Out Like Flynn: How the Media Embraced Prosecutorial Misconduct As An Article Of Faith

440px-Michael_T_FlynnFor decades, the legal community has decried common practices used by prosecutors to coerce pleas from defendants. Prosecutors often stack up charges and then drain defendants until they agree to pleading guilty. There was a time when such abuses were regularly called out in leading newspapers. These are not those times.

The Flynn case was a textbook example of these abuses but media commentators quickly adopted the “anyone who pleads guilty must be guilty” mantra. Suddenly, the “proof is in the plea” regardless of false representations, withheld evidence, and conflicting findings in the Flynn case.

The only acceptable take in the media is that the motion to dismiss the Flynn case is an outrageous politicalization of the justice system. This narrative is only possible by ignoring the long-standing questions over the handling and charge in the case. Indeed, it is telling how both controlling law and countervailing facts have been uniformly (and knowingly) ignored in order to portray the case as a virtual immaculate prosecution.

Much of the analysis of the Flynn case notably starts half way across the field with the guilty plea of Flynn rather than at the start. the New York Times recently published an editorial entitled “Don’t forget, Michael Flynn pleaded guilty. Twice.” Such coverage pretends that there have been no questions raised about the underlying charge. The investigators concluded (and told FBI officials) that they did not believe that Flynn intentionally lied when he denied speaking about sanctions with the Russian ambassador. There was no reason to do so. Flynn knew that the FBI had intercepted the call and told the investigators that they could check the transcript. Moreover, Trump had publicly called for reexamining the entire Russian relationship, including sanctions. Most importantly, it was perfectly legal for the incoming National Security Adviser to encourage the Russians not to retaliate pending such a review by the incoming Administration.

While acknowledging that he failed to recall the sanctions discussion, Flynn contested the charge on the basis of intent and eventually spent virtually all of his money, including having to sell his house. He only pleaded guilty when the Special Counsel’s office threatened to charge his son and offered in exchange a plea to a relatively minor charge (with little or no jail time expected). What is striking about these facts is that analysts citing the plea routinely omit all of them to make the case look cut and dry. The issue was never whether Flynn’s statement was false but his intent and the materiality of the statement. Even though I supported the appointment of a Special Counsel, I raised these concerns years before the motion to dismiss was filed.

Nevertheless, the New York Times editors have warned “It’s hard to overstate how dangerous this is. It is a small step from using the Justice Department to protect your friends to using it to go after your political enemies. In other words, watch out, Joe Biden.” Of course, it was the Obama Administration with Biden as Vice President that started an investigation into its opponents based on Russian collusion allegations later found to lack any credible foundation. A long list of Obama officials admitted that they never saw any direct evidence of such collusion. Moreover, we now know that FBI agents early on warned that the material in the Steele Dossier (funded by the Clinton campaign) was not just unreliable and likely Russian intelligence misinformation. The Obama Administration still launched a full and long investigation of the Trump campaign and its officials. That was no “small step” but a giant leap.

As a criminal defense attorney, I have been personally involved in cases where innocent defendants must choose between effective bankruptcy (and the risk of a longer incarceration) against a plea for one or two counts. To his credit, Harvard Professor Noah Feldman was one of the few to acknowledge the problem of false pleas: “True, we all understand that, faced with the awesome power of prosecution, defendants sometimes plead guilty even if they aren’t. Liberals should be the first to acknowledge that in the real world, a guilty plea doesn’t necessarily mean the defendant committed the crime.” After acknowledging that reality, however, Feldman immediately dismisses it in a spellbinding level of circular reasoning: “But when the crime was lying, and the government still acknowledges that the defendant in fact did lie, there is less reason to worry that the defendant has been railroaded.”

Once again, the issue was never the falsity but the intent of the statement. Proof of a false statement to federal investigators under Section 1001(a)(2) requires more than a simple false statement. Rather, the false statement must be “material” to the underlying investigation. The motion to dismiss actually contained a discussion that has long been made by defense counsel as the correct reading of the law: “The materiality threshold thus ensures that misstatements to investigators are criminalized only when linked to the particular ‘subject of [their] investigation’ …[and] prevents law enforcement from fishing for falsehoods” to charge someone. Newly released documents show officials openly fishing for any criminal charge against Flynn long after the counterintelligence operation from no criminality. None of that evidence was put before the Court when it reviewed the Flynn plea, which was uncontested.

Moreover, the statement of the Justice Department should be celebrated by those who believe in due process for criminal defendants. The Flynn filing represents a powerful statement against prosecutorial coercion and abuse. It will be cited for years, including by this criminal defense attorney, in future cases. It is a powerful affirmation in a case with classic elements of coercive prosecutorial misconduct. Yet, the media has denounced it and the very notion of challenging trial prosecutors in such a case.

We now know from the Justice Department that both agents “had the impression at the time that Flynn was not lying or did not think he was lying.” It was not until much later that Mueller’s people decided to use the discrepancy for a charge. It is common for such false statements to be flagged to coerce defendants into plea agreements, the very point Feldman just made.

Notably, when Flynn was charged, Feldman explained that it made it more difficult for Trump to fire Mueller because “the content of the Flynn-Kislyak conversations deepens the narrative that special counsel Robert Mueller has been building.” There was certainly a narrative like that in the media, but there was no real evidence of Russian collusion. Indeed, at the time of the Flynn plea, Mueller already knew that. However, the key remains the “narrative” not the evidence.

These facts simply do not fit the narrative. Suddenly, the judge’s resistance to granting the motion becomes ignoble and, God forbid, Barr move could be viewed as noble. Likewise, while analysts and academics herald Sullivan’s tough scrutiny of the motion, none are asking why Sullivan did not appoint an outsider or anyone to look into credible allegations that the original prosecutors against Flynn committed serious constitutional violations in withholding evidence and misrepresenting facts to the Court. It is also not relevant that FBI officials involved in the Flynn case like former Deputy FBI Director were found to have lied repeatedly to investigators. It is easier to say that the “proof is in the plea.”

“In like Flynn” once meant that you lived a charmed life of access or success. Today, it appears the media has adopted a chilling “out like Flynn” view, meaning some people simply do not deserve fair judicial or media consideration. Indeed, it is now an article of faith to dismiss any question about the conduct of the prosecutors in the Flynn case, even if it means adopting the long discredited view that only the guilty plead guilty.

301 thoughts on “Out Like Flynn: How the Media Embraced Prosecutorial Misconduct As An Article Of Faith”

  1. So here is something to think about. It is an Alternate Universe, and Republicans use “lawfare” to kneecap the Democrats, instead of the way it is in our Reality.

    Joe Biden has just had his home raided, and he has been perp-walked to FBI headquarters to answer a few questions about his activities such as setting his coke-addict son on the board of overseas companies and failing to disclose he was an agent for the Ukraine. Subsequently, the prosecutors come to Joe with an offer – confess to fibbing to the FBI, and serve no jail time, or we will prosecute Hunter Biden to the fullest extent of the law, including drug charges, and taking bribes on behalf of government officials.

    Now, do you think Joe Biden, who is now broke from paying lawyers, and just had to sell his house, will take the deal and plead guilty to save Hunter???

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. Now, do you think Joe Biden, who is now broke from paying lawyers, and just had to sell his house, will take the deal and plead guilty to save Hunter???
      _____________________________________________________
      Your story sounds just as ridiculous as the story about how Flynn ended up in court,
      Why do people believe these stories that lack any real evidence.

        1. Sounds to me like you don’t want to answer the question posed!
          ______________________________________________________

          Well I didn’t realize you could not read the clear answer I gave

          I would find the story you presented about Biden to be unbelievable just as I find a similar story about how Flynn landed in court to be unbelievable.

          You have to be extremely blinded by partisan bias to accept the facts presented in the Flynn case. It is truly sad if you can’t tell you are being lied to about those facts.
          Fortunately the judge can tell somebody has been lying and I dare say he suspects it may be everybody involved in this case that has been lying. Flynn, his original lawyers and the prosecution may all have lied to the judge.

          1. Hogwash! You sense a trap, and rightfully so! Because of course Biden would fall on his sword for his kid, as would most parents. Particularly if there is no jail time and your reputation has already been trashed.

            But what part of the Flynn story do you submit makes no sense? Here are some short “Requests for Admissions” for you, though not in usual legal form, because I need to go outside and smoke! and am in a hurry.

            Wasn’t he broke?
            Didn’t he just sell his home for money?
            Didn’t they threaten to prosecute his son?
            Didn’t they they promise to not prosecute his son if he plead guilty?
            Didn’t the original FBI guys think he was not lying?
            Didn’t Peter Strzok, who hated Trump, intervene to resurrect the case?

            I think the answers to all these are pretty well out there in public already, so exactly what facts are in question?

            Squeeky Fromm
            Girl Reporter

            1. Seems like Jinn missed the point. Maybe American Civil Liberties is not his specialty.

            2. But what part of the Flynn story do you submit makes no sense?
              ___________________________________________________

              I don’t believe stories that we are just asked to believe without evidence.

              We are supposed to believe that Flynn’s lawyers charged something like 4 million dollars to recommend that he plead guilty to something any fool can see he did not do. It was reported in the news media that the FBI found that Flynn had committed no crime. That was both before and after the FBI interview. Then the investigation is taken away from the FBI and placed in the hands of the Trump DOJ and suddenly Flynn is claiming he committed a crime where before the Trump DOJ took over the FBI could not find one.

              I find that all very unbelievable. And now the Trump DOJ does not want to turn over the original transcripts for the FBI interview or the Kislyak phone call. What are they hiding?
              _________________________________________________
              Didn’t they threaten to prosecute his son?
              Didn’t they they promise to not prosecute his son if he plead guilty?
              __________________________________________________
              I have seen no evidence to support those stories and the
              FBI apparently could not find any evidence for those stories either
              __________________________________________________

              Didn’t the original FBI guys think he was not lying?
              _______________________________________________

              That is correct and it wasn’t until the Trump DOJ took the Russia investigation away from the FBI that the story was invented about Flynn lying to the FBI and the all the other stuff Flynn supposedly did even though the FBI could not find the evidence for any of it. So yeah that looks bogus to me.

              1. I don’t believe stories that we are just asked to believe without evidence.

                And yet your entire shtick is to post opinions others are supposed to simply believe. You are a jinn after all.

                1. And yet your entire shtick is to post opinions others are supposed to simply believe.
                  _________________________________________
                  I have posted some of the evidence which of course is wasted on clowns like you. I have confidence that Judge Gleeson will report the evidence in detail. that is assuming he is allowed to and the Supremes don’t jump in and demand the facts be suppressed.

                  1. My schtick was to give you some Requests for Admissions to answer. Apparently “I admit” or “I deny” is too binary for you. If this was in Real Court, I would have a set of Interrogatories for you to explain your reasons for each denial.

                    Yep, you are a legal giant for sure!

                    Squeeky Fromm
                    Girl Reporter

                    1. Let’s be clear, Squeeky is not a lawyer but she likes to play one on this blog.

                    2. True, but I am a crackerjack legal assistant according to my boss. She says I could sail thru law school, but I do not want to leave town for a few more years at least. One day, I may go.

                      Meanwhile, I have not ever run across anything “legal” that I could not wrap my head around.

                      Why don’t YOU answer the Requests For Admissions for Jinn??? Also, you could answer the Biden Alternate Universe question I posed.

                      Squeeky Fromm
                      Girl Reporter

  2. BARR’S APPOINTMENT WAS POLITICAL FROM START

    These are the opening paragraphs of New York Times coverage on 12/7/18, the day Donald Trump officially nominated William Barr as Attorney General:
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

    President Trump said on Friday that he would nominate William P. Barr, a skeptic of the Russia investigation who served as attorney general in the first Bush administration a quarter century ago, to return as head of the Justice Department.

    Mr. Barr, 68, would become the nation’s top law enforcement official as Mr. Trump and his associates are under investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, for whether they conspired with the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 election and help elect Mr. Trump. Mr. Barr would oversee the inquiry as key aspects of it are coming to a close.

    Known for his expansive vision of executive power, Mr. Barr has criticized Mr. Mueller for hiring too many prosecutors who donated to Democrats and has cast doubt on whether Trump campaign associates conspired with Russians. Mr. Barr has also defended Mr. Trump’s calls for a new criminal investigation into his defeated 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton, including over a uranium mining deal the Obama administration approved when she was secretary of state.

    His nomination comes at a time of more than usual turbulence in the Trump White House, where John F. Kelly, the president’s second chief of staff, is expected to end his stormy 16-month tenure as early as this weekend. Nick Ayers, the vice president’s chief of staff, is seen as a leading candidate to succeed Mr. Kelly, although Mr. Ayers has enemies on the White House staff and is not universally beloved by Republicans.

    Mr. Trump also announced on Friday that Heather Nauert, the State Department spokeswoman, would be his nominee for the next ambassador to the United Nations. Ms. Nauert, who until last year was a Fox News personality and has no prior policymaking experience, would replace Nikki R. Haley, the former governor of South Carolina.

    Mr. Trump’s choice of Mr. Barr, an experienced corporate lawyer from the Republican legal establishment, was greeted with a measure of relief inside the Justice Department. Matthew G. Whitaker, the acting attorney general whom Mr. Trump installed last month after he fired Jeff Sessions from the post, has been a particularly outspoken critic of the Mueller investigation and has separately come under scrutiny for his role with a company that a federal judge shut down for defrauding its customers.

    Mr. Barr is likely to be swiftly confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate.

    Edited from: “Trump Will Nominate William Barr As Attorney General
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    KEY PASSAGES FROM ABOVE:

    Paragraph 1: identifies Barr as a “skeptic of the Russian investigation”.

    Paragraph 2: emphasizes that Barr, if confirmed, will have a major role in overseeing the Mueller Probe.

    Paragraph 3: states that Barr is “known for his expansive vision of executive power”.

    Paragraph 4: tells us White House Chief of Staff Kelly is about to end his “stormy tenure”.

    Paragraph 5: notes that a former Fox News personality has been nominated as the next Ambassador to the United Nations.

    Paragraph 6: informs us that Barr hails from the “Republican legal establishment”.

    Paragraph 6: also notes that Trump’s last Attorney General was fired amid the Russia Probe.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

    SUMMATION:

    William Barr comes from the “Republican legal establishment” and is a known skeptic of the Mueller Probe. Barr is set to replace the fired Attorney General while at this same time the White House Chief of Staff is leaving and a Fox News personality is set to replace the outgoing U.N. Ambassador.

    Therefore one can ascertain from reading this that William Barr was nominated at a moment of great turmoil in the Trump administration. And William Barr, with an “expansive vision of executive power”, was expected to view the Mueller Probe with skepticism.

    In other words, this effort to whitewash the Mueller Probe was expected as far back as 2 1/2 years ago.

      1. Sure..that train that was chugging along to undermine the Trump presidency, put in motion by an outgoing administration..the name of that train was “Justice”. And Stormy Daniels next tour is called “Virtue”.

  3. Common Practices for the left stream media has always been whatever will support The Party. Truth, Justice, and the American Way has nothing to do with egg sucking dog liberals. And if you don’t recognize that last line you deserve to be fooled.

  4. By the logic of the “but Flynn plead guilty” crowd, every mugger who threatens to shoot me, but then lets me live once I give him my wallet, is fully within his rights to keep my money, because I gave him my wallet voluntarily.
    No, prosecutors who behave like muggers need to be tarred, feathered, and run out of town on a rail. I am ashamed that my tax money is being used to pay those scoundrels.

  5. What is going on with the wierd judge who won’t grant the prosecutions motion to dismiss?
    If the govt won’t proceed then the judge must dismiss.
    Fire the judge!

  6. “The Flynn filing represents a powerful statement against prosecutorial coercion and abuse.”

    Democrats of the past fought against prosecutorial misconduct but today’s Democrat believes all is fair and square as long as they can keep power and their illegal or immoral actions are kept secret.

    One can’t deal with today’s Democrats. They have no principles they are consistantly willing to stand up for their side even if their side is weaponizing the intelligence agencies. Todays Democrats decide everything based on whether or not the thing in question helps or hurts. It’s disgraceful and those that try to play that game are disgraceful as well.

    Thank you Professor Turley for providing the truth behind the argument. I don’t think this article will benefit your reputation among persons of this new crazier than ever Democratic Party or the trolls that nonsensically support ever action even when those actions contradict one another. They do not have the slightest idea of what morality and integrity means.

  7. Turley claims “Flynn knew that the FBI had intercepted the call and told the investigators that they could check the transcript,” but doesn’t substantiate it with any quote, and the FBI 302 for the interview (https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/5633264-12-17-18-Redacted-Flynn-Interview-302.html ) doesn’t support this claim.

    Re: “the meeting was perfectly legal for the incoming National Security Adviser to encourage the Russians not to retaliate pending such a review by the incoming Administration,” Turley omits important facts:
    1) Trump stated he didn’t direct Flynn to discuss sanctions with Kislyak, and the Mueller Report says “Although transition officials at Mar-a-Lago had some concern about possible Russian reactions to the sanctions, the investigation did not identify evidence that the President-Elect asked Flynn to make any request to Kislyak.” It would actually be wholly inappropriate in these circumstances for Flynn to go rogue and make this request himself without authorization, and it would have been inappropriate for Flynn not to tell Trump immediately that he’d done this, and inappropriate for Trump not to fill Obama in that Flynn’s request was the reason for the lack of escalation on Russia’s end.

    2) Flynn denied knowing that the sanctions were planned, and it would have been impossible for him to ask Russia not to retaliate for something he didn’t know about. It’s not just that he later “acknowledg[ed] that he failed to recall the sanctions discussion.” According to the 302:
    “The interviewing agents asked if [Flynn] recalled any conversation with KISLYAK surrounding the expulsion of Russian diplomats or closing of Russian properties in response to Russian hacking activities surrounding the election. Flynn stated that he did not. … FLYNN noted he was not aware of the then-upcoming actions as he did not have access to television news in the Dominican Republic and his government BlackBerry was not working.
    “The interviewing agents asked FLYNN if he recalled any conversation with KISLYAK in which the expulsions were discussed, where FLYNN might have encouraged KISLYAK not to escalate the situation, to keep the Russian response reciprocal, or not to engage in a ‘tit-for-tat.’ FLYNN responded, “Not really. I don’t remember. It wasn’t, “Don’t do anything.” The U.S. Government’s response was a total surprise to FLYNN. FLYNN did not know about the Persona-Non-Grata (PNG) action until it was in the media. …”

    And of course not only did Flynn fail to tell the FBI about the sanctions discussion, he lied to Pence about it.

    Turley says “The issue was never whether Flynn’s statement was false but his intent and the materiality of the statement.” It’s hard to read all of his denials and know about his subsequent lies to Pence and not conclude that his intent was to hide what he’d discussed with Kislyak. And these misreprentations *were* material to the investigation, as Russians knew Flynn had lied to Pence (based on Pence’s statements in the media), which meant that the was the potential for Russia blackmailing Flynn about his lies.

    Unfortunately, once again, Mr. Turley shows that he can’t be bothered to read relevant evidence prior to writing his column and is totally fine with writing a column that misrepresents it.

    1. Commtt – the Flynn 302 is a work of art rather than a documentation of the actual interview. It took Strozk and Page 17 days to come up with that novella.

        1. George There is definitely something intellectually dishonest in anointing oneself “the only honest man in the room”. 🙂

          1. I haven’t seen anyone here “anointing [himself] ‘the only honest man in the room.’” Have you?

      1. I’d be happy to read your evidence that “It took Strozk and Page 17 days to come up with that novella,” especially since Strzok stated under oath that the other agent in the interview, Joe Pientka, was “primarily responsible for taking notes and writing the FD-302.” (It’s possible that he was lying, but you’d need to prove that.)

        1. The government released emails between Strzok and Page indicating that both of them heavily edited the 302. But since Strzok said something under oath, he must be believed. If not for your monniker, I would think you are dishonest, but since you say you are, you must be.

          1. You claiming “The government released emails between Strzok and Page indicating that both of them heavily edited the 302” isn’t actually evidence. Evidence would be you quoting or linking to the the released emails.

            Because with just your claim, I can’t know if you’re remembering correctly, or misremembering, or making it up.

            “since Strzok said something under oath, he must be believed. ”

            I didn’t say or imply that. It’s possible he lied under oath. But a quote from his testimony under oath is evidence, and you haven’t presented any actual evidence.

        2. Committ – Strozk was lying through his lying teeth. Get caught up on the Flynn news.

          1. You’re moving the goalposts. And you still haven’t presented actual evidence for your claim that “It took Strozk and Page 17 days to come up with that novella.”

            Has Strzok sometimes lied? Yes, I’ve seen evidence of that. Is there evidence of him doing lying under oath (keep in mind: what I quoted from him was under oath)? Not that I’ve seen.

            Are you suggesting “Strozk was lying through his lying teeth” __under oath__? If so, just give me evidence of it.

    2. Must be a Soros Troll. This 302 you linked is not the original one lost by the FBI. Flynns lawyer has requested the original document.

    3. Committohonestdiscussion is right. Turley is being a bit naive with this whole issue. If Flynn wants the appeals court to take the case away from Judge Sullivan he has to prove Sullivan is abusing his authority. Flynn’s lawyers have not provided any reasoning other than cherry-picked documents. Sullivan is right to seek third party input and Turley can’t say the judge has prerogative on what he can do.

      1. Flynn’s lawyers have not provided any reasoning other than cherry-picked documents.

        ROTFL

      2. Yeah – I would not call it “cherry picking” to pick a document that shows the original investigators did not think Flynn was lying, or the subsequent document where Peter Strzok butted in.

        I would call that “finding the smoking gun.”

        Squeeky Fromm
        Girl Reporter

        1. It’s easy to put things out of context when one is not intimately familiar with how the FBI works.

          If you take the totality of the evidence and apply the proper context it becomes clear this is nothing more than a very sophisticated attempt at misleading. Flynn admitted under oath to lying twice and attested under oath that he was not coerced. Flynn is not just some shmoe off the street. He’s an intelligent man who knew he was caught lying.

          His reversal of his plea brings up the question the judge correctly posed. If he didn’t lie, he committed perjury. Why would he commit perjury if he didn’t need to lie? That’s a distinction Turley leaves out. It’s a question the court needs answered if Flynn he wants to defend his new position. This is basic stuff any first year law students would understand.

          1. “It’s easy to put things out of context when one is not intimately familiar with how the legal system works.”

            People plead guilty all the time for various reasons, and then withdraw their plea. There are no perjury charges for them. Doing it on Flynn is bizarre, and supporting it is even more bizarre because we can now see how the whole thing was set up.

            As far as “intelligence gathering”, here is a very good analysis of how it really works, and how it is being spun by the Democrats:
            ——-
            The Deep State propaganda machine is spinning at hyperdrive. You are being repeatedly told that unmasking is common. Nothin unusual here. Move along. Reminds me of the scene from the Naked Gun when faux detective Frank Drebin tried to tell people they were not seeing what they were seeing:

            Leave it to lying Jimmy Clapper to pop up as one of the prevaricators eager to feed a false meme to a gullible public. He is caught up in the unmasking with his metaphorical pants down around his ankles and his hideous junk exposed–simply put, Clapper spied on Michael Flynn. Here is Clapper’s pathetic attempt to put lipstick on this crooked pig:

            Former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper said Thursday it is “routine” to “unmask” American citizens who have been caught up in surveillance of foreign individuals as Republicans spark an uproar over allegations that officials spied on former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

            Clapper and other apologists are counting on your ignorance of intelligence community processes and procedures for collecting intelligence. What I find shocking is that there are thousands of intelligence professionals who understand that Clapper is spewing total bullsh!t but, because of their hatred of Donald Trump, stay silent and allow Clapper’s lies to go unchallenged.

            Let us start with the basics. The document that Acting DNI Grenell declassified last week regarding the “unmasking” of Michael Flynn gives us only the names and dates that requests were made to the NSA. But those requests came in response to a NSA intelligence report or document that the requestors had read. That means finished intelligence.

            The following is an example of the formatting and content of the type of NSA messages that the Obama people were reading when they encountered an “unnamed” American citizen and just had to know who it was.
            The type of message that had Michael Flynn’s name carried the following classification headers (if you click on the link it will take you to a very interesting NSA document that addresses the whole issue of spying on Americans):

            TOP SECRET//COMINT-GAMMA/ORCON/NOFORN

            Next you get the Message report number, in this case it is SERIAL 3/00/532318-12, and the the sender and addressee information. In the image immediately below, DIRNSA refers to the Director of NSA, “COS KINGSTON” is the CIA Chief in Kingston, Jamaica. Note that other agencies such as DEA, DIA, FAA and even INTERIOR are sent copies of this message.

            Header of NSA Message

            Next comes the content. It is vital that you understand that this type of report is not just the raw take–i.e., an unedited transcript of the conversation with no commentary. The reports that inspired the readers to ask for the name of the unnamed American were produced in response to specific collection requirements. If you have never worked in the intelligence field, you probably have the false notion that intelligence collectors wake up each morning, scan news headlines for the sexiest, most provocative stories and then decide that is the information they will collect for that day. Nope. Does not work that way at all. It is a very bureaucratic process.

            NSA, unlike CIA, scoops up all electronic communications, such emails, phone calls, text messages. The volume of “take” is so gargantuan that most of the information is never processed or analyzed. The initial scrubbing comes via computer systems and algorithms designed to weed out wheat from chaff. But at some point that intelligence gets into the hands of an analyst. The decision about what to publish and analyze normally
            is based on collection plans. A collection plan is a list of priority issues or persons that the Director of National Intelligence, acting on behalf of the President, uses to tell the specific intelligence agencies–NSA and CIA in particular–what they need to collect.

            Let me give you a specific example from own experience. In the aftermath of the bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires in March 1992, I led an interagency US Government team to the region to discuss terrorist threats and upgrading aviation security. While at our Embassy in Buenos Aires, we had a sit-down with the Chief of Station–Bill. I told Bill that the only intel we had seen at that point of time was from a liaison service and indicated that Hezbollah was behind the attack. I asked Bill if they were having any luck going after Hezbollah.

            Bill’s answer stunned me–he said “no, it was not part of the collection plan.” In Bill’s world (and that of other intel community bureaucrats operating as intel collectors), your annual evaluation determines whether you get promoted and make more money. A key part of that evaluation, especially for a Chief of Station, is measuring how well you did in providing the sources and reports that met the priorities identified in the collection plan. You did not get praised or rewarded by diverting intelligence resources to an issue or target not on the collection plan. Since Hezbollah was not on the plan when the bomb went off in Buenos Aires, the CIA was not collecting intel or trying to recruit sources to get such intel. The intel the U.S. Government was getting on Hezbollah in South America was coming to us from other governments.

            I returned to Washington, DC and wrote Hezbollah in South America as a collection priority, it was added subsequently to the overall collection plan. Never forget that bureaucratic processes and procedures reign supreme in both the intel and FBI worlds.

            I want you to look at the list of the people who unmasked Flynn in the aftermath of the 2016 election and look specifically at the number of separate reports that contained Flynn’s name. Thirty nine separate people asked 14 different days for the NSA to tell them the identity of the “unnamed” American cited in the intelligence report he or she was reading. In response to those requests Michael Flynn’s name was revealed or “unmasked” to those 39 people.

            The document declassified by DNI Grenell shows that there were 14 unique days when the NSA received requests to “unmask”–the first was on 30 November 2016 by UN Ambassador Samantha Power and the last came on 12 January from Joe Biden. There were two separate requests on the 14th of December by Samantha Power, which indicates two separate NSA reports. Samantha Power would not have to submit two requests for the same document.

            The documents that had the name of Michael Flynn were formal NSA intelligence reports. They were purposefully created either in response to a U.S. intelligence community collection plan or were produced by a foreign intelligence outfit, in this particular case an organization like the British version of the NSA–the GCHQ. GCHQ could easily identify Michael Flynn or anyone else tied to the Trump team as a valid target for collection. Signals or communication intelligence collected by the Brits from targeting Michael Flynn would be put into a British intelligence report and then passed to the NSA. NSA officers are co-located in the UK with GCHQ. There is no prohibition on the NSA accepting “liaison” reporting from GCHQ and then disseminating it people with appropriate clearances throughout the U.S. Government.

            Here is an example of the kind of report that one of the people wanting to unmask Michael Flynn might have seen:

            NSA Message Masking Individuals

            After reading this report you want to know, “who are the redacted names?” That is how an unmasking request starts.

            What is so unusual and bizarre is that there are at least 14 different NSA intelligence reports with Michael Flynn’s name popping up in a 45 day period. That is not accidental or incidental. If you are driving down the road and your car breaks down and you go to a nearby bar to call for a tow and see your pastor in the bar with your neighbor’s wife, that is accidental or incidental intelligence collection.

            What happened to Michael Flynn is akin to the jealous husband hiring a private investigator to follow his wife and find out who she is sleeping with. That is not incidental. That is purposeful.

            The intelligence collection and creation of intelligence reports in the NSA were not incidental nor accidental. It was done with a purpose and with the help of foreign intelligence.

            As I noted in an earlier article, the fact that Michael Flynn’s December 29 conversation with the Russian Ambassador is missing from this list could have been because the material was before a Grand Jury and/or it was collected by the CIA. Thanks to Andy McCarthy’s explanation, the Grand Jury explanation is probably not valid. That leaves the CIA, which means John Brennan’s CIA did it using something like the Special Collection Service. Ed Snowden described capability in his book:

            “I remember sitting on the left bank of Lake Geneva with the local personnel of the SCS, or Special Collection Service, a joint CIA-NSA program responsible for installing and operating the special surveillance equipment that allows US embassies to spy on foreign signals. These guys worked down the hall from my vault at the embassy, but they were older than I was, and their work was not just way above my pay grade but way beyond my abilities—they had access to NSA tools that I didn’t even know existed.”

            The people in the intelligence and law enforcement community, current and former, that were spying on Donald Trump and his team want you to believe that nothing untoward or wrong was done. That is the ultimate lie. I hope the preceding explanations help you see that fact.

            https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2020/05/the-flynn-unmasking-was-uncommon-and-unusual-by-larry-c-johnson.html#more
            ————–
            Squeeky Fromm
            Girl Reporter

            1. Squeaky, that long word salad doesn’t answer the question of why would Flynn perjure himself. Saying people do it all the time doesn’t excuse the fact that Flynn being an intelligent man wasn’t being ignorant about what he was doing.

              The FBI did what any law enforcement organization does. Flynn could have invoked his 5th amendment right, but the recordings proved he did lie. He couldn’t claim innocence with proof that he lied. Lying to the fbi is still a felony crime. Flynn was obviously warned about that at the onset of the investigation. Crying entrapment long after evidence supporting his lying is not a good defense.

              1. It was explained in the article itself why Flynn plead guilty. You obviously do not know anything about real court and legal situations, or if you do, you are pretending not to know for political reasons.

                That “long word salad” explained the intelligence gathering procedures, and why Flynn was not an incidental pickup off other conversations. \

                Sorry that it was over your head.

                Again, you can spin all you want, but you ain’t going nowhere.

                Squeeky Fromm
                Girl Reporter

                1. He plead guilty because he knew he was caught lying. Lying to the FBI is a felony. Flynn admitted in court to lying twice. Can’t get any more clear than that.

                  1. “He plead guilty because he knew he was caught lying. ”

                    Are you now telling us that you are able to read minds?

                    1. Allan, no. Just basing the assertion on the evidence. No mind reading necessary to figure that out. Remember he could have pleaded the 5th. He didn’t. If he was sure he wasn’t lying. He didn’t need to admit it. Again pretty simple.

                    2. Svelaz said: “He plead guilty because he knew he was caught lying. ”

                      Allan said: “Are you now telling us that you are able to read minds?”

                      Svelaz said: “Allan, no. ”

                      Where does it say Flynn “knew he was caught lying”. Whether you admit it or not that is reading one’s mind unless you can show in context what Flynn said and that Flynn knew it. Instead you engage in a lot of mind reading.

                      “he could have pleaded the 5th.”

                      Now you are pretending to be a lawyer but not a good one. Why should he plead the 5th when he wasn’t lying?

                      You are a very circuitous guy and you never seem to get to the actual evidence you keep claiming exists.

                2. If you — and the person you quoted — were paying attention, you’d know that the Flynn-Kislyak call summary was an FBI document, not an NSA document, and Flynn’s name wasn’t masked on it. That column you quoted is full of garbage.

              2. “Flynn could have invoked his 5th amendment right, but the recordings proved he did lie.”

                Flynn is an honorable man unlike some at the FBI and possibly Judge Sullivan. The recordings did not prove he lied. Since you state that as a fact produce the statement and the context.

                  1. “An honorable man? He committed perjury to be honorable then?”

                    He committed “perjury” because those involved in the case were dishonorable and threatening him if he didn’t plead guilty.

                    Let us hear Flynn’s lie in context. All the BS you fling doesn’t make a case. You need to produce Flynn’s lie in context. You can’t do that so you make things up and you pretend to be a mind reader. That demonstrates a pretty sick understanding of our justice system.

          2. Svelaz, the FBI behaved almost criminally (that has to be proven) and after losing his house for lack of money Flynn did what he was told (under coercion) and plead guilty to stop them from doing the same to his son. Flynn spent 30 honorable years protecting this nation from despotic nations never thinking that the same despotic influence was brewing in our own justice department and FBI.

            1. Allan, “almost” criminally? Sounds like still not criminal. Almost still means it wasn’t. That’s an odd way to imply it was.

              Flynn attested under oath he was not coerced. Under our judicial system ANYTHING you say CAN be used against you. If Flynn was coerced as you say why not state it now when he changed his plea? You see how this is not lining up? This is why the judge chose to scrutinize the justice department’s choice for dropping charges.

              1. “Allan, “almost” criminally? Sounds like still not criminal. ”

                Why don’t you quote the entire statement so you get the context? I’ll quote it for you. ” almost criminally (that has to be proven)” I consider it criminal but I dont have the abiity to gather the data so I gave a hedged opinion and explained it. I believe in evidence and quoting things in context. You apparently don’t because we are still waiting for you to provide the in context statements that you said prove Flynn lied. You can keep saying the same thing said by CTHD, CK07 and many others.

                1. You consider it criminal, but can’t reason how? Wishing it were is not a credible argument if you’re trying to convince someone.

                  If you believe in evidence and quoting things in context then you certainly can’t claim the FBI’s actions were “almost criminal”.

                  1. My statement was very clear. I don’t act in your fashion. I don’t accuse someone of being guilty unless I have adequate evidence. All you seem to require to draw a conclusion is your feelings and your ability as a mindreader.

                    “almost criminal”.

                    From Stzrok’s emails alone claiming he almost totally redid the 302 in an overall attempt to force Flynn to plead guilty in my opinion that is “almost criminal”. Stzrok might even be prosecuted for his actions so I think “almost criminal” fits perfectly until Stzrok’s actions are labelled criminal.

                    1. Sullivan has already rejected the notion that the 302 was doctored. As the judge wrote back in December: “[T]he Court agrees with the government that there were no material changes in the interview reports, and that those reports track the interviewing FBI agents’ notes.” Sullivan went on: “Having carefully reviewed the interviewing FBI agents’ notes, the draft interview reports, the final version of the FD302, and the statements contained therein, the Court agrees with the government that those documents are ‘consistent and clear that [Mr. Flynn] made multiple false statements to the [FBI] agents about his communications with the Russian Ambassador on January 24, 2017.’”

                      https://www.lawfareblog.com/flynn-redux-what-those-fbi-documents-really-show

                    2. “Sullivan has already rejected the notion that the 302 was doctored.”

                      So what? He is supposed to be the Judge. I don’t know in what way he said that since we have Stzrok’s email to Page admitting it. Maybe the Judge is getting senile? Maybe the Judge is being threatened? Who knows. Anyone can make up stories and that is what you do all the time.

                      We now have some of the FBI reports with more coming in. It’s now May 20th so your article is out of date (as if they or you care) as more is known today than when the article was written. Are you claiming that your source can read the future?

          3. Yes, I believe a first year law student would definitely grasp it! HOWEVER, real experienced lawyers and legal people would not, because they have “real world” experience. That is the difference.

            If you wish to base your knowledge of the law on what OneL’s believe, then go ahead. You are free, white and 21 and entitled to be as dumb as you wish!

            Meanwhile, serious people are scoffing and jeering at you!

            Squeeky Fromm
            Girl Reporter

      3. I don’t think Professor Turley suggested that he thinks the appeals court should take the case away from Judge Sullivan. I am sure that he would concede that the appeal has a very low chance of succeeding. His article focuses on the double standards in the media and legal community and the absurd arguments that they are making in support of Judge Sullivan’s decisions to look at new crimes and to appoint a party to argue the case against dismissal. As to third party input, is Sullivan incapable of analyzing the facts presented? As a procedural matter you are right that Turley does not have the right to limit a judge’s perogatives. Professor Turley agrees. He is free to criticize the judge’s exercise of such perogatives.

        1. The very attempt to seek intervention from the appeals court reeks of political influence.

          There is no double standard being applied here. Turley is disingenuous in portraying the media’s focus as hypocritical. This case is being manipulated by political interests in the DOJ. It’s come to the point where the DOJ under Barr has had its independent credibility undermined. Sullivan is not looking at new crimes. He granted the third party amicus briefs because the credibility of the government’s assertions are highly suspect and do need to be scrutinized. As a judge he has the authority to make sure everything is reviewed before he makes a decision. In previous requests to involve third party amicus briefs the judge rejected the requests due to insufficient reasoning by the government to convince the judge.

          1. “The very attempt to seek intervention from the appeals court reeks of political influence. ”

            That is LAUGHABLE! That is why God made Appeals Courts, you nimrod! I have worked on appeals myself, and there was no “political” reason.

            You are a silly and absurd individual!

            Squeeky Fromm
            Girl Reporter

            1. Squeaky, it’s not SOP to seek an appeals court intervention every time you don’t like what a judge is doing? Nothing judge Sullivan has done has shown he has abused his authority or deviated from procedure.

              The only reason why Flynn’s lawyers are seeking an appeals court intervention is because they didn’t see it coming that judge Sullivan had another option he could legally exercise. They don’t want the evidence reviewed because it will undermine their justification for dropping the charges. They fear the scrutiny that they were not expecting. Instead they are seeking to avoid that, but it doesn’t seem the appeal will succeed because the appeals court will have to find a very credible reason to grant the request. The appeals court also runs the risk of being seen as politically motivated if of grants the motion without a valid explanation.

              1. “Nothing judge Sullivan has done has shown he has abused ”

                ” 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.

                Under our constitutional system of separation of powers, the new prosecutor has no standing…. the separation of powers…. 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.

                [Sullivan] 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.”

                —Alan Dershowitz

                1. Dershowitz missed that Flynn is in the sentencing phase and that is a judicial power. The Barr motion stinks to high heaven and the judge needs to review it, the charges against the FBI and DOJ staff, and the details of how the AG intervened in the case.

                  1. “Dershowitz missed that Flynn is in the sentencing phase”

                    Anon thinks he has expertise in the law and he can find things Dershowitz need not have concluded in his opinion. Anon wrongly interprets that Dershowitz is missing something so Anon pats himself on the back thinking he is so bright. Of course Anon is wrong and lacks the critical thinking skills it takes to recognize he can be wrong. I think Anon has a few loose screws.

                    1. “As ever, is it mendacity, or is it grotesque arrogance?”

                      Unfortunately I think in part he is delusional and has been for many decades. That leads to all of the above.

                    2. “ is it mendacity, or is it grotesque arrogance?“ I think you have a little bit of both going on, This is a turd, but your arrogance is world class as is your bitterness.

              2. It is very unusual to appoint someone else to review what he is capable of reviewing. He is appointing a new prosecutor. When has that become normal procedure?

                1. Hal, it is very unusual – except in the Trump administration – for the AG to intervene twice in legal prosecutions to help Presidential cronies. Unusual times require unusual actions.

                  1. Both of these prosecutions were politically tainted in the first place. The product of a special prosecutor who should never have been appointed in the first place. By the time he was appointed, there was no evidence of collusion. So he and his merry troupe try to squeeze the little guys to make up lies about the higher ups. You are right unusual times require unusual actions, but not the kind you think.

            2. Squeaky, one has to wonder which silly individual this new poster is. I have a guess (while I check…not Paint Chips or Anon) but leftists are in the habit of changing their aliases so they can repeat the same silly stuff over and over again under a new alias.

              1. Prof. Turley’s being quoted elsewhere, so Correct-the-Record sends re-inforcements.

                1. Maybe, maybe not, but we already know that the left uses multiple aliases in order to hide their silliness. If you have seen similar opinions let me know and I’ll run some searches.

              2. Wow, already into conspiracies? I’m no kooky spook or suspicious leftist. I’m actually a Republican conservative who has a healthy level of skepticism.

                A lot of the arguments against the judge seem rather flimsy given that nobody but the judge and those actually involved in the case KNOW the full scope of the evidence.

                Flynn’s lawyers didn’t expect t judge to exercise his prerogative and now seem to want to avoid the scrutiny that this new avenue the judge chose may expose. The skeptic in me says this is an attempt at avoiding an unforeseen problem due to a miscalculation on their part.

                1. Why can’t the judge review the evidence himself? Why does he need to appoint a partisan to review it for him? Why does he need to invite amicus briefs?

                  1. He may need to hear a valid reason with a someone offering a counter argument. The judge is allowed to do that. It’s his prerogative.

                    1. You’re repeating yourself. CTR isn’t interested in what goes on here.

      4. In America a man is innocent until proven guilty. A He-said She-said argument doesn’t suffice for guilt. Provide the proof of guilt not based on your emotions but based on evidence that can be used in court. Mabve Svelaz, you are not American and work under the assumption that a man is guilty unless he can prove himself innocent. That is typical of repressive regimes.

        1. Allan, Flynn plead guilty twice he was FOUND guilty and was sentenced. Did you miss that part? The evidence is his admission of guilt in a court of law. As thr Miranda warnings always state. “Anything you say CAN be used against you in a court of law”, right?

          1. Svelaz, same Rope a Dope arguments we continuously hear.

            “Flynn plead guilty twice”

            Meaningless. He plead guilty due to coercion. Now he has some of the FBI papers that show misconduct by the FBI so he has decided to fight. Good going General Flynn.

            Pure garbage. According to you the rapist proved innocent with newer DNA evidence should remain in jail because he plead guilty.

            RIDICULOUS!!!

            1. Allan, so he was found guilty in a court of law. The proof of guilt you sought came from Flynn himself admitting to it.

              Flynn attested in court he was not coerced. Misconduct is very hard to prove. They still have to prove misconduct before the judge can grant the motion to dismiss charges.

              1. Abuse of power, malicious prosecution, coerced admission of guilt.

                Charge the prosecution.

                Impeach the judge.

                Eradicate the Gestapo.

                Is Obama home (pre-dawn)?

                It’s a target rich environment.

              2. Coercion
                FBI malfeasance.

                I won’t play armchair lawyer.
                —-
                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.

                _Alan Dershowitz

                1. 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
                  ____________________________________________

                  I think the judge may be more interested in the Justice Department’s entirely improper decision to start the criminal prosecution of General Michael Flynn

                  1. Who cares what the judge is interested in. The prosecutor and defendent agree. Read Dershowitz’s column I posted. This is an area of his expertise.

                  2. Not this retired judge. He didn’t appoint any old retired judge, but someone who he knows will argue against dropping the case against Flynn.

    4. Calling yourself honest doesn’t make it so. What is the relevance of whether Trump directed Flynn to discuss sanctions to the crime at hand? Does every presidential advisor gets specific instruction before taking action, if you could even call it an action? Even in the least favorable (to Flynn) reporting of the conversation, did Flynn bind anyone to anything? In any case, what makes the conversation a crime worth investigating. Also, what is the crime of lying to Pence that merits FBI investigation? There is no underlying crime unless you are running to lock up John Kerry for violating the Logan Act or you believe that Flynn’s conversation was evidence of collusion with Russia. There is nothing in the conversation, whether Flynn lied or not, that shows any evidence of collusion. The blackmail argument is a joke. The FBI called in Flynn for questioning because they were trying to protect the Trump administration from a sinister blackmail plot. Lavrentiy Beria would be proud of you.

      1. “Calling yourself honest doesn’t make it so. ”

        Hal, good response. CTHD has a long name and requires the Gish Gallop to hide the salient points. It goes on forever.

      2. “Calling yourself honest doesn’t make it so.”

        I agree that what makes it so is my behavior, not my name. If you want to assert that I’ve said anything false, simply quote it and provide evidence that it’s false, and if you’re correct, I’ll have no problem agreeing that I was mistaken.

        “The blackmail argument is a joke.”

        No, it isn’t. As is totally clear from the Exhibits that the DOJ appended to its Motion to Dismiss: https://www.usatoday.com/documents/6884020-Dismiss-Case/
        Have you read those exhibits?

        I didn’t say that it was a crime for Flynn to talk with Kislyak or a crime to lie to Pence or that “every presidential advisor gets specific instruction before taking action.” As for the relevance of whether Trump directed Flynn, it would be wholly inappropriate for Flynn to ask for something so consequential without getting approval for it, especially given that this was during the transition, so any ethical person who arranged that kind of thing with the Russians would let the Obama Administration know, so as not to be surprised by the Russian response. There are two possibilities:
        1) Trump actually did direct Flynn to ask Kislyak not to escalate, and then both
        Flynn and Trump lied and said that Trump didn’t direct it, or
        2) Trump was telling the truth re: not discussing this in advance with Flynn, and Flynn went rogue and chose to do it on his own — and not only went rogue but failed to tell Trump and Pence after the conversation with Kislyak, and worse, lied to Pence when asked about it. Just the kind of behavior you’d want in an NSA. /s

        1. The blackmail argument is a joke and a very poor one. Lying to your boss or to the vice president is not a crime. If the FBI were concerned that Flynn opened himself to blackmail, they could have told Trump or Pence that Flynn is lying about his conversation and is susceptible to blackmail. They did no such thing. I may be very inappropriate for Flynn to discuss something so consequential without getting Trump’s approval, but it is not a crime and the FBI has no place investigating such things. It may well be that Trump lied. That possibility I am sure shocks you. If he did lie, it still isn’t a crime. Because no president before Trump has ever lied. If the FBI is in the business of investigating lies that are untethered to crimes that is a sad position to be in. Whether I want Flynn to be an NSA is beside the point. You are conflating lies with crimes.

          I agree with your statement that your behavior is what makes you honest or not.

          1. “they could have told Trump or Pence that Flynn is lying about his conversation and is susceptible to blackmail. They did no such thing.”

            LOL. Of course they did.

            Former Acting A.G. Yates testifying under oath: “We felt like the vice president was entitled to know that the information he had been given [by Flynn] and that he was relaying to the American public wasn’t true. And that created a compromise situation, a situation where the National Security Adviser essentially could be blackmailed by the Russians.”

            Trump said “I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI.” Pence said “What I can tell you is I knew that he lied to me, and I know the president made the right decision with regard to him [in firing Flynn].”

            For goodness sake, do you really not understand why Flynn was fired? His lie to Pence resulted in Pence making false claims to the media, like the following on Face the Nation, on 1/15/2017:

            JOHN DICKERSON: Let me ask you about it was reported by David Ignatius that the incoming national security advisor Michael Flynn was in touch with the Russian ambassador on the day the United States government announced sanctions for Russian interference with the election. Did that contact help with that Russian kind of moderate response to it? That there was no counter-reaction from Russia. Did the Flynn conversation help pave the way for that sort of more temperate Russian response?
            MIKE PENCE: I talked to General Flynn about that conversation and actually was initiated on Christmas Day he had sent a text to the Russian ambassador to express not only Christmas wishes but sympathy for the loss of life in the airplane crash that took place. It was strictly coincidental that they had a conversation. They did not discuss anything having to do with the United States’ decision to expel diplomats or impose censure against Russia.

            1. The question is not Flynn’s firing. The question is his prosecution and whether the FBI was investigating a crime.

              1. So you falsely claimed “they could have told Trump or Pence that Flynn is lying about his conversation and is susceptible to blackmail. They did no such thing,” and I gave you evidence it was false, and instead of admitting that you were wrong, you ignore it.

                That’s one difference between us: when I learn that I said something false, I admit that I was wrong.

          2. BTW, re: “It may well be that Trump lied. That possibility I am sure shocks you. If he did lie, it still isn’t a crime.”

            It is if you’re under oath and in some other circumstances even if you aren’t under oath; those circumstances include testimony before Congress and FBI interviews. That’s why Flynn making material false statements to the FBI is a crime even if his conversation with Kislyak wasn’t.

            FWIW, Trump answered written questions under oath for Mueller’s investigation. Notably, he refused to answer many questions, including “Following the Obama Administration’s imposition of sanctions on Russia in December 2016 (“Russia sanctions”), did you discuss with Lieutenant General (LTG) Michael Flynn, K.T. McFarland, Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus, Jared Kushner, Erik Prince, or anyone else associated with the transition what should be communicated to the Russian government regarding the sanctions?”

            But you’re right that I wouldn’t be shocked if Trump lied (which he does all the time), even when under oath (which most people try to avoid).

        2. “The blackmail argument is a joke.”

          No, it isn’t.

          Well it sure sounds like a joke. But it doesn’t really matter why the FBI was interviewing Flynn. The FBI investigators believed that Flynn did not lie

          That should have been the end of it but the Trump administration appointed Mueller and removed the FBI from the case and placed complete control of the Russia investigation in the hands of the Trump DOJ. After that they invented the story that Flynn lied to the FBI.

          1. Your claim that “The FBI investigators believed that Flynn did not lie” is false.

            The 2 agents who interviewed Flynn reported that they “both had the impression at the time that Flynn was not lying or did not think he was lying,” but those 2 agents weren’t the only ones involved in the investigation of Flynn, and other people in the investigation did think he was lying.

            “they invented the story that Flynn lied to the FBI.”

            Flynn has confirmed multiple times under penalty of perjury that he lied to the FBI. Maybe he was lying when he confirmed this, but it’s more likely than the scenario you’re describing.

            1. The 2 agents who interviewed Flynn reported that they “both had the impression at the time that Flynn was not lying or did not think he was lying,” but those 2 agents weren’t the only ones involved in the investigation of Flynn, and other people in the investigation did think he was lying.
              _________________________________________________
              In other words, it is exactly as I said the agents who had all the facts said he did not lie but months later Mueller and the Trump DOJ came along and invented the story that Flynn lied. The invented story presented to the court required changing what the FBI investigators reported and omitting their beliefs that he did not lie.

              This is not the only thing that was invented by the Trump DOJ after they took control of the Russia investigation from the FBI. In fact, there is hardly anything contained in the Mueller Report that is not a contrived controversy that was designed to fall apart when subjected to scrutiny. The goal of these phony controversies is to make it look like Trump is doing mortal combat with the deep state but somehow eventually the controversies all turn into nothing-burgers and Trump wins the Kayfabe battle.

              1. “it is exactly as I said the agents who had all the facts said he did not lie.”

                No, you said “The FBI investigators believed that Flynn did not lie,” and the word “investigators” is not a synonym for “the 2 agents who interviewed Flynn,” as more than just those 2 agents were involved in the investigation.

                “months later Mueller and the Trump DOJ came along”

                Except that McCabe was one of the FBI investigating it long before Mueller was ever named S.C.

                “In fact, there is hardly anything contained in the Mueller Report that is not a contrived controversy that was designed to fall apart when subjected to scrutiny.”

                If you believe that, then this exchange is not worth my time.

                1. Except that McCabe was one of the FBI investigating it long before Mueller was ever named S.C.
                  _____________________________________________
                  So what?
                  At the time the Mueller appointment was announced McCabe was given direct orders by the Trump DOJ to turn everything over to Mueller and to stop all investigations that involved the matters that had been assigned to Mueller.

                  After that happened the story that Flynn lied to the FBI was invented and promoted. there is no evidence it existed before Mueller took over.
                  ______________________________________________
                  “In fact, there is hardly anything contained in the Mueller Report that is not a contrived controversy that was designed to fall apart when subjected to scrutiny.”

                  If you believe that, then this exchange is not worth my time.
                  ____________________________________________
                  It is obvious that for two years you cheered for Mueller because you believed the stories that were leaking out of that phony investigation were going to be the end of Trump. So now you are not about to let the facts get in the way of the stories you invested two years rooting for. Unfortunately, the stories you were cheering for were always going to fall apart because they were designed to eventually fall apart. They were designed to make the people cheering for those stories to look like fools when they fell apart.

                  You now assume that somehow Judge Gleeson is going to put Humpty Dumpty back together again and make the Flynn lied to the FBI story whole again. It aint gonna happen. Digging into the facts is only going to reveal that Mueller is the one that has been lying to the judge and Flynn was an accomplice.

            1. Didn’t know this:

              “FWIW, Trump answered written questions under oath for Mueller’s investigation. Notably, he refused to answer many questions, including “Following the Obama Administration’s imposition of sanctions on Russia in December 2016 (“Russia sanctions”), did you discuss with Lieutenant General (LTG) Michael Flynn, K.T. McFarland, Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus, Jared Kushner, Erik Prince, or anyone else associated with the transition what should be communicated to the Russian government regarding the sanctions?”

              Flynn taking a bullet for him is the only thing that makes sense.

              1. Flynn taking a bullet for him is the only thing that makes sense.
                __________________________________________
                It might make sense to an idiot. There would be nothing wrong with trump communicating to the Russians that he did not agree with the sanctions.

                What I find hysterical about all this is that Trump after taking office did nothing to lift sanctions. Putin is the one who got snookered by all this nonsense. Putin agreed to not retaliate and then got nothing in return.

    5. This article is over two years old before the official documentation of the FBI revealed the misconduct of the FBI who did virtually everything wrong and today there is even documentation of the 302’s being altered and questions in one FBI person’s hadwriting asking the intent (paraphrasing) ‘are we trying to get him fired or are we trying to put him in jail’. All of this after the initial agents were ready to drop the case because they found nothing wrong with Flynn’s testimony.

      With FBI Misconduct Against Flynn Revealed, Mueller ‘Obstruction’ Probe Evaporates
      Robert RomanoDec 17, 2018 12:01 PM EST

      Special Counsel Robert Mueller (Rex Features via AP Images)
      The FBI set former national security advisor Michael Flynn up.

      That is about all we can make of the latest revelation that the FBI made serious breaches of protocol when it set up the Jan. 24, 2017, meeting with Flynn to ask him about his Dec. 2016 conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kisylak. We now know the FBI did not go through the White House counsel first, suggest Flynn have a lawyer present, or advise him of his rights prior to the interview. Former FBI director James Comey even appeared on MSNBC to brag about the breach, stating:

      [This was] something I probably wouldn’t have done or wouldn’t have gotten away with in a more organized administration. … In the George W. Bush Administration or the Obama Administration, if the FBI wanted to send agents into the White House itself to interview a senior official, you would work through the White House counsel, there would be discussions and approvals and who would be there. And I thought, it’s early enough let’s just send a couple guys over.

      The Justice Department and the FBI engaged in misconduct in the questioning of Flynn, and it ought to result in overturning Flynn’s conviction. We’ll see what Judge Emmet Sullivan does for Flynn’s sentencing.

      In the meantime, it seems useful to retrace our steps to how we got to this point.

      The only reason Flynn was questioned in the first place is because somebody in the Obama administration illegally leaked his conversation with Kislyak to the Washington Post’s David Ignatius on Jan. 12, 2017. Conducting damage control, Vice President Mike Pence appeared on CBS to say sanctions were not discussed. So what crime was the FBI investigating on Jan. 24, 2017? Why question Flynn at all about his conversation with the ambassador — other than to see if he’d lie or had forgotten the substance of the conversation, that is?

      The Washington Examiner’s Byron York reported on Dec. 3, 2017:

      Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates has told Congress that the Logan Act was the first reason she intervened in the Flynn case — the reason FBI agents were sent to the White House to interview Flynn.
      —-
      But it wasn’t the Logan Act, an unenforced ancient U.S. law that — unconstitutionally — forbids private individuals from undermining U.S. foreign policy abroad. Just the day before the interrogation on Jan. 23, the Washington Post published a big report on Flynn’s conversation with the ambassador, stating that the FBI had investigated and found no crime. Were they just trying to lull Flynn into a sense of complacency?

      It seems improper for the FBI to interrogate somebody for something the FBI didn’t even believe was a crime. Ultimately, as it is, Flynn was never charged by Mueller with any Logan Act violations — probably because they could not be supported. Americans have First Amendment rights, after all.

      So clearly the purpose was to test Flynn’s recollection, as revealed in the FBI agents’ 302 statements. The agents questioning Flynn, discussing the instructions they were given, state they decided before the meeting that if “Flynn said he did not remember something they knew he said, they would use the exact words Flynn used … to try to refresh his recollection. If Flynn still would not confirm what he said … they would not confront him or talk him through it.”

      What crime were they there to investigate? There wasn’t any. On Jan. 24, 2017, the FBI was set loose on Flynn. Since the only thing he was charged with was lying to investigators — and to our knowledge that’s what the essence of the interrogation was about — then the only reason to go there was to see if Flynn would perjure himself. They wanted to see if he’d lie or forget. There was no other reason to question him.

      That seems to fit the definition of a perjury trap — or else there is no such thing.

      The FBI investigators who interviewed Flynn did not think he lied at the time in the interview. This is borne out in now-revealed 302 statements by the agents. They wanted to see if he would lie, and they didn’t think he did. It wasn’t until months later, after the special counsel was appointed, that Flynn was charged.

      Some point to Flynn’s Dec. 2015 trip to Moscow as a reason for him being under additional suspicion, except there does not appear to have been anything suspicious at all. It was an interview led by a Russian reporter, Sophie Shevardnadze, in a public forum, at the Russia Today 10-year anniversary. Flynn briefed the Defense Department both before and after the event — and had his security clearance reupped in April 2016 after the fact. Flynn did speak of potential for U.S.-Russian cooperation to defeat the Islamic State, focusing on “mutual interests” and restoring “strategic stability” to the Middle East. Flynn stated:

      My wish and my hope is that we figure out a way strategically to work together, I think that that’s the way ahead. Whether or not we work together 20 years from now, I don’t know, but I know if we don’t work together right now, the potential for going to a larger conflict against each other or the potential for this enemy to do far more damage than they already have is very, very real.

      Flynn was there to sell the idea, to a journalist and her audience, that the U.S. and Russia had a common enemy in the Islamic State, and more broadly in radical Islam — a proposal candidate Trump would adopt in 2016. On television, no less. Real clandestine! So, it doesn’t seem like much of a mystery. Any more so than Carter Page’s speech in Moscow in June 2016, which similarly was public for all to see.

      But maybe that outreach is the real reason behind this witch hunt — Flynn proposed a policy the Obama administration did not like. Maybe that was Flynn and Trump’s real crime.

      The additional outreach to Kislyak in Dec. 2016, right before the Trump administration took charge, perhaps was the straw that broke the camel’s back for the Obama administration. They were done with him. Moreover, there would be no détente between Trump and Putin. They would see to that. First things first, though, they needed to get rid of Flynn.

      Whether Flynn lied or he didn’t, there was still the public record where Flynn told Pence that sanctions hadn’t been discussed. So, then the transcript itself was illegally leaked to the Washington Post on Feb. 9, 2017, where it was reported that Flynn had in fact discussed sanctions with Kislyak. We’re now told by the special counsel, and by Flynn via his guilty plea, that this is what Flynn lied about to investigators. Maybe he forgot.

      To get to the truth, the American people would need to see the portion of the transcript of Flynn’s conversation with Kislyak and the transcript of the interrogation — or at least what the agents said about the interrogation — and then they could see if Flynn was lying or simply not remembering what was said. Presumably, President Trump could declassify that information.

      Leaving that aside, after the leak, Flynn was fired by Trump, he says, because he lied to Vice President Pence and the FBI. Later, Trump allegedly told former FBI Director James Comey that Flynn hadn’t done anything wrong. Comey was subsequently fired. Mueller was appointed, ostensibly, to investigate Russia collusion, but also the Comey firing and Trump allegedly telling Comey to go easy on Flynn, neither of which appears as a crime.

      In fact, it appears there would have never been a Mueller probe if the classified conversation Flynn had with Kislyak had never been leaked in the first place. Flynn would have never briefed Pence, who would have never gone on television to say sanctions hadn’t been discussed when they were. Flynn would have never been questioned and thus never fired.Go easy on Flynn, he’s a good guy, he didn’t do anything wrong. Isn’t that what Trump supposedly told Comey was supposed to be the nexus of the “obstruction” case? Maybe it was not because of a corrupt intent to interfere with a federal investigation, but a well-intentioned attempt to clear an innocent man of any wrongdoing.

      In hindsight, it appears that Flynn was mistreated and the FBI engaged in misconduct in questioning Flynn, and President Trump was in a position to know those particulars in 2017. As the head of the executive branch, according to the very allegations on obstruction, Trump poke with Comey to prevent an injustice from occurring.

      Doesn’t the president have that power? If Flynn was innocent, or if Trump had reason to believe he might have been innocent, or at least that the investigation of Flynn had been wrongly pursued, then he had an obligation as an officer of the government to do something about it within the scope of his powers.

      In the least, Trump — according to Comey — stated he thought Flynn hadn’t done anything wrong. Certainly, many are now arguing that Flynn was entrapped and that his conviction should be overturned.

      Trump may have been right all along.

      This was all preventable. Or it should have been. What’s the point of having political oversight by the president of the executive branch under the Constitution if he supposedly is powerless to do anything about executive Branch officials operating corruptly and with impunity to engage in such misconduct?

      Is there no constitutional check on potential FBI misconduct by the president? The Justice Department just operates with impunity and without oversight and direction from the elected president? And if the president intervenes and attempts to execute the laws to prevent an injustice, that’s corrupt obstruction?

      Does the president execute the laws under Article II? Or does the buck only stop with the attorney general? What if the attorney general becomes compromised, too? One might understand a desire to have a Justice Department free of the politics that the presidency brings to the fore, but reading the Constitution, that’s not what the Framers produced in Article II. The president heads the executive branch. All other executive branch officials are subordinate to him alone. A fully independent Justice Department does not exist in the Constitution. And certainly we can already see the dreadful consequences of such an unaccountable institution playing out with the Mueller probe. It’s out of control. They apparently feel like they have to go all the way, they have to get rid of Trump one way or another, or it will have all been for naught.

      But constitutionally, at least, the attorney general still works for the president. So does the FBI director. The president can obviously fire either of them if they are not enforcing the laws the way he wants. If prosecutorial discretion is a thing, the president has to have it. How is the president intervening to halt an investigation — or in the case of Comey, politely suggesting that an errant investigation be halted — anything but doing what is just under the Vesting Clause? What’s the president’s job supposed to be but to faithfully execute the office of the president, which is to execute the laws as he sees fit?

      It seems possible that Flynn was innocent all along, and that the president knew it or at least thought it. His critics charge that he was not legally allowed to do anything about it. So what should he have done instead? What is the non-obstruction method of curing this type of injustice? More broadly, what should a president do if the Justice Department acts corruptly in his eyes?

      Just let it play out? Hope a judge intervenes?

      Right now, the Justice Department seems like an unaccountable institution if nobody, not even the president, can control it. It is removed from the “consent of the governed” equation. The president is accountable to the people via elections. But if the Justice Department is not accountable to the president, and therefore the people, who is it accountable to? Who do they answer to?

      Maybe Judge Emmet Sullivan will tell us.

    6. Flynn denied knowing that the sanctions were planned, and it would have been impossible for him to ask Russia not to retaliate for something he didn’t know about.
      ______________________________________________________
      I think you misconstrued what Flynn said. First of all, The 302’s that Mueller gave the court are not the original 302. They are the doctored 302’s.

      As Judge Gleeson has stated the actual evidence of what was said during the FBI interview has not been presented to the court. The transcript of the call to Kislyak has also been withheld from the court. There is no way of telling for sure what happened in that interview based on the faulty evidence that Mueller gave the court.

      We do however, have evidence from more than one source that the FBI investigators said the believed he was not lying.

      https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2017/02/16/fbi-michael-flynn-fbi-no-charges-lemon-sot.cnn

      The doctored 302 says the agents asked Flynn about whether he had discussed specific details of the sanctions with Kislyak and Flynn responded “not really”. Flynn explained he was vacationing in the Caribbean where he was cut off from television and news reports so he was not familiar with details of the sanctions.

      The 302s do not have give any clear indication of whether Flynn lied or not since there is no evidence at all of what was actually said to Kislyak and very very little about what Flynn actually said to the investigators about the phone calls.

    7. Turley claims “Flynn knew that the FBI had intercepted the call and told the investigators that they could check the transcript,” but doesn’t substantiate it with any quote
      _________________________________________________
      That information is contained in the motion to dismiss.

        1. Not that I could find. What page is it on?
          _________________________________________
          Maybe you should read it again

          When McCabe asked Flynn if 2 FBI agents could come and talk to him at the White House:
          [ Flynn] stated that he readily expected that the FBI already knew the contents of his conversations with the ambassador, stating: “you listen to everything they say.”

          1. Thanks!

            If you look at a longer excerpt in Exhibit 11, you’ll find that McCabe wrote “On Tuesday, 01/24/2017, as [sic] 1235, LTG Michael Flynn called via secure phone from to my office number. … LTG Flynn then explained that he had been trying to ‘build relationships” with the Russians, and that he had calls in which he ‘exchanged condolences.’ He then stated that I probably knew what was said in these calls because, ‘you listen to everything they say.'”

            So that makes clear that he said this to McCabe, not to the two agents who interviewed him in person later in the day.

            Turley’s claim was “Flynn knew that the FBI had intercepted the call and told the investigators that they could check the transcript,” and Turley implied earlier — by contrasting “investigators” and “FBI officials” — that he’s using “investigators” to refer to the two agents who interviewed Flynn, not to everyone involved in the Flynn investigation: “The investigators concluded (and told FBI officials) that they did not believe that Flynn intentionally lied when he denied speaking about sanctions with the Russian ambassador.” McCabe was one of the officials that the agents told.

            So Turley’s claim that “Flynn knew that the FBI had intercepted the call and told the investigators that they could check the transcript” is false. Based on Exh. 11, the strongest one could say is that “Flynn assumed that the FBI had intercepted the call and that McCabe probably knew what Flynn had said to Kislyak.”

            Thanks again, at least now I understand Turley’s mistake.

  8. I just don’t know how Turley has the time to write articles, when he should be busy getting people out of jail for pleading guilty because of misconduct. But to be sure, misconduct only is in the Flynn case, right? And only for Flynn.

    1. Yeah, but Barr is a well know champion of the accused. Works on weekends for Legal Aid and was arrested in a Free Our Jails rally in Phillie.

    2. I don’t know how Professor Turley has the time to write all of the articles that he does, but I am grateful to him for it. I am not sure why you see the need to distort what he wrote. If you don’t like what he writes, read someone else’s blog.

  9. One wonders whether these legal commentators in the media got their legal education. They don’t seem to understand the basics, namely, people who committed the offense with which they are charged have the right to plead not guilty and put the government to its burden of proof. Those same people have the right to have their indictments dismissed if the indictments were obtained through prosecutorial misconduct. The fact that Flynn lied to the FBI does not deprive him of his right to be charged through untainted means and it does not deprive him of his right to plead not guilty or to withdraw his guilty plea once the prosecutorial misconduct is discovered. Nor does it matter that Flynn admitted that he lied to the FBI. If the prosecution was unethical, even the guilty may go free.

    1. Absolutely Vince, but there is the matter of the guy who took over the prosecution being on the same team as Flynn and having worked for the same guy, who also would benefit. Surely you see how the charges against the FBI and DOJ should be vetted fairly, as well as how this reversal was orchestrated, right? Since the case is in the sentencing phase, the judge has the obligation to weigh the facts.

      1. Why does the judge need to bring someone else in to weigh the facts for him? Is he incapable of reading the evidence on his own? Also, regardless of the merits of the case, it seems pretty clear that there were Brady violations, i.e., Flynn did not have access to all of the evidence when he plead guilty. I might be more inclined to view the judge favorably if he was also looking to sanction the prosecutors for violating the Brady orders. There have been no such indications.

        1. Fair question Hal, but for whatever reason, given Flynn’s team will advocate his position – and Barr’s – he wants an advocate to challenge on point and maybe ask about the process in the DOJ when Barr took it over. We are pretty sure none of the line prosecutors were part of this flip since none of them would sign the motion.

  10. I’m so proud of the good Professor. Everyday he takes the shills out to the woodshed for a good beating while we get to watch. Feels good. 🙂

  11. This article, in an Irish Poem – The Dems and their Spin Machine are trying to control our minds on this. Just like a mesmerist!

    Spin??? Golly!!!
    An Irish Poem by Squeeky Fromm

    There once was a general named, Flynn,
    For whom, the Democrats had it in!
    They treated him rough,
    And made up some stuff
    And now that they’re caught – spin, spin, spin!

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. From Limericking:

      “The president got an AG
      Who knew about bending the knee.
      His friends could do crimes,
      Confess them at times,
      And afterward walk away free.”

      Or maybe you’d prefer Liberal Limericks:

      “To further the President’s plot,
      Mike Flynn broke the law, then got caught.
      The charges proceeded.
      ‘I’m guilty,’ he pleaded;
      The AG replied, ‘No you’re not.’”

  12. Integrity is not heard of these days, professor Turley is in a losing battle. Libertarian is the right path beside two wrong paths, he warns the others when both paths are selling our freedoms away and he gets a poetic response from each of them, “how could you side with the other path, I used to respect you but you have lost it!”

    This reply will be spoken by each side and directed at the same person because, A man that lives by principals is hated by both sides at least once in his life. I’m pretty sure I am not the first that made that simple observation but it rings true. Most people follow people, they don’t stick to the principles because they are cowards! Sorry prof. Turley I heard him say he was an optimist, I lean towards pessimism.

  13. I love it! The professor is getting feisty now. Liberalism is dead in the Democratic Party. All is “left” is a hardcore progressive tyrannical bunch who will do anything to save their God: Obama.

  14. I’ve often wondered for decades why the lawyers for the defendants didn’t demanded from the courts equal resources, $$$, from the state that the state’s prosecutors have available to persecute the defendant.

    I wasn’t a big fan of Reagan for things like asset forfeiters laws that turned those seized assets to the govt persecutors. Back I knew the more the seized the more they would want to seize & that’s what has happen.

    As it is now in many places in the US the govt seizes the defendants assets & then says ok, now lets fight it out in the courts now your hands are tied behind your back.

    As in the Fylnn case, many others, hardly a fair venue for justice.

  15. The media is definitely hypocritical but the blame for the phony prosecution of Flynn falls squarely on the Trump DOJ.

    The FBI had concluded there was no crime for which Flynn could be charged.
    The media reported those facts.

    https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2017/02/16/fbi-michael-flynn-fbi-no-charges-lemon-sot.cnn

    Then the Trump DOJ took control of the Russia investigation and ordered the FBI to butt out. That is when the fraudulent story that Flynn lied to the FBI was invented and pursued. The media reported what the Trump DOJ told them about Flynn. The media did not invent the story.

    The story that Flynn lied to the FBI was always unbelievable because Flynn was well aware that the FBI had a transcript of the call and he was well aware he had no reason to lie about what was said in the call.

    To make the unbelievable charges against Flynn seem more real Trump jumped in right after the charges were announced and tweeted that he had fired Flynn for lying to the FBI. Trumps tweet was a lie but it did have the effect of making an unbelievable prosecution seem legitimate.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/video/pres-trump-says-he-fired-flynn-for-lying-to-pence-and-the-fbi-1108420163773

    1. “Flynn was well aware that the FBI had a transcript of the call”

      And your evidence for this is ___?

      “the fraudulent story that Flynn lied to the FBI…”

      Flynn clearly made false statements to the FBI. The legal questions are whether the lies were material (answer: they were) and whether the investigation was predicated (answer: it was).

        1. It’s not a game. If you want me to provide evidence of something I said, all you have to do is quote my claim and ask me for the evidence, and I’ll provide it or honestly say that I can’t.

          How about you — if I ask you for evidence confirming something you claimed, will you provide it or honestly say that you can’t? Let’s test that:
          I said “The legal questions are whether the lies were material (answer: they were) and whether the investigation was predicated (answer: it was).”
          And you responded “I can play that game too. Answer, it wasn’t.”

          Please provide evidence that for your claim “Answer, it wasn’t.”

      1. “Flynn was well aware that the FBI had a transcript of the call”

        And your evidence for this is ___?
        _________________________________________________

        I was aware that the FBI had listened to the Kislyak phone call because it was reported in the news media weeks before the Flynn interview.

        Also the motion to dismiss provides evidence that Flynn told the FBI agents that he knwe they had a transcript.

        The story that Flynn lied to the FBI was never a believable story.
        Flynn had no good reason to lie
        _____________________________________________
        Flynn clearly made false statements to the FBI. The legal questions are whether the lies were material

        ______________________________________________________
        It is not at all clear Flynn lied.

        Barr is trying to make immateriality the legal question because it side steps the more important question of why did the DOJ lie to the court about what happened during the Flynn-FBI interview. Barr claims it doesn’t matter if Flynn lied because the DOJ does not want to deal with the fact that Flynn did not lie. But Barr’s motion contains evidence that Flynn did not lie and there is no doubt still more evidence that Flynn did not lie contained in the original transcripts of the interview and the phone call which is why Barr does not want to provide to the court those transcripts.

        1. I asked you for evidence. You asserting something isn’t evidence. Evidence would be a quote or a link to primary documents.

          You say “the motion to dismiss provides evidence that Flynn told the FBI agents that he knwe they had a transcript,” but I just searched on the word “transcript,” and although it appears, none of the results correspond to what you describe. What page number are you referring to?

          “Flynn had no good reason to lie”

          That’s your opinion. Many of us have a different opinion. But either way, opinions aren’t facts.

          And what is your evidence that “the DOJ lie[d] to the court about what happened during the Flynn-FBI interview”?

          “Barr’s motion contains evidence that Flynn did not lie”

          Please either quote it or give the page #. I don’t want to rely on your claims. I want to look at the evidence itself.

      1. Trump DOJ? This was the special prosecutor’s office running the show.
        ______________________________________________________
        It was appointed by and controlled by the Trump DOJ,
        Nobody was prosecuted without the consent of the Trump DOJ

  16. The Barr motion is not a blow for defendants rights, it’s a blow for Presidential cronies – the 2nd within the year.

    Let Sullivan sort it out.

    Meanwhile, about that fired IG:

    “WASHINGTON — As federal workers file out of the State Department at the end of a Washington workday, an elite group is often just arriving in the marbled, flag-lined lobby: Billionaire CEOs, Supreme Court justices, political heavyweights and ambassadors arrive in evening attire as they’re escorted by private elevator to dinner with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

    Until the coronavirus shut them down in March, the gatherings were known as “Madison Dinners” — elaborate, unpublicized affairs that Pompeo and his wife, Susan Pompeo, began in 2018 and held regularly in the historic Diplomatic Reception Rooms on the government’s dime.

    State Department officials involved in the dinners said they had raised concerns internally that the events were essentially using federal resources to cultivate a donor and supporter base for Pompeo’s political ambitions — complete with extensive contact information that gets sent back to Susan Pompeo’s personal email address. The officials and others who attended discussed the dinners on condition of anonymity.

    An NBC News investigation found that Pompeo held about two dozen Madison Dinners since he took over in 2018. NBC News obtained a master guest list for every dinner through the end of 2019, as well as internal State Department calendars from before the pandemic emerged, showing that future dinners were on the books through at least October. The master list includes the names of nearly 500 invitees and specifies who accepted, although it is possible some people RSVP’d but didn’t show up in Foggy Bottom for dinner.

    The records show that about 29 percent of the invitees came from the corporate world, while about a quarter of them hailed from the media or entertainment industries, with conservative media members heavily represented. About 30 percent work in politics or government, and just 14 percent were diplomats or foreign officials. Every single member of the House or the Senate who has been invited is a Republican….”

    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/pompeo-s-elite-taxpayer-funded-dinners-raise-new-concerns-n1210746

      1. For the record, I dispatched JT’s column in 1 sentence and highlighted less redundant and more important new in the next.

        1. For the record, you did what you usually do – tried to distract the thread away from the article itself, because it makes Democrats look hypocritical, and mendacious, and DNC shills do not find such conversations and discussions helpful to their cause.

          And you didn’t dismiss nothing. In fact, you said exactly what the article said people like you say. Ironic, isn’t it?

          Anyway, enough time wasted on the shills this morning! See, I just “dismissed” you!

          Squeeky Fromm
          Girl Reporter

          1. What is very frightening, and little mentioned, is the petition signed by about 2,000 former DOJ/FBI officials, who railed against the Flynn motion to dismiss by Barr’s DOJ. And, instead of supporting Barr and demand that the spurious charges against Flynn be dismissed, they said that Barr’s decision was “politically” motivated.

            The meaning of this to me, is that the DOJ/FBI have been politicized for a longer time than I could have imagined. The 2,000 signatures to the petition are more frightening than I thought possible.

            1. Yeah, nothing politicized about a close ally of the president butting into a case involving a crony – 2nd time in less than 6 months – and against the work of staff reversing in favor of the crony.

  17. One does not have to be a fan of the president or Gen. Flynn to be deeply troubled by the behavior of law enforcement in this case.

    Constitutional protections exist because the awesome power of government can be turned against anyone. I’m sure the former prosecutors thought Flynn was a bad guy — they were convinced he did something, sometime, for which he should be punished. But being a bad guy isn’t illegal in America, even for Trump colleagues.

    It appears to me that there was a lot of malfeasance by certain members of law enforcement and the IC in the Russia matter. I suspect some of them may have committed crimes. But even though I don’t like those people, I hope that any prosecution is conducted with integrity and respect for our system’s protections of the individual. I do not want to see John Brennan or Peter Strozk railroaded like Flynn.

    Thanks, Prof. Turley, for helping hold law enforcement accountable.

    1. Then Eric, you and JT should welcome a full hearing on the Barr motion to vet all the alleged malfeasance by the FBI and DOJ. You see, the problem is absent that, this smells like a powerful presidential appointee (Barr) bailing out another (Flynn) to benefit their boss (Trump) by pushing aside the Dept line attorneys, none of whom would have anything to do with it. You get that needs to be aired also, right? The judge is tasked with defending the rule of law, not the rule of Trump.

      1. You see, the problem is absent that, this smells like a powerful presidential appointee (Barr) bailing out another (Flynn) to benefit their boss (Trump) by pushing aside the Dept line attorneys, none of whom would have anything to do with it.
        ______________________________________________________

        That is what it is supposed to look like, but since Flynn never did lie to the FBI and the FBI investigators have established that fact, the motives that you impute for releasing Flynn are clearly wrong.

        Of course Turleys theory that Flynn was prosecuted by the FBI or the Media or Obama or just about anybody he can think of but the actual prosecutors in the case is also a ridiculous distortion of how the case landed in court.

      2. I don’t know what JT welcomes or not, but I would indeed welcome a full hearing — in Congress. It is Congress’ job to oversee the executive branch, not the Court’s.

        Judges should not be making decisions based on what something “smells like”, or who’s a crony of whom — it’d be hard to find a more inappropriate basis for judicial action than that. To bring these political considerations into a felony criminal matter, with a citizen’s very liberty on the line, would be the exact opposite of “defending the rule of law”.

    2. I’m sure the former prosecutors thought Flynn was a bad guy — they were convinced he did something, sometime, for which he should be punished.
      _______________________________________________________

      That is nonsense. They knew they were promoting a fraudulent story that Flynn lied to the FBI. The whole case was designed to fall apart when it was subjected to scrutiny

      The crime here is that FBI investigators are being blamed for the illegal acts carried out by the Trump DOJ. Flynn is not the one being framed.
      Flynn was helping the DOJ frame the FBI.

  18. News flash. Liberals have no principles and are on the side of injustice in just about every dispute. The question at hand is what are we to do with liberals.

    1. It is illustrative to see the people who purportedly care about the Constitution and democracy, so eager to violate the Constitution and use un-democratic methods to punish their enemies.
      The same people who bleat about racial profiling and who want terrorists Mirandized, now clamor for the means to be justified by the ends.

  19. After Flynn back room worked the Turks and the Russians, offered to bargain information on the adminstration, most likely lying to every Fed he talked to, backing out on his plea deal in significant respects, etc. it’s just hard for me to get excited about any perceived victimization of him when there are plenty of people sitting through errant prosecutions and convictions who are actually not guilty.

    1. If Flynn was making all the “back room” deals as you and others claim, it’s obvious that the details would have been leaked, especially with all the people listening in. There have been no secrets when it comes to making the Trump side look bad, even if the supposed secrets are made up as in the Steele dossier.

      I consider more “back room” to be like Obama telling Medvedev in 2015 to wait until after the election when he’ll have more flexibility.

      https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-17519868/obama-and-medvedev-caught-in-unguarded-missile-remarks.

      Or giving wooden pallets stacked with cash to Iran as ransom to get US hostages back despite previous US policy of not paying ransoms. Back room, indeed.

    2. Do you automatically assume guilt when the perpetrator was in a position with an administration with whom you disagree? If there were “errant prosecutions and convictions” what better way to reset the procedures and tactics of law enforcement than a high profile case? Your post is loaded with assumptions, and while you might argue that “the other side” assumes innocence in this case, we might argue that that’s what the legal system is based on. We might also ask you what you prefer, a guilty man going free, or an innocent man (no matter what party) being harassed until he’s broke, and likely jailed?

Leave a Reply