Judge Sullivan To Consider Perjury Charge Against Flynn

1280px-Emmet_G._Sullivan_2012Federal Judge Emmet Sullivan has issued a couple of extraordinary orders in the case of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn after the Justice Department moved to dismiss the case.  Sullivan has not only decided to allow third parties to argue against an uncontested motion in a criminal case, but he has appointed retired judge John Gleeson to argue against dismissal and address whether Flynn should face a perjury charge from the Court itself. I have practiced in front of Judge Sullivan for many years.  I have repeatedly praised him and expressed my respect for his demeanor and directness. However, these orders raised deeply troubling questions of judicial overreach and enmity.  Despite my admiration for Judge Sullivan, I believe he is moving well outside of the navigational beacons for judicial action and could be committing reversible errors if he denies the unopposed motion or moves forward on this perjury claim.

I was critical of Judge Sullivan’s earlier order allowing the filing of amicus briefing in this case. There is no rule allowing for such third party briefing and Judge Sullivan previously rejected such briefing.  He was right then and wrong now.  While common in civil cases, such third party arguments raise troubling concerns in criminal cases as courts allow the public to argue for enhanced punishments or other measures.  It is particularly troubling when the Justice Department itself not only found evidence of prosecutorial abuse but concluded that it cannot ethically proceed with the prosecution.  Sullivan is effectively creating a dispute in a case where the defense and prosecution agree that a case should be dismissed.

My concerns have deepened with the latest order:

“Upon consideration of the entire record in this case, it is hereby ORDERED that the Court exercises its inherent authority to appoint The Honorable John Gleeson (Ret.) as amicus curiae to present arguments in opposition to the government’s Motion to Dismiss,” the judge wrote.  “[I]t is further ORDERED that amicus curiae shall address whether the Court should issue an Order to Show Cause why Mr. Flynn should not be held in criminal contempt for perjury pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 401, Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 42, the Court’s inherent authority, and any other applicable statutes, rules, or controlling law.”

The suggestion that Flynn could be charged with perjury for seeking to withdraw a plea is highly disconcerting. As a criminal defense attorney, my concern is that such a claim could be made in thousands of cases where defendants have sought to withdraw such pleas or allegations of prosecutorial abuse have been raised for dismissal.

The use of Gleeson both to argue against the motion and review possible perjury charges.  One role is as an advocate while the other seems to be something like a quasi-special master.  Gleeson is also a troubling choice given his public criticism of the Administration over the Flynn case.

The perjury charge would be based on 18 U.S.C. § 401, which states:

A court of the United States shall have power to punish by fine or imprisonment, or both, at its discretion, such contempt of its authority, and none other, as —
(1)Misbehavior of any person in its presence or so near thereto as to obstruct the administration of justice;
(2)Misbehavior of any of its officers in their official transactions;
(3)Disobedience or resistance to its lawful writ, process, order, rule, decree, or command.

Sullivan knows that such a charge would not be prosecuted by the Justice Department. However, Criminal Procedure Rule 42 states that such cases are to be prosecuted by the government “unless the interest of justice requires the appointment of another attorney … If the government declines the request, the court must appoint another attorney to prosecute the contempt.”

Such an extraordinary action would occur in the context of an already troubling record. Judge Sullivan was previously criticized for suggesting that Flynn could be charged with treason, including an earlier blog column here. He is now allowing third parties to make arguments in a criminal case on an unopposed motion and exploring a charge that he might be able to bring against Flynn.  Judge Sullivan would not only ignore the agreement of the parties, the judgment of the Department of Justice, but effectively create a new case of his own making. At some point, the court risks the appearance of assuming both prosecutorial and judicial functions.  A perjury charge leaves the appearance of a court imposing its own notion of justice through a dubious judicially-mandated criminal charge.

 

510 thoughts on “Judge Sullivan To Consider Perjury Charge Against Flynn”

  1. The circus of Sullivan’s court keeps adding clowns:

    “The federal judge overseeing Michael Flynn’s criminal prosecution has directed the law firm that Flynn fired to reappear as an interested party in the controversial proceeding. On Thursday, that firm complied by filing a notice of appearance.

    “U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan of the District of Columbia on Thursday ordered the clerk of the court to “add Covington & Burling LLP (‘Covington’) as an interested party in this matter and directed counsel for Covington to file a notice of appearance on behalf of Covington as an interested party.”…”

    https://lawandcrime.com/high-profile/michael-flynns-fired-lawyers-just-filed-court-papers-to-reappear-in-his-case/

    1. ordered the clerk of the court to “add Covington & Burling LLP (‘Covington’) as an interested party
      ______________________________________________________
      Covington is an interested party, they hid exculpatory evidence from the court and they are the ones who we are now being told that coaxed Flynn to swear an oath to the court that the false statements in the plea deal were true.

      It should be obvious to anybody that the DOJ is also an interested party as it was the DOJ and its prosecutors that invented the false story that Flynn had denied (to the FBI) discussing sanctions with Kislyak.

      Flynn did lie to the court under oath about the facts in the plea deal, but his lawyers and the prosecution told him to do it. And its not possible to dig into the facts without uncovering that evidence.

      1. Jinn– True, a lot of blame to go around. But the judge has one job if he follows the law: dismiss the case.

        It is the duty of others to investigate wrongdoing. Flynn has a new and competent lawyer. The DOJ has new lawyers. Much of what we know now comes down to them. Their job, not Sullivan’s.

        1. True, a lot of blame to go around. But the judge has one job if he follows the law: dismiss the case.
          ________________________________________________
          Do you believe that if the judge witnesses a crime right before his eyes in his courtroom he is required to turn a blind eye? Federal law says no he does not.

          One thing seems pretty clear, the judge is going to make sure that the Trump DOJ will not come into his courtroom and engage in this sort of gross misbehavior ever again. At the very least he is going to expose the misbehavior and perhaps verbally spank them. He may after doing that dismiss the case.

            1. You mean the Obama DOJ…
              _________________________________________
              I mean the DOJ officials appointed by Trump and controlled by Trump.

              This whole Flynn Flam case is a fraud and always has been a fraud. Before the Trump DOJ booted the FBI off the case and took over the Russia investigation, the FBI investigators were saying they would be pursuing no charges against Flynn

              https://www.cnn.com/2017/02/16/politics/fbi-not-expected-to-pursue-charges-against-flynn/

              After Trump fired Comey Trump stated that the result would be a much longer dragged out Russia investigation. And shortly thereafter Trump had Mueller appointed and sure enough Mueller dragged it out for 2 more years just like trump said he would.

              https://youtu.be/5Wvuw_Zmubg?t=107

              But Mueller had nothing to investigate. The FBI had pretty much gone over everything already and had found no Trump Russia collusion and so Mueller had to invent phony stories to bring a dead case to life. The first phony story was the Flynn-lied-to-the-FBI story. That phony story led to the phony story and the phony investigation that Trump obstructed justice by trying to get Comey to “go easy” on Flynn for lying to the FBI, even though both Trump and Comey knew that Flynn had never lied during that FBI interview. The next phony story was that trump found out about the obstruction investigation and was going to fire Mueller. So that led to another obstruction investigation. So now in a span of a few weeks Mueller had 3 completely phony stories he could investigate and of course all of this was leaked to the press by the Trump administration in order to foment hysteria about the Mueller investigation by stupid partisans on both sides.

              The Mueller investigation carried on in that vein for two years with one phony controversy following another. But the phony controversies were all designed so that they would eventually fall apart and turn into nothing-burgers. The end result would be the appearance that Trump had done mortal combat with the deep state and triumphed over the deep state. But it was all phony Kayfabe. Trump is no more the enemy of the entrenched establishment than Obama was.

    1. Kurtz– Thanks for that. Very interesting. We have gotten to the point where Americans need to worry more about the FBI than the KGB descendant agencies. What a filthy mess.

        1. …and, still, if I told you what I know, you wouldn’t believe it. It’s that bad.

    1. ‘One had to search far and wide to find a non-conservative legal analyst willing to say the obvious, i.e. that Sullivan’s decision was the kind of thing one would expect from a judge in Belarus. George Washington University professor Jonathan Turley was one of the few willing to say Sullivan’s move could “could create a threat of a judicial charge even when prosecutors agree with defendants.”’ -Matt Taibbi

      1. we are seeing a lot of unexpected events recently and we may yet see that one

        don’t be too sure of anything folks, look around you at how things have changed so quickly

  2. Dershowitz has weighed in!
    —————
    Judge Emmet Sullivan’s decision to appoint a retired federal judge to argue against the Justice Department’s entirely proper decision to end the criminal prosecution of General Michael Flynn is designed to circumvent the constitutional limitation on the jurisdiction of federal judges. The Constitution limits this jurisdiction to actual cases and controversies. There must be disagreement between the parties that requires resolution by a judge. If the parties agree, there is nothing for the judge to decide.

    In the Flynn case, the prosecution and defense both agree that the case should be dropped. Because there is no longer any controversy between the parties to be resolved, there is no longer any case properly before the judge. His only job is to enter an order vacating the guilty plea and dismissing the case with prejudice.

    But Judge Sullivan does not want to do that.

    He apparently thinks Flynn belongs in prison. He has as much as said that. So, he has manufactured a fake controversy by appointing a new prosecutor because evidently he does not like what the constitutionally authorized prosecutor — the Attorney General — has decided. The new prosecutor has been tasked to argue for the result that Judge Sullivan prefers. But under our constitutional system of separation of powers, the new prosecutor has no standing to make such an argument. He is not a member of the executive branch, which is the only branch authorized to make prosecutorial decisions. He was appointed by a member of the judicial branch to perform an executive function — a clear violation of the separation of powers, which allocates the power to prosecute to the executive, not judicial, branch.

    It makes no constitutional difference that Flynn pleaded guilty — even if his plea was voluntary, which is questionable in light of the threats against his son.

    The Justice Department has the constitutional authority to dismiss a prosecution that it has brought at any time and for any reason, without being second-guessed by the judicial branch.

    Judge Sullivan is basing his unconstitutional actions on Rule 48(a) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure which provides that: “The government may, with leave of court, dismiss an indictment, information, or complaint. The government may not dismiss the prosecution during trial without the defendant’s consent.” This judge-written rule was designed to protect the defendant against manipulation by the government to circumvent the protection against double jeopardy. It is not properly employed to hurt the defendant by empowering the judge to act as both prosecutor and decision-maker. It rarely if ever results in a judge denying leave to the government to drop a prosecution that it believes is unjustified.

    Judge Sullivan is exceeding his authority by turning his courtroom into a three-ring partisan circus, designed to allow him to get his way despite the agreement of the actual parties before him. He is taking judicial activism to a new and grossly improper level, to the disadvantage of a defendant he does not like.

    As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg recently wrote for a unanimous Court:

    “Courts are essentially passive instruments…”

    It is not within their legitimate authority to “sally forth each day looking for wrongs to right.”

    Their role is to “decide only questions presented by the parties.”

    Judge Sullivan is improperly exceeding that role in the Flynn case and should be chastised for it, whether one agrees or disagrees with the Justice Department’s decision on its merits.

    There is a joke lawyers who practice in Federal Court like to tell.

    Angel Gabriel summons Sigmund Freud in heaven and tells him God is having delusions of grandeur.

    Freud asks how God can have delusions of grandeur: There is no one grander than Him.

    To which the Angel Gabriel responded, “he thinks he’s a federal judge.”

    But what Judge Sullivan is doing is no joke.

    He is endangering our system of separation of powers and he should be stopped by a writ of mandamus or a motion to recuse. Judges, too, are not above the law or the Constitution.
    —————-

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. Odd how in recently released tapes of Obama he says of Flynn
      “ And the fact that there is no precedent that anybody can find for someone who has been charged with perjury just getting off scot-free.” when in fact Flynn had not been charged with perjury at that time.

      Now the judge wants to charge him with perjury!

      Give me a break, of course it is political and personal. This judge should really step down not just on this case, but all. He is a disgrace.

  3. Sullivan’s seeking of amicus briefs, by definition, is an act that undermines the rule of law. It invites the mob into the courtroom to shout inflamed vectives and essentially co-opt the courtroom as the setting for a lynch mob.

    1. Ivan:

      You’d think a guy trying to hurl an insult would keep it in the thread that offended him. No matter, Benson is the site’s polymath and his logic is our logic, his feeling our feelings and his rants our rants. When he’s gone we’ll wonder why we don’t laugh as much any more.

      1. What do you make of these people who come here everyday, for years on end, solely to hate on Turley? Are they paid shills or just nincompoops? I know some of them use multiple aliases.

        As an aside, I do appreciate you and the others here who are genuinely interested in the law.

  4. Now that Sullivan has ordered Covington to appear as an interested party I confess the goings-on in Sullivan’s Court are beyond me. I do not see how anyone can usefully claim to understand what comes next. Looking dangerous for Flynn. I think….

    1. “…I confess the goings-on in Sullivan’s Court are beyond me.”
      “Looking dangerous for Flynn. I think….”

      Nah. The only one in genuine danger now is the judge who is wildly out of his lane. He’s set himself up for a massive smackdown. The danger for Flynn has passed and his supporters should no longer worry for him and his family.

      If you wish to educate yourself(sounds like you need it) I suggest watching Viva Frei’s youtube videos on the subject:

      1. Ivan
        The problem is Viva Frei discusses extant law, and very good he is too. I watch at 0.75 speed as he often talks extremely fast….Judge Sullivan is beyond that remit. Hope you are right about Flynn. Who expected amici to come calling after numerous refusals and an order prohibiting? No one.

        1. Peter Divey – I got someone else I watch at .75 speed and Viva Frei should be added to that category. The fun part is seeing how long the kid will stay asleep in the car.

    2. I’m afraid I must disagree with your contention that things look “dangerous” for General Flynn. What is in DANGER is the Federal Judicial System. When a Federal Judge assumes the role of both Prosecutor and is an obviously BIASED “judge,” the integity of our Court System comes to question. We already know that the FBI and the Justice Department under 0bama, was hopeleslly CORRUPT and little more than a political apparatus designed to do the bidding of 0bama!

      Judge Sullivan, in compromising his judicial integrity and the that of his Courts, is systematic witht the Deep State Ruling Class. It’s sad that a Federal Judge (appointed by Clinton, beholden to 0bama), has soiled his legacy on the Court to the point where he is already a laughing stock.

      1. The first three replies to the tweet (above). True then, true now.

        Travis Lambirth Billed cap
        @travislambirth
        ·
        Apr 8, 2019
        Replying to
        @ggreenwald

        Maybe
        @EricRWeinstein
        is right and we need a thorough audit of what our intelligence community is actually up to
        Ann Batiza
        @AnnBatiza
        ·
        Apr 8, 2019
        Replying to
        @ggreenwald

        I think they have six ways from Sunday to play the American people. We have to change that with reporters like @mtaiibi ,
        @aaronjmate
        and
        @ggreenwald
        .
        sabrina4bernie #Exit Polls Show Fraud in Primaries
        @sabrina68
        ·
        Apr 8, 2019
        Replying to
        @ggreenwald

        schumer says that like it’s ok.

        should scare the hell out of people.

        not that we didn’t know, but to hear a senator say it as a warning, and it’s not just to trump means something needs to be done about it

      1. …or you’re a shill who only comes here everyday to contradict everything Turley has to say because you are scared of the truth he’s speaking and the widespread attention he’s garnered. You are losing badly and the worst is yet to come.

        1. Ivan, did you have a point or rebuttal to the IG report? As interesting as I am, I’m not the subject.

          1. If you had made a point rather than simply giving a weblink, then I would have something to respond to.

            You and the “others” who come here daily solely because you hate Turley are not the least bit “interesting”

    1. From the Sham Prosecution of Gen. Michael Flynn Also Reveal Broad Corruption in the Russiagate Investigations
      _____________________________________________________
      Well of course the prosecution of Flynn was a sham and the Mueller investigations was always corrupt. It started out corrupt the day that Rosenstein, Mueller and Trump held a secret meeting in the oval office after the Special Counsel had been chosen and just before Mueller’s appointment was announced to the public.

      The Judge wants to know how all that fraud ended up in his court with both sides telling the court the same lies and both sides concealing the same evidence that would reveal the plea deal was a lie.

  5. Mr. Turley, as amicus, is judge Gleeson entitled to immunity? It seems here that he is not really acting as an amicus, but as a substitute prosecutor in deprivation of Flynn’s civil rights. If Sullivan holds Flynn in contempt and then the whole thing gets thrown out on appeal, wouldn’t Flynn be able to sue Gleeson?

  6. Professor Turley,

    I’m a long time admirer of yours, all the more so as regardless of your stated party affiliations, you have called them as you see them, and that, sadly, is a rarity in the US. FWIW ( hopefully something, in the context of this comment), after years in the legal world, myself….I will leave it at that…..I long ago stopped believing in either party, and have been feeling like someone yelling “fire” in the movies, while most others are insisting it is simply the popcorn machine that is making smoke.

    I am past the point where I believe in the country’s intellectual and political abilities to even understand its problems, let alone extricate itself from, at least, the worst of them.

    If you have made any mistake, and it has been, at least from out here, a huge one, it is in not seeing what was really happening a long time ago. Your appreciation, for example, of Judge Sullivan, based on what, I am not sure, has been naive, however graceful and well-intended.

    Especially insofar as you are one of the few still-respectable voices left, it has hurt, even as you never intended for it to….choosing…and that is the right word…to believe in the better angels of our natures, instead of, I respectfully submit, seeing the reality of it.

    Of course, even my view of you, is based on my own “reality” and I get that, too.

    Anyway, I am not even sure why I am writing this, except, I guess to urge you to keep seeing through your new window, and even as I am terminally cynical, but insofar as you have an audience I don’t, I hope you will keep pounding away at it.

    Thank you.

    neil

        1. Paul:
          “ Sullivan is ordering Flynn’s old law firm to make an appearance,”
          *************************
          Not all that crazy if he wants to know why the exculpatory docs were withheld. Mucho crazy if he wants them to do anything for Flynn. Medium crazy if he wants to pit them against Flynn by asking if they forced him to plead. Sounds like medium crazy to me.

      1. I don’t think the lying group is used to opposition that is tenacious. This would never have gotten as far as it did if the Republicans were willing to stand up from the beginning. Maybe then some of the Democrats would have gotten the guts to stand with them.

        1. Agreed. The time has come to stop treating the lying left and the corrupt establishment with kid gloves. From here on out it’s all out war.

    1. It seemed like I was able to post the memorandum but I don’t see it on the blog yet.

      CK07, not to reopen our discussion, you and some others had qualms about vacating the courts decision. If you read just 4-6 you will find some interesting examples and if you read some other stuff you will see some of the abuses that have taken place. I’m not asking you to agree rather to take note of the problems that are created when politics becomes involved in criminal matters.

      If it doesn’t post go t0 https://sidneypowell.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Obama-Memo-Edits-NEW-FINAL.pdf for an easier read and the ability to copy.

        1. They don’t want to see beneath the surface. President Trump endured 3 years of investigation by a small army of lawyers and agents and came out stronger.

          I doubt Obama could survive 3 months of such scrutiny. But nobody wants to look.

  7. Trump Wants Us To Argue Endlessly

    The United States, and the entire world, are currently dealing with the worst crisis since WWII. Yet Donald Trump thinks ‘Obamagate’ should be Priority #1. Never have we seen a distraction manufactured on such an audacious scale.

    What’s more the comments by Trump supporters here and social media reflect a truly cult-like mentality. The country should be pulling together to deal with the pandemic. Yet Trump and his supporters are essentially fomenting civil war.

    1. “The United States, and the entire world, are currently dealing with the worst crisis since WWII.”
      *************************
      Hardly there, Chicken Little, unless you count the Dim Tyra-nors taking advantage of a run-of-the-mill SARS virus and hyping fear for their power grab.

      1. Mespo, tell us when the entire world was ever quarantined. Tell us when we last went from Record Low Unemployment to Record High Unemployment in the span of 2 months.

        If you think we’ll get back to those glorious days when Trump beat impeachment, you’re insanely optimistic. Those glorious post-impeachment days were just a blip in time.

        This pandemic will be the first paragraph of Donald Trump’s obituary. They’ll quote him as saying, “I’m not responsible”. That will go over big to future generations. They won’t remember ‘Obamagate’.

        The crisis we’re dealing with could be with us for years. A ‘Lost’ Generation is coming of age right now. That should concern Donald Trump. He’s never mentioned it! Trump’s so busy with his grievances he can’t think of anyone else (except, perhaps, his kids).

        1. Capt:

          “Mespo, tell us when the entire world was ever quarantined.”
          *************************
          When the fascists controlled Europe and much of the Far East. Like now.

          1. Mespo, if your argument hinges on indignant references to fascists, that means you’re throwing in the towel regarding any facts.

            1. Capt.:
              “ if your argument hinges on indignant references to fascists, that means you’re throwing in the towel regarding any facts.”
              ******************
              Not really. Sweden and Georgia proves masks, quarantines and lockdowns don’t work to stop the spread of the virus. If that’s not the reason, then it’s power. Power over people is want fascism is all about. You asked a question. I answered it and defeated the premise. You need to realize the manifest truth that if they really are coming to get you, then you’re not paranoid.

        2. You are another victim of Trump Derangement Syndrome. The loony left and the corrupt establishment openly wish for an economic disaster, and then when one comes along due to a pandemic you celebrate, try to make it worse, and happily push your never Trump agenda. It’s an ugly look…very un-American. And it will backfire again because it is so obvious.

          “Obamagate” is a permanent stain on our nation and it will never be forgotten for it is biggest scandal in American history by far. The walls are closing in on that fake American. “Watergate” was a joke by comparison.

          If you were concerned about a “lost” generation then you wouldn’t be pushing for a “cure”[“quarantine the healthy”] that kills the patient[economy]. That “lost generation” will learn not to be so cowardly and afraid of the dangers of being alive. They will come to know who the real enemy is.

      1. Ray, if all you can think of is the ‘walk & chew gum’ insult, don’t even bother commenting. Seriously!

        When you click that “Post Comment” you’re accepting a responsibility to transmit something clever. You don’t just post some cliche insult from the 1950’s. Any half feeble senior can come up with something like that.

      2. A very good likelihood that Captain Lochart is Paint Chips as well. He is polluting the blog with multiple alisases and even commenting as anonymous.

        1. Why would anyone GAF who he is as long as his comments are substantive and to the point. We don’t know who you are and I doubt many want to know.

    2. When Dems don’t do what Reps want they’re speaking truth to power.
      When Reps don’t do what Dems want they’re fomenting civil war.
      When Reps do what Dems want the country is pulling together.
      When Dems do what Reps want…well we don’t what to call it because it’s never happened.

    3. viruses may come and go so stop deflecting, but the violations of letter & spirit of the law by the obama regime must be punished for the Nation to go forward

          1. DBB:
            Yeah Ethan’s Oscar Wilde and Noel Coward all wrapped up with Bernard Shaw. Your standards for quick-wittedness are awfully deliberate.

    4. Sad indeed Captain, and especially in service to a lying scumbag a child should be able to read.As you note, they’ll believe anything that furthers the ridiculous narrative, They’re all in too deep I guess and hard to admit you lost your allowance to a carnival barker. Here’s 6 minutes of their leader lying and making self serving and completely false predictions about the real crisis we face:

      (Very short intro)

      https://www.justice.gov/storage/120919-examination.pdf

    5. When school children were filmed singing the praises of Obama it looked very much like a cult.

      It reminded me of Chinese children singing of Mao.

      1. Of course. He was and is an unremarkable man sitting in an unusually prominent position. Harry Truman had hidden reserves, so he shined in office. Gerald Ford made good decisions and bad, but was not a clown. Obama’s just the Emperor with his new clothes.

  8. The Flynn Case: A Timeline 

    It was Dec. 29, 2016, the day the outgoing Obama administration announced sanctions against Russia for the country’s widespread effort to disrupt the 2016 presidential election. Mr. Flynn, who was Mr. Trump’s incoming national security adviser, urged Mr. Kislyak in a phone call not to escalate tensions with a retaliatory move against the United States — perhaps by kicking American diplomats and spies out of Russia.

    Given the circumstances, the call was remarkable. The United States government had just determined that its longtime adversary had launched a concerted effort to sabotage a presidential election, and the incoming national security adviser was having a back-channel discussion with a top Russian official that might lead to the new Trump administration gutting the sanctions its predecessor put in place to punish the Russians.

    Mr. Flynn chose not to document the calls with the ambassador, a decision that records from the investigation of the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, show was based on his concern that he might be interfering with the Obama administration’s foreign policy weeks before Mr. Trump took office. His concerns were well founded. When President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia did not retaliate after the Obama administration’s sanctions, President Barack Obama was perplexed and asked spy agencies to figure out why.

    The F.B.I. unearthed the discussions between Mr. Flynn and Mr. Kislyak when reviewing transcripts of the ambassador’s intercepted calls. F.B.I. officials discussed interviewing Mr. Flynn, whom agents had been investigating as part of the bureau’s inquiry into whether any Trump campaign associates had conspired with Russia during the presidential election.

    The matter took on greater urgency when Mr. Flynn’s discussions with Mr. Kislyak were revealed publicly by David Ignatius, a Washington Post columnist.

    Top Trump transition officials — including Mr. Pence as well as Reince Priebus, who was to be White House chief of staff, and Sean Spicer, the incoming White House press secretary — questioned Mr. Flynn about the Washington Post column. Mr. Flynn denied that he spoke about sanctions with Mr. Kislyak, and Mr. Spicer repeated those claims to members of the news media.

    Days later, on Jan. 15, 2017, Mr. Pence was asked about the column during an interview on the CBS News program “Face the Nation.” The incoming vice president said that he had talked with Mr. Flynn about his calls with Mr. Kislyak, and he said that Mr. Flynn was unequivocal. “They did not discuss anything having to do with the United States’ decision to expel diplomats or impose censure against Russia,” the vice president said.

    Mr. Pence’s interview set off alarms at the F.B.I. and the Justice Department. If Mr. Flynn had lied to the vice president, the Russians knew that and could use it as leverage over Mr. Flynn. Newly disclosed documents made public in Mr. Flynn’s criminal case show officials were also concerned that Mr. Pence might have been lying, as well.

    “The implications of that were that the Russians believed one of two things — either that the vice president was in on it with Flynn, or that Flynn was clearly willing to lie to the vice president,” Mary B. McCord, a former top national security at the time, said in an interview with the special counsel’s office.

    Edited from: “Trump White House Changes Its Story On Michael Flynn”

    Today’s New York Times 

    1. The Flynn Case: A Timeline, Part 2

      The F.B.I. decided to try to find out who was lying to whom. James B. Comey, the bureau’s director at the time, sent a pair of agents to the White House to speak with Mr. Flynn, who by then was only a few days into his job as national security adviser. But Mr. Comey made the unusual decision to not notify senior Justice Department officials about the interview until the agents were already on their way to the White House — blindsiding and infuriating the officials who oversee the F.B.I. about a highly sensitive session.

      During the interview, Mr. Flynn was asked about sanctions and other topics. He denied talking about Russian sanctions, according to documents, even as agents used his own words from the highly classified transcripts to refresh his memory. Mr. Flynn seemed relaxed, agents would note, and did not betray any signs of deception.

      But the F.B.I. reports from the interview did not square with the transcripts of the phone calls, and soon Trump administration lawyers were discussing whether Mr. Flynn might have committed a felony by making false statements during the interrogation.

      Mr. Priebus later recounted to Mr. Mueller’s investigators a meeting with Mr. Trump in which he told the president about the concerns that Mr. Flynn had lied during his F.B.I. interview. Mr. Trump was angry, Mr. Priebus recalled, and said, “Not again, this guy, this stuff.”

      Within days, White House lawyers — including the White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II — had concluded, after reviewing the transcripts of the calls, that Mr. Flynn had repeatedly lied about his discussions with Mr. Kislyak. According to the findings by the special counsel, “McGahn and Priebus concluded that Flynn could not have forgotten the details of the discussions of sanctions and had instead been lying about what he discussed with Kislyak.

      Mr. McGahn and Mr. Priebus decided that Mr. Flynn needed to go and made that recommendation to Mr. Trump.

      On Feb. 13, after Mr. Priebus told Mr. Flynn that he must resign, he brought him into the Oval Office. There, Mr. Flynn and the president hugged, and Mr. Trump said he would give Mr. Flynn a good recommendation. “You’re a good guy,” the president said, according to the account Mr. Priebus gave to the Mueller team. “We’ll take care of you.”

      Ten months later, after Mr. Flynn had pleaded guilty for lying to the F.B.I. agents and agreed to cooperate with the Mueller investigation, Mr. Pence said that removing him from the White House was the right move.

      Edited from: “Trump White House Changes Story On Michael Flynn”

      Today’s New York Times

      1. “During the interview, Mr. Flynn was asked about sanctions and other topics. He denied talking about Russian sanctions, according to documents”

        According to documents? Now there’s a weasel and a half.

        1. Paint Chips is the leftist hypocrite. He complains about anonymous posters and posters that change their aliases while using several different aliases at a time. Then he plays the gay card as an anonymous poster. You can tell he has a severe problem because he is lashing out and in the process gay bashing which is quite unseemly. To me that tells me he has a sexual identity problem that he can’t deal with. To Peter Paint Chips: homosexuality has existed forever and is a valid way of life. Yours, whatever it is, isn’t.

          1. Allan, what the heck is this again? Always talking gay stuff. Never smart viewpoints. You, Young, Absurd and Estovir. Always posting gay stuff. Every time I come here that’s all there is to see.

            Someone said The Nail Salon is a place you all go somewhere there in Washington. We know what that’s about. I just hope Professor Turley don’t go there himself. He should get away from you. All of you. Just creepy fools.

            1. You have a problem with gays, Patriot? Get real and grow up. You seem to only prowl the remarks to Paint Chips and things having to do with gays. Why not go to a gay site so you don’t have to read a lot of posts to the find things you are interested in.

            2. Patriot– Not the salon in Washington; Seth’s shop in West Hollywood. Just past the cardboard box you live in on the sidewalk of Santa Monica Blvd.

              1. You too Young. Every time I come here you & Alan are talking gay stuff. How come?? Got nothing else to comment on? This sight supposed to be for lawyers. Or folks wanting to know law. But Alan you and Estovir keep talking gay. Your like guys who hang out at highway rest stops.

                1. Pat– Why keep talking about it? Because you cuties fronm the nail salon keep showing up and babbling nonsense. I haven’t seen you make an actual legal comment yet.

                2. “Every time I come here”

                  Young, he spends the rest of his time at the nail salon with Buttercup.

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