Inspector General’s report and has found potentially criminal conduct.
As I stated today in the column, the Flynn material discloses additional evidence of a hostile intent to target key Trump aides, including the use of a law that is notoriously and presumptively unconstitutional. The material reflects a wild search for any ground upon which Flynn could be entrapped.