Posted tagged ‘Mueller – political animal’

What if Jeff Sessions is not asleep, but instead playing possum?

December 15, 2017

What if Jeff Sessions is not asleep, but instead playing possum? American ThinkerBrian C. Joondeph, December 15, 2017

Jeff Sessions is a political appointee, appointed by President Trump.  The president, as we all know, is despised by Democrats, many establishment Republicans, and the media.  Any actions Trump or Sessions take will be viewed through the lens of obstruction of justice.  Firing Mueller or Rosenstein or shutting down the investigation would allow eager Democrats and NeverTrump Republicans to tut-tut over threats to the Constitution and to initiate impeachment proceedings.

Instead, by lying low, the OIG can carefully build a case.  The OIG is not a political office, but instead “[a] statutorily created independent entity whose mission is to detect and deter waste, fraud, abuse, and misconduct in DOJ programs and personnel.”  Above politics.  Beyond reproach.  As much as any government bureaucracy can be.

Jeff Sessions must keep his hands clean of this entire investigation, letting the OIG present its findings and recommendations.  If I.G. recommends prosecution, A.G. Sessions can follow the OIG recommendations and unleash the cannons on the swamp creatures.  Sure, the media and their Democrat allies will explode with rage, but it will be a politically independent organization making the recommendations, not the Trump administration, whether the president or his A.G.

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Conventional wisdom is that Attorney General Jeff Sessions is asleep at the wheel – from recusing himself unnecessarily from the Trump-Russia collusion investigation to doing nothing about the politicization and weaponization of the Department of Justice.  He also gave free rein to his deputy A.G., Rod Rosenstein, who is in turn allowing Special Counsel Robert Mueller unlimited time, money, and jurisdiction to investigate President Trump’s entire life.

Last summer, Trump expressed disappointment in Sessions, calling him “beleaguered,” wondering why Sessions wasn’t looking into Hillary Clinton’s emails and true election chicanery.  Rudy Giuliani was floated as a possible replacement.  Was Trump truly upset, or was this a calculated head fake?

In a recent blog posting, American Thinker editor Thomas Lifson, referencing Sundance from Conservative Treehouse, made the case that the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General is where the real action is taking place.  Here was an explanation why Rosenstein gave evasive answers in recent congressional testimony and a suggestion that the OIG is laying out a case, slowly and methodically, with selective information release, before bringing the hammer down on the leakers and corruptocrats in the FBI and DOJ.

I want to take this a step farther, perhaps answering the question of where Jeff Sessions is and whether he is asleep, or just playing possum.  Perhaps I can explain why he is acting not as a Trumpian pit bull, but instead like Mister Rogers ready for his afternoon nap.

Jeff Sessions is a political appointee, appointed by President Trump.  The president, as we all know, is despised by Democrats, many establishment Republicans, and the media.  Any actions Trump or Sessions take will be viewed through the lens of obstruction of justice.  Firing Mueller or Rosenstein or shutting down the investigation would allow eager Democrats and NeverTrump Republicans to tut-tut over threats to the Constitution and to initiate impeachment proceedings.

Instead, by lying low, the OIG can carefully build a case.  The OIG is not a political office, but instead “[a] statutorily created independent entity whose mission is to detect and deter waste, fraud, abuse, and misconduct in DOJ programs and personnel.”  Above politics.  Beyond reproach.  As much as any government bureaucracy can be.

Jeff Sessions must keep his hands clean of this entire investigation, letting the OIG present its findings and recommendations.  If I.G. recommends prosecution, A.G. Sessions can follow the OIG recommendations and unleash the cannons on the swamp creatures.  Sure, the media and their Democrat allies will explode with rage, but it will be a politically independent organization making the recommendations, not the Trump administration, whether the president or his A.G.

Despite the left making this entirely political, for Trump to deliver a knockout punch, he has to let Lady Justice swing the axe.  He has to keep politics out of his counterpunch.

Will Rod Rosenstein be fired, as some fake news sources suggest?  Or is he in on the OIG sting operation?  Deliberately staying quiet so events can play out, as Sundance described?

For now, I give A.G. Sessions the benefit of the doubt, that for optical and political reasons, he is lying low.  For the OIG investigation to play out as desired, he has little choice.  With the OIG report due early next year, this may indeed be the calm before the storm.  Thousands of sealed indictments.  Members of Congress retiring or not seeing re-election.  Trump acting happy and confident, whether in speeches or on Twitter.

Further bolstering my theory is that Democrats are getting nervous.  The Mueller circus has made a critical pivot from Trump-Russia collusion to Obama-Clinton-FBI-DOJ collusion.  The Daily Caller reports, “Democrats mobilize against Rod Rosenstein as Inspector General investigation zeroes in on FBI.”  Turn on the light, and the cockroaches scurry.

Trump has been viciously attacked from the day in 2015 when he announced his candidacy.  Like Superman, the bullets have bounced off his chest, wounding many of those who attacked him.  It’s likely that this entire investigation will have the same outcome.

I’m confident that President Trump has this well in hand, early on setting the stage for an upcoming reckoning – what Sundance calls “the big ugly.”

And Jeff Sessions, instead of being asleep, may be playing possum, lying in wait, ready to pounce when the moment is right.

About that Page/Strzok ‘insurance policy’

December 14, 2017

About that Page/Strzok ‘insurance policy’, Amerian ThinkerPatricia McCarthy, December 14, 2017

Bottom line?  Our DOJ and FBI (and the IRS) have been hopelessly corrupted by the Obama administration that used them to torment its opponents.  Neither agency can now be trusted. They are tainted by their self-righteous campaign to destroy a man they loathe for, most of all, being an outsider.  Trump was never a member of their exclusive club; he was busy working, building things all over the world, employing thousands of people, getting things done.  Imagine his frustration at the snail’s pace at which Congress works. They work hard at getting nothing done.

Hats off to Jim Jordon, Trey Gowdy, Louie Gohmert, Ron DeSantis, and Chuck Grassley, to name a few of the few.  Their responses to the thoroughly ridiculous conflicts of interest that invalidate the Mueller investigation are normal, and they are justifiably outraged.  The Democrats seem to have no problem at all with all the overt malice at the root of the Obama/Clinton plan to stop Trump.

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“I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office – that there’s no way he [Trump] gets elected – but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk,

writes FBI counterintelligence officer Peter Strzok to FBI lawyer Lisa Page, with whom he was having an extramarital affair while spearheading both the Clinton email inquiry and the early Trump-Russia probe, adding,

“It’s like a life insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”  (March 4, 2016)

Isn’t it clear that “the path” was a developing strategy by which these co-conspirators would stop Trump by any means necessary?  Was it at that meeting with “Andy” McCabe, then #2 at the FBI, where the three of them conjured the idea of using the FISA court to get warrants in order to unmask members of the Trump campaign so they could be surveilled?

Surely, they would find something criminal.

“Show me the man, and I’ll show you the crime.” – Lavrentiy Beria, head of Joseph Stalin’s secret police

These people obviously believed themselves to be above the law.  And then when Trump became the GOP candidate, they instituted the next phase:   Use the fake dossier commissioned by the Hillary Clinton campaign, the one filled with all manner of fabricated crimes and offenses Trump had allegedly committed, maybe even pay Fusion GPS to amp it up, make it even more salacious.  Then they would use it to bring about Trump’s downfall?

They had planned to prevent his election.

When that failed, they planned to take him out before inauguration.

Once he was inaugurated, they doubled down.

In cahoots with Comey, they would lie, cheat and leak. Then, when for good reason, Trump fired James Comey, they, these arrogant, biased snobs at the FBI, shifted into high gear.  They began leaking like sieves (remember Ellen Farkus?).

Then there is Charles Ohr of the DOJ and his lovely wife Nellie.

Ohr met with Christopher Steele before and after the election; Steele is the man who provided the dirt on Trump via his pals in Moscow.   Then Mrs. Ohr got a Ham radio license!  The NSA would be hard pressed to capture those conversations.  So, an employee of the DOJ was paid by Fusion GPS to further harm Trump.

In an atypical moment of craven cowardice, Jeff Sessions foolishly recused himself from the made-up-out-of-whole-cloth collusion with Russia inquiry,  turning the power over the eventual investigation to Rod Rosenstein, the man who embarrassed himself at the hearing before the House Oversight Committee yesterday.  Jim Jordan, Trey Gowdy, and a few others asked him withering questions on point and got nowhere.  The man defended Mueller’s hiring a team chock full of progressive activists.  The obvious conclusion is that their mission, which they chose to accept, was to find Trump guilty of an impeachable offense.  There was no crime to begin with; Sessions never should have allowed this investigation.  But this team of witch hunters was given free rein and an unlimited budget to get the job done.

This is a constitutional crisis so much worse than Watergate that it boggles the mind.  Americans now are coming to grips with the fact that their government law enforcement institutions are corrupt to the core.  The Left embraces this reality because they think it benefits them.  The Republicans in Congress are, with several terrific exceptions, all Walter Mittys, powerful in their own minds but absolute wusses on planet earth.

Bottom line?  Our DOJ and FBI (and the IRS) have been hopelessly corrupted by the Obama administration that used them to torment its opponents.  Neither agency can now be trusted. They are tainted by their self-righteous campaign to destroy a man they loathe for, most of all, being an outsider.  Trump was never a member of their exclusive club; he was busy working, building things all over the world, employing thousands of people, getting things done.  Imagine his frustration at the snail’s pace at which Congress works. They work hard at getting nothing done.

Hats off to Jim Jordon, Trey Gowdy, Louie Gohmert, Ron DeSantis, and Chuck Grassley, to name a few of the few.  Their responses to the thoroughly ridiculous conflicts of interest that invalidate the Mueller investigation are normal, and they are justifiably outraged.  The Democrats seem to have no problem at all with all the overt malice at the root of the Obama/Clinton plan to stop Trump.

Let us hope that the IG investigation into all of this will be legitimate, honest and above board.   Is it looking into the Clintons’ corruption re: Uranium One, and their habit of selling access?  Will the IG report include information about the Clintons’ takeover of the DNC, the hacking of the DNC computers that they refused to let the FBI examine?  The murder of Seth Rich?  Who exactly is Imran Awan, the IT guy who probably knows everything and likely was blackmailing a few Dems?

The damning texts from Strzok to his paramour, an FBI lawyer, are a sad commentary on the state of the FBI.  The agency has a severe ethics problem and can no longer be trusted to enforce the law.   Mueller once headed the FBI but did not know better than to stack his team with anti-Trump activists!  That does not pass the smell test.  He did because he knew no one would stop him.  McCabe is tainted, as is Rosenstein.  Time will tell us how Wray performs but he has yet to impress.   As Camus said, “A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon this world.”  Our FBI and DOJ have become wild beasts that threaten American civil society.

 

Robert Mueller’s mighty tuna shrinks to a goldfish

December 5, 2017

Robert Mueller’s mighty tuna shrinks to a goldfish, Washington Times, December 4, 2017

James Comey. (Associated Press) ** FILE

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Robert Mueller has the heart of a Las Vegas hooker and the guile of a New Orleans stripper. Not to push the metaphor too far, he’s skilled at showing a little skin in a cloud of satin and lace, but never quite comes across with what the customer is paying for.

Mr. Mueller, held up by his fellow Blackstones as a model of lawyerly rectitude, teased everyone last week that after testing his prowess to the limit, he had hooked a mighty tuna. His hallelujah chorus in the media celebrated the hundred-pound monster, but overnight it melted into a two-inch goldfish.

The special prosecutor might yet get the last laugh. He may yet land the promised tuna if there’s actually one out there in the briny deep. So far he’s coming up with nothing but net. The Associated Press, which has never been accused of giving Republicans a break, called the arrest “lots of smoke, but no smoking gun.” The “lots of smoke” looked as the new week began as merely a thin tuft of smoke, or more likely a wisp of fog.

The president’s sharpest detractors, agreed CNBC News, among the most fervent of those detractors, have so far been unable to find evidence that the Trump campaign coordinated with, or was even aware of, Russian efforts to swing the 2016 presidential election against Hillary Clinton.

The Democrats figure that since the tuna turned out to be a goldfish, it’s time to resurrect something dead from the recent past. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, whose Senate seat has been getting a little warm, resurrected a notion discarded earlier that Mr. Trump obstructed justice by firing James Comey as director of the FBI. Mr. Comey is best buds with Robert Mueller, who has never given up trying to rehabilitate Mr. Comey from goat to grandee. Only last week Mr. Comey himself took a turn as Bible scholar, attempting to apply a verse from the Book of Amos (5:24) — “But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream” — to Mr. Mueller’s search for a crime. A Bible verse in the hands of a novice can be like a child with a gun.

Alan Dershowitz thinks the idea that the president, by sacking Mr. Comey, obstructed justice is nonsense. Mr. Dershowitz, the distinguished law professor at Harvard, warned Mrs. Feinstein and Democrats who are trying to build a case that the president obstructed justice that they’re wasting their time.

“You cannot charge a president with obstruction of justice for exercising his constitutional power to fire Comey and his constitutional authority to tell the Justice Department who to investigate, who not to investigate. That’s what Thomas Jefferson did, that’s what Lincoln did, that’s what Roosevelt did. We have precedents that clearly establish that.”

The president’s tweets are making trouble for him again. Some Democrats, eager for something, anything, to hang their hats on, argue that Mr. Trump’s tweet on Sunday “suggested” that the president knew former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn lied to the FBI, and that implies obstruction of justice. Or it might only be that these Democrats inferred that that’s what the president did. They should study the difference. A desperate Democrat might infer a lot of fake stuff. To pursue a president for obstruction would ultimately require that “clearly illegal acts” would have to have been committed.

This is what some of Mr. Trump’s pursuers would call mere technicalities in the law. Destroying Donald Trump is of such transcendent purpose, the goal of every right-thinking American, that anything goes. Ask any never-Trumper. What does the Constitution have to do with it, anyway? Six and seven decades of drinking the poison that the Constitution is only “a living document,” subject to reinterpretation to fit any theory of the law, has done great damage.

The Flynn episode might be the needed tutorial in constitutional law. Lawyer and layman alike can learn something useful. Alan Dershowitz thinks Mr. Trump’s lawyers should learn something, too. Legally speaking, he says, Mr. Flynn was “up for sale,” and his “credibility is worthless” since he has been credibly accused of perjury.

“I think the administration is not aggressive enough with [Mr.] Mueller,” Mr. Dershowitz told Laura Ingraham of Fox News last week. “They should be in court challenging what he has been doing. He is going far beyond any possible scope of his investigation.”

The president’s lawyers could be challenging subpoenas, and who are called as witnesses. An investigation, whether called for or not, should be done with a semblance of fairness or it will invite a generation of vipers to do their evil work. If Donald Trump is half as bad as the Democrats say he is, Robert Mueller does not need a railroad to get to where he’s trying to go.

• Wesley Pruden is editor in chief emeritus of The Times.

Trump’s Right — the FBI Is in Tatters

December 4, 2017

Trump’s Right — the FBI Is in Tatters, PJ MediaRoger L Simon, December 3, 2017

In a series of heavily criticized tweets (aren’t they always) Trump is asserting that the FBI’s reputation is in tatters.  Of course, he’s right.  This isn’t justice as it’s supposed to be, not even faintly. It’s Kafka meets Orwell in the Deep State.

Robert Mueller may not realize it, but the conclusion of his investigation, whatever it is, will never be accepted by a huge percentage of the public. As the French say, Mentir est honteux.  Lying is shameful.  Mike Flynn may have lied, but so, undoubtedly, has the FBI, multiple times, more than Flynn could ever dream of doing or be capable of doing.  And they’re the ones we’re supposed to trust in the end.

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What’re we supposed think when it’s revealed the man running the Hillary Clinton email server investigation (Peter Strzok) was a married Hillary supporter conducting an adulterous affair with a government lawyer, while dissing Donald Trump in his clandestine billet-doux text messages?

(Was he auditioning for Harvey Weinstein’s next movie, assuming Weinstein is ever allowed to make a movie again or even would make one that in any way besmirched his good friend Hillary?)

As an FBI agent, Strzok’s use of text messaging for such an enterprise was nothing short of moronic in this digital age, but nevertheless he was not fired but simply and quietly sent to FBI  “Siberia” last summer, his activities only miraculously coming to public attention last week.

Why the secrecy? Many reasons, probably yet to be determined, but it comes down to this: the FBI, like the Mafia, practices omertà.

They have a code of silence as Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch, who spends his life trying to pry information from our supposedly premier law enforcement agency, can tell you.  Ditto, now, the House Intelligence Committee, whose chairman Devin Nunes, as Byron York reports for the Washington Examiner, is apoplectic.

Word of the messages and the affair were news to Nunes, even though the committee had issued a subpoena that covered information about Strzok’s demotion more than three months ago. The committee’s broadly worded subpoena for information related to the so-called Trump dossier went to the FBI and DOJ on Aug. 24. In follow-up conversations on the scope of the subpoena, committee staff told the FBI and DOJ that it included information on the circumstances of Strzok’s reassignment.

On Oct. 11, Nunes met with deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein. In that meeting, Nunes specifically discussed the committee’s request for information about Strzok.

In an Oct. 31 committee staff meeting with the FBI, bureau officials refused a request for information about Strzok.

On Nov. 20, the committee again requested an interview with Strzok. (Three days earlier, on November 17, Strzok met with the Senate Intelligence Committee.)

On Nov. 29, Nunes again spoke to Rosenstein, and again discussed Strzok.

On Dec. 1, the committee again requested to speak with Strzok.

Obviously nothing has been forthcoming until now.  But speaking of FBI stonewalling, there’s this new revelation from Fitton, concerning the “happenstance” meeting between Bill Clinton and then AG Loretta Lynch at the Phoenix airport.  The “accidental” encounter supposedly resulted in some chit-chat about grandchildren, but only a few days later then FBI director Comey announced he wouldn’t recommend prosecution of Hillary Clinton:

Because of the revelation in our other lawsuit, the FBI – without our knowledge—”reopened” our [July 7, 2016] FOIA request. The agency supposedly found about 30 pages of information, which it needed six weeks to review. The FBI finally gave them to us late Thursday.

Now we know why the FBI played shell games. The documents show that FBI officials were concerned solely about the leaking of details of the tarmac meeting. None of the documents show top agency officials cared one whit about the propriety of the meeting itself, but only about who blew the whistle on the covert tête-à-tête.

In one email, an FBI official writes “we need to find that guy.” And in another we learn that the Phoenix FBI office was contacted “in an attempt to stem any further damage.” An FBI official working on Lynch’s security detail even goes so far as to suggest non-disclosure agreements to keep the full facts from coming forth.

No wonder the FBI didn’t turn these documents over until we caught it red-handed, hiding and lying about them.

Simply put, the FBI appears to be fully complicit in a cover-up that attempted to influence a presidential election for a favored candidate – Hillary Clinton. And the truth was trampled on a Phoenix tarmac.

Sense a pattern here, Watson?

The FBI seems suddenly concerned with leakers when it affects them. Well, that’s only a part of the story — but a significant part.  Like most bureaucratic organizations, whether in law enforcement or not, as they grow self-preservation increasingly becomes the dominant motivation.  In the case of the FBI, it’s self-preservation leavened with a significant dollop of political bias, conscious and unconscious.

In the case of Strzok, the bias was clearly a bit too conscious for his own good, but who could doubt, given the dramatis personae of Mueller’s investigation, that many of his cohorts share the same views but have the horse sense to leave them out of their text messages.? (Apropos Strzok, it’s interesting he wasn’t fired.  Was it because they feared he would go rogue?)

In a series of heavily criticized tweets (aren’t they always) Trump is asserting that the FBI’s reputation is in tatters.  Of course, he’s right.  This isn’t justice as it’s supposed to be, not even faintly. It’s Kafka meets Orwell in the Deep State.

Robert Mueller may not realize it, but the conclusion of his investigation, whatever it is, will never be accepted by a huge percentage of the public. As the French say, Mentir est honteux.  Lying is shameful.  Mike Flynn may have lied, but so, undoubtedly, has the FBI, multiple times, more than Flynn could ever dream of doing or be capable of doing.  And they’re the ones we’re supposed to trust in the end.

Nunes blows up, threatens contempt after FBI stonewalls House on Russia investigator demoted for anti-Trump bias

December 3, 2017

OPINION: Nunes blows up, threatens contempt after FBI stonewalls House on Russia investigator demoted for anti-Trump bias, Washington ExaminerByron York, December 2, 2017

(Please see also, FBI Stonewalls Corruption Probe, which opens with this sentence:

The Obama administration corrupted everything it touched, including the FBI. A scandal is brewing, and the FBI, predictably, is responding with the Obama playbook: it is stonewalling. Byron York has the story:

— DM)

Stories in both the Washington Post and New York Times on Saturday reported that Peter Strzok, who played a key role in the original FBI investigation into the Trump-Russia matter, and then a key role in Mueller’s investigation, and who earlier had played an equally critical role in the FBI’s Hillary Clinton email investigation, was reassigned out of the Mueller office because of anti-Trump texts he exchanged with a top FBI lawyer, Lisa Page, with whom Strzok was having an extramarital affair. Strzok was transferred to the FBI’s human resources office — an obvious demotion — in July.

The Post reported that Strzok and Page exchanged text messages that “expressed anti-Trump sentiments and other comments that appeared to favor Clinton.”

Word of the messages and the affair were news to Nunes, even though the committee had issued a subpoena that covered information about Strzok’s demotion more than three months ago. The committee’s broadly worded subpoena for information related to the so-called Trump dossier went to the FBI and DOJ on Aug. 24. In follow-up conversations on the scope of the subpoena, committee staff told the FBI and DOJ that it included information on the circumstances of Strzok’s reassignment.

On Oct. 11, Nunes met with deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein. In that meeting, Nunes specifically discussed the committee’s request for information about Strzok.

In an Oct. 31 committee staff meeting with the FBI, bureau officials refused a request for information about Strzok.

On Nov. 20, the committee again requested an interview with Strzok. (Three days earlier, on November 17, Strzok met with the Senate Intelligence Committee.)

On Nov. 29, Nunes again spoke to Rosenstein, and again discussed Strzok.

On Dec. 1, the committee again requested to speak with Strzok.

After each occasion, the FBI and DOJ did nothing. Now, in what appears to be an orchestrated leak, both the Post and Times published the reason for Strzok’s demotion, along with concerns that the revelation might help President Trump. “Among federal law enforcement officials, there is great concern that exposure of the texts they exchanged may be used by the president and his defenders to attack the credibility of the Mueller probe and the FBI more broadly,” the Post reported. The Times reported that “the existence of the text messages is likely to fuel claims by Mr. Trump that he is the target of a witch hunt.”

Well, yes. It will be of concern to Trump’s defenders, and to defenders of fair investigations generally, that such an important figure in both the Clinton and Trump probes privately expressed bias. It will be important for investigators — and the public — to see Strzok’s and Page’s texts to assess the extent of the problem. But in any event, Nunes is extremely unhappy — not only with the revelation of bias but with the FBI’s resistance.

“By hiding from Congress, and from the American people, documented political bias by a key FBI head investigator for both the Russia collusion probe and the Clinton email investigation, the FBI and DOJ engaged in a willful attempt to thwart Congress’ constitutional oversight responsibility,” Nunes said in a statement Saturday afternoon. “This is part of a months-long pattern by the DOJ and FBI of stonewalling and obstructing this committee’s oversight work, particularly oversight of their use of the Steele dossier. At this point, these agencies should be investigating themselves.”

To add insult to injury, at just the moment the leaked stories appeared, the Justice Department out of the blue notified Nunes that it would meet some of the committee’s demands for information that it had been refusing for months. That didn’t make the chairman happy, either.

“The DOJ has now expressed — on a Saturday, just hours after the press reports on Strzok’s dismissal appeared — a sudden willingness to comply with some of the committee’s long-standing demands,” Nunes said in the statement. “This attempted 11th-hour accommodation is neither credible nor believable, and in fact is yet another example of the DOJ’s disingenuousness and obstruction.”

As a result, Nunes said he has instructed committee staff to draw up a contempt of Congress citation for Rosenstein and for FBI Director Christopher Wray. The chairman promised to take action on the citation before the end of December unless the FBI and DOJ meet all the committee’s outstanding demands.

Obviously Nunes is angry that he did not know about the real reasons for Strzok’s demotion. And he is equally angry with the FBI’s and DOJ’s treatment of the committee. Contempt of Congress is a big move for lawmakers to take, especially against an agency controlled by the same party as leaders of the House. But remember, House Speaker Paul Ryan has already said the FBI and DOJ “stonewalled” the House, and he demanded that it comply immediately. That was five weeks ago. Now, after this latest episode, it seems likely that leaders in Congress are becoming increasingly frustrated with what they see as the FBI and DOJ jerking lawmakers around. At some point, they will act.

 

Charge Against Flynn is More Evidence that Mueller Has Nothing

December 2, 2017

Charge Against Flynn is More Evidence that Mueller Has Nothing, Power LineJohn Hinderaker, December 1, 2017

News media are breathlessly reporting that Gen. Michael Flynn has agreed to plead guilty to lying to the FBI. You can read the Statement of the Offense here. The false statements alleged by the government seem rather pathetic: 1) Flynn falsely told an FBI agent that he didn’t ask the Russian ambassador to “refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions” the U.S. had just imposed, and 2) that he didn’t recall the ambassador subsequently telling him that the Russians had moderated their response per his request; 3) Flynn falsely said that he didn’t ask the Russian ambassador to delay or defeat a pending U.N. Security Council resolution, and 4) that the ambassador never subsequently described his country’s response to that request. (Flynn tried, unsuccessfully, to convince several members of the Security Council, including Russia, not to proceed with an anti-Israel resolution. This is to his, and President Trump’s, credit.)

That’s it, after a year of huffing and puffing. Nothing about the election, nothing about the long-awaited “collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia. I have no idea why Flynn apparently lied to an FBI agent, assuming that he did. But the communications described in the information are exactly the sorts of contacts that a national security advisor to an incoming president should be having with foreign powers.

In short, the allegations against Flynn suggest that Robert Mueller has nothing significant against President Trump or other members of his administration.

The press, of course, is gleeful. ABC‘s headline blares, “Flynn Prepared To Testify Against Trump, Trump Family, White House Staff.” Really? Testify to what?

ABC’s Brian Ross reports: Michael Flynn promised “full cooperation to the Mueller team” and is prepared to testify that as a candidate, Donald Trump “directed him to make contact with the Russians.”

But of course, there is nothing wrong with directing Flynn to make contact with the Russians. ABC says this is contrary to statements that Trump has made, but I don’t know whether that is true or not. It would require considerable research into Trump’s many statements to discern whether he has said that he never directed Flynn to contact any Russian on any subject.

In any event, what is the point? Contacting foreign governments was part of Flynn’s job, and directing Flynn to contact foreign governments was part of Trump’s job.

Andy McCarthy sees the Flynn plea the same way that I do:

Obviously, it was wrong of Flynn to give the FBI false information; he could, after all, have simply refused to speak with the agents in the first place. That said, as I argued early this year, it remains unclear why the Obama Justice Department chose to investigate Flynn. There was nothing wrong with the incoming national-security adviser’s having meetings with foreign counterparts or discussing such matters as the sanctions in those meetings. Plus, if the FBI had FISA recordings of Flynn’s conversations with Kislyak, there was no need to ask Flynn what the conversations entailed. Flynn, an early backer of Donald Trump and a fierce critic of Obama’s national-security policies, was generally despised by Obama administration officials. Hence, there has always been cynical suspicion that the decision to interview him was driven by the expectation that he would provide the FBI with an account inconsistent with the recorded conversation — i.e., that Flynn was being set up for prosecution on a process crime.

In the information filed against Flynn, what is most important is what is not there–the dog that isn’t barking:

[W]hen a prosecutor has a cooperator who was an accomplice in a major criminal scheme, the cooperator is made to plead guilty to the scheme. This is critical because it proves the existence of the scheme. In his guilty-plea allocution (the part of a plea proceeding in which the defendant admits what he did that makes him guilty), the accomplice explains the scheme and the actions taken by himself and his co-conspirators to carry it out. This goes a long way toward proving the case against all of the subjects of the investigation. That is not happening in Flynn’s situation. Instead, like Papadopoulos, he is being permitted to plead guilty to a mere process crime. A breaking report from ABC News indicates that Flynn is prepared to testify that Trump directed him to make contact with the Russians — initially to lay the groundwork for mutual efforts against ISIS in Syria. That, however, is exactly the sort of thing the incoming national-security adviser is supposed to do in a transition phase between administrations. If it were part of the basis for a “collusion” case arising out of Russia’s election meddling, then Flynn would not be pleading guilty to a process crime — he’d be pleading guilty to an espionage conspiracy.

I suppose it is still possible that Mueller could surprise us, but General Flynn was supposed to be the key witness, and he apparently has little or nothing to say that is newsworthy.

Moves by Michael Flynn’s legal team suggest he may be cooperating with special prosecutor: Report

November 24, 2017

Moves by Michael Flynn’s legal team suggest he may be cooperating with special prosecutor: Report, Washington Times, November 23, 2017

(Please see also, Special Counsel Mueller Probing Kushner’s Role in Blocking Obama’s Betrayal of Israel at UNSC (not satire) and Humor | Turkey pardoned by Trump had multiple contacts with Russian officials. — DM)

In this Feb. 1, 2017, file photo, then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn speaks during the daily news briefing at the White House, in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

The Times cautioned that the termination of information-sharing isn’t proof that Mr. Flynn either has cut a plea deal with prosecutors or is trying to do so — and presumably cooperating with them as a condition of the deal.

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The legal team of former national security adviser Michael Flynn is reportedly no longer sharing information with attorneys for President Trump, a move that commonly happens when an investigation target starts cooperating with prosecutors.

In its report Thursday, The New York Times cited “four people involved in the case” as saying that Mr. Flynn’s attorneys had “notified the president’s legal team in recent days that they could no longer discuss” the investigation of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller.

Mr. Mueller is probing the Trump team’s ties to Russian officials and its possible involvement in Kremlin efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Mr. Flynn, who resigned the NSC chief post just a couple months into Mr. Trump’s administration, is widely as the most legally vulnerable Trump insider.

The Times cautioned that the termination of information-sharing isn’t proof that Mr. Flynn either has cut a plea deal with prosecutors or is trying to do so — and presumably cooperating with them as a condition of the deal.

“Defense lawyers frequently share information during investigations, but they must stop when doing so would pose a conflict of interest. It is unethical for lawyers to work together when one client is cooperating with prosecutors and another is still under investigation,” wrote reporters Michael S. Schmidt, Matt Apuzzo and Maggie Haberman.

The Times had no official comment from either the Trump or Flynn legal teams.