The Rush Of Judgment: How Recent Stories On Barr Left The Relevant Facts And Law Behind

440px-William_BarrBelow is my column in The Hill newspaper that looks at three different stories attacking Attorney General Bill Barr as acting unethically and corruptly from the Flynn case to the Berman decision to the Cohen case.  I have not hesitated to criticize Barr on his policies or actions. However, these are based on long-standing differences over constitutional and legal issues.  It is the character attacks that I found notable in last week’s stories particularly in the absence of supporting evidence.

Here is the column:

I criticized President Trump two years ago for all his ruthless and endless attacks on former Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Today Attorney General William Barr is being similarly attacked by critics of the administration, as some media shows the same kind of blind rage without reason.

While I have publicly criticized Barr for some of his policies and actions, he is someone I have known personally for years and even represented with other attorneys general during the impeachment trial of Bill Clinton. Piling on Barr has never been more popular today, but the basis for this criticism has never been weaker. Three stories last week seemed to entirely break free from factual or legal moorings, and no one seemed to care.

THE FLYNN CASE

440px-Michael_T_FlynnThe case of Michael Flynn has been in the media, including the hearing exploring the involvement of Barr. Of course, for Barr to be immoral, the case must be portrayed as virtually immaculate. The media coverage has steadfastly ignored disclosures about officials pushing unrelentingly for any criminal charge to use on Flynn, allegedly withholding exculpatory evidence, and giving misleading statements to the trial court.

Confirming the facts seems irrelevant to the criticism. My colleagues at George Washington University signed a letter denouncing him over the case despite new developments. The letter is written well and raises a number of legitimate issues. But some of us felt it reached conclusions before establishing any facts. It praised the work of retired Judge John Gleeson, an appointment by Judge Emmet Sullivan that some criticized. Gleeson argued against the dismissal of the case against Flynn. It noted that the brief by Gleeson showed “gross prosecutorial abuse.”

The faculty concluded that it was therefore established that “The Attorney General once again sought to do a favor for the President.” One day after the letter was signed, the D.C. Circuit issued a virtually unprecedented opinion ordering Sullivan to dismiss the case and specifically criticized the Gleeson brief as an example of Sullivan’s “irregular” course of conduct and “suggests anything but a circumscribed review.”  It noted that the brief was based on little more than “news stories, tweets, and other facts outside the record to contrast the government’s grounds for dismissal here with its rationales for prosecution in other cases.”

Two days later, new evidence further supported the Justice Department’s position that there was no legitimate investigation tied to the interview of Flynn, a key element for a prosecution. The Justice Department has long maintained that a false statement must be connected to such an investigation and not simply used to trap an individual. The notes from fired FBI Special Agent Peter Stryok reveal that former FBI Director James Comey told President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden that Flynn’s call with the Russian was viewed as “legit” from the start. Thus, not only had agents sought to end the investigation in December for a lack of evidence of any crime, but even Comey agreed that Flynn’s call with the Russian diplomats was legitimate.  Yet, they still continued to discuss a way to charge Flynn on any crime, including the Logan Act, a law that is widely viewed as unconstitutional.

THE BERMAN MATTER

864px-Geoffrey_S._BermanThe next story appeared on Friday night, when Barr announced that Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman was “stepping down” to make way for the appointment of Jay Clayton, chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Clayton wanted to return to New York and expressed an interest in the position. Barr told Berman that he and President Trump wanted the two men to swap positions, or Berman could take over the DOJ’s civil division. Berman said he wanted to think about it, but Barr went ahead and announced the change.

Barr told Berman that he and the President wanted the two men to swap positions or Berman could take over the civil division at the Justice Department. Berman said that he wanted to think about it, but Barr went ahead in announcing the change.

         Berman issued a public statement with a final line that strongly suggested that his removal was an effort to influence pending investigations including those into Trump associates as Rudy Giuliani. The media exploded and various people called for Barr’s immediate impeachment.  In the meantime, serious journalists like Pete Williams at NBC were confirming sources as saying that the move had nothing to do with the investigations. Indeed, there has been no allegation that Barr has hampered those investigations since becoming Attorney General and he told attorneys to report any such interference to the Inspector General.

         It may be true that Barr has a better relationship with Clayton. However, the substantive question is whether, as reported, he was trying to influence the Trump investigations.  There is no evidence (but much coverage) to support that proposition.

THE COHEN CASE

downloadFinally, the attacks on Barr returned to the case of Michael Cohen. The Daily Beast derided the insistence of Barr that it is nothing but a “media narrative” to suggest he has been acting in the interests of the president. The Daily Beast refers to Cohen as a close confidant of Trump without any mention that, by the time Barr had raised questions about the case, the president despised Cohen and celebrated his conviction. The only person who would have been more upset with undermining the conviction of Cohen than the lead prosecutor would have been Trump.

This entire “scandal” is due to Barr reportedly asking whether aspects of the Cohen prosecution were based on flawed interpretations of the underlying federal law. He started an internal discussion about the scope of the interpretation. The United States attorneys’ manual reaffirms the control of Main Justice over such interpretative policies, even though Barr apparently let it drop. Readers were never told that Barr takes the position against an expansive reading of the criminal code on offenses like those with which Cohen was charged.  Indeed, in Barr’s confirmation hearing, I noted that Barr, as a private citizen, contacted the Justice Department to contest the charges against Sen. Bob Menendez (D., N.J.) on such broad interpretations. He had no connection to Menendez.  Was he also currying favor with Trump on the Menendez case when he was seeking to raise such issues before he became Attorney General?

Barr was confirmed on February 14, 2019.  Just a week later, Trump was denouncing Cohen as “lying in order to reduce his prison time.”  Barr was so slavishly trying to please Trump that he was questioning the prison time that Trump was celebrating and seeking “a legal memo casting doubt on the legitimacy of Cohen’s conviction.”

Legitimate objections can be raised about certain policies of Barr. I have criticized him for some of those, and we have disagreed for decades over constitutional law and the power of the executive branch. However, I have never known a more honest and direct individual in Washington. His real flaw is a lack of concern over the optics of his actions. Barr spends much time thinking about the right move to make but little time about how it is seen.

That is a fair criticism. However, last week’s stories show that, to take a line from King Lear, Barr remains “a man more sinned against than sinning.”

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

100 thoughts on “The Rush Of Judgment: How Recent Stories On Barr Left The Relevant Facts And Law Behind”

  1. I cannot imagine how you can think there is anything honest about AG William Barr. Years ago, as a Telecom Attorney, he was instrumental in crafting changes to the FCC rules that allowed our Broadband Utility Subsidies to be misappropriated into wireless networks. This has fraudulently made these systems appear economically favorable when they are not and has lead us to excessive amounts of this toxic 5G technology that is adversely affecting the health and very life of us all as it continues to be DEPLOYED into our communities during the pandemic. He has abused his power and influence as AG to serve his Telecom Cronies instead of the American Public. We have paid many times over for safe wired connections to every home and business is America. Instead we are being forced into this hideous toxic mess of mass surveillance and radiation illness. William Barr is a monster.

  2. His real flaw is a lack of concern over the optics of his actions. Barr spends much time thinking about the right move to make but little time about how it is seen.

    That’s a pretty sad reflection on our culture today. They are more influenced by optics than justice. Turley doesn’t even seem ashamed to admit it. Perhaps Turley has been in the blogging business too long. If he wants his blog to remain popular, he has to appeal (optics) to those that don’t appreciate the law and justice. This post from Turley is as close to a rebuke of the anti-Trump trolls that frequent this blog as he will get. And yet they laughably denounce Turley for his legal opinions, because they of course have a better grasp on the law and justice than he does. Now that’s some serious optics. 🙂

  3. “Well, who ya gonna believe me or your [lying] eyes?”

    – Chico Marx
    __________

    “We will stop him.”

    – Peter Strzok to FBI paramour Lisa Page
    _________________________________

    “[Obama] wants to know everything we’re doing.”

    – Lisa Page to FBI paramour Peter Strzok
    _________________________________

    Peter Strzok’s notes of the January 2017 Obama/Biden/Flynn meeting are in context and plausible considering his FBI e-mail exchanges with Lisa Page.

    Peter Strzok took notes on the meeting or he took notes on an account of the meeting – Strzok is a professional FBI investigator and a professional note taker.

    Peter Strzok may have taken “Notes To Self.”

    The notes are extant and constitute the best evidence of a meeting which took placed as described in the notes on a date which is public knowledge.

    The shill on this thread and communist (liberal, progressive, socialist, democrat, RINO) apologist is a “red herring” of deliberate prevarication and obfuscation.

    Obama and his sycophants know that Something Wicked This Way Comes.

    It is the Beast and Obama feels him now.

    Again, who you gonna believe me or your lying eyes?

  4. “The notes from fired FBI Special Agent Peter Stryok [sic] reveal that former FBI Director James Comey told President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden that Flynn’s call [sic] with the Russian was viewed as “legit” from the start.”

    Mr. Turley, you are either willfully ignorant or lying.

    Per Strzok’s lawyer, Strzok was not at the 1/5 meeting. His notes are from a conversation about the meeting that Strzok had with someone else (unidentified) later. We don’t even know whether the person Strzok spoke with was at the meeting. So we do not know what Comey told Obama and Biden, other than from people who were actually there.

    It’s also dishonest for you to quote a single word from the notes (“legit”) and then fill in surrounding text as if it were part of Strzok’s notes, when the notes themselves only say “D: Flynn -> Kislyak calls but appear legit” and you have additional context to really know what “legit” there is referring to.

    You aren’t even keeping track of the fact that there were multiple calls, not one (you: “Flynn’s call”).

    You’re also ignoring that these are notes about a 1/5 meeting, but the key event that caused the FBI to decide that Flynn needed to be interviewed occurred later, after VP-Elect Pence stated on national TV on 1/15/17 that he’d discussed the calls with Flynn and Flynn had assured him that Flynn and Kislyak hadn’t discussed sanctions:

    Pence: “I talked to General Flynn about that conversation [between Flynn and Kislyak] 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?”
    Pence: “They did not have a discussion contemporaneous with U.S. actions on–”
    Dickerson: “But what about after–”
    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–”
    Dickerson: “Absolutely.”
    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.
    (emphasis added)

    The FBI knew that Flynn and Kislyak had discussed sanctions. So there were two possibilities: Pence was lying to the country, or Flynn had lied to Pence. Spicer and Priebus also stated that Flynn and Kislyak hadn’t discussed sanctions (including expulsions).

    And Comey testified under oath to the HPSCI that Flynn lying to Pence was the reason for the interview:

    Rep. Turner: “So what was the purpose of the questioning? If it wasn’t to ascertain what happened in the phone conversation, of which the contents you knew, what was the purpose to ask him these questions about what happened in the conversation?”
    Mr. Comey: “To find out whether there was something we were missing about his relationship with the Russians and whether he would — because we had this disconnect publicly between what the Vice President was saying and what we knew. And so before we closed an investigation of Flynn, I wanted them to sit before him and say what is the deal?
    Mr. Turner: “By publicly, you mean statements that were made in the press.”
    Mr. Comey: “Right. That the Vice President made on TV. … And then when Mr. Flynn has a communication [redacted] with the Russian Ambassador, and that it appears again, from what we can see from the outside — that he for some reason hasn’t been candid with the Vice President about this, my judgment was we could not close the investigation of Mr. Flynn without asking him what is the deal here. That was the purpose.
    Rep. Swallwell: “And do you agree with Ms. Yates’s evaluation that that made him blackmailable?”
    Mr. Comey: “Possible. That struck me as a bit of a reach, though, honestly. [several redacted paragraphs]”
    (emphasis added)

    Re: Berman, you say “the substantive question is whether, as reported, he was trying to influence the Trump investigations.” You are silent about why Barr wanted Berman to resign (Berman could have just remained in the position until Clayton was confirmed), about Barr initially lying re: Berman stepping down and Barr attempting to temporarily replace Berman with someone who could not legally replace him (Carpenito, who was not eligible as a temporary replacement because Berman had been appointed by the court), and that “NJ US Attorney Craig Carpenito held a conference call Saturday morning with his entire staff and told them he’d only agreed to take over SDNY because Barr had told him Geoff Berman had resigned of his own volition” (quoting Josh Marshall), making it clear that Barr also lied to Carpenito.

    And there are problems with your discussion of Cohen too, but I’m out of patience and so won’t go into them now.

    1. JT is repeatedly sloppy or down right lying in his supposed recounting of facts and of course that throws his conclusions into the “useless” bin. That they are almost always in defense of Trump or Barr makes his pretense of objectivity similarly somewhere between suspect to disproven.

      1. Is JT’s “almost always in defense of Trump” indicative that he is not objective?
        Could it be that most of the time Trump et.al. are simply in the right about the subject controversy?
        If you consider how many false salvos the Democrats and other anti-Trumpers have launched and fizzled, you might have a post-judice as to their next bombshell claim against Trump.

        1. “Could it be that most of the time Trump et.al. are simply in the right about the subject controversy?”

          Trump?
          No. Trump is a compulsive liar, is corrupt, is a bigot, … He’s seldom “in the right.”
          Whether “et al.” are depends on the specific person.
          I already pointed out specific errors in Turley’s claims and reasoning. He is not “in the right” about those issues.

          1. Who pays you? You are obviously here for the purpose of trying to muddy the waters. Obama was a much worse liar than Trump, at least in matters of policy. He lied to the American people repeatedly in his selling his healthcare plan and the Iran deal. Trump lies about his affairs.

            1. Why on earth do you assume that someone pays me?
              Does someone pay *you*?
              I’m here because I was looking for a site where I could discuss legal issues with people whose views are different from mine. Some people on the right and left want to protect themselves from having to deal with people whose views are different, and other people on the right and left don’t feel a need to do that and may even seek out people whose views are different. Unfortunately, too many people here are in the first category, and they spew insults to boot.

              I think Trump is a much worse liar than Obama. If you think Trump’s lies are limited to his affairs, you’re not paying attention. He lies to feed/protect his ego, including lots of lies about policy matters: healthcare, foreign policy, …

              Do you have the guts to actually have a debate and dig into the details for both (you can quote statements by Obama that you think are lies, and I’ll quote statements from Trump)? Or do you just want to believe what you believe and not test your beliefs? If you’re willing, how about we start with lies related to people’s health / healthcare?

        2. I thought the same thing Gary. What are the odds that JT has a legal point wrong every time he posts something that favors Trump. Yet the anti-Trump ilk on this blog believe just that. And we get this troll that claims he’s honest and book thinks no one searches harder for the truth. My guess is they are the same person.

          1. Your “guess” suggests that you have a hard time accepting that there are multiple liberals posting here. bythebook and I aren’t the same person. I don’t assume that you, Young, Mespo, Squeeky, … are the same person either.

            Turley has points wrong when he posts on a variety of topics, not just Trump, because Turley is very sloppy in attending to all relevant evidence, and he introduces errors of fact and reasoning. You haven’t identified anything false in my criticism of his column.

      2. That they are almost always in defense of Trump or Barr makes his pretense of objectivity similarly somewhere between suspect to disproven.

        Let’s go with that opinion.

        You are always in attack mode on Trump or Barr. Using your own logic, that would make any pretense of objectivity similarly between suspect to disproven. Now that that part of your argument is washed out, the only point remaining is the score of you or Turley being correct. And the blog archives prove time and again that you’ve been wrong on nearly every position you’ve taken. Nice legacy you’ve got there.

        1. Olly, I don’t hide the fact that I disagree with Trump on almost everything he has done and that I recognize him as a despicable human being of the lowest order. I wouldn’t p… on him if he was on fire. I can objectively demonstrate my judgement and do here every day. JT pretends to be an objective and dispassionate observer while he carries Trump water on 5 out of 6 days.

          1. I can objectively demonstrate my judgement and do here every day. JT pretends to be an objective and dispassionate observer while he carries Trump water on 5 out of 6 days.

            Explain how it’s logical that you and JT, taking opposing views regarding Trump, results in you being objective and JT is just pretending? Can you point to any significant legal position where you disagreed with JT and the evidence proved your position to be objectively true and JT’s was not?

    2. “Mr. Turley, you are either willfully ignorant or lying.”
      ************************

      More sophistry from the blog resident idiot. Cue the “I’m just asking for rational debate” whine ’cause its coming.

    3. Even if Flynn “lied” to the Vice President, that is not a crime, nor is it sufficient to imply probable cause of a crime having been committed. There was no crime, thus no reason to “investigate,” thus no perjury nor obstruction (nor “treason” as mentioned by Judge Sullivan).

      1. If Flynn lied to the FBI about something material to an issue they were legitimately investigating, the false claims are a crime under 18 U.S. Code § 1001.

        For the incoming NSA to lie to the VP-Elect and transition team members about national security issues is absolutely material, and Comey testified to that under oath before the HPSCI.

        1. If Flynn lied to the FBI about something material to an issue they were legitimately investigating, the false claims are a crime under 18 U.S. Code § 1001.
          ______________________________________________________________________________________

          None of that matters because the agents who interviewed Flynn said they believed Flynn was not lying. There is no possible way the Government could have made a case against Flynn given the assessment of the investigators who were the only ones who had first hand knowledge of what Flynn told the FBI. It is only because Flynn contradicted the stance that the FBI agents took and swore to the court that he did lie to the FBI that it was possible to get a conviction. Without Flynn’s help there is no way a jury would ever convict Flynn.

          Your position on the legitimacy of the FBI interviewing Flynn is also flawed. Flynn invited the FBI to come to his office and speak with him. It is evident that Flynn wanted to persuade the FBI that he was legitimately trying to work with the Russians to promote the interests of the USA. It is also evident that he was successful in convincing them that he was not a security risk and was not being deceptive and secretly working against the interests of the US. That is what the FBI was there to find out.

          1. jinn: you’re a troll promoting a conspiracy theory.

            You claim “the agents who interviewed Flynn said they believed Flynn was not lying,” but you don’t quote what they actually said, much less do you deal with *all* of the relevant evidence about it (e.g., Comey’s and McCabe’s testimony about it under oath). If you accept what Strzok and Pientka have said about their interview of Flynn, then you’d have to conclude that Flynn did lie to them, as their 302 shows Flynn giving answers that are inconsistent with the transcripts of the calls.

            I don’t know why you persist with your dishonest conspiracy theory, and I wish you’d stop trolling people with it. At the very least, stop trolling *me* about it.

            1. troll calls another user troll

              writer using nom de plume calls another fake name person a coward

              pot calls kettle black and yet invites others to “commit to honest discussion”

              also passes out daily homework assignments like a second grade teacher.

              hilarious

              1. I dare you to quote anything I’ve said that’s false, where I haven’t honestly admitted being wrong.

                I have the integrity to admit when I’m wrong, and I consider people who lack that integrity cowardly. If you don’t, then we have different opinions about what’s cowardly.

                SMH that you think of backing up claims with evidence as “homework.” It’s simply part of having an evidence-based discussion rather than a discussion where people post unfounded garbage.

                    1. Your comment does not quote me saying anything false.
                      _______________________________________________________
                      Your comments aren’t worth quoting.
                      Comey and McCabe’s opinions about what the FBI agents heard on Jan 24 are just as worthless as your own opinions. They would have zero evidentiary value in court.

                      The two experts that were in the room and had personal knowledge of the facts are on the record as saying that Flynn was not lying. As far as a sec. 1001 case against Flynn that is game over.

                1. Trolls were so much better, savvy, humorous and fun.
                  What happened to the good ol days of flame wars and laughing emojis?

                  Now we have BLM nailing police precincts, ANTIFA using molotov cocktails and DNC lying that makes Bill Clinton blush

                  Smith & Wesson send their regards

                  🔫

                2. “I dare you to quote anything I’ve said that’s false, where I haven’t honestly admitted being wrong.”
                  ************************
                  Hahahaha. Like this clown deserves somebody going through his tripe to find the lies, half-truths, false talking points and prevarications. We know ye Committed: It’s all a lie with a “catch-me-if-you-can” mentality. Not playing. Don’t care.

            2. you’re a troll promoting a conspiracy theory.
              _________________________________________________________

              You cannot deal with the facts so you invent lame excuses to avoid having to address the facts.
              _____________________________________________________________________

              You claim “the agents who interviewed Flynn said they believed Flynn was not lying,” but you don’t quote what they actually said
              _________________________________________________________________________________

              I quoted what the Special Counsel Office reported Strzok as saying when he was questioned by the SC in regards to the Flynn interview of Jan 24.
              ______________________________________________________________________________
              their 302 shows Flynn giving answers that are inconsistent with the transcripts of the calls.
              __________________________________________________________

              That is your biased interpretation.
              The FBI agents that interviewed Flynn both had the impression that Flynn was not lying.
              It is their impression that counts not yours.

              1. “I quoted what the Special Counsel Office reported Strzok as saying when he was questioned by the SC in regards to the Flynn interview of Jan 24.”

                Nope, the comment of yours that I was responding to — https://jonathanturley.org/2020/06/29/the-rush-of-judgment-how-recent-stories-on-barr-left-the-relevant-facts-and-law-behind/#comment-1972334 — doesn’t quote anything at all.
                You are lying.
                You often lie.
                It’s a key reason that I consider you a troll and generally ignore you. And I’ll now go back to that. DNFT is a better policy than wasting my time with your lies and conspiracy theory.

                1. You are lying.
                  You often lie.
                  ___________________________________________________

                  It is you that is lying. The exact quote from the Special Counsel interrogation of Strzok is
                  “Strzok and Pientka both had the impression at the time that Flynn was not lying or did not think he was lying,”*
                  DOJ Motion to Dismiss exh. 13

                  These two agents are the ones that both heard Flynn’s statements on Jan 24 and heard the Kislyak-Flynn phone calls. If they are on the record as saying Flynn was not lying then there is no case against Flynn.

                  * this quote has been shown to you several times. Here is one example:
                  https://jonathanturley.org/2020/05/20/out-like-flynn-how-the-media-embraced-prosecutorial-misconduct-as-an-article-of-faith/comment-page-1/#comment-1954219

                  Now you can run away as you always do and then come back days later and once again claim that this evidence that Flynn was not lying does not exist.

                  1. ROFL. I wasn’t going to respond to you again, but it’s just too funny.

                    1) In the comment you just linked to, you were quoting ME quoting the Strzok 302. Do you have any idea how stupid you sound suggesting that the quote was “shown” to me, when I’m the one who introduced it in that conversation?

                    2) You just linked to a comment from over a month ago, when I was talking about today (you understand how present tense verbs like “quote” work, right?). Maybe you think that I care deeply about you and am going to keep track of an exchange we had over a month ago, but if so, you’re mistaken.

                    3) You introduce a new false claim (either out of ignorance or dishonesty) that it was “an exact quote from the Special Counsel interrogation of Strzok.” It’s a quote from the 302 of their Strzok interview, but a 302 isn’t a transcript, so you have no way to know whether or not it’s “an exact quote from the Special Counsel interrogation of Strzok.” Just like the Flynn 302 isn’t a transcript of Flynn’s interview, and quoting the Flynn 302 wouldn’t be quoting the Flynn “interrogation.”

                    4) The statement “Strzok and Pientka both had the impression at the time that Flynn was not lying or did not think he was lying” is not what you claimed, which was “The FBI says Flynn was not lying,” not only because (a) “the FBI” includes many more people than Strzok and Pientka, while you try to wiggle out of dealing with what others in the FBI like Comey have said under oath, and (b) the quote doesn’t say “Flynn was not lying” unless you cut off the rest of the sentence to change the meaning. Either you’re not very bright — and don’t understand the difference between “was not lying” and “had the impression at the time that Flynn was not lying or did not think he was lying” — or you’re simply dishonest. I vote for the latter. To be clear: Person A can have the impression that person B isn’t lying, even if person B **is** lying. Person A can say “I didn’t think person B was lying,” even when person B **was** lying. They didn’t say that he wasn’t lying, only that they didn’t have the impression of it at the time. Of course, acknowledging that undermines your ridiculous conspiracy theory.

                    5) Even though your conspiracy theory is about the SCO, you accept this 302 from an SCO interview while rejecting what Strzok and Pientka themselves wrote down from Flynn’s interview months earlier in the Flynn 302.

                    You are deeply dishonest, your conspiracy theory is bizarre, and I feel sorry for you that you either believe it or get your kicks this way while not believing it.

                    1. In the comment you just linked to, you were quoting ME
                      _____________________________________________________________________
                      Thank you for admitting that I quoted what the Special Counsel Office reported Strzok as saying

                      I said:
                      “I quoted what the Special Counsel Office reported Strzok as saying when he was questioned by the SC in regards to the Flynn interview of Jan 24.”
                      You responded:
                      “You are lying. You often lie.”

                      I also said in that post:
                      “The FBI agents that interviewed Flynn both had the impression that Flynn was not lying.
                      It is their impression that counts not yours.”

                      And that of course is the point you are trying to desperately evade and run away from by introducing all your obfuscations about quotes.

                      On June 2 in response to you, I wrote this:
                      “The two FBI agents that talked to Flynn are on the record as saying “both had the impression at the time that Flynn was not lying” (in your link to the motion to dismiss). That alone is fatal to the case against Flynn but there is further evidence that none of the other investigators disagreed with the agents who interviewed Flynn.”

                      __________________________________________________________________
                      You introduce a new false claim (either out of ignorance or dishonesty) that it was “an exact quote from the Special Counsel interrogation of Strzok.”
                      _______________________________________________________________

                      There ya go lying again. I said it was what the Special Counsel “reported Strzok as saying “. That report was given to the defense under the Brady rule. The 302 record of the Flynn interview was also given to the defense as exculpatory evidence. Neither was presented to the court in support of the criminal charge.
                      ______________________________________________________________

                      Even though your conspiracy theory is about the SCO, you accept this 302 from an SCO interview while rejecting what Strzok and Pientka themselves wrote down from Flynn’s interview months earlier in the Flynn 302.
                      _______________________________________________________________
                      There ya go lying again. I have not rejected the Flynn 302 and it is your conclusion there was a conspiracy based on the facts I presented. What I have rejected is your amateurish interpretation that the 302 shows Flynn was lying. The FBI experts that created the 302 do not say that it shows Flynn was lying. In fact they concluded that Flynn was not lying and they made their belief known immediately after the interview and months later. There is no sec 1001 case against Flynn with both the experts (the only ones with personal knowledge of the facts of the interview) saying he was not lying.

                      And here the FBI also made it known that they believed Flynn was not lying: “https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2017/02/16/fbi-michael-flynn-fbi-no-charges-lemon-sot.cnn

    4. BWAHAHAHA! You posted this:

      “Rep. Swallwell: “And do you agree with Ms. Yates’s evaluation that that made him blackmailable?”
      Mr. Comey: “Possible. That struck me as a bit of a reach, though, honestly.”

      Isn’t that what I have been telling you? This was nothing but a post hoc excuse to continue doing what they never had any business doing in the first place.

      Like I said before, what were the Russians going to do, “Mr. Flynn, you will tell us all about the American Super Bomber or we will tell VP Pence you fibbed to him about a phone call!”

      Laughable and absurd.

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

      1. a) You ignore that there are several paragraphs of testimony that are redacted, and you have no idea if they’d undermine your claim.
        b) You ignore that Comey said “Possible.” He didn’t say “No” or imply “that’s a post hoc excuse.”
        c) You ignore that Comey isn’t the only person whose testimony matters.
        d) You ignore that in that same testimony, Comey stated that there was reason to interview Flynn.

        I don’t GAF about your personal opinion here. I care what the evidence shows (e.g., testimony under oath from actual witnesses who understand more about this than you do), including evidence that’s ambiguous or conflicting.

        You’re not a stupid person, Squeeky, but you aren’t particularly committed to dealing honestly with all of the relevant evidence, which is too bad. You also like to denigrate those you disagree with. That’s unfortuanate too.

        1. You ignore that there are several paragraphs of testimony that are redacted, and you have no idea if they’d undermine your claim.
          _____________________________________________________________
          Now you are really are scraping the bottom of the barrel

          You should change your name to committed-to-nitpicking

    5. “Well, who ya gonna believe me or your [lying] eyes?”

      – Chico Marx
      __________

      Peter Strzok took notes on the meeting or an account of the meeting.

      Peter Strzok may have taken “Notes To Self.”

      The notes are extant and constitute the best evidence of a meeting which took placed as described in the notes on a date which is public knowledge.

      This shill and communist (liberal, progressive, socialist, democrat, RINO) apologist is a “red herring” of deliberate prevarication.

      Again, who you gonna believe me or your lying eyes?

      1. “The notes … constitute the best evidence of a meeting”

        That’s false. Strzok was not at the meeting, and the best evidence about what was actually discussed at the meeting comes from the written notes and testimony of people who were actually at the meeting.

        1. The man is a professional FBI agent. He’s a certified and accredited expert. You have no authority to relieve Strzok of his credentials; his bona fides. You are blowing smoke, alternatively, you may prove he’s committing perjury.

          1. How truly bizarre that you think I might “prove he’s committing perjury.” He wasn’t under oath, nor were his notes made under penalty of perjury. Even if his notes weren’t accurate, they wouldn’t be perjury.

            And I haven’t tried “to relieve Strzok of his credentials; his bona fides.” I simply pointed out that he’s not a first person witness to the meeting and they don’t “constitute the best evidence of a meeting,” as there’s evidence from first person witnesses.

            1. The best evidence comes from the best source and, in this case, the source is a high level, accredited, professional agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. You cannot impeach him and his notes no matter how much you fabricate. You want bizarre? Look in the mirror. You’re nothing but a fraud; a shill apologist sent out as “spin doctor” and political soldier for the communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats, RINO). You’re not worth reading by any serious person on this blog.

              1. ROFL that you — who post streams of bigoted crap daily: racist comments, ludicrous descriptions like “communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats, RINO),” … — call anyone else a “fraud” and “shill apologist.” I generally ignore you because of that stream of bigoted crap.

                I’m not trying to “impeach” Strzok’s notes, simply pointing out that he wasn’t a first person witness to the meeting, so they’re not meeting notes, they’re notes from a conversation with someone else (unknown) later, and we already have first person notes about the meeting.

                And it cracks me up that you’re defending Strzok when so many conservtives try to undermine everything Strzok has said.

          2. Anonymous – you write the following:

            The man is a professional FBI agent.
            This is opposed to a volunteer FBI agent? You know that the SC has held that “professional” only means you get paid for it.

            He’s a certified and accredited expert. You have no authority to relieve Strzok of his credentials; his bona fides.
            Certified and accredited in what? Besides being an FBI agent, I do not remember him stating his expertise in in anything.

            You are blowing smoke, alternatively, you may prove he’s committing perjury.
            Your computer must work different than mine, since I saw no smoke. However, perjury is still on the table.

  5. Thank you for your thoughtful analysis of these issues, Professor Turley. I’m glad that it will be published in The Hill. I am concerned, however, that reasonable commentary is not being read by enough people. Will the broadcast media ever provide a balanced discussion of any of these important issues? Bill Barr is a bright star in our troubled nation.

  6. The media has NEVER been impartial and they have NEVER done anything but push political agendas. That’s why newspapers were established in the first place. Furthermore, much of what is published is nothing but lies. I am currently reading a book about H.H. Holmes, the alleged Chicago mass murder. It turns out that his crimes were mostly a media creation and that the story grew larger and larger twenty years later when later journalists discovered the story and embellished it. As for Barr, Trump, Black Lives “Matter”, etc. and etc. the media is pushing them for political purposes. Academia is just as bad. Remember that the 60s radicals became professors and continued to push their radical ideas. Now we’re reaping the results. Their goal is the destruction of the country and the establishment of a Marxist Utopia. I can’t imagine why any sane person would support the modern Democratic Party considering the lies they push.

  7. In this polarized nation, it is inevitable that one side, while finding valid fault with the other, will go overboard. Each side has its media. Turley’s first sign of bias is blaming, ‘The Media’ for inaccuracies and exaggerations. The right, including Barr, has its own media: Foxnews, Washington Times, etc. The spin on events to paint the left as the aggressor, at fault, etc is vastly more evident in these rags than with the ‘bulletins’ of the left. Recently a man armed with a gun shot and killed a protestor along with wounding several others in St. Louis. Fox News immediately identified him as a protestor. The police chief identified him as someone who had been arrested several times for disturbing other in the past weeks and someone who the peaceful protestors were trying to get rid of. The gun fight was a result of the protestors trying to maintain a decent level of order. The gun man was not a protestor. The gunman was, at the very least, a madman. He could even have been a right wing extremist. However, for all those dupes who read Fox News, this is a sign of the danger of the left.

    Turley, let’s get an unbiased review of the ‘Media’. Leave your old pals from your college days take care of themselves. Barr is a double edged sword, honorable attempting to uphold the law and perverting it at the same time. We’ve all heard him talk out of Trump’s mouth.

  8. The NYC Bar Association put out a letter saying that Barr is too politicized and not fit for his office. I think the NYC Bar Association is too politicized and I will no longer be a member of that organization. I used to be a member.

    1. I, too, found the letter of the NYCBA to be troublesome. I may resign too. Too bad that I just paid my dues.

    1. “Barr spends much time thinking about the right move to make but little time about how it is seen”. You make it sound like this is a bad thing.

  9. Remarkably balanced exploration of how the preponderance of the popular press has chosen malicious attacks on Mr. Barr (and thanks for mentioning the exceptions to that such as Pete Williams’ coverage at NBC News). As Justice Louis Brandeis observed, “If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.”. The sad thing is that yours is often the only antidotal speech in the public square on some issues. Thanks for your good work, Professor!

    1. Through the brilliant and tireless legal work of Sidney Powell (a true example of what a courageous woman can accomplish), we now know that President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and FBI Director James Comey conspired to silence General Flynn based on a malignant, blatantly unconstitutional legal theory that has never once been successfully prosecuted in the 250 year history of our republic.

      General Flynn has been subject to four years of government persecution and harassment. He is a political prisoner. Drop the charges now.

      1. No, we do not “know” what you claim about Obama, Biden and Comey. You presumably *believe* what you claimed, but your belief isn’t knowledge.

        1. Yeah we do actually….. comey said “kislyak call was legit” and Biden was bringing up the phony Logan act BS. it all came out already. hard to find now I know, because the social media and google is censoring content so heavily now. but it happened. CTHD is actually committed to dishonesty., Fake

          1. You claim “comey said ‘kislyak call was legit’ and Biden was bringing up the phony Logan act BS.”

            Prove it.

            Quote someone who actually attended the 1/5 meeting.

            As I pointed out above (https://jonathanturley.org/2020/06/29/the-rush-of-judgment-how-recent-stories-on-barr-left-the-relevant-facts-and-law-behind/#comment-1972221 ), Strzok wasn’t at the 1/5 meeting; his notes are from a later conversation with someone (whose identity hasn’t been specified, so we don’t know whether that person was at the meeting either; and on a date that hasn’t been specified, so we don’t know how long after the meeting memorialized by Strzok’s notes occurred).

            “hard to find now I know”

            No, it’s quite easy to find. Do you want me to link to the notes for you?

            “CTHD is actually committed to dishonesty”

            Bullsh*t. I’m committed to honesty, and part of that commitment means paying attention to relevant details, like whether Strzok was even there or if it’s instead 2nd- or 3rd-hand information.

            BTW, if you consider Strzok’s notes to be reliable in this case, do you also consider the rest of Strzok’s notes and statements to be reliable?

            1. blah blah blah. Go troll somebody who is too stupid to see your scheme here, wasting people’s time. You’re fake.

              Oh wait. here’s you’re daily schtick here: prove you’re not Santa Claus. stupid verbal tricks.

              1. So you have no proof for your claim, and instead you prefer to insult.
                For the record, I didn’t ask you to prove a negative.

                You and your compatriots here are cowardly when it comes to dealing honestly with what evidence does and doesn’t show, and apparently dislike digging into details.

                1. Me @10:58 am: “More sophistry from the blog resident idiot. Cue the “I’m just asking for rational debate” whine ’cause its coming.”

                  Committed @ 1:38 pm: “You and your compatriots here are cowardly when it comes to dealing honestly with what evidence does and doesn’t show, and apparently dislike digging into details.”
                  ************************************
                  And there you have it!

                  1. And I could have predicted that you’d respond to me with nothing but insults. It’s ironic that you complain about others whining.

                    You’re one of the people here who is cowardly when it comes to dealing honestly with what evidence does and doesn’t show. Instead you post boring ad hom.

                    1. Committed:

                      And you have no idea what “honest” means hence the replies. Keep tossing those softballs and we’ll keep whizzing them by your ear.

                2. No just busy. And not taking orders from you on what the homework of the day is.

                  Your method is called trolling, whether you do it in a defiant way or a sneaky way. It wastes the time and energy of the adversary.

                  1. Asking people to provide evidence for their claims and to deal honestly with evidence isn’t trolling. It’s sad that you think it is.

          2. Yes, it is hard to believe that this happened in the US, not in Myanmar or the former Soviet Union. Sidney Powell uncovered the evidence in black and white. She is a true American hero. Yet @commit and others like him will do anything they can to discredit her and silence her client. Michael Flynn has been subject to four years of persecution and harassment because he is a threat to the political establishment. It is long past time for the persecution to stop. Free Michael Flynn. Drop the charges now.

      2. Through dogged legal work on behalf of her client, the political prisoner Michael Flynn, Sidney Powell has exposed corruption at the highest levels of our government. Obama, Biden and Comey were all complicit. She has even pieced together evidence that shows Michael Flynn was the ‘insurance policy’ that illicit lovers Peter Strzok and Lisa Page referred to in their infamous texts. Texts, like Peter Strzok’s notes and Yates’ self-serving email, that they thought would never come to light. Sidney Powell is a true American patriot. It is disappointing, but not surprising, that you are so quick to dismiss and silence the work of this amazing and courageous woman.

        Michael Flynn is a political prisoner. Free Michael Flynn.

          1. at home. until case is dismissed he can’t travel freely or talk, practically speaking

            which is precisely why the fake judge Sullivan is dragging feet. to shut him up.

            1. “until case is dismissed he can’t travel freely or talk, practically speaking”

              Bullsh*t. With. a few exceptions (e.g., he can’t reveal classified information, he likely signed NDA’s, there’s a gag order for discussing the case), he can talk about whatever he wants, and even if his case is dismissed, some of those restrictions will still apply. He’s also free to travel within 50 miles of DC. He is in no way required to stay “at home,” despite your imagining that he must. Surely you understand the difference between his home and the hundreds of square miles around DC (so that’s anywhere he wants in DC, plus parts of VA and MD).

              If you consider that being a political prisoner, then you’d have to likewise conclude that every other person in the U.S. who is under a court gag order with some travel restrictions is a political prisoner. Is that what you think?!? If so, according to you, how many political prisoners are there in the U.S.?

              1. I havent counted them but there’s quite a few more than many citizens suspect.

                Nearly all the political prisoners are locked up in federal prisons, by the way. Why is that?

                Because the FBI is becoming (or has been a long time) more and more, an internal political police? I just ask for a friend.

        1. @Commit-

          Sidney Powell, the noted defense attorney and an amazing woman, has exposed shocking evidence of political corruption at the highest levels of our government. Through documents that they thought would never come to light. Yet you do your best to silence her and her client. One would expect this in Myanmar, but in the United States?

          Michael Flynn is a political prisoner. Free Michael Flynn. Drop the charges now.

          1. Flynn is not a prisoner at all.

            And Sidney Powell is not a very honest person. As a simple example, consider her claim with Jesse Binnall that “Strzok’s notes believed to be of January 4, 2017, reveal that former President Obama, James Comey, Sally Yates, Joe Biden, and apparently Susan Rice discussed the transcripts of Flynn’s calls and how to proceed against him. Mr. Obama himself directed that ‘the right people’ investigate General Flynn. This caused former FBI Director Comey to acknowledge the obvious: General Flynn’s phone calls with Ambassador Kislyak ‘appear legit.’ According to Strzok’s notes, it appears that Vice President Biden personally raised the idea of the Logan Act. That became the admitted pretext to investigate General Flynn.”

            There is absolutely no reason to think Strzok’s notes are from 1/4/17. In releasing the notes, Jocelyn Ballantine of the DOJ sent Powell a note saying that “we believe that the notes were taken in early January 2017, possibly between January 3 and January 5,” but NOT specifying a date, and Powell has presented no evidence that there was a meeting involving Obama, Comey, Biden, Yates, and Rice in January 2017 on or before 1/4 (whereas we know that there was one on 1/5). Nor do the notes say anything about “the transcripts of Flynn’s calls and how to proceed against him.” Nor do they suggest that “Vice President Biden personally raised the idea of the Logan Act.”

            The issue is in the courts, and you should learn patience. Before too long, we’ll all find out what will happen next (e.g., whether Sullivan will follow the order or if the DC Circuit Court will instead choose to rehear the case en banc).

            1. See guys I told you that if Seth-Peter left, someone even more tedious and boring would replace him.,

              Seth Peter, come back! We hardly knew ya

            2. And Sidney Powell is not a very honest person.

              Guess who pwned Gainesville’s son? Didn’t realize Powell had represented clients in San Francisco.

              1. Strange that you refer to me as “Gainesville’s son.”

                And I haven’t been pwned by anyone. Your comment makes it clear that you just don’t get it: I care more about honesty than I do about who Powell’s clients are or where they live. Powell isn’t honest.

                I don’t like dishonest people regardless of their politics, so I have no problem calling her out on it.

                I guess that’s hard for people like you to understand.

          2. @Commit- The first words out of your mouth are to defame an American patriot, a woman who has done an incredible job exposing an egregious abuse of government power through previously hidden documents that the conspirators never thought would see the light of day.

            Wait and see? Four years of persecution and harassment of the political prisoner Michael Flynn is long enough. Judge Sullivan has delayed and obfuscated for far too long. The DC Circuit admonished him in no uncertain terms for overstepping his constitutional authority. Now, he is ignoring the order of the DC Circuit. He has created a constitutional crisis. Why? To silence a political opponent in an election year. The time to act is now.

            Free Michael Flynn.

            1. “The first words out of your mouth are to defame an American patriot”

              LOL. Me pointing out the fact that Flynn is not a political prisoner isn’t defamation.

              “a woman who has done an incredible job …”

              I quoted part of her statement and gave you evidence that it was false. If you can’t deal honestly with actual evidence, you’re part of the problem. Her not being honest is not “an incredible job.”

              “Now, he is ignoring the order of the DC Circuit”

              CADC Rule 41(a)(3): “Writs. No mandate will issue in connection with an order granting or denying a writ of mandamus or other special writ, but the order or judgment granting or denying the relief sought will become effective automatically 21 days after issuance in the absence of an order or other special direction of this court to the contrary.” That rule gives Sullivan time to decide whether to appeal and gives the CADC judges time to decide whether to rehear en banc sua sponte. So no, Sullivan is not “ignoring the order.”

              “He has created a constitutional crisis.”

              ROFL.

                1. BTW, whatever it was, it was short-lived. I just checked and whoever wants can read her SidneyPowell1 account.

            2. Michael Flynn has endured four years of persecution, harassment and intimidation by the US government. It started in 2016 when Flynn was targeted as the ‘insurance policy’ referred to in text messages exchanged by the illicit lovers Peter Strzok and Lisa Page and continued through the now infamous January 2017 meeting between the co-conspirators Obama, Biden, Comey and Yates (as documented by the writings of Strzok and the transparently self-serving Yates CYA memo), the FBI’s ambush interview of Mr. Flynn, the attempts to bankrupt him, and the threats against his son in order to force a plea. It continues to this day when Judge Sullivan ignores the valid orders of the DC Circuit to dismiss the case against Flynn.

              How do we know this? The scheme would have been buried forever, like at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, but for the efforts of Sidney Powell, an exemplar for women (and men) everywhere. Her tireless advocacy forced the disclosure of previously secret documents that the conspirators thought would never see the light of day. So far, the efforts to silence Mr. Flynn and discredit Ms. Powell are succeeding.

              Will they be able to run out the clock until the election? The forces seem strong, but judging from the weakness of their attempts to deflect, obfuscate and redirect, they may just be desperate. It is a pattern of conduct that draws stark parallels to Myanmar and the old Soviet Union. But in America?

              Michael Flynn is a political prisoner. Free Michael Flynn. Dismiss the charges now.

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