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. excerpt…”The story ignited the Trump-Russia collusion narrative, which was intended to damage Flynn while disguising the nature and purpose of the campaign. The criminal leak of a classified intercept was evidence that the Obama White House was spying on the transition team, and for the same reason they’d spied on lawmakers and pro-Israel activists—to know the plans of Iran deal opponents.

    To conceal their illegal surveillance of the incoming NSA and other Trump officials, Obama aides repurposed Hillary Clinton’s Trump-Russia collusion narrative, which had fed dozens of pre-election news reports and won the FBI a warrant to spy on the Trump campaign. Now the media had the Trump White House on the defensive, identifying likely “points of collusion” everywhere, while covering up Obama’s spying operation…”

    excerpt from last two paragraphs…”Russiagate was not a hoax, as some conservative journalists call it. Rather, it was a purposeful extension of the Obama administration’s Iran Deal media campaign, and of the secret espionage operation targeting those opposed to Obama’s efforts to realign American interests with those of a terror state that embodies the most corrosive forms of anti-Semitism.

    It’s not hard to see why the previous president went after Flynn: The retired general’s determination to undo the Iran Deal was grounded in his own experience in two Middle Eastern theaters of combat, where he saw how Iran murdered Americans and threatened American interests. But why Obama would choose the Islamic Republic as a partner and encourage tactics typically employed by third-world police states remain a mystery.”

    https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/russiagate-obama-iran

    1. from article…”There is no evidence that Flynn “colluded” with Russia, and the evidence that Flynn did not make false statements to the FBI has been buried by the bureau, including current Director Christopher Wray.”

      Question….why is Chris Wray stonewalling? Does it make you wonder what’s going on when the likes of John Brennan praises Wray calling him a ‘remarkable public servant’? If the Obama admin illegal spying operation ring-master, John Brennan, is praising the current Trump FBI director, who is in turn stonewalling, that makes me wonder what’s really going on there….

  2. If Flynn was going to conspire with Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Martians, etc, why wouldn’t he just wait until the Administration took control and accountability would be much more difficult as he would have most of the “Keys to the Kingdom”. He’s one of the best Intelligence people ever, he would know better.

    1. Because Obama placed sanctions on Russia – his boss’s benefactor – the day before his call with the ambassador.

  3. Steeerike 3!!

    Three scandal burgers, three empty buns!

    1. GOP sleuth Sen Johnson asks for declassification of Susan Rice email summarizing Jan 5, 2017 WH meeting w/Obama, Biden, Rice, Comey, and Yates, partly on Flynn. Could be a “West Wing” preview clip w/Tom Hanks as Comey and Will Smith as Obama. Thanks Sen Johnson

    https://www.politico.com/f/?id=00000172-2e48-d57a-ad7b-7e6f97060000

    2. GOP machine sets up stage for Flynn unmasking scandal around meeting with Russian Ambassador, including declassifying records by partisan acting DNI. Whoops, Flynn’s name wasn’t masked on that meeting report. It wasn’t FiSA, NSA, it was FBI. I hate when that happens!

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/michael-flynns-name-was-never-masked-in-fbi-document-on-his-communications-with-russian-ambassador/2020/05/20/e94ee050-9a0b-11ea-ac72-3841fcc9b35f_story.html

    3. Long promised revelations on VP Biden illicit acts in the Ukraine finally delivered by ex-Russian Intelligence officer and Ukrainian parliament member and Giuliani – missing Lev Parnas no doubt – and edited phone call shows Biden saying exactly what he’d said on a stage and never denied – get rid of corrupt Shokin and you’ll get promised US aid. For those without a score card, Shokin was the prosecutor the entire western world wanted gone before they would invest or grant more money to the notoriously corrupt Ukrainian government and it was Biden’s job to push that result. Geraldo opened the door at the press conference.

    “The recordings played at the news conference Tuesday shed relatively little new light on Biden’s actions in Ukraine, which were at the center of President Trump’s impeachment last year. They show that Biden, as he has previously said publicly, linked loan guarantees for Ukraine to the ouster of the country’s prosecutor general in 2015. But Derkach used the new clips to make an array of accusations not proven by the tapes.

    Link follows.

    1. Anon – don’t get too excited. Biden admitted to getting an innocent man kicked out of his job for money, someone who the government says is clean. I have heard from third-hand sources that there are more clips to come.

      1. Former Ukranian Prosecutor Viktor Shokin Sworn Affidavit Outlining Joe Biden Shakedown…

        Posted on September 26, 2019 by sundance

        John Solomon is reporting on a myriad of documents that highlight how Vice-President Joe Biden engaged in a pressure and influence campaign upon the government of Ukraine to financially benefit his son Hunter Biden. [SEE HERE] One of those documents is a sworn affidavit by former Ukrainian Prosecutor Viktor Shokin (pdf here and below):

        Actual documents at: https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2019/09/26/former-ukranian-prosecutor-viktor-shokin-sworn-affidavit-outlining-joe-biden-shakedown/

        Anon’s opinions are based on what he wishes to be true rather than what is true.

  4. Steeerike 3!!

    Three scandal burgers, three empty buns!

    1. GOP sleuth Sen Johnson asks for declassification of Susan Rice email summarizing Jan 5, 2017 WH meeting w/Obama, Biden, Rice, Comey, and Yates, partly on Flynn. Could be a “West Wing” preview clip w/Tom Hanks as Comey and Will Smith as Obama. Thanks Sen Johnson

    https://www.politico.com/f/?id=00000172-2e48-d57a-ad7b-7e6f97060000

    2. GOP machine sets up stage for Flynn unmasking scandal around meeting with Russian Ambassador, including declassifying records by partisan acting DNI. Whoops, Flynn’s name wasn’t masked on that meeting report. It wasn’t FiSA, NSA, it was FBI. I hate when that happens!

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/michael-flynns-name-was-never-masked-in-fbi-document-on-his-communications-with-russian-ambassador/2020/05/20/e94ee050-9a0b-11ea-ac72-3841fcc9b35f_story.html

    3. Long promised revelations on VP Biden illicit acts in the Ukraine finally delivered by ex-Russian Intelligence officer and Ukrainian parliament member and Giuliani – missing Lev Parnas no doubt – and edited phone call shows Biden saying exactly what he’d said on a stage and never denied – get rid of corrupt Shokin and you’ll get promised US aid. For those without a score card, Shokin was the prosecutor the entire western world wanted gone before they would invest or grant more money to the notoriously corrupt Ukrainian government and it was Biden’s job to push that result. Geraldo opened the door at the press conference.

    “The recordings played at the news conference Tuesday shed relatively little new light on Biden’s actions in Ukraine, which were at the center of President Trump’s impeachment last year. They show that Biden, as he has previously said publicly, linked loan guarantees for Ukraine to the ouster of the country’s prosecutor general in 2015. But Derkach used the new clips to make an array of accusations not proven by the tapes.

    washingtonpost.com/national-security/ukrainian-lawmaker-releases-leaked-phone-calls-of-biden-and-poroshenko/2020/05/19/cc1e6030-9a26-11ea-b60c-3be060a4f8e1_story.html

  5. Paint Chips, your word isn’t very good around these parts. Neither are your aliases Barkley, Elder, anonymous, July Johnson and countless others along with Seth Warner who you refer to in your latest response. Anything I have heard about you came from 2 or more sources with names. The sources were better than the Washington Post which doesn’t bother with sources.

  6. Off topic. The virus is indeed a killer. Last year we had another killer. Tobacco smoking killed 485,000 plus Americans.
    Guns are quicker.

    1. Tobacco smoking killed 485,000 plus Americans
      _____________________________________________________
      Covid may end up killing more. Tobacco doesn’t kill you right away and neither does covid19. Most of the 10% of people that get serious covid requiring critical care have permanent damage to lungs, heart, liver, brain, kidneys or vascular system. Its likely that just like smoking it will lead to premature death eventually.

      1. there is some evidence that smoking or rather nicotine has a mild prophylactic effect on spread of covid

    1. Benson, get to work finding the articles about nicotine and covid. this is your homework. citations please. and please tell us the cellular binding mechanisms that are suspected to be explanatory of the apparent prophylactic effect of nictone. I’ll huff away on my “vape” now and check in later.

  7. Trump Walks-Back False Claims About Michigan’s Ballots By Mail

    But Republicans Are Gearing Up To Suppress Votes

    Donald Trump on Wednesday escalated his assault against mail voting, falsely claiming that Michigan and Nevada were engaged in voter fraud and had acted illegally, and threatening to withhold federal funds to those states if they proceed in expanding vote-by-mail efforts.

    The president inaccurately accused Michigan of sending mail ballots to its residents, as his aides later acknowledged, and he offered no basis for his claims of illegal actions by either Michigan or Nevada. The Michigan secretary of state has sent ballot applications — not the ballots themselves — to registered voters, a growing practice among election officials, including in states led by Republicans. In Nevada, where the Republican secretary of state declared the primary a nearly all-mail election, ballots are being sent to registered voters.

    As most states largely abandon in-person voting because of health concerns over the coronavirus, Mr. Trump and many of his Republican allies have launched a series of false attacks to demonize mail voting as fraught with fraud and delivering an inherent advantage to Democratic candidates — despite there being scant evidence for either claim.

    By day’s end Mr. Trump had corrected his tweet about Michigan, saying officials there had mailed applications, not ballots, though he continued to assert the secretary of state had acted illegally. He also backed off his threat to hold back funding, saying Michigan would find out “very soon if it’s necessary,” according to a pool report from the White House. “I don’t think it’s going to be necessary.”

    Mr. Trump has often made threats about cutting off funding to states but has not always followed through. Aides compared his Wednesday morning tweets to previous attempts to withhold federal funds to sanctuary cities.

    But his assault on the electoral process comes as Republicans are spending millions of dollars on broad efforts that could suppress voting in heavily Democratic areas in November, particularly in battleground states like Michigan and Wisconsin. Republican-controlled legislatures and G.O.P. election lawyers around the country are trying to block or minimize widespread absentee voting and other measures that would make voting easier.

    Edited From: “Trump Steps Up Attack On Mail Voters, Making False Claims About Fraud”

    Today’s New York Times

    1. Republicans In Texas Seek To Restrict Mail-In Ballots

      No Exceptions For Pandemic

      Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) is fighting to keep tight limits on who qualifies for an absentee ballot in his state. Several states conduct nearly all voting via absentee ballot, and most others allow people to obtain mail-in ballots without providing a reason. Texas is one of the handful of laggard states that still require excuses, such as illness. Leaders of other states in this category, such as Delaware, have announced that voters can use fear of covid-19 as a valid reason to get mail-in ballots. That is the least states can do to give their voters a fair shot at having their voices heard. Yet Mr. Paxton is fighting in court to prevent Texans from having that option.

      Mr. Paxton’s excuse is that Texas state law strictly limits absentee voting, even during a pandemic. The law requires voters under 65 to have a “sickness or physical condition” that could result in injury to their health if they attempted to vote in person. Yet Texans suing for access to absentee ballots point out that lack of immunity to covid-19 is a physical condition that makes polling places dangerous for them. Moreover, Texas’s language is little different from that of states that have moved to be more helpful to voters. Unlike leaders elsewhere, Mr. Paxton chose to read his state’s statute as narrowly as possible, rather than adopting plausible alternative readings that would give voters needed choice.

      Edited From: Texas’s Republican Leaders Are Fighting To Keep Voting Unsafe”

      Today’s Washington Post

  8. Substitute Weissman Team for Mueller Team and you’ve got all you need to know. Weissman is the poster boy for prosecutorial misconduct. He’s never seen Brady material he wouldn’t want to withhold.

  9. If the FBI just had some questions for me I would get a lawyer before I talked to them. All I can think of is how the FBI covered Whitey Bulgers a$$. While under the FBI’s watchfull eye he continued running his criminal enterprise which included murder. The world we live in isn’t black and white. It’s different shades of gray.

  10. And Powell’s word is gospel?…more like another BHO syncophant. Flynn stood up for a staff colleagues who were abused by Powell and co….remember Dementocrats always accuse others of their corrupt actions.

    1. Sidney Powell doesn’t have to be credible, she has Sullivan’s own words, not in another case but this one, saying that amicus has no place in the criminal courts.

  11. Not to mention Sidney Powell include in her mandamus petition Judge Sullivan’s own words from earlier in this case:

    “This Court has received several motions to
    intervene/file an amicus brief along with letters in support from a
    private individual who is neither a party to this case nor counsel of
    record for any party. The Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure do not
    provide for intervention by third parties in criminal cases. The Court
    recognizes that the movant sincerely believes that he has
    information to share that bears on this case, and that,
    understandably, he wishes to be heard. Options exist for a private
    citizen to express his views about matters of public interest, but the
    Court’s docket is not an available option.”

    https://sidneypowell.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Petition-filed.pdf

    What is worse is that Judge Sullivan has had Flynn’s motion to withdraw his plea in front of him for months and has never made mention of charging Flynn with contempt for committing perjury unit it was the DOJ that moved to dismiss charges. He is effectively trying to punish Flynn for the DOJ dropping charges. This is even more ridiculous because if the DOJ/prosecution is moving to dismiss the charges there really is no relevance to Flynn withdrawing his plea anyway. I think Judge Sullivan might just want to think about an immediate retirement.

  12. You have to love this one:

    “The Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure do not provide for intervention by third parties in criminal cases.”
    Judge Sullivan — obviously at an earlier time, when it was more convenient for him to follow the law.

    But then what do you expect from a judge who issues a court order based on United States v. Fokker, a case that forbids him from issuing the order.

    Perhaps I should e-mail the New York Times about this.

    1. Article by Ohio State Law Professor on the history of federal prosecutors as members of the judicial branch from early days and with remnants still in place.

      SteveJ. one would think Flynn supporters would welcome a full hearing of the alleged improprieties by attorneys and the FBI. Others of us look to a full hearing on Barr’s taking over the case for a connected defendant – again. It stinks to high heaven.

      “…As the Second Circuit wrote in 1926: “A United States attorney, if not a judicial officer, is at least a quasi-judicial officer, of the government. He exercises important judicial functions, and is engaged in the enforcement of the law.”Federal courts also retain explicit authority to appoint prosecutors to handle cases of criminal contempt. As a 2018 Ninth Circuit opinion explains, that authority is rooted in what has long been recognized as the “inherent power of the judiciary to appoint disinterested private attorneys as special prosecutors to pursue criminal contempt proceedings … when government prosecutors are unwilling or unable to perform that function.”

      The Constitution deploys its version of the separation of powers in order to sustain the checks and balances essential to government under the rule of law. Given the Trump administration’s aggressive assertions of executive-branch authority to resist encroachments by Congress and the judiciary, it ought to recognize that the courts have their own authority to prevent other branches from corrupting the judicial function.

      Among the most pernicious constitutional myths perpetuated by Attorney General William Barr, both in and out of office, are the ideas that criminal prosecution is an exclusively executive concern and that the president is constitutionally entitled to control the prosecutorial process, even when he, his family, or his close associates might be implicated. …”

      https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/05/flynns-new-argument-constitutional-nonsense/611770/

      1. An amicus curiae (literally, “friend of the court”; plural, amici curiae) is someone who is not a party to a case who assists a court by offering information, expertise, or insight that has a bearing on the issues in the case.
        The case has a prosecutor.
        An amicus curiae is not a prosecutor.

    2. Does the DOJ’s invocation of Rule 48a (which did not previously apply) change whether amici can intervene in accord with the court’s rules? I don’t know the answer to that, but I don’t assume that it’s “no.”

      1. Committ – 49a was always applicable in this case, but the Mueller team did not use it because they wanted a win, not justice.

    3. Why are so many people scared to death of what Judge Gleeson might uncover?
      Its not like Gleeson has any power to do anything. All he can do is report his findings, but it sure sounds like many are terrified of what he may find.

  13. On another topic….Thank God Florida ended up with a Governor like Ron DeSantis instead of that democrat Andrew Gillum who was found passed out during a gay meth orgy in a Miami hotel room.

  14. Ukraine judge orders Joe Biden be listed as alleged perpetrator of crime in prosecutor’s firing

    Latest twist in Ukraine impeachment drama could stretch into Biden’s fall campaign as fired prosecutor seeks legal remedy in courts.

    The infamous story of Joe Biden’s effort to force the firing of Ukraine’s chief prosecutor in 2016 has taken a new legal twist in Kiev, just as the former vice president is sewing up the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination in America.

    In Kiev late last month, District Court Judge S. V. Vovk ordered the country’s law enforcement services to formally list the fired prosecutor, Victor Shokin, as the victim of an alleged crime by the former U.S. vice president, according to an official English translation of the ruling obtained by Just the News.

    The court had previously ordered the Prosecutor General’s Office and the State Bureau of Investigations in February to investigate Shokin’s claim that he was fired in spring 2016 under pressure from Biden because he was investigating Burisma Holdings, the natural gas company where Biden’s son Hunter worked.

    The court ruled then that there was adequate evidence to investigate Shokin’s claim that Biden’s pressure on then-President Petro Poroshenko, including a threat to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees, amounted to unlawful interference in Shokin’s work as Ukraine’s chief prosecutor.

    But when law enforcement agencies opened the probe they refused to name Biden as the alleged perpetrator of the crime, instead listing the potential defendant as an unnamed American.

    Vovk ruled that anonymous listing was improper and ordered the law enforcement agencies to formally name Biden as the accused perpetrator.

    The ruling orders “a competent person of the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine who conducts procedural management in criminal proceedings No. 62020000000000236 dated February 24, 2020 to enter information into the Unified register of pre-trial investigations … a summary of facts that may indicate the commission of a criminal offense under Paragraph 2 of Article 343 of the Criminal procedure code of Ukraine on criminal proceedings No. 62020000000000236 dated February 24, 2020, namely: information on interference in the activities of the former Prosecutor General of Ukraine Shokin, Viktor Mykolaiovych performed by citizen of the United States of America Joseph Biden, former U.S. Vice President.”

    The judge added, “the order of the court may not be appealed.”

    Shokin’s attorney, Oleksandr Ivanovych Teleshetskyi, confirmed the ruling to Just the News but said Ukraine officials have not yet complied.

    “Viktor Shokin publicly appealed to the president of Ukraine with a request to properly respond to illegal inaction in the investigation of criminal cases that are open against Joseph Biden,” Teleshetskyi said. “Let me remind you that they were discovered precisely as a result of the statement of Viktor Shokin.”

    The Biden-Shokin saga has dominated headlines for more than a year, and played a central role in the Democrat-led impeachment proceedings that ended earlier this year with President Trump’s acquittal in the Senate.

    Biden has admitted on videotape he forced then-Ukraine President Poroshenko to fire Shokin in March 2016 by threatening to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees. But Biden has steadfastly denied Shokin’s firing was due to the Burisma case. Instead, Biden said, he and other Western leaders believed Shokin was ineffective as a corruption fighter.

    Shokin, however, has alleged in a court affidavit he was told he was fired because he refused to stand down his investigation of alleged corruption by Burisma and after he planned to call Hunter Biden as a witness to question him about millions of dollars in payments his American firm received from the Ukraine gas company.

    Shokin has also disputed Democrats’ claims he was fired because he was incompetent or corrupt, producing among other pieces of evidence a letter from the U.S. State Department in summer 2015 that praised his anti-corruption plan as Ukraine’s chief prosecutor.

    While the Biden-Shokin factual dispute remains unresolved, the impeachment trial last year generated testimony from State Department witnesses who said they believed Hunter Biden’s role at Burisma while his father oversaw U.S.-Ukraine policy created an uncomfortable appearance of a conflict of interest.

    Both Bidens have denied wrongdoing but acknowledged they wished they had handled the matter differently.

    Shokin’s continued pursuit of a case in the Ukraine courts could prompt new disclosures this summer as Biden readies for the fall election against Trump.

    On Tuesday, a Ukraine parliamentary member released what he said were excerpts of phone calls between Poroshenko and Biden discussing Shokin’s firing, but neither man has confirmed their authenticity yet.

    In an interview, Shokin told Just the News he is confident he can unearth evidence during the proceedings that Ukraine officials were satisfied with his performance and simply acceded to firing him to avoid losing the badly needed U.S. loan guarantees.

    https://justthenews.com/accountability/russia-and-ukraine-scandals/ukraine-judge-orders-joe-biden-be-listed-alleged

  15. “Michael Flynn isn’t a martyr. He’s a crook and a crackpot.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/05/15/michael-flynn-isnt-martyr-hes-crook-crackpot/

    ‘In 2014, Flynn was forced out of his position as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). As Colin Powell later described it in a leaked email, Flynn was “Abusive with staff, didn’t listen, worked against policy, bad management, etc. He has been and was right-wing nutty [ever] since.”’ …and the list continues…

    I agree with Jonathan Turley, in this posting. But let’s not forget what is known about Flynn.

    1. “But let’s not forget what is known about Flynn.”

      Flynn opposed Obama’s very pro Iran posturing along with the nuclear deal. It was a dumb deal and supported the largest state sponsor of terrorism, permitted Iran to have nuclear weapons in a short amount of time, permitted Iran to control inspections and sent loads of money that supported Iran along with its weapons development and terrorist activities.

    2. “I agree with Jonathan Turley, in this posting. But let’s not forget what is known about Flynn.”

      Nice one. So you agree with Turley that Flynn was(and still is) illegally persecuted by Obama’s DOJ/FBI, but “let’s not forget” Flynn has enemies who will happily slander him. Best you remain anonymous as you slander someone.

  16. Summary of the article: “what’s happening to Flynn is evil, but no one is morally courageous enough to call it that (not even me).”

    1. The problem is the rules have been replaced with a simulacrum of the rules. Eventually, people may get tired of paying much attention to the simulacrum. Judge Sullivan may have shuffled off into a nursing home at that point, but other Judge Sullivans may not like the implications of that when it has an impact on their daily life.

      Much of it is a decline in the quality of human being we breed in this country. People in trust-invested occupations are less and less worthy of that trust and less and less honorable. You can see people on these threads attempting to manufacture excuses for that with word salads.

      1. You know what the elephant in the room is: none of this chaos and disorder, this lying and fraud, needs pointing out. It’s clear as day to any law student, and even to the layperson. It’s not rocket surgery, and yet, here we are expending thousand word essays, and thousands more words in posts and comments, arguing with sociopathic and intellectually dishonest people.

        It reminds me of the Yeats poem:

        “Turning and turning in the widening gyre
        The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
        Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
        Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
        The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
        The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
        The best lack all conviction, while the worst
        Are full of passionate intensity.”

        Even the moral-leaning folk like the good Mr. Turkey are hesitant to simply call evil what it is. He meanders and ponders around the margins, trying to “be fair” in order to keep the ear of what he imagines in the average irrational liberal reader, who is convinced that Orange Man Bad is “literally Hitler”, and the ends justify any means in harming him (or those around him).

        Well, I’m sick of that appeasement. That kind of rabid posture is the basic definition of evil; it doesn’t matter how upset someone is, when you throw aside all moral compass to indulge in this degree of derangement, there isn’t any sympathy warranted or required. This nation has been lead down a path of self-destruction by criminal networks of morally vacant frauds. It’s not time to hand-hold and cajole, it’s time to start busting these criminals in the nose.

        1. Can’t argue with anything arsumbris says. It’s time to drop the niceties and respond in a more visceral sense.

        2. Strong “Like”

          Can’t help but be reminded of this gem from Alexander Pope:

          “Vice is a monster of so frightful mien
          As to be hated needs but to be seen;
          Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
          We first endure, then pity, then embrace.”

          It is time to resist this sentiment and bust the criminals in the nose.

        3. Arsumbris:

          Such a prescient posting. Evil not only hides behind its banality. it survives because it is obscured by those trying to be measured and fair as they describe it. Evil cares about neither.

          1. ” Evil not only hides behind its banality. it survives because it is obscured by those trying to be measured and fair as they describe it.”

            🙂

        4. Let’s start with the not smart enough to Hitler orange man, then. Because he is bad. A billion lost reasons of dad’s money sparked up in bad business deals says so. And then the abject stupidity in office.

          1. Yes, keep crying “dad’s money”. That mole-hill might grow large enough that we can justifiably ignore the literal sink-hole of “parallel construction” and police state corruption opening next to it. Who cares about Rome burning around us, this guy got elected and I can’t stand his “tone”.

            People like you are why we’ll lose our Republic one day soon. Can’t wait for the temple to land on your head as you petulantly tear it down.

        5. Ars’s posting is for the infantile, the haters, and the drama queens, none of which are suitable citizens in a democracy, where disagreement within the law is both the ideal and the compromise.

          Especially ironic coming from supporters of a moral and ethical cripple who lies and brags from morning to the last live show on Fox, while ignoring and bulldozing checks on his power in the interests of himself. These pygmies applaud.

        6. Good post. This is the opening paragraph in Bastiat’s The Law.

          The law perverted! And the police powers of the state perverted along with it! The law, I say, not only turned from its proper purpose but made to follow an entirely contrary purpose! The law become the weapon of every kind of greed! Instead of checking crime, the law itself guilty of the evils it is supposed to punish!

          If this is true, it is a serious fact, and moral duty requires me to call the attention of my fellow-citizens to it.

Leave a Reply