Last night DOJ documents were unsealed proving that the FBI’s goal all along was to get Michael Flynn fired.
As everyone following the Spygate saga knows, the entire case against Flynn is based on him supposedly lying to FBI agents about a conversation he had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The FBI agents who interviewed Flynn had a transcript of the conversation in front of them as they interviewed Flynn – effectively quizzing him in hopes that he’ll misremember something in a way that could be construed as a “lie.”
Among other revelations, the newly unsealed documents show the origin of the bizarre argument that Flynn violated the Logan Act.
But first, some background information.
As we wrote in Spygate in 2018: The dispute over Flynn’s truthfulness allowed Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates to express “concern” that Flynn could be blackmailed by Russia simply because he deviated from the transcript of the recorded call with Kislyak. She claimed to be concerned about potential violations of the Logan Act, a rarely enforced law that had been on the books since 1799 prohibiting Americans from corresponding with foreign governments “relating to controversies or disputes which do or shall exist” between the two countries.
The Logan Act is vague, potentially unconstitutional, and would have legal ramifications for several individuals if it were enforced (e.g., Jimmy Carter’s peace efforts as a private citizen, Dennis Rodman traveling to North Korea, or Jane Fonda parading around with the Viet Kong). Even the Act’s namesake, George Logan, wasn’t deterred by it and traveled to Britain in 1810 to try to de-escalate tensions that eventually led to the War of 1812.
Only two people have been indicted under this Act, in 1803 and 1852. That’s an average of less than one person per century. No one has been convicted under the Logan Act. It’s hardly an ideal legal avenue to prosecute someone during a critical presidential transition involving dealings with a foreign power. Yet this is the law that propelled the Russia collusion narrative among the media into the Trump presidency.
So why did Yates float the Logan Act? Because as we just learned, that was the FBI’s plan B to incriminate Flynn if he didn’t “lie.” As Sean Davis wrote in The Federalist last night right after the documents were made unsealed:
In the handwritten FBI notes, the note-taker, whose identity was not made clear in the document production, wrote that an alternate goal is to “get [Flynn] to admit breaking the Logan Act,” a reference to a 1799 law restricting communications between private citizens and foreign governments.
The argument that the obscure Logan Act was violated was also echoed in the media.
Accusations that Flynn was a traitor to his country who violated the 1799 law gained steam following the criminal leak of top-secret information to Washington Post columnist David Ignatius. Ignatius’ sources suggested the routine conversation between a top incoming White House adviser and his foreign counterparts might be a Logan Act violation. As absurd as the suggestion was, Ignatius dutifully parroted it.
So the FBI originated the “Logan Act” argument, the AG parroted it, and the media helped spread it.
And the entire time, they were saying WE were the crazy ones for suspecting anything.