Tag: Michael Flynn

Top GOP Rep: “I Would Not Be Surprised” If Flynn Conviction Overturned

House Judiciary and Oversight committee member Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) told Fox News yesterday that he wouldn’t be surprised if former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s conviction is overturned.

“I would not be surprised a bit if the conviction of Flynn is overturned because of the Justice Department FBI’s misconduct,” Issa said to Maria Bartiromo.

“When the FBI and the Department of Justice lies to someone and tricks them into making statements, and then charges them with a lie they entrapped them. This is conduct that we haven’t seen in a long time,” he continued.

Issa was referring to the shocking memo from Flynn’s attorneys last week which stated the FBI interviewed the three-star general under questionable pretenses and did not disclose to him the severity of the consequences if he lied to the agents because they wanted him to be “relaxed.”

That FBI interview eventually led to Flynn’s pleading guilty to lying to the FBI.

Former FBI Director James Comey was in charge at the time of the Flynn interview and will testify before Congress again today behind closed doors. He is expected to address these latest revelations in the Flynn case.

Congress will also press him on his disturbing comments–which came after his December 7 testimony–in which he told NBC’s Nicolle Wallace that he wouldn’t have “gotten away” with the Flynn interview if it was done in a “more organized administration.”

In a forum on December 9, Wallace said to Comey, “It’s hard to imagine two FBI agents ending up in the State Room. How did that happen?”

“I sent them,” said Comey. “Something we’ve, I probably wouldn’t have done or maybe gotten away with in a more organized investigation, a more organized administration.”

He continued, “So if the FBI wanted to send agents into the White House itself to interview a senior official, you would work through the White House counsel and there would be discussions and approvals and it would be there. I thought, ‘It’s early enough, let’s just send a couple of guys over.’”

Issa also told Bartiromo that he believed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will still testify before Congress prior to the Democratic leadership takeover in the new year.

“I talked to Chairman Goodlatte. He is still working on it,” he said of the possibility of Rosenstein’s testimony. “Rosenstein would like to avoid it, but I think we’ll get him,” he said.

Robert Mueller Releases Key Documents in Flynn Case

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office has turned over key documents in the Michael Flynn case.

Fox News reports:

The documents – some of which are heavily redacted — were released in response to U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan ordering prosecutors to hand over the government’s files and “memoranda” related to the FBI’s questioning of Flynn by Friday afternoon.

The documents include then-FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe’s notes after talking with Flynn to arrange his interview with the FBI. It also includes a so-called “302” report documenting what Flynn told anti-Trump agent Peter Strzok and one other agent during their conversation at the White House.

The 302 report states that Strzok and the other agent “both had the impression at the time that Flynn was not lying or did not think he was lying.” It also states that several unnamed people back at FBI headquarters “later argued about the FBI’s decision to interview Flynn.”

It comes days after Flynn’s legal team made the bombshell allegation that the FBI pushed him not to bring a lawyer to his fateful Jan. 24, 2017 interview with agents at the White House.

On Tuesday, Flynn’s attorneys filed a sentencing memo in which they cited the 302 report from his interview with the FBI which show then-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe urging Flynn to not have an attorney present for the questioning.

**LISTEN: Dan discusses disturbing revelations in Flynn sentencing memo**

“I explained that I thought the quickest way to get this done was to have a conversation between [Flynn] and the agents only,” McCabe wrote. “I further stated that if LTG Flynn wished to include anyone else in the meeting, like the White House counsel for instance, that I would need to involve the Department of Justice. [Flynn] stated that this would not be necessary and agreed to meet with the agents without any additional participants.”

Flynn’s report also stated, “The agents did not provide Gen. Flynn with a warning of the penalties for making a false statement under 18 U.S.C. 1001 before, during, or after the interview.”

Before the interview, McCabe and other FBI officials “decided the agents would not warn Flynn that it was a crime to lie during an FBI interview because they wanted Flynn to be relaxed, and they were concerned that giving the warnings might adversely affect the rapport.”

The Flynn memo points out that the 302 report reveals that FBI agents strategized on how to handle Flynn if he did not remember exactly what he had said in his phone conversation with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak because the agents had already read transcripts of the phone call.

The memo states that FBI officials decided if “Flynn said he did not remember something they knew he said, they would use the exact words Flynn used … to try to refresh his recollection. If Flynn still would not confirm what he said … they would not confront him or talk him through it.”

The Framing of Michael Flynn

Author’s Note: This essay is largely based off of our new book “Spygate: The Attempted Sabotage of Donald Trump.”

On December 29th, 2016, Michael Flynn received a phone call while on vacation in the Dominican Republic from Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak that would change his life forever.

Earlier in the day, in retaliation for Russian interference in the election (not collusion), then-President Barack Obama forced the closure of Russian-owned compounds in New York and Maryland, and slapped new sanctions against Russia. Is there any doubt that such a move would prompt Ambassador Kislyak to call Flynn, Trump’s National Security Adviser at the time, to discuss what had just happened?

In taking Kislyak’s call, Flynn must’ve been aware that the call would be intercepted and monitored, given that he was speaking on an unsecured line in the Dominican Republic. Had Flynn been on U.S. soil he would’ve been able to prevent such surveillance, but due to the timing of Obama’s firings and Flynn’s location in the Dominican Republic, his conversation with Kislyak was intercepted and recorded.

The two discussed the sanctions against Russia Obama had just passed, and Kislyak promised that Russia would not react with sanctions of their own.

Since the call was recorded, the FBI had an entire transcript of the conversation. If there were any wrongdoing, it would be evident in the transcript. Clearly, it was not, as at the direction of Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, Flynn was questioned about the contents of his conversation with Kislyak on January 24th, 2017 by special agents Peter Strzok and Joe Pientka in a meeting set up by then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

Rather than try to pry information from Flynn about the call, Flynn was merely quizzed about the contents of his own conversation, with Strzok and Pientka presumably looking for any deviation from the script to claim Flynn was technically “lying to the FBI,” even if unintentionally.

Sally Yates immediate concern from the Kislyak phone call was that Flynn violated the “Logan Act,” a rarely enforced law from 1799 that prevents Americans from corresponding with foreign governments (which is ridiculous, given’s Flynn’s political position). If the Logan Act actually were enforced, it would’ve been used to prevent Dennis Rodman from visiting North Korea, or Jimmy Carter’s various peace efforts. If Flynn had truly done something wrong, why would Yates be so desperately grasping at straws in citing the Logan Act?

Setting the Trap: Flynn Advised Against Legal Counsel

In a stunning new development, we’ve learned from a 302 report that proper protocol wasn’t followed to protect Flynn against entrapment. A 302 report contains accounts from the agents of what they said and did while interviewing Flynn, and the FBI waited over half a year to detail the Flynn interview. According to Fox News:

The August date on the FBI 302 cited by the Flynn team is nearly seven months after the Flynn interview took place, and about a week after reports surfaced that Strzok had been summarily removed from Mueller’s Russia probe because his persistent anti-Trump communications had surfaced.

Flynn “clearly saw the FBI agents as allies,” according to the 302 prepared by Strzok and another agent.

Flynn’s attorneys alleged that Andrew McCabe pushed Flynn not to have an attorney present during the questioning that ultimately led to his guilty plea on a single charge of lying to federal authorities. According to Flynn’s legal team [and the 302 itself], FBI agents in his case deliberately did not instruct Flynn that any false statements he made could constitute a crime, and decided not to “confront” him directly about anything he said that contradicted their knowledge of his wiretapped communications with former Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Bear in mind, the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign was a secret at the time. Flynn had no reason to have his guard up.

Comey and McCabe’s Defense Seems Unbelievable

Even stranger, despite the charges Flynn now faces following the Kafkaesque line of questioning, when James Comey briefed a number of Capitol Hill lawmakers about the Bureau’s counterintelligence operation into the Trump campaign, two sources familiar with the meetings said Comey told lawmakers the FBI agents who interviewed Flynn didn’t believe he lied or intentionally provided any misleading answers. The report also said FBI Director McCabe testified that the FBI agents didn’t suspect wrongdoing either. Yet McCabe also pushed Flynn to speak without a lawyer. For those reasons, and the role that Peter Strzok played in trying to thwart a Trump presidency, I find these claims doubtworthy.

It also doesn’t help the FBI’s credibility when two of those involved in Flynn’s entrapment (Strzok and McCabe) have since been fired for misconduct. Clearly, their claims that they “actually thought Flynn was innocent” cannot possibly be true, as if they were, Flynn wouldn’t have had to plead guilty to manufactured charges to avoid a personal bankruptcy. And let’s suppose for a second that they are true – that McCabe, Strzok, and Pientka all thought Flynn did nothing wrong. Then who was pulling the strings to decide otherwise?

What do you think is more likely? That Michael Flynn couldn’t perfectly recall the contents of a phone call made while on vacation, or that Flynn decided that he’d lie to the FBI’s face without any legal counsel over the contents of a phone call where nothing illegal is discussed? To ask such a question is to answer it, so it’s no wonder that entrapment was the goal all along.

HUGE: Judge Orders Mueller to Turn Over Key Documents in Flynn Case

The federal judge overseeing former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s case has ordered Robert Mueller to hand over key documents after it was revealed the FBI suggested Flynn to not have an attorney present for the interview that eventually led to his pleading guilty to lying to the FBI.

U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan ordered Mueller’s team to hand over any “302s or memoranda” related to Flynn’s questioning by 3:00 p.m. ET Friday.

The 302 reports are summaries of FBI interviews. Usually written soon after the questioning, Flynn’s report was dated August 22, 2017–nearly seven months after his meeting with FBI agents took place.

Fox News reports:

The judge’s brief order states that Mueller can choose to file the materials under seal if necessary. Sullivan also ordered the Flynn team to turn over the documents backing up its assertions. The judge could determine why the FBI apparently took a significantly more aggressive tack in handling the Flynn interview than it did during other similar matters, including the agency’s sit-downs with Hillary Clinton and ex-Trump adviser George Papadopoulos. Flynn is set to be sentenced next Tuesday — but Sullivan’s move might delay that date, or lead to other dramatic and unexpected changes in the case. Sullivan even has the authority to toss Flynn’s guilty plea and the charge against him if he concludes that the FBI interfered with Flynn’s constitutional right to counsel, although he has given no indications that he intends to do so.

On Tuesday, Flynn’s attorneys filed a sentencing memo in which they cited the 302 report from his interview with the FBI which show then-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe urging Flynn to not have an attorney present for the questioning.

**LISTEN: Dan discusses disturbing revelations in Flynn sentencing memo**

“I explained that I thought the quickest way to get this done was to have a conversation between [Flynn] and the agents only,” McCabe wrote. “I further stated that if LTG Flynn wished to include anyone else in the meeting, like the White House counsel for instance, that I would need to involve the Department of Justice. [Flynn] stated that this would not be necessary and agreed to meet with the agents without any additional participants.”

Flynn’s report also stated, “The agents did not provide Gen. Flynn with a warning of the penalties for making a false statement under 18 U.S.C. 1001 before, during, or after the interview.”

Before the interview, McCabe and other FBI officials “decided the agents would not warn Flynn that it was a crime to lie during an FBI interview because they wanted Flynn to be relaxed, and they were concerned that giving the warnings might adversely affect the rapport.”

The Flynn memo points out that the 302 report reveals that FBI agents strategized on how to handle Flynn if he did not remember exactly what he had said in his phone conversation with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak because the agents had already read transcripts of the phone call.

The memo states that FBI officials decided if “Flynn said he did not remember something they knew he said, they would use the exact words Flynn used … to try to refresh his recollection. If Flynn still would not confirm what he said … they would not confront him or talk him through it.”

 

Is This It? There’s Still No Evidence of Collusion

Michael Flynn, the retired three-star Army general, has been waiting for more than a year to be sentenced. Flynn pleaded guilty late last year to lying to the FBI in the Trump-Russia investigation. He later agreed to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller released his highly redacted and anticipated memo Tuesday, recommending a lenient sentence for Flynn and no jail time. The memo noted that “the defendant’s substantial assistance and other consideration” was the reason Mueller recommended the lenient sentence.

Yet, as Hans von Spakovsky writes today on TheDailySignal, and as Dan has discussed on his podcast – the plea deals with Mike Flynn and Michael Cohen and the sentencing of Paul Manafort – still doesn’t reveal any illegal conduct by Trump or his campaign. Zero. Zip.

We still have had no indictments that have revealed any evidence about the issue that Mueller was tasked to investigate — whether there was any collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. The answer? The reason Mueller and his team haven’t found any evidence of collusion is that there wasn’t any.

h/t: TheDailySignal.com

Lewandowski: Obama had “Sinister” Reason for Not Wanting Michael Flynn in Trump Admin

According to former Trump campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, President Obama may have told then president-elect Trump not hire Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as national security adviser for fear of having his own administration exposed.

Lewandowski details the discussion in his new book, co-authored by David Bossie, Trump’s Enemies: How the Deep State Is Undermining the Presidency.

According to the authors, soon after the 2016 election, Obama and Trump sat down for a meeting, where it was common for presidents to offer advice to those about to take over as commander in chief.

The book–as reported by the UK Daily Mail–states that Obama told Trump not to hire Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, advice which was leaked to the media in May of 2017. 

According to reports at the time, Obama made this suggestion because he thought “there were better people for (the position), and that Flynn wasn’t up for the job.”

However, Lewandowski and Bossie believe Obama may have had a “more sinister” reason for giving this advice.

“It’s not unreasonable to assume that Obama knew Flynn could expose some of the misconduct in which his intelligence agencies had engaged—particularly when it came to the abuse of surveillance practices,” they write.

The two point out that Obama had allowed his intelligence agencies to “spiral out of control…even going so far as to either implicitly or explicitly allow them to conduct surveillance on citizens of the United States on domestic soil—and not just any citizens, but members of the Trump campaign.”

‘”(President Obama) certainly knew that Flynn could do some damage to the permanent power structures of his intelligence agencies and shake up the bureaucracy he had helped to grow.”

They continue, “Obama probably figured that if he could convince Trump in a private meeting—the details of which were never supposed to leak—not to hire Flynn in the first place, the chances of his illegal spying on American citizens ever coming to light would decrease dramatically.”

The book, Trump’s Enemies, is on sale tomorrow.