The Senate Should Focus On What The Flynn Transcripts Do Not Contain . . . Starting With A Crime

440px-Michael_T_FlynnBelow is my column in The Hill newspaper on the new disclosures in the prosecution of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.  Yesterday, the attorney hired by Judge Emmet Sullivan responded on his behalf to defend his controversial orders in the case to invite third parties to argue the merits of the motion to dismiss as well as raising his option to substitute his own criminal charge of perjury against Flynn.  The Justice Department responded with a 45-page filing to a three-judge appeals court panel.

The attention will now focus on the appearance tomorrow of former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in the Senate.  For me, the most pertinent question is why this investigation continued past December and seemed to become to a search for a crime rather than the investigation of any crime or collusion with Russia.

Here is the column:

“Remember … Ambassador, you’re not talking to a diplomat, you’re talking to a soldier.” When President Trump’s incoming national security adviser, Michael Flynn, said those words to then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, he also spoke to American intelligence agents listening in on the call. For three years, congressional Democrats have assured us Flynn’s calls to Kislyak were so disturbing that they set off alarms in the closing days of the Obama administration.

Rod_Rosenstein_US_AttorneyThey were right. The newly released transcripts of Flynn’s calls are deeply disturbing — not for their evidence of criminality or collusion but for the total absence of such evidence. The transcripts, declassified Friday, strongly support new investigations by both the Justice Department and by Congress, starting with next week’s Senate testimony by former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

It turns out Flynn’s calls are not just predictable but even commendable at points. When the Obama administration hit the Russians with sanctions just before leaving office, the incoming Trump administration sought to avoid a major conflict at the very start of its term. Flynn asked the Russian to focus on “common enemies” in order to seek cooperation in the Middle East. The calls covered a variety of issues, including the sanctions.

What was not discussed was any quid pro quo or anything untoward or unlawful. Flynn stated what was already known to be Trump policy in seeking a new path with Russia. Flynn did not offer to remove sanctions but, rather, encouraged the Russians to respond in a reciprocal, commensurate manner if they felt they had to respond.

The calls, and Flynn’s identity, were leaked by as many as nine officials as the Obama administration left office — a serious federal crime, given their classified status. The most chilling aspect of the transcripts, however, is the lack of anything chilling in the calls themselves. Flynn is direct with Kislyak in trying to tone down the rhetoric and avoid retaliatory moves. He told Kislyak, “l am a very practical guy, and it’s about solutions. It’s about very practical solutions that we’re — that we need to come up with here.” Flynn said he understood the Russians might wish to retaliate for the Obama sanctions but encouraged them not to escalate the conflict just as the Trump administration took office.

Kislyak later spoke with Flynn again and confirmed that Moscow agreed to tone down the conflict in the practical approach laid out by Flynn. The media has focused on Flynn’s later denial of discussing sanctions; the transcripts confirm he did indeed discuss sanctions. However, the Justice Department has not sought to dismiss criminal charges against him because he told the truth but because his statements did not meet a key element of materiality for the crime and were the result of troubling actions by high-ranking officials.

The real question is why the FBI continued to investigate Flynn in the absence of any crime or evidence of collusion. In December 2016, investigators had found no evidence of any crime by Flynn. They wanted to shut down the investigation; they were overruled by superiors, including FBI special agent Peter Strzok, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and Director James Comey. Strzok told the investigators to keep the case alive, and McCabe is described as “cutting off” another high-ranking official who questioned the basis for continuing to investigate Flynn. All three officials were later fired, and all three were later found by career officials to have engaged in serious misconduct as part of the Russia investigation.

Recently disclosed information revealed that Comey and President Obama discussed using the Logan Act as a pretense for a criminal charge. The Logan Act criminalizes private negotiations with foreign governments; it is widely viewed as unconstitutional and has never been used successfully against any U.S. citizen since the earliest days of the Republic. Its use against the incoming national security adviser would have been absurd. Yet, that unconstitutional crime was the only crime Comey could come up with, long before there was a false statement by Flynn regarding his calls.

Not until February 2017 did Comey circumvent long-standing protocols and order an interview with Flynn. Comey later bragged that he “probably wouldn’t have … gotten away with it” in other administrations, but he sent “a couple guys over” to question Flynn, who was settling into his new office as national security adviser. We learned recently that Strzok discussed trying to get Flynn to give false or misleading information in that interview, to enable a criminal charge, and that FBI lawyer Lisa Page suggested agents “just casually slip” in a reference to the criminal provision for lying and then get Flynn to slip up on the details.

440px-Director_Robert_S._Mueller-_IIIFlynn did slip up. While investigators said they were not convinced he intentionally lied, he gave a false statement. Later, special counsel Robert Mueller charged Flynn with that false statement, to pressure him into cooperating; Flynn fought the case into virtual bankruptcy but agreed to plead guilty when Mueller threatened to prosecute his son, too.

The newly released transcripts reveal the lack of a foundation for that charge. Courts have held that the materiality requirement for such a charge requires that misstatements be linked to the particular “subject of the investigation.” The Justice Department found that the false statement in February 2017 was not material “to any viable counterintelligence investigation — or any investigation, for that matter — initiated by the FBI.” In other words, by that time, these FBI officials had no crime under investigation but were, instead, looking for a crime. The question is: Why?

So the transcripts confirm there never was a scintilla of criminal conduct or evidence of collusion against Flynn before or during these calls. Indeed, there was no viable criminal investigation to speak of when Comey sent “a couple guys over” to entrap Flynn; they already had the transcripts and the knowledge that Flynn had done nothing wrong. Nevertheless, facing the release of these transcripts, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) bizarrely maintained that “Flynn posed a severe counterintelligence risk” because he could be blackmailed over his false statement.

Putting aside the lack of prior evidence of criminality, Schiff ignores that there were transcripts to prevent such blackmail. Indeed, in the interview, Flynn indicated he assumed there was a transcript, and leaked media reports indicated that various officials were familiar with the content of the calls. The key to blackmail would have been for the Russians to have information that others did not have.

Ironically, in his calls with Kislyak, Flynn expressly sought a more frank, honest relationship with Russia. He told Kislyak “we have to stop talking past each other on — so that means that we have to understand exactly what it is that we want to try to achieve, okay?” That is a question that should now be directed at the FBI, to understand what it was trying to achieve by continuing an investigation long after it ran out of crimes to investigate.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can find his updates online @JonathanTurley.

239 thoughts on “The Senate Should Focus On What The Flynn Transcripts Do Not Contain . . . Starting With A Crime”

  1. Kislyak is the only person on the call that mentioned sanctions — he did so obliquely and briefly.

    Flynn responded “uh huh, yeah… yeah”, before changing the subject to mutual concerns in the middle east. For you to characterize that as “Flynn lied: he said he didn’t talk about sanctions, when he did” — it itself a sort of lie.

    The truth is this: Flynn let Kislyak talk about sanctions, then Flynn changed the subject.

    Mr. Turley, if you aren’t able to correct the more obvious lies, and you feel obliged to help maintain them, what’s the point of speaking at all?

    1. According to that so-called logic, if one talks about “hamburgers” but doesn’t use the word “food,” one isn’t talking about food.

      Discussion of sanctions isn’t limited to the use of the word “sanctions.”

      1. More dancing by NOT Committed To Honest Discussion. Each person understands words in their own way. The use of the word sanction in this case requires more than use just using the word. It requires definition if the answer provided creates a problem for the one under investigation. It is up to the investigator to make sure he is absolutley clear about what he is asking.

        All CTHD is doing is providing a lot of BS to hide his ideological lust to strike at anyone that doesn’t agree with him. HE is violent at least in the verbal sense. He would be doing a much better service if he took his BS and laid it over my lawn. I might even pay him for that.

      2. No, according to that logic, if someone talks to you about hamburgers, but you change the subject to trees, you aren’t participating in the topic of hamburgers.

        It’s really as simple as that. You’re a genius, you don’t need me to hold your hand on this.

        1. Flynn didn’t change the topic. In fact, he’s the one who introduced the topic of sanctions. Here’s the exchange, which occurred **prior** to Kislyak’s use of the word “sanctions”:

          [begin transcript excerpt]
          FLYNN: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. I understand. Okay, um, okay. Listen, uh, a couple of things. Number one, what I would ask you guys to do – and make sure you, make sure that you convey this, okay? – do not, do not uh, allow this [Obama] administration to box us in, right now, okay? Um –

          KISLYAK: We have conveyed it. And –

          FLYNN: Yeah.

          KISLYAK: It’s, uh, it’s uh, very very specifically and transparently, openly.

          FLYNN: So, you know, depending on, depending on what uh, actions they take over this current issue of the cyber stuff, you know, where they’re looking like they’re gonna, they’re gonna dismiss some number of Russians out of the country, I understand all that and I understand that~that, you know, the information that they have and all that, but what I would ask Russia to do is to not – is – is – if anything – because I know you have to have some sort of action – to, to only make it reciprocal. Make it reciprocal. Don’t – don’t make it- don’t go any further than you have to. Because I don’t want us to get into something that has to escalate, on a, you know, on a tit for tat. You follow me, Ambassador?

          KISLYAK: I understand what you’re saying, but you know, you might appreciate the sentiments that are raging now in Moscow.

          FLYNN: I know, I — believe me, I do appreciate it, I very much appreciate it. But I really don’t want us to get into a situation where we’re going, you know, where we do this and then you do something bigger, and then you know, everybody’s got to go back and forth and everybody’s got to be the tough guy here, you know?
          [end transcript excerpt]

          Maybe you don’t understand that the sanctions from the Obama Admin. had a few different elements, including the expulsion of 35 Russian intelligence operatives as persona non grata. That’s what they’re discussing there, where Flynn says “where they’re looking like they’re gonna, they’re gonna dismiss some number of Russians out of the country” and asking Kislyak not to escalate it. The portion you had focused on comes later, where Kislyak notes that “among the measures that have been announced today is that now FSB and GRU are sanctions, are sanctioned.” But the sanction measures that were announced that day *also* included the expulsions that Flynn had already introduced.

          I don’t know whether you didn’t read the entire transcript or if you didn’t know the full set of sanctions that Obama had enacted. But not only did Flynn discuss sanctions, he’s the one who introduced them.

          Maybe you do “need me to hold your hand on this” in going through the transcript with you.

          1. Two issues arise here: One, did he really lie? Even Comey had doubts about that. “When Comey was asked on March 2, 2017, whether he believed that petitioner [Flynn] lied, he responded ‘I don’t know. I think there is an argument to be made that he lied. It is a close one.’ ” Two, that expulsions Flynn was discussing may not have been included in the specific language of the Obama sanctions, and that Flynn skirted the discussion of sanctions. An argument has been put forward that the expulsions were not, and that Flynn specifically spoke of expulsions, but I have not reviewed the Obama sanctions to determine how well founded that argument really is. Perhaps it that bore on Comey’s thoughts in his remarks March 2nd.

            Still, the core issue at DOJ right now is the question of whether any of this was “material to an FBI investigation.” Meuller’s team may have convinced Flynn to plea, but was there any issue in the Flynn-Kislyak communication that was germane to an FBI investigation, by which Flynn’s answers impeded?

            1. Flynn’s interview occurred in the context of a counterintelligence investigation, not a criminal investigation. Among other things, Pence had publicly stated that Flynn had told Pence that he (Flynn) had not discussed sanctions with Kislyak, which — if true — meant that Flynn had lied to Pence about his discussion with Kislyak, which in turn meant that the Russians had compromising info on Flynn, since they’d know that Flynn had lied to Pence while Pence was still unaware of that. Flynn’s answers were material to the CI investigation. Judge Sullivan already ruled them material.

              I wouldn’t rely on what Comey said on March 2, 2017, as the investigation was ongoing. Among other things, K.T. McFarland wasn’t interviewed until August-October of 2017, and I don’t know when the FBI got copies of the text messages/emails, and Flynn’s false FARA filings were made on March 7, 2017.

              As for whether the expulsions were part of the sanctions, I think it’s clear that they are. The Statement of Offense defines the sanctions as Executive Order 13757. But EO 13757 modifies Executive Order 13694, so you have to look at the combination. Section 4 of the latter addresses persona non grata.

    2. Exactly right. The sanctions and expulsions of Russian intelligence agents were two separate actions the Obama Admin levied against Russia. The sanctions were in Obama’s executive order and then the next day Obama announced the expulsions. The fake news media and Mueller’s dirty prosecutors conflate the two but they were in fact two separate issues. Mr Turley is now making the same error. Flynn never discussed the sanctions, only asked Kislyak to only expel the same number of US intel agents in Moscow and not retaliate in an excessive manner where the US must also up the ante.

    1. yes. I had thought we turned the corner, and took up some short positions against Chicom megacorporations last week

      I think i was wrong. I closed them out this week after losing a small amount.

      Clearly, America’s internal divisions are so grave that long term prospects are dim.

      Short term, probably best to go long on both Chinese megacorps and American megacorps that are in cahoots with them.

  2. I sure wish Flynn could sue those FBI criminal dirty cops — in a civil court. For millions.
    Not sure about the legality of suing gov’t goons who are abusing their powers.

    1. Tom, share with us your outrage. What connection do you feel with Michael Flynn? Exactly what about the Flynn case makes you so passionate? And feel free to reference personal experiences that cast Michael Flynn as a kindred spirit.

      1. Obamagate is the biggest internal political crime syndicate working over years, we’ve ever seen. 1,000x worse than anything before.
        We know most of the players have not been utterly destroyed as need be.
        The rising up, the rebellion, the resistance will continue.
        NO JUSTICE NO PEACE, NO JUSTICE NO PEACE, NO JUSTICE NO PEACE.

      2. “Seth Warner” is one dumb monkey.

        “Exactly what about the Flynn case makes you so passionate?”

        The obvious injustice. The targeting of an innocent individual in order to create a crime.

        1. yesterday stuff looked pretty scary in LA but today law and order is somewhat restored so Seth can rejoin us with his usual criticisms of Trump.

  3. OK, here is an original dramatic piece written just for this website!
    ————
    Neck-ed Power Play
    A Short Theatre of the Absurd Skit
    By Squeeky Fromm

    (The scenes opens in a courtroom. There are two players. One is black, and dressed in a Judge’s robes and is seated at the bench. The other is an older white man, dressed like General George Patton, the famous General.)

    The General stands before the bench.

    Judge: Do you know why I called you here today?

    General: No, your honor. And where is my attorney, and the prosecutor?

    Judge: I do not need them. I have assumed their roles.

    General: Is that legal? Can you do that? What keeps me from just walking right out of here? There is no bailiff.

    Judge: The door is locked from the outside, and I have a gun. You will do what I say.

    (The Judge steps down from the bench, and walks to the General, pointing the gun at him.)

    Judge: Turn around and put your hands behind your back.

    (The General does so, and is handcuffed. The Judge then kicks the legs out from the General, who falls to the ground on his stomach. The Judge quickly assumes position with his left knee over the right side of the General’s neck.)

    General: Why are you doing this?

    Judge: I have sentenced you to death. I have chosen the Minneapolis Method to execute you.

    (Several minutes have gone by, and neither player moves.)

    Judge: Are you dead yet.

    General: No. Am I supposed to be?

    Judge: I am not sure. I have never done this before.

    (Silence resumes and nearly nine minutes go by as the Judge watches the courtroom clock.)

    Judge: Are you dead yet?

    General: No. I am getting kind of sleepy. But I was up late last night.

    Judge: I wonder what I am doing wrong. They killed George Floyd like this. I saw it on CNN.

    General: I read that Floyd had fentanyl and meth in his system and had a heart attack. It wasn’t the knee on the neck that killed him/

    Judge: The family’s medical expert said it did.

    General. I don’t know, but maybe he is lying for the money?

    Judge: True, lawyers do that sort of thing. Well what do I do now? I do not have any meth of fentanyl on hand.

    General. I have an idea.

    Judge: What?

    General: Why don’t you just assume the role of Coroner and Medical Examiner and pronounce me dead!

    Judge: That is a great idea! I hereby pronounce you dead! Whereupon the Judge leaves the courtroom as the General struggles to his feet to follow.

    (The lights dim, as the curtain falls.)
    ———-
    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Playwright

      1. Thank you CindyB!!! I am glad you liked it! I am tinkering with it and I will post the rewritten one the next time we have a Flynn thread. Which I suspect will be this week.

        I think I will order a new beret to wear – in the French style!

        Squeeky Fromm
        Girl Reporter

    1. LOL:)

      Squeeky, your skit is completely unbelievable.

      “Judge: True, lawyers do that sort of thing. Well what do I do now? I do not have any meth of fentanyl on hand. ”

      Likely no way a big time judge like that doesn’t have a bunch of extra dope laying around.

      1. Oky1 – we did have one of our Superior Court judges caught with a key of marijuana back in the day.

  4. Nixon must be rolling over in his grave after seeing what’s been going on in this country the past 20 years.

  5. For detail oriented people, this is interesting. Shills should not bother with it because it will interfere with your DNC talking points:
    ———-
    According to the Statement of Offense, during questioning by the FBI agents, “FLYNN falsely stated that he did not ask Russia’s Ambassador to the United States (‘Russian Ambassador’) to refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions that the United States had imposed against Russia,” and “also falsely stated that he did not remember a follow-up conversation in which the Russian Ambassador stated that Russia had chosen to moderate its response to those sanctions as a result of FLYNN’S request.”

    However, the transcripts released Friday establish that, contrary to the special counsel office’s attestation, Flynn never asked the Russian ambassador to “not escalate the situation and only respond to the U.S. Sanctions in a reciprocal manner.” In fact, Flynn never raised the “U.S. Sanctions” — defined by the special counsel’s office as the sanctions announced by Obama Dec. 28, 2016, in Executive Order 13757 — with the Russian ambassador at all.

    In that executive order, as summarized in a White House press release, Obama “sanctioned nine entities and individuals: the GRU and the FSB, two Russian intelligence services; four individual officers of the GRU; and three companies that provided material support to the GRU’s cyber operations.” The press release also detailed a number of additional Obama administration actions, beyond the sanctions, “in response to the Russian government’s aggressive harassment of U.S. officials and cyber operations aimed at the U.S. election.”

    Of relevance to the Flynn case was the State Department “shutting down two Russian compounds, in Maryland and New York, used by Russian personnel for intelligence-related purposes,” and declaring “‘persona non grata’ 35 Russian intelligence operatives.”

    While the Obama administration ejected the Russian personnel in response to the Kremlin’s interference with the 2016 election, the expulsions were not part of Executive Order 13757 and thus were not “U.S. Sanctions” as defined in the Flynn Statement of Offense. This distinction matters because the recently released transcripts establish that Flynn did not ask Kislyak to do anything — or refrain from doing anything — in response to the sanctions.
    What Was Flynn’s Call Really About?

    Instead, what Flynn discussed with Kislyak on Dec. 29, 2016, concerned the expulsion of the Russian diplomats.

    “So, you know, depending on, depending on what actions they take over this current issue of cyber stuff, you know, where they’re looking like they’re gonna, they’re gonna dismiss some number of Russians out of the country, I understand all that and I understand that, that you know, the information that they have and all that, but what I would ask Russia to do is not — is is — if anything — because I know you have to have some sort of action — to, to only make it reciprocal. Make it reciprocal. Don’t — don’t make it — don’t go any further than you have to. Because I don’t want us to get into something that has to escalate, on a, you know, on a tit for tat. You follow me, Ambassador?”

    Kislyak responded that he did but that Flynn needed to “appreciate” that sentiments were raging in Moscow. Flynn noted he appreciated the situation but didn’t want to get into a scenario “where we do this and then you do something bigger, and then you know, everybody’s got to go back and forth and everybody’s got to be the tough guy here.” Flynn stressed, “[W]e need cool heads to prevail … to fight the common threat in the Middle East.”

    At that point, Kislyak mentioned “sanctions” for the first time, noting that “one of the problems among the measures that have been announced today is that now FSB and GRU are sanctioned,” and Kislyak said it makes him ask himself if the United States remains willing to work on terrorist threats.

    Significantly, Flynn did not respond to Kislyak’s mention of sanctions with a similar plea to moderate any response. Rather, he merely acknowledged Kislyak’s comments with a “yeah, yeah,” and then Kislyak noted “that was something we have to deal with, but I’ve heard what you say, and I certainly will try to get the people in Moscow to understand it.”

    Here, Flynn reiterated his request, making clear he was discussing only the expulsion: “If you have to do something, do something on a reciprocal basis … because if we send out 30 guys and you send out 60, you know, or you shut down every Embassy, I mean we have to get this to a — let’s, let’s keep this at a level that is, is even-keeled, okay? Is even-keeled.”

    It is impossible to square Flynn’s actual conversation with Kislyak with the facts the special counsel’s office presented to the D.C. District Court in its Statement of Offense. In short, it is blatantly false to say, as Mueller’s team did, that “FLYNN called the Russian Ambassador and requested that Russia not escalate the situation and only respond to the U.S. Sanctions in a reciprocal manner.”

    https://thefederalist.com/2020/06/01/new-flynn-transcripts-confirm-mueller-team-lied-to-the-court-and-the-country/
    ————-
    There is more at the link.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. According to the Statement of Offense, during questioning by the FBI agents, “FLYNN falsely stated that he did not ask Russia’s Ambassador to the United States (‘Russian Ambassador’) to refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions that the United States had imposed against Russia,”
      __________________________________________________________________
      The statement of Offense is a made up story. Made up by the DOJ.
      it is not supported by the evidence record that the FBI produced or the call transcript.

      1. I wonder why you lay down cover for the FBI and point a finger at the DOJ? Is that their new strategy, try to shift blame. It isn’t working.

        1. I wonder why you lay down cover for the FBI and point a finger at the DOJ?
          _________________________________________________________________

          I stated the facts. You drew your conclusion from those.

          The FBI investigators ( including Peter Strzok) created an evidence record that said very clearly that Flynn did not lie to the FBI.

          That evidence was put aside and not used by the DOJ and a new version of the facts was created and presented in court.

          The DOJ did not have to supply any evidence in court to support the story they presented because Flynn was there to tell the court under penalty of perjury that the new facts were true and correct.

          1. Why is it that all of your comments read like CNN and MSNBC screeds that no one takes seriously kinda like you?

            Time for you to create a new fake avatar sock puppet account and see if that helps you grow your readership

            😉

    2. SMH. The “expulsion of the Russian diplomats” was part of the sanctions imposed by Obama. That author is talking about is as if the expulsion/persona non grata actions and the sanctions are non-intersecting sets, when the former is a subset of the latter.

      1. Didn’t she just explain how it wasn’t the same thing and wasn’t included in Ofailures EO ? Did you read, if so do you disagree, was it really in the EO ?

        1. I’ve read EO 13757, and I’m rejecting that that EO is the only statement to look at in understanding what “sanctions” refers to, notwithstanding that the Statement of Offense uses the EO as a proxy. You could read Obama’s statement about the sanctions, where he announced both the EO and the expulsion of intelligence operatives, and you could also look at what VP-Elect Pence said at the time, indicating that *he* considered the expulsions to be part of the sanctions and also that Flynn had told him that there was no discussion of any of this.

          This is a partial transcript of a 1/15/17 Face The Nation interview):

          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.

          JOHN DICKERSON: So did they ever have a conversation about sanctions ever on those days or any other day?

          MIKE PENCE: They did not have a discussion contemporaneous with U.S. actions on–

          JOHN DICKERSON: But what about after–

          MIKE PENCE: –my conversation with General Flynn. Well, look. General Flynn has been in touch with diplomatic leaders, security leaders in some 30 countries. That’s exactly what the incoming national security advisor–

          JOHN DICKERSON: Absolutely.

          MIKE PENCE: –should do. But what I can confirm, having spoken to him about it, is that those conversations that happened to occur around the time that the United States took action to expel diplomats had nothing whatsoever to do with those sanctions. [end transcript excerpt]

          So was Pence lying about what Flynn had told him?
          Or was Pence telling the truth, and Flynn had lied to Pence about it?

          1. I was wrong to say “notwithstanding that the Statement of Offense uses the EO as a proxy.” I should have said something like “as it amends Executive Order 13694, so one has to look at that too, along with any other orders/proclamations referenced by that in turn.”

    3. I knew that a long time ago, I thought the libs were just pretending expelling ambassadors was part of the ‘sanctions’ which publicly is always seen as feezing assets or taking money. A monetary move.

    4. SF, so all Comey’s FBI goons had to do was say “did you discuss the sanctions, you know the EO ?

      Then they leave the words executive order out of their report and they’ve got him.

    5. Are you a “detail oriented” person Squeeky?

      Given your comment about “detail oriented people,” the woman you quote seems not to fall in that category. She refers to Executive Order 13757, but seems not to have read the actual EO and instead relied on the how it was “summarized in a White House press release.” Had she read the actual EO, perhaps she’d have noticed that Executive Order 13757 amends Executive Order 13694, and to fully understand the former, she needs to read the latter as well — and to read the actual EOs and not just press releases about them, since the Statement of Offense refers to the actual EO and not the press release.

  6. Breaking news: it was just revealed that fat Billy Barr ordered Lafayette Park to be cleared for his tubby client’s church photo op. Among those hit by rubber bullets and sprayed with tear gas were Episcopalian clergy who were passing out bottled water and snacks to the peaceful protesters. AND… the tear gas and rubber bullets came BEFORE the 7:00 p.m. curfew, instead of after as the Trump administration has tried to lie.

    Then the fat, fake POTUS went over to the Catholic shrine honoring Pope John Paul II, posing once again for photos to reel in the Evangelicals. Both the Episcopalian and Catholic bishops of Washington, D.C. have condemned the fat, fake POTUS for using religious location as props for his political campaign.

    1. Natacha – back up your timeline. We know you are wrong on the fake POTUS. BTW, still waiting for that BMI score. Enquiring minds want to know!

    2. Barr is not the commander of the DC police, the Secret Service or of any uniformed outfit other than the Marshall Service, whose job is enforcing court orders. You’re really stupid.

      1. “Attorney General Bill Barr ordered law enforcement officials to extend the perimeter of Lafayette Square before President Trump ventured outside the White House on Monday to visit sites vandalized during violent protests, administration officials tell Fox News.

        According to one senior administration official, the plan had been made to extend the perimeter of the park — which is across the street from the White House — by one block. Both peaceful and violent protests have taken place at Lafayette Square in recent days….”

        https://www.foxnews.com/politics/barr-lafayette-square-trump-protest-remarks

    3. As the reporter, can you at least name the source ? Seth believes Putin told you to say this.

    4. The outrage of their graces should be redirected towards themselves who use their churches as leftist political props continuously. And they have less excuse as they shouldn’t be running for political office.

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