December 3, 2017

"[W]hy did Flynn lie? People who lie to the FBI generally do so because, if they told the truth, they would be admitting to a crime."

"But the two conversations that Flynn falsely denied having were not criminal. He may have believed they were criminal but, if he did, he was wrong," writes Alan Dershowitz, who explains why the things lied about were not criminal. I understand that.

But I don't think Dershowitz explains why Flynn lied. Maybe Flynn didn't understand that the things he denied were not criminal, or maybe he didn't want to have to fight for the proposition that these things were not criminal. It seemed like the easier path (when he didn't know he'd been wiretapped). Or maybe Flynn wanted to deflect political damage, since anything having to do with the Russians would be exploited as reinforcing arguments that Trump's victory was illegitimate.

Dershowitz jumps to the question why did Mueller only charge Flynn with lying. The idea seems to be that's all Mueller has: a crime unrelated to any "possible crimes committed by current White House incumbents."

ADDED: I thought I'd try watching the Sunday morning talk shows, and the first thing I saw, as I clicked on one of my 5 recordings, was "FLYNN FLIPS." But Flynn got charged with something that is really a crime and he chose to plead guilty. How is that "flipping"? I appreciate the poetry of the double "FL," but you don't know that he's "flipped" unless you know that the guilty plea involved some sort of bargain to testify or gather more evidence against somebody else. But if there's no crime that he's lied about — and he wasn't charged with any crime other than lying — then what's the "flip"? It's a garbage headline. Embarrassing. They're showing that they're slavering over imagined crimes. That's not journalism.

207 comments:

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Quaestor said...

The best policy when asked anything by any federali, including questions like "Is it raining?", is to reply "Go fuck yourself, cursed enemy of the People!"

YoungHegelian said...

I'm not a lawyer, & I don't play one on TV, but Flynn pleading guilty to a "minor" charge may have been the FBI inquiries equivalent of a plea bargain. You plead guilty to some minor charge, & we, the FBI, say we have our scalp & it wasn't all a total waste of the tax payers money, & we stop an investigation which costs you much money & devours your life.

All too often the legal process is the punishment.

Hagar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Earnest Prole said...

What person talks to Russia's top spymaster in America and doesn't think that the conversation will be spied on by America's intelligence services? For that alone Flynn deserves to be in jail -- it's the kind of ignorance and incompetence that gets Americans killed.

Owen said...

Nothingburger. A huge budget and a squad of eager beavers and we get this? I think Dershowitz is a lot more right than wrong. Flynn was hardly ill-advised (un-advised? Non-advised? Advice-less?) when he took this deal. It may be evidence of a larger strategy by The Donald to channel the hostile thrust into what seems like a weak flank and proves to be...air.

Hagar said...

Or because he figured anything he told the FBI, the world could read all about it in the next days WaPo and NYT?
And then the roof falls in with the MSM jumping on Trump reversing Obama's policies before he is even in office.
So he stuck loyal to the Trump team and hoped for the best.

Owen said...

Nothingburger. A huge budget and a squad of eager beavers and we get this? I think Dershowitz is a lot more right than wrong. Flynn was hardly ill-advised (un-advised? Non-advised? Advice-less?) when he took this deal. It may be evidence of a larger strategy by The Donald to channel the hostile thrust into what seems like a weak flank and proves to be...air.

BamaBadgOR said...

Maybe Flynn admitted to lying, even though he did not believe he had done so, to avoid being convicted of the other/worse crimes referenced in the Information. Maybe Mueller was agreeable because he has found no underlying crime but Flynn's lying plea supports Mueller's goal of finding obstruction of justice by the Trump administration. And maybe Flynn will implicate others on the transition team who tried to hide what was legal believing it might be illegal.

Per Dershowitz, should lying to the FBI be a crime in the absence of an underlying crime?

Owen said...

Sorry for double-post, channel was jammed? So much activity!

Kevin said...

Dershowitz jumps to the question why did Mueller only charge Flynn with lying. The idea seems to be that's all Mueller has: a crime unrelated to any "possible crimes committed by current White House incumbents."

I think that's how the pro-Trump crowd read it this week, while the anti-trumpets believed some version of "the FBI just looked past Flynn's other criminal acts and charged him with something minor".

I'm not in the business, but I don't think you can just do that. If three people are in a room and kill someone, you don't let one of them off. You have them plead guilty to the crime but get a reduced sentence.

It's how you ensure they talk. If Flynn doesn't cooperate, he gets the full punishment for lying to the FBI, but not for this other - much more dangerous - crime he committed? He just escapes justice for the greater crime by appearing to go along and then reneging on the deal?

I don't think so. And I believe that's why Trump Tweeted what he did in response.

gbarto said...

You should never talk to the FBI without a lawyer present that you've had a chance to talk with before. And once you're talking, any question that surprises you should be greeted with, "I'm not sure I understand. I need to talk to my counsel before I answer that." Finally, when in doubt, Fifth Amendment rights should be invoked. These bullshit games will go on until the FBI is made to understand that playing them keeps them in the dark instead of giving them added leverage.

Now I Know! said...

As we all can see, Trump is incredible reckless in his dealings in public. One has to believe that he is even more reckless in his private dealings. None of us know what the Special Council is focusing on right now, but there is every reason to bet that he will uncover it.

Inga said...

What’s more embarrassing is imagining there are no more crimes to uncover. Flynn lied because there is a lot more to his and Trump’s Russia interactions than what Flynn lied about it these two instances. There are far more legal and political experts (than a blogger here or there) who are quite sure that the other shoes have yet to drop. To insist that this is all there is, is simply wishcasting.

Francisco D said...

It's a good thing that Trump fired this idiot very early on.

Now I Know! said...

I also find it hard to believe he did not have a lawyer with him. Occam’s razor tells you that he lied anyways because he had something bigger to cover up.

Sebastian said...

"(when he didn't know he'd been wiretapped)" But, as a former intelligence official, he had to at least consider the possibility.

"It's a garbage headline. Embarrassing. They're showing that they're slavering over imagined crimes. That's not journalism." That is American journalism. Has been for decades.

Question for the legal experts around here: how can someone be charged with obstruction of justice when there was no justice to be obstructed?

Slightly different question from Bama's good one: "should lying to the FBI be a crime in the absence of an underlying crime?"

YoungHegelian said...

In a related article, just how fucked up is a special investigation staff & management when staffers have to be removed for openly expressed prejudicial attitudes towards the possible subjects of the investigations?

It's really to the point now where I doubt that our leadership knows how to whipe their own asses anymore. This shit is just really so unprofessional.

Quaestor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
YoungHegelian said...

Is "whipe" a portmanteau of "whip" & "wipe"? Both fit, I guess...

Earnest Prole said...

Sorry for double-post, channel was jammed? So much activity!

So go back and delete one.

Inga said...

“What person talks to Russia's top spymaster in America and doesn't think that the conversation will be spied on by America's intelligence services? For that alone Flynn deserves to be in jail -- it's the kind of ignorance and incompetence that gets Americans killed.”

It could also be sheer arrogance. Flynn thought Trump could direct the DOJ to do his bidding should anything be made of it. Trump fired Comey for not letting Flynn go. Trump called numerous Senators nd Congressmen to get them to dump the investigations. Trump went ballistic when Sessions recused himself because he knew then that it would be out of his control.

Unknown said...

Does this makes sense: he lied to Mike Pence and possibly others in the administration - perhaps to preserve plausible deniability on their parts because he thought he had done something wrong - then when the FBI came calling he had to maintain the lie? The timeline seems to work.

Never should have talked to the FBI in the first place, because as any good lawyer will tell you: don't talk to cops.

-sw

YoungHegelian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
buwaya said...

It is journalism of course.
Journalism is inextricably linked with propaganda. The two are hitched together as a team, and have been since ancient times. The rather new pseudo-academic US idea of impartial journalism was either a fantasy or a lie.
Mostly a lie, to grant unearned status and a perception of virtue to monopolized mass media systems.
These people are the public faces of a propaganda system.

Jim at said...

is simply wishcasting.

That was actually written by Bullshit Inga.
Without even the slightest hint of irony or self-awareness.

YoungHegelian said...

@Inga,

Flynn lied because there is a lot more to his and Trump’s Russia interactions than what Flynn lied about it these two instances. There are far more legal and political experts (than a blogger here or there) who are quite sure that the other shoes have yet to drop. To insist that this is all there is, is simply wishcasting.

Please explain why any American citizen doesn't have the 1st A right to speak to anyone, including foreign nationals about anything he wishes to speak about? Are we at war with Russia? Is there proof that the person who spoke to the foreign national revealed restricted information? If so, produce it.

I know this may surprise some folks on the Left who seem oblivious to the bureaucratic nature of modern nation states, but there are continuous bi-lateral communications at all levels of government & non-governmental agencies with national bureaucracies. It's how shit gets done. The big guys talk shit over & then the little guys do the details.

For example, at every political convention, various American NGOs host foreign groups who come to see American democracy in action. One of my client hosts at least one Chinese delegation to every presidential convention.

The US government doesn't do this because we're sweethearts. We do it because those back-channels profit us more in the long term than they do our often more authoritarian rivals.

EDH said...

Maybe Flynn copped to lying -- whether he lied or not -- in order to extricate himself and his son from other matters like Turkey, etc?

Maybe Mueller made the offer because the worm has turned and Mueller doesn't want to provoke an investigation into his own misfeasance at the FBI as it relates to Uranium One and Comey as it relates to the Tarmac meeting, etc.

Why did Mueller just jettison Agent Strzok to FBI Hell (aka personnel)?

"Personnel is for assholes."

WHOA: Mueller’s Top FBI Investigator On Trump-Russia Case Just Quit
There has been no public explanation as to why Peter Strzok, one of the former chiefs of the counterespionage section of the FBI, left the job; he was working with roughly two dozen other members of Mueller’s team to handle the investigation. Strzok is now working in the FBI's human resources division.

Mark said...

This much is clear -- No crime had been committed at the time that Flynn was questioned. The government had no justification to question him -- no compelling evidence, no probable cause, no reasonable suspicion.

Even now, all we have is a prosecution in search of a crime. An unelected, unrestrained, autocratic prosecution accountable to no one. Supreme power. No checks, no balances. No authority or Senate oversight/confirmation for the appointment.

The whole thing stinks of tyranny and unconstitutionality.

Kevin said...

What’s more embarrassing is imagining there are no more crimes to uncover.

Within the FBI or outside of it?

cronus titan said...

Why did he lie? Building on what @Owen said, Flynn could credibly say that he was between a rock and a hard place. There was grave and legitimate concern that the FBI was leaking national security information to hurt the President. It happened throughout the campaign and transition. Comey testified that he leaked protected information, and boasted of his deviousness at leaking strategically. So Flynn either told the FBI that he could not remember specific highly sensitive national security conversations, or ran the risk of having anything he told the FBI published in the New York Times to maximize damage to the US and President. He chose to protect the country instead of himself.

Mark said...

This was a "crime" manufactured by the prosecution, akin to entrapment.

wildswan said...

Mueller lets Uranium One go through. Comey lets Hillary leave national security items exposed. Flynn does nothing. Threaten Flynn's family. Bankrupt him. Call him a traitor. Robert Bork and many more. Why Trump won.

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

An American citizen is constitutionally guaranteed a right to free speech. So, the conversation in question is not on its face illegal, and there have been no revelations about dispersal of classified or otherwise sensitive information that would deny or restrict his First Amendment right. In fact, it may have been part of a diplomatic process that introduces a new administration to foreign relations.

So, this is what we know. The mainstream press colluded with the DNC to influence the election. The DNC colluded with foreign and domestic intelligence assets, and at least one sovereign (Kiev), to influence the election. The Obama administration wiretapped and spied upon a presidential candidate and staff. The administration abused security services and exploited bureaucracies (e.g. IRS) in order to deny civil rights and suppress the speech of their competing interests, including but not limited to the diversity racket labeling and marginalizing American citizens.

cronus titan said...

Just to build on the theory a bit more, we also know that the lead FBI agent and senior FBI lawyers were Democratic Party partisans, elevating the risk of FBI leaking sensitive national security information. It was more important to at least some personnel in the FBI to hurt the President-elect and the President than to protect the country.

BDNYC said...

Althouse, the speculation is just that, speculation. But the idea that Flynn is cooperating in exchange for lenient treatment is entirely plausible. If some of the news reports are true, particularly with regard to his dealings with Turkey, Flynn had some serious criminal exposure to worry about. Or perhaps all the stuff about kidnapping Gulen for $15 million is untrue. I doubt Mueller would agree to such a generous deal if there was any real evidence of that, even if Flynn promised the implicate Trump.

That said, it is strange that Flynn falsely denied having certain conversations when he, a former high-ranking intelligence official, had to know his conversations with the Russian ambassador were being recorded. It doesn’t make sense. If he was that foolish, he had no business being in a position of responsibility.

I believe Flynn had some exposure due to FARA etc., but nothing so extreme as some speculate, and Mueller allowed him to plead guilty to lying to the FBI in exchange for answering questions relevant to the investigation. I don’t expect his cooperation to result in anything dramatic, but who knows. Thanks to Brian Ross, Trump & Co. have gone on the record against the claim that Trump directed Flynn to contact the Russians during the campaign. To me that indicates Flynn is definitely not making any such claim to Mueller. Can Mueller prove otherwise?

Kevin said...

For that alone Flynn deserves to be in jail -- it's the kind of ignorance and incompetence that gets Americans killed.

You'd think if so many statutes were violated we wouldn't have to resort to making up reasons on our own.

Be careful of criminalizing ignorance and incompetence. Our political class certainly can not survive it, and our betters in media and entertainment industries are being exposed by the hour.

Healthcare websites that don't work, red lines drawn without consequences, the invasion of Libya, Benghazi, and Hillary's bathroom server containing classified information all point out that Hillary and Obama couldn't have survived a single term without being imprisoned were that the standard.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

@ Inga - Dershowitz is a blogger? Cool. Can you point me to his site?

Popehat over at NRO: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/448755/trump-investigation-shows-how-easy-it-feds-create-crimes

Inga said...

“It was more important to at least some personnel in the FBI to hurt the President-elect and the President than to protect the country.”

Maybe it was more important to the FBI to protect the country from this President.

Inga said...

” - Dershowitz is a blogger? Cool. Can you point me to his site?”

I was referring to Althouse, not Dershowitz.

grackle said...

It looks to me like Mueller’s strategy is to indict as many Scooter Libbys as possible, with as much effect on the current POTUS as Libby’s did on the Bush administration – which for the folks with short memories resulted in exactly nothing. It’s what you do if you are a anti-Trump hitman who gradually realizes that his real target can’t be touched: Shoot a few underlings to prove he deserves the client’s fee.

As a Trump supporter I love it when the anti-Trump folks get worked up over nothing . It’s fun to watch scenes like this and imagine the disappointment they suffer when they find out later that it was a fake news nothing-burger that caused their orgasms.

It must be like finding out your fiancé has a 2-inch dick.

Now I Know! said...

If Flynn thought that what he was being questioned about was a potential crime then he should have consulted his lawyer and/or taken the 5th. He must have felt compelled to lie for a much bigger reason.

Mueller is methodically arranging his case. As I stated above, it is totally reasonable to speculate that Trump is ten times more reckless in private than he has already demonstrated to be in public. That is a whole lot of recklessness.

I think Pence and others in the Republican Establishment are working with Mueller (a Republican) to remove Trump.

Michael K said...

I quickly scroll by the usual lefties but this has a possibility I hadn't thought of.

Maybe Flynn copped to lying -- whether he lied or not -- in order to extricate himself and his son from other matters like Turkey, etc?

I hadn't though of that.

I have assumed that he did not think the FBI had the right to know (It's described as "Need to know" in the business) about the content of the calls. The problem here is that he should have known he had been recorded and unmasked by the Obama NSA rule changes.

I can't explain the lie to Pence except as forgetting. The other possibility is that this was part of the Obama plot to harm Trump by leaks.

I think the same thing happened. The calls were recorded and unmasked and Pence was embarrassed. You don't embarrass the #2 guy.

The whole Russian thing is a post election campaign to delegitimate the Trump election by suggesting the Russians elected him by manipulation of the election. This is based on the pre-election "Dossier" campaign by Hillary which didn't work.

Flynn should have been smarter than this.

No sensible person should believe this but we see evidence that plenty of dopes do believe it right here,


n.n said...

So, ends another witch hunt. The baby hunt, however, persists in the fourth trimester. He's viable. Abortion is not a Choice.

Ray said...

Flynn I read is going to sell his house due to lawyer fees...

That was probably part of the reason / pressure that resulted in the deal.

And by labeling him as a liar, it reduces his worth.

Michael K said...

"Flynn I read is going to sell his house due to lawyer fees..."

Yes, the left is very good at lawfare. The process is the punishment.

YoungHegelian said...

@NIK,

As I stated above, it is totally reasonable to speculate that Trump is ten times more reckless in private than he has already demonstrated to be in public. I think Pence and others in the Republican Establishment are working with Mueller (a Republican) to remove Trump.

Both statements are assertions way beyond any evidence now present. Perhaps true. Perhaps not.

That you seem so certain of these assertions says more about you than it does about the failings of Trump or his administration.

Owen said...

Earnest Prole: thanks for your very useful advice, which advances the dialogue immensely.

Personally, on Flynn, I hope he is part of a Trumpian plot to demonstrate before the enemy and lure him onto death ground. "N.n." summarizes my views very well.

Khesanh 0802 said...

I must admit, Ann, that your ability to still expect "journalism" from the hacks in the msm is a real testament to your optimism. I had just read the Dershowitz article when I came here. It would appear that we are paying an awful lot of "money for nothing" with Mueller.

Flynn clearly has some character flaws that should have prevented him from attaining the high stations that he has failed in. The parallel drawn to Petraeus is an excellent one.

Freeman Hunt said...

I take a dim view of lying charges being pressed in investigations that turn up nothing, unless the lying seems to be the reason that nothing turns up.

MikeR said...

"As I stated above, it is totally reasonable to speculate that Trump is ten times more reckless in private than he has already demonstrated to be in public." We are discussing a very particular recklessness: collusion with Russia. I have seen zero evidence of it and zero reason to think there was any. People seem to start by assuming it, then pushing their preconceived notions into everything that happens.

Chuck said...

Althouse you are misguided if not outright wrong in this post. Flynn did "flip." In a substantive legal/procedural way. Previously, Flynn and his lawyers had been part of a "common interest" agreement with other subjects in the investigation. Flynn's lawyers provided notification to counsel for those other subjects that they were exiting that agreement. That exit notice has ramifications for the attorney-client, work product and "common interest" privileges.

I'm not a criminal defense attorney, and haven't been a prosecutor. As I understand your CV, you haven't either. So I hope an experienced lawyer chimes in on this. But the Flynn "flip" is far more real and substantive than you allowed.

Drago said...

Hmmmm, whom to believe, LLR and dem/lefty operational ally Chuck or Dershowitz, Andy McCarthy, etc.?

You know, upon reflection and leaning heavily on LLR Chuck's prognostication "skills" in evidence to date, I think I'll go with the guys who clearly know what they are talking about....(hint: it ain't a certain "Bowe Bergdahl republican"...)

hstad said...

So Mueller strikes a deal with Flynn for lying? Why did Mueller go for a guilty plea, since that makes Flynn's testimony in court suspect - who believes a convicted liar? Why did Mueller not give Flynn "Immunity" from prosecution, if Flynn had something serious on higher ups? Sorry for all these questions. However, this appears to me to be a nothing burger action by Mueller. Moreover, all you Trump haters are in for serious disappointment if you believe Flynn's plea is part of a larger set of actions by Mueller in the future.

Jupiter said...

The question is why Flynn spoke to them at all.

In earlier times, there were separate courts, and separate laws, for the nobility, for soldiers, and for the clergy. The American founders kept the military courts, but abolished the separate courts for the nobility and the clergy, on the grounds that there were no nobility, and separate courts for the clergy is an establishment of religion.

But our modern nobles are busily returning us to the aristocratic era. It is a crime to lie to the Dukes of DC, and crimes against them are treated more seriously than crimes against the peasantry.

Inga said...

“Fox News judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano was less circumspect, characterizing Flynn’s plea as “a nightmare for Donald Trump” and “probably the tip of a prosecutorial iceberg.”

However, Napolitano also told “Shepard Smith Reporting” that if Trump told Flynn to reach out to Russian officials after his election last year, that may not be an impeachable offense, though “they surely are in the category of offenses that are impeachable.”

“Beyond this, the president of the United States has steadfastly, repeatedly and consistently denied that he had any knowledge of any involvement with the Russians, ” Napolitano added. “If Gen. Flynn contradicts that in a credible route under oath, we have a very serious problem on our hands.””

buwaya said...

The effect of the Flynn thing on the markets is interesting.
When it momentarily seemed that this was a genuine threat it wiped out a weeks gains.

The economy likes Trump. In some ways this is a psychological thing. Asians would see it in a rather supernatural sense. Trump is *lucky*, a totem of good fortune, to use the current favored Althouse term, he is an image of a Chinese god of prosperity (Choy Sun), a laughing Buddha, a Chinese (or Japanese) lucky cat (they are everywhere here in SF).

I suspect if he goes back to orange hair there would be punters willing to pay good money to rub his head.

cronus titan said...

Chuck is wrong, though I admire his hopefulness. Flynn pled guilty to lying about matters not illegal, and it is questionable that the charge would have held up if he went to trial. Flynn had exposure on other business matters, like the Turkey fiasco, and Mueller not so subtly threatened to go after his son. IT is probably in Flynn's best interest to make this go away.

Flynn cannot be useful when he has been fired and convicted for lying. Maybe has some records of shady business dealings but his testimony is worthless.

Michael K said...

Flynn did "flip." In a substantive legal/procedural way. Previously, Flynn and his lawyers had been part of a "common interest" agreement with other subjects in the investigation.

Chuck, I'm thankful not to be in Michigan so there is no chance I would ever stumble into your law firm

He "flipped" and nothing happened except they pauperized him.

rhhardin said...

I'd get him on adultery, envy or sloth.

Jupiter said...

And we still don't really know what exactly Flynn said. It is not necessary to lie to the FBI to be charged with and convicted of lying to the FBI. It is only necessary for some FBI agents to be willing to tell a jury that you lied, and for the jury to believe them. Ask Scooter Libby. Ask Martha Stewart. And when you find yourself selling your house to pay your lawyers to defend you against a pack of scum who lie with impunity and get paid to do it, and they are threatening your family, it probably seems only prudent to plead guilty.

Michael K said...

"The economy likes Trump. In some ways this is a psychological thing. "

After Obama this must look like spring.

Inga said...

“Remember: the story isn’t _that_ Michael Flynn is pleading guilty.

It’s what he’s dedicating Mueller in exchange for such a minor charge( and modest potential sentence ).

And we may not know the answer to that for some time, but I have to think it’s substantial…”

— Steve Vladeck (@ steve_vladeck) December 1, 2017


Stephen Vladeck is Professor of Law at the University of Texas School of Law., where he specializes in national security law, especially with relation to the prosecution of war crimes. Wikipedia

rhhardin said...

"Chinese god of prosperity (Choy Sun)"

Chinese god of gluttony (Chop Suey)

Michael said...

Inga wrote: "Maybe it was more important to the FBI to protect the country from this President."

And here lies the thinking of the left. Swaddled in some stupid Hollywood paranoid movie without a thought to the criminality.

It is not up to the FBI to decide

Inga said...

“It's unclear who that would be, but most likely "someone at the center — or close to the center — of this criminal enterprise," Jens David Ohlin, a professor at Cornell Law School, told Business Insider, adding that the fact Flynn was "charged with and is pleading guilty to such a minor crime suggests a bombshell of a deal with prosecutors."

Jupiter said...

Patience, Inga. It is not necessary to convince all us right-wing loonies that SMOD* is about to land on the White House, destroying the President and all his works. It is only necessary that SMOD actually do so. And you seem fairly certain of that. So, no need to quote all these famous astrologers you read. Patience.

*Sweet Meteor Of Death, for those who don't frequent Ace of Spades.

Inga said...

"This indicates that there is significant cooperation against much bigger targets," Jed Shugerman, a Fordham University law professor, told Business Insider. "And you can speculate over who those targets are, but someone like Mueller is not just going to take a Flynn plea deal to cooperate laterally. This deal is narrowed to such a minor charge that it is clear it is in return for very significant cooperation against a much larger figure."

He added that the plea deal was evidence that Flynn's cooperation had already been secured.

Though more information related to Flynn could be forthcoming, Shugerman said Mueller may also decide to "keep his cards close to his chest" while he is still interviewing people such as Kushner or Trump Jr.

"Mueller does better by not releasing too much information now that Flynn has given it to him because it allows him to use that information strategically as he's interviewing other witnesses," he said.”

Inga said...

“William Yeomans, a former deputy assistant attorney general who spent 26 years at the Justice Department, said Flynn's guilty plea "is likely big trouble for several members of the Trump administration."

"Clearly, others knew about — and may have helped coordinate— the communication with the Russian ambassador, but Trump officials have uniformly denied such contacts and knowledge of them," Yeomans said in an email.

"This development thoroughly undermines Trump’s unrealistic predictions that the investigation will end soon...it appears likely that many more shoes will drop before Mueller is done. And it is particularly ominous for others that Flynn appears to have gotten a generous deal and appears still to be cooperating."”

Inga said...

“Brandon Garrett, law professor, University of Virginia
An early guilty plea is a strong signal that Flynn negotiated with prosecutors and is cooperating. When there is a sentencing hearing, we will see whether Flynn receives credit for cooperating with prosecutors.

Another point worth noting is that a plea deal would only have been offered once there was real cooperation. Flynn must have already provided valuable cooperation in the investigation if a plea is being finalized.”

Michael said...

Chuck

I am not a lawyer but once a client agrees to cooperate with prosecution it is unethical to maintain a sharing relationship with another party who is conceivably involved. You should know that does not constitute a "flip."

Inga said...

“Christopher Slobogin, law professor, Vanderbilt University
If the government has agreed not to prosecute Flynn on the much more serious charges his alleged connections with Russia could have triggered, then it’s probably getting something very significant in return. That something is probably evidence against someone higher up the food chain, and at this point, there aren’t too many links left in that chain.”

Inga said...

“Andy Wright, law professor, Savannah Law School
We can infer Flynn’s cooperation by what is not charged. We know from public reports that Flynn has a ton of criminal exposure, and yet he’s pleading guilty to a relatively minor crime. I’m confident Flynn is singing like a bird to Mueller.”

Inga said...

“Jessica Levinson, law professor, Loyola Law School
Michael Flynn’s plea deal all but ensures that he is working with special counsel Robert Mueller and providing prosecutors with information. This information very likely involves details that could help them continue their inquiry into whether the Trump campaign helped the Russian government interfere with the 2016 election and/or whether President Trump has attempted to obstruct justice by halting that inquiry.”

Inga said...

“Joshua Dressler, law professor, Ohio State University
Of course, the close proximity of the shutdown in communication between Flynn's lawyers and the White House and the announced guilty plea suggests he will turn on others in the White House in exchange for leniency in sentencing (and perhaps even in the charges brought against Flynn). The news today more or less confirms this.”

Inga said...

“Samuel Gross, law professor, University of Michigan
The prosecutors need inside evidence to continue to pursue their investigation against others connected in the Trump campaign, and possibly to indict other campaign insiders — who might in turn agree to plead guilty and provide more evidence. The odds-on bet is that Flynn has agreed to provide whatever information he has.”

Inga said...

“Miriam Baer, law professor, Brooklyn Law School
The plea deal is notable more for what it doesn’t say than what it actually does say. It tells us that Flynn’s December 2016 conversations with (then) Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak were not as Flynn previously described them to the FBI — and if one reads the filing carefully, it apparently tells us that Flynn did in fact discuss US sanctions (and Russia’s response to US sanctions) with Kislyak.

But the information still does not tell us exactly what Flynn said to Kislyak or what Kislyak actually conveyed to him. Nor does it tell us anything about the relationship between the two men or whether they had further contacts. Thus, it seems quite likely that if Flynn is cooperating, he will ultimately plead guilty to other crimes besides this single count.”

YoungHegelian said...

@Inga,

adding that the fact Flynn was "charged with and is pleading guilty to such a minor crime suggests a bombshell of a deal with prosecutors."

Or, that they've got nothing.

You keep doing this in arguments here, Inga. You keep posting quotations from "authorities" that back up your view rather than engaging in the debate with your own arguments against what's presented here.

So, ask this question: in the most lefty working environment in the country (academia), what's gonna happen to your career prospects if you, as a respected legal scholar, come out and say in public "oh, that independent counsel business with Trump is a big nothingburger. It's a waste of taxpayers' money, is what it is!".

I'll tell you what happens. You can kiss any chance of career advancement good-bye for the rest of your career. Tenured academics now get shitcanned for not using some psycho kids choice of gender pronoun. Coming to the aid of the Trump regime? You'd get off lighter in academia if you executed your own grandma on the quad!

Inga said...

“Lisa Kern Griffin, law professor, Duke University
The nature of the charges against Michael Flynn and his guilty plea confirm that he is cooperating with the Mueller investigation. To receive a cooperation deal of this sort, he needs to be providing information about higher-value targets than himself. We can only speculate about who those targets are, but news reports indicate that Flynn’s testimony could implicate other members of the administration, including the president, in some coordination with the Russian government during the campaign.

That would fit the ordinary meaning of “collusion,” but the term itself has no legal significance. What remains to be seen is whether those contacts rise to the level of a conspiracy to violate the campaign finance laws or some quid pro quo involving sanctions relief for Russia.”

tcrosse said...

Copy-and-paste is hypenated.

Jupiter said...

Wow, it's raining SMOD!

Say, Inga, while you're here, and taking requests, could you go back to the pussy hat icon? Somehow, it just seemed to represent the Inga we have come to know and - well, know.

Inga said...

Legal experts, not Trump sycophants.

Michael K said...

INga thread.

Much heavy breathing from Inga. I 'll try to swing by after your orgasm and see what real people might have to say.

bgates said...

What person talks to Russia's top spymaster in America and doesn't think that the conversation will be spied on by America's intelligence services?

Remember when Democrats were willing to build a wall? It wasn't something to keep non-Americans out of the country, of course; it was a way to keep information collected by the intelligence-collecting branches of the federal government out of the hands of the law enforcement branches. One effect of that wall was to keep the FBI from stopping the 9/11 bombers. (The genius behind that and several other catastrophic ideas, Jamie Gorelick, is a partner at the law firm Robert Mueller left to start his witch hunt. She's also Jared Kushner's lawyer.)

Flynn's fault was expecting progressives in government to be as scrupulous about safeguarding the civil liberties of a Trump appointee as they were about safeguarding the civil liberties of al Qaeda.

bgates said...

We can only speculate...news reports indicate...could implicate...some coordination

[T]he term itself has no legal significance. What remains to be seen

-and that's the latest from Duke University.

This...is CNP (cut'n'paste)

Derek Kite said...

It isn't about Flynn. They knew things were going to come out last week that would call into question their competence and professionalism. First the release of what happened with the Clinton/Lynch meeting; how they were profoundly concerned about the leaker, not the event itself. And second the news that they withheld from Congress that the lead investigator on Clinton was a political hack and was removed because of that.

They needed something, so they did the Flynn charges. The timing of the Manafort charges were similar.

The mistake they make is that the news cycle actually means anything anymore.

Michael said...

Inga
You should trouble to read your pastes, especially the last from the Duke professor. Read it carefully. It says nothing. Oh, except for the quid pro quo comment. What pro could be provided for sanctions relief. And why? Does the prof have any ideas? Do you? Ah, and collusion is of no legal significance. Good to know after these many months of digging for it.

bgates said...

I haven't seen this many law professors so happy about a sure thing since Hillary was going to be president.

Lem said...

“They're showing that they're slavering over imagined crimes. That's not journalism.”

The Brian Ross mistake is very telling.

Dr Weevil said...

Thomas Wictor (@ThomasWictor) on Twitter has a lot of thoughts about this as part of Trump's war on the Deep State. (Warning: he tweets 100+ times a day, so it takes some time to get up to speed.) He notes (or alleges, if you like) (1) that Flynn was Obama's DIA for 2 years, and was fired for telling him his Syria policies were incompetent, (2) that the plea agreement gives him immunity for any wrongdoing under Obama, but not under Trump, and (3) it also requires him to tell of any wrongdoing he is aware of at any time, and (says Wictor) supercedes any non-disclosure agreements he signed along the way. He thinks Mueller's working for Trump (that is for the US) now, that things are rapidly coming to a head, and that we will soon see masses of indictments for Uranium 1, the piss dossier fraud, and many other things, possibly including Hillary or Obama.

Is he right? Too soon to tell, but he has a lot of interesting things to say on this and other subjects. He makes the most convincing case that Roy Moore is innocent of all charges, and that Saudi Crown Prince Salman's reforms are breathtakingly bold - that the long-wished-for Muslim reformation is happening right now - and that Saudi-Israeli-US special forces are doing amazing things in the Middle East and elsewhere to win the War on Terror.

Hagar said...

Flynn pled guilty to lying because Mueller told him that otherwise they would keep him in court to his dying day. Which the Feds can do whetehr there is an underlying crime or not.

Chuck said...

Blogger Michael said...
Chuck

I am not a lawyer but once a client agrees to cooperate with prosecution it is unethical to maintain a sharing relationship with another party who is conceivably involved. You should know that does not constitute a "flip."

Well I am a lawyer, and what you have described is precisely what I rightly regard as a "flip." And of course "flip" is not a legal term of art at all, but a kind of popular-press term. I don't know, and don't claim, that Flynn has started to testify against others in the administration. Although that is exactly what I expect. Rather, my point is that Flynn's lawyers had formally entered into a common interest agreement with others, and now Flynn's lawyers have rescinded that agreement. They are out, now. For the precise reason you recited. Flynn is now cooperating with the prosecution. And can no longer be part of any common interest agreement with non-cooperating subjects. By any understanding of popular terminology, that's a "flip." He used to be cooperating with other investigation subjects. Now he is cooperating with the prosecution. Zero doubt. He has "flipped" in that regard.

Diogenes of Sinope said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Diogenes of Sinope said...

Perhaps Flynn thought there is a connection between our legal system and justice??
Maybe he thought if there is no underlying crime that was the end of it?
Never, never, never speak to the authorities without a lawyer. Most of the time you should excercise your right against self incrimination.

Rae said...

Don't people who are "ratting out" someone do so in exchange for immunity from prosecution? In this cAse, he's pleading guilty to lying, which impedes his supposed function as a witness for the government.

Narayanan Subramanian said...

Did he not have lawyer with him during interrogation? Don't they have to do Miranda thing?

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Chuck said...

So I hope an experienced lawyer chimes in on this.


An experienced lawyer did.

tcrosse said...

As usual, those who know don't say, and those who say don't know.

Gary said...

It is called flipping because Flynn agreed to plead guilty to this minor charge in exchange for dropping more serious charges against himself and/or possibly someone close to him. Dershowitz is also wrong.

Narayanan Subramanian said...

Can you tell FBI let's get to that later?
Not smart enough to play games at that level ... Just like GOPe.

Hari said...

Inga,

“Beyond this, the president of the United States has steadfastly, repeatedly and consistently denied that he had any knowledge of any involvement with the Russians, ” Napolitano added. “If Gen. Flynn contradicts that in a credible route under oath, we have a very serious problem on our hands.””

Can you find anything that says Trump denied "any involvement" with the Russians, period; as opposed to denying any involvement colluding with the Russians to affect the election?

There is no crime for the president elect to be "involved" with any country, provided it is for a legal reason.

The entire question is whether or not there was collusion with the Russians to affect the outcome of the election. The question is not whether there was any "involvement" with the Russians on any other matters involving foreign policy.

This is getting twisted from asking whether there was collusion with the Russians to influence the election (probably illegal) to whether there was any normal communication with the Russians.

Even if, Flynn testifies that after the election, Trump personally told him to contact the Russians and see what they could do together to make the world a better place, what precisely is the crime? Trump's denials to date have been about colluding with the Russians, not about working with the Russians after the election.

Yancey Ward said...

As I pointed out yesterday, we don't know what the FBI told Flynn when they asked to and interviewed him- that part is "mysteriously" absent from every leak to the press about this event. We also haven't seen a transcript of the Flynn interview itself- not Flynn's full answers, not the context, nor the questions he was responding to. All of that information is important in understanding both Flynn's answers and why he gave them.

My speculation is that they waved the Logan Act in front of Flynn when they asked to interview him, and he panicked when he should have said, "Talk to my lawyer." The act itself of being asked to answer questions from the FBI has to be intimidating, so panic is perfectly understandable.

The real take-away from the Flynn plea is this- the Russian Collusion story is no longer being investigated, nor is obstruction- in either one of those cases, Flynn would have had to plea to a conspiracy charge- his testimony about a conspiracy is only good if he is part of the conspiracy and has plead to it. No prosecutor would miss that. That leaves, in my opinion, only two items for Mueller- (1) he is going for process charges against other Trump associates, or (2) he is planning to go after Kushner for a Logan Act violation. As for the person Flynn's testimony is supposed to help in prosecuting- I think this is the easiest thing to determine- that person is Manafort.

Big Mike said...

That's not journalism.

As Iowahawk informs us, journalism is about covering important stories. With a pillow. Until they stop moving.

Narayanan Subramanian said...

HR in any organization can access all personnel security files right?! Strzok may be deep mining data at Mueller request.

Narayanan Subramanian said...

Or corrupting them.

Brian said...

Can someone explain to me how the Flynn plea agreement makes any sense in absence of any other indictments?

Assume that Flynn does have knowledge of Trump (consisting of Trump himself or other high level campaign officials) crimes.

Assume also that any deal would require a proffer what Flynn would/could offer prior to any deal being executed.

Given that, if there are crimes, then Mueller already knows them. Why get your star witness to admit to felony level lying thereby tarnishing his credibility? And why get that all filed and squared away and then go away looking for more crimes? You already know them!

Indict away! So the lack of indictments of other targets after a Flynn deal makes me believe this is all smoke and mirrors to try and trap other targets in a process crime, likely Kushner, et. al.

The problem with that is that they are all lawyer-ed up already (and have plenty of money to keep that arrangement in perpetuity). That's unlikely to get anywhere. If you read between the lines of the media spin, the calls for Kushner to get rid of his security clearance because of the "cloud of suspicion" is a tacit admission by some political analysts that that may be the most damage that can be done to Kushner, remove him from the innermost circle of advisors.

Mueller and Comey are FBI creatures first and foremost. They adore the institution and consider it a separate government entity. I believe the "crime" they are trying to pin on Trump is obstruction of justice for firing Comey. That appeals to their "protect the FBI" narrative.

Their path to get there is to get to Kushner. Kushner recommended firing of Comey, why? because he was worried for his own skin. Why was he worried? Because he directed Flynn in Logan act violations. How do we know they are worried about Logan act violations? Because Flynn lied about them. Viola, Kushner obstructed justice by asking his Dad to fire Comey and Trump is an unindicted co-conspirator for obstruction of justice in firing Comey.

The FBI is saved from any future president firing an FBI director. As a president you can't control your FBI director, to do so invites impeachment proceedings. Comey gets his scalp.

The problem for Inga, et. al, is that there are so many holes in this theory that Trump will likely not be impeached nor removed for that My bet would be a formal Senate Censure (see Clinton/Lewinsky). I don't think Mueller or Comey wants an impeachment though. That pushes the FBI into players and not just referees. Just like Comey wanted to thread the needle of letting the public know about the extent of the Clinton email abuses without playing politics and taking her off the stage. No they want a political price to be paid and a deep state trench to be dug around the institution of the FBI.

rcocean said...

According to Feinstein the Senate Intelligence committee and Judiciary Committee will go after President Trump for obstruction of Justice. They're moving step by step, and "building the case". Quote:

Well, let me begin by saying this. As you know, I’m ranking on Judiciary, and the Judiciary Committee has an investigation going as well and it involves obstruction of justice. And, I think, what we’re beginning to see is the putting together of a case of obstruction of justice. I think we see this in the indictments, the four indictments and pleas that have just taken place, and some of the comments that are being made. I see it in the hyper-frenetic attitude of the White House: the comments every day, the continual tweets. And I see it, most importantly, in what happened with the firing of Director Comey and it is my belief that that is directly because he did not agree to lift the cloud of the Russia investigation. That’s obstruction of justice.

Meanwhile Sen. Collins states that it was wrong for Trump to have contacted Russia or any other foreign Power during the Transition period.

rcocean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian said...

@Yancey said...
The real take-away from the Flynn plea is this- the Russian Collusion story is no longer being investigated, nor is obstruction- in either one of those cases, Flynn would have had to plea to a conspiracy charge- his testimony about a conspiracy is only good if he is part of the conspiracy and has plead to it. No prosecutor would miss that. That leaves, in my opinion, only two items for Mueller- (1) he is going for process charges against other Trump associates, or (2) he is planning to go after Kushner for a Logan Act violation. As for the person Flynn's testimony is supposed to help in prosecuting- I think this is the easiest thing to determine- that person is Manafort

You are right there is no obstruction against Flynn, just lying. But I think they think there is obstruction against Kushner. For recommending the firing of Comey. Flynn didn't obstruct because he didn't know Kushner would recommend that. There theory is that Kushner was worried he was under suspicion for Logan Act violations. That way they don't have litigate the Logan act issues, they just have to say that Kushner was worried about the Logan act. Flynn testimony to that affect may help (but then he's a liar). He better have emails from Kushner to back up any such theory.

Again though, under that theory, Mueller already has all that info. He's just hoping to make Kushner sweat or Trump to fire Mueller. I don't think either of those things are in the cards.

The Mueller report if an when it ever comes out will be interesting reading. I suspect there will be lots of novel legal theories in it.

YoungHegelian said...

@rcocean,

Meanwhile Sen. Collins states that it was wrong for Trump to have contacted Russia or any other foreign Power during the Transition period.

You mean, like Reagan contacting the Iranians to tell them to release the embassy hostages by inauguration or there would be hell to pay? Like that?

Good luck, Senator Collins, on getting that to stick. And we all remember Sen. Collins leading the charge against Pres-elect Obama when he made press appearances at the non-existent, non-Constitutional Office of the President-Elect.

These clowns have let so many genies out of their bottles they won't be able to ever put them back again.

Brian said...

@rcocean, interesting quote that backs up my thinking too. And it explains the whole special prosecutor necessity. Trump fired Comey because he wouldn't publicly repeat what he was telling Trump in private (namely that Trump was not under any suspicion).

That pissed off Comey so much he leaked to the New York Times, and here we are.

Michael K said...

" that the plea agreement gives him immunity for any wrongdoing under Obama, but not under Trump,"

That's an interesting speculation. I still don't know what;s going on but I am pretty sure that I know what is NOT going on.

Bay Area Guy said...

As a legal matter, this is all trivial bullshit. Comey is quoting scriptures about justice, but he is a punk.

As a political matter, it's dangerous for Trump. The simple goal is to swarm Trump with all this fog and stench, capitalize on the political fall out, retake the House, and impeach Trump. Period. Full stop.

Removing Trump will be difficult, all he needs is 33 rock-solid Senators to stave off removal - and he probably has 41 or 42.

So Trump has a small political cushion. Also, the tax cut plan when it passes should give him a well-needed political boost, which he will need.

This is pure politics, nothing to do with law or justice. The Left is still butt-hurt over losing a close election, and they want a big scalp.

buwaya said...

The swamp is likely to eventually "get" Trump with a process crime of some sort. This is going to be for the sake of narrow advantages in the political-regulatory game. A (royal) court intrigue in other words, and they are very hard to beat inside their environment.

I have been a pessimist from the beginning.

This will be the height of folly outside the confines of Washington. Which is why I am hedged and prepared to leave.

buwaya said...

Its not "the left".
Its a system that is independent of ideology.
What there is is more along the lines of a state religion, mainly ritualistic practices.

Jim at said...

Meanwhile Sen. Collins states that it was wrong for Trump to have contacted Russia or any other foreign Power during the Transition period.

Uh-huh.

And if he hadn't done that? The very same people would now be screaming how stupid the Trump people were for not being in contact with Russia or any other foreign power during the transition period.

Fuck 'em.

Earnest Prole said...

It is called flipping because Flynn agreed to plead guilty to this minor charge in exchange for dropping more serious charges against himself and/or possibly someone close to him.

Exactly. I read the comments here and find it hard to believe that educated, intelligent people are unaware of basic law-enforcement tools.

Narayanan Subramanian said...

Fixing on the term flip as fulcrum, and changing POV can Flynn be said to have flipped Mueller?

Inga said...

“It is called flipping because Flynn agreed to plead guilty to this minor charge in exchange for dropping more serious charges against himself and/or possibly someone close to him.”

“Exactly. I read the comments here and find it hard to believe that educated, intelligent people are unaware of basic law-enforcement tools.”

That’s what happens to a brain on Trump. Just like the egg in the frying pan, it sizzles away.

Bruce Hayden said...

Inga wrote: "Maybe it was more important to the FBI to protect the country from this President."

“And here lies the thinking of the left. Swaddled in some stupid Hollywood paranoid movie without a thought to the criminality.

It is not up to the FBI to decide”

Agreed. Not their job, and anyone doing as Inga suggests should be fireable, if not indictable, if actually true. Again, let me repeat, the Executive functions of the government exclusively belong to the President (first clause of Article II of our Constitution). This is one of them. They can be, and typically are, routinely delegated to his underlings. But they don’t have the delegated discretion to decide to protect the country from their Constitutionally elected boss. They can quit, and then maybe do it, but not while being paid by the US govt as enployees.

Inga said...

“The mission of the FBI is to protect and defend the United States against terrorist and foreign intelligence threats, to uphold and enforce the criminal laws of the United States, and to provide leadership and criminal justice services to federal, state, municipal, and international agencies and partners; and to perform these responsibilities in a manner that is responsive to the needs of the public and is faithful to the Constitution of the United States.

The FBI's major priorities are to:

Protect the United States from terrorist attack;
Protect the United States against foreign intelligence operations and espionage;
Protect the United States against cyber-based attacks and high-technology crimes;
Combat public corruption at all levels;

Protect civil rights;
Combat transnational and national criminal organizations and enterprises;
Combat major white-collar crime;
Combat significant violent crime;
Support federal, state, county, municipal, and international partners; and to
Upgrade technology to successfully perform the FBI's mission.”

https://www.justice.gov/jmd/organization-mission-and-functions-manual-federal-bureau-investigation

Birkel said...

For all people still discussing the Logan Act, I will do you the favor of listing all people ever convicted under that Act since it first became law.

in chronological order:




You are welcome.

Inga said...

“For all people still discussing the Logan Act, I will do you the favor of listing all people ever convicted under that Act since it first became law.”

No one gives a shit about the Logan Act. There are much bigger fish to fry.

Birkel said...

UnknownInga64,

Where in that list does "Deep State leaks to the MSM" rank?

Birkel said...

I like fried fish.

MaxedOutMama said...

My theory is that the whole investigation thing is being done to protect the FBI. They interfered before the election with the political process - most especially in the case of the "Joint Intelligence Report" alleging a Russian effort to interfere with voting that now appears to be utterly ungrounded. Post-election, that was explained away on the basis of the DNC leaks - but we have since learned that those emails came from within the DNC. And after Brazile's revelations, we can understand why. Nor could any serious forensic investigation have failed to show that it was an inside job.

The FBI is conducting this whole thing to protect their butts.

Flynn may have done something wrong somewhere, but the FBI is a threat to our democracy. We should sweep through and purge the top ranks.

The virtue for the FBI of having the special investigator and this all going on is that it gives the FBI an excuse not to talk to Congress.

All the top intelligence officials are clearly corrupt. In the worst possible way. This isn't a nice mucky swamp - it's an alligator pit. Get them out. I am contacting my senators to demand that they do something. They have the constitutional responsibility of oversight.

YoungHegelian said...

@EP/Inga,

Exactly. I read the comments here and find it hard to believe that educated, intelligent people are unaware of basic law-enforcement tools.

Actually, read again. The Althouse hillbillies did cover that option, with the thought being what good does it do to "flip" a defendant while at the same time branding him an official liar? Either the FBI has the goods on someone by now or they don't. What jury is going to buy "Acting on a tip from this convicted liar, we blah-blah-blah.."

If Flynn had flipped on a charge of something other than "lying to the FBI", maybe. But, bringing in a liar as a witness seems to be a gift to the defense.

buwaya said...

And again, I have to point out that the law doesnt actually exist. It is an elaborate shared hallucination. Points of law are about as substantial as Harry Potter trivia, or football fandom, if it weren't that a sufficient number of people believe it does, and are willing to pay for police to enforce the fantasy.

Like all fantasies the details are purely say so, nit-picked and flame-warred endlessly by obsessive fans. They have about as much to do with reality as a first-person shooter videogame. The winners of the flame-wars and nit-picking are always the obsessive and the self-interested.

But when the illusion is broken, the law does not matter.

khematite said...

On February 17, 2017, CNN reported that:

"Flynn initially told investigators sanctions were not discussed. But FBI agents challenged him, asking if he was certain that was his answer. He said he didn’t remember.

"The FBI interviewers believed Flynn was cooperative and provided truthful answers. Although Flynn didn’t remember all of what he talked about, they don’t believe he was intentionally misleading them, the officials say."

So, was CNN simply wrong in its reporting, or did Mueller (for reasons not yet clear) ultimately choose to overrule the conclusions of the FBI interviewers?

http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/16/politics/fbi-not-expected-to-pursue-charges-against-flynn/index.html

Birkel said...

Above it was suggested Jared Kushner was worried about a Logan Act charge. Since that charge has never been applied, I wager he was not so worried.

Can I get some hushpuppies?

Dr Weevil said...

"No one gives a shit about the Logan Act" is simply and obviously false. Thirty seconds with Ctrl-F shows that there are two such on this very thread (Yancey Ward and Brian) and there are hundreds if not thousands more on blogs, Twitter, and other Social Media platforms. It would be good if commenters would stop and think before commenting.

Earnest Prole said...

But, bringing in a liar as a witness seems to be a gift to the defense.

You suffer from a lack of imagination.

Michael K said...

""No one gives a shit about the Logan Act" is simply and obviously false."

You need to modify that to no one sane give a shit about it. It has never been invoked and if anyone is violating it now, it is Obama.

Inga said...

No one should seriously think that the Logan Act will be used to prosecute anyone. Every legal expert I’ve heard so far has said so unequivocally. Weevil should stop sounding like someone on the autism spectrum.

George Ferko said...

He flipped. Sign No. 1: he pled to an information, not an indictment

Michael K said...

I see the insane left is still dominating the thread.

Half way through "Grant."

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bruce Hayden said...

The problem here is that Flynn is problem now burned as a witness against Trump, et al. He is an admitted and convicted lier, and that conviction would be used against him in court, should he ever testify against Trump, et al. Most of the time when the Feds flip someone, they do it with offenses that are not so obviously disabling as a witness, such as for income tax evasion. If Mueller and his cabal of Crooked Hillary campaign contributing prosecutors wanted to use Mueller against Trump, et al., in court, they probably should have picked almost any other crime to get Flynn to stipulate to, instead of lying. Murder probably would have been better for them.

The other part of this, according to Andrew McCarthy, is that standard procedure at this point when flipping defendants in order to get the bigger fish, is to stipulate to a conspiracy if that is what you are looking at. The conspiracy would then be established in court, greatly aiding the prosecutors to prove their conspiracy case. This is apparently SOP for prosecutors. And failing to get the alleged conspiracy stipulate before the court means that the prosecutors cannot use the defendant against Others in a conspiracy. Which is another reason that I think that the prosecutors had nothing.

Inga said...

“Half way through "Grant."”

Good boy Michael. We’ll expect a book report on Wednesday, make sure to use black ink and use single space.

Sebastian said...

"Protect the United States against foreign intelligence operations and espionage;
Protect the United States against cyber-based attacks and high-technology crimes;
Combat public corruption at all levels"

This is why the FBI was horrified at the Clintonian influence-selling through the foundation and CGI, refused to extend immunity to any witnesses to her email fiasco that exposed US secrets to foreign intelligence, came at her and her associates with all barrels blazing, threw the book at her from day one, and had Comey resign promptly when Lynch and O excused behavior that undermined the very mission of the FBI.

YoungHegelian said...

@EP,

You suffer from a lack of imagination.

As do you if your only source for this idea is an article from The Guardian which consists of not one quoted source in the investigation, but sources completely unconnected to the investigation who will go on record with their speculations.

Dr Weevil said...

Poor Inga just can't figure out what other people are saying, even when it's obvious. I don't give a damn about the Logan Act, which I agree is utterly irrelevant, obsolete, and unenforceable. Inga doesn't give a damn about the Logan Act - oh my God! I'm agreeing with Inga! Time to rethink? Nope. She's right on this one. If she'd written "No one should give a shit about the Logan Act" or (thank you Michael K) "No one sane gives a shit about the Logan Act", she'd be absolutely right. But she didn't write that, she wrote "No one gives a shit about the Logan Act" and that is entirely false, as anyone who read the rest of this thread before commenting would know. Or perhaps I should say "read and understood". Inga should stop sounding like someone on the mental retardation spectrum or the illiteracy spectrum.

Dr Weevil said...

Having gone back and read her 5:05pm, I now think Inga's more likely somewhere far along the jerk-asshole-flaming asshole-psychopath-sociopath spectrum.

Inga said...

“You suffer from a lack of imagination.”
——————-
“As do you if your only source for this idea is an article from The Guardian which consists of not one quoted source in the investigation, but sources completely unconnected to the investigation who will go on record with their speculations.”
—————————————

“Officials working in the White House are reportedly worried that colleagues may be wearing a wire for special counsel Robert Mueller.

The special counsel's probe into possible connections between President Trump and Russia has caused rising tensions between White House Counsel Don McGahn and Ty Cobb, a lawyer who joined the administration to handle the Mueller probe, The New York Times reported Sunday.

Cobb has urged the administration to hand over as many documents as it can for the special counsel’s probe, while McGahn is worried about precedents that could weaken the White House for future administrations, the report said.

This tension has reportedly led to officials privately saying they thought colleagues could be wearing a wire to record conversations for Mueller, according to the Times.”

Dr Weevil said...

Are these the same "Officials working in the White House" who have confidently reported four times now that Tillerson was about to quit, and made dozens of other statements that have proven utterly false? I think it's quite clear that many of the New York Time's anonymous sources are entirely imaginary or, to put it bluntly, that the Times routinely lies about what people in the White House are doing and saying.

YoungHegelian said...

@Inga,

This is what the press does, over & over.

A meme gets started. It gets echoed from press outlet to press outlet, all the while being completely unsourced. It's only claim to authority is that press outlets are echoing each other in saying the same thing over & over with slight variations.

Look at your posting -- there are no sources. Just like the Guardian.

Inga said...

“NICK AKERMAN, ASSISTANT SPECIAL WATERGATE PROSECUTOR: I think they have to be very careful about who they talk to. My advice would be, don't talk to anybody. Assume that everybody is wearing a body wire. Assume that ...”

narciso said...

Well there was William Allen, who was a degenerate but his FBI handler had a thing for him, so she vouched for him against Stevens.

Then there is the page/ strzok Tate a tete;
https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/politics-and-government/ex-las-vegas-prosecutor-key-player-in-russia-probe-cited-for-sex-discrimination/

Turtles all the way down

narciso said...

Then there is this case, being covered with pillow:
http://zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-30/dnc-lawyer-scrambles-block-evidence-hidden-laptop-tied-wasserman-schultz

narciso said...

Remember the padhto crowded gang, responsible of everything from extortion to data exfiltration?

Rigelsen said...

So, under all these novel legal theories where it's illegal for anyone who's not the current President or his agents to talk to agents of foreign governments, why aren't the Clintons and most of CEOs and boards of our multinationals in jail? And how is it that Obama is going around talking to foreign leaders now? Why isnt the FBI hauling him in for questioning? Sounds like a clear Logan Act violation. "What about the First Amendment?" "What's that?"

Even if there was a special law for Russia (hint, there isn't, and no, we have no war declared against Russia), why are the Clintons still walking around free? I mean all those contributions from Putin-associated cronies and they can't make one charge stick?

This is how you know this is all just politics. If Chuck, Inga, and all the law professors she has been spamming quotes from actually believed what they were selling, they wouldn't be focusing all their attention on just someone they happen to dislike.

narciso said...

For a change of pace, I started tregillis milkweed trilogy, its like lovecraft with deighton (not bond) where Nazi ubermench and British warlocks fight a battle to the death, which shortens the war, but nit misery

Fabi said...

Nick Akerman is a White House official?

Drago said...

"Having gone back and read her 5:05pm, I now think Inga's more likely somewhere far along the jerk-asshole-flaming asshole-psychopath-sociopath spectrum"

She has plenty of "lifelong and Bowe abergdahl Republican" assistance.

narciso said...

No like peter kreindler, who pulled similar tricks against the San Diego city manager, he sings the rime of the Watergate mariner, as if that meant anything

narciso said...

The author was a spectator to that travismockasham:

www.americanthinker.com/articles/2017/12/feminism_the_fake_indian_the_tragic_state_of_the_fbi_and_the_flynn_flam.html

Telling the truth, in a time of deceit is a revolutionary act, that was Orwell experience with the bbc

Chuck said...

Blogger Tyrone Slothrop said...
Chuck said...

So I hope an experienced lawyer chimes in on this.

An experienced lawyer did.

I expect that Andy would not disagree with my comments here. I was the first person in theses comments to mention Flynn's recession of the common interest agreement. Andy's recent column (I read it before you posted the link. As I've said many times, I'm a National Review guy. Always have been. That usually earns me a bunch of hate-comments from the Althouse commentariat.

Anyway, Andy and I agree on most things. What he is saying is that despite Flynn's procedural flip, Andy doesn't think that it necessarily means bad shit for other suspects in the administration. That's Andy's view. My view, as I clearly stated above, is that I don't know. I am not claiming anything about the likelihood of future prosecutions. I am simply saying that Flynn really did "flip."

So all you Andy McCarthy fans; did y'all see his contribution to the NR "Against Trump" issue? Didja like it?

Earnest Prole said...

The boy-scout naivete around here is charming, but here's the deal: prosecutors like Mueller lie to get people like Flynn to lie in order to obtain plea-bargains and resignations higher up. None of it ever goes to trial, so all the talk about "Flynn is a tainted witness because he's an admitted and convicted lier" is irrelevant and dumb. Were you people all born yesterday? Prosecutors have been using these tools going back to the inquisition. We don't have to like it, but surely we should acknowledge it.

narciso said...

The truth is the previous administration was as against Israel like Eisenhower and possibly poppys, the first concerned nasser the second saddam. At a time when there has been an epidemic of stabbings other incidents in Europe as well as Israel, it continued to stoke the fire.

Michael K said...

Prosecutors have been using these tools going back to the inquisition. We don't have to like it, but surely we should acknowledge it.

Oh sure but so did Ted Stevens and Ray Donovan's prosectors. Donavan was acquitted and Stevens prosecutors lied and the decision was reversed but not until after the election, which of course, was the point.

That's why so many of us are suspicious of the Moore allegations.

narciso said...

And delays ham sandwich and the bologna against Perry and Patton.

Original Mike said...

"[W]hy did Flynn lie?"

Perhaps just to mess with Inga's head.

Michael K said...

Blogger Inga said...
“Half way through "Grant."”

Good boy Michael. We’ll expect a book report on Wednesday, make sure to use black ink and use single space.


The point is, Inga, that words cannot express how much more interesting it is than the bullshit you keep spamming as if you know what you are doing.

Reading a book would be very good for you, Inga..

Almost any book would be better than DailyKos and MSNBC where you get your ideas.

You should try it sometime. Do you even suspect how stupid you sound ?

narciso said...

Grant got a bad rap because some of his cabinet tied to credit mobilier, but he want personally corrupt, twain didn't care though.

Darrell said...

When I'm at the White House, I only recite Inga and Ritmo comments. At the very least, it establishes an insanity defense.

narciso said...


The roots were rather deep, extending back into the earlier administration:&

www.american-historama.org/1866-1881-reconstruction-era/credit-mobilier-scandal.htm

Rob McLean said...

They're showing that they're slavering over imagined crimes. That's not journalism.

It is now.

Birkel said...

Earnest Prole applauds the Deep State.

The earnest fascism is the best kind.

narciso said...

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2017/12/03/brett-baier-interviews-cia-director-mike-pompeo-and-former-director-panetta-at-reagan-defense-forum/

rcocean said...

"Removing Trump will be difficult, all he needs is 33 rock-solid Senators to stave off removal - and he probably has 41 or 42."

If McConnell or Ryan allowed a Trump impeachment vote on some technical, unexplainable to the average voter, "Obstruction of Justice", they will be lynched by the Republican voters.

Remember the Clinton impeachment? The "R's" in the Senate had to pushed & dragged into reluctantly having a vote or treating it half way seriously. McCain was at the forefront of calling it a "waste of time" since 1/3 of the Senate was NEVER going to impeach Billy Bob Clinton, even if he'd been caught raping Mother Theresa.

If these same clowns turn around an impeach TRump - they are done.

Brian said...

@Birkel said.
Above it was suggested Jared Kushner was worried about a Logan Act charge. Since that charge has never been applied, I wager he was not so worried.

Not sure if you got that from me. I personally don't think Kushner was worried about that. I'm saying that Mueller will SAY that Kushner was worried about a Logan Act charge. And because he was worried about it he recommended Trump fire Comey to protect Flynn. And Mueller will call that obstruction. That argument and a ham sandwich is all he needs for an indictment.

How does Kushner prove he wasn't worried about it? Short of an email from his attorney telling him not to worry it will be accepted gospel among the media that Kushner was stupid enough to worry about the Logan act and got himself into trouble obstructing. Cue the "coverup is worse than the crime" narrative.

Even purported evidence showing Kushner was recommending firing Comey for other reasons (i.e. leaks) will be taken as evidence that he was covering up.

It will be a farce, and it's dangerous. But it will protect the FBI and future FBI directors from being fired for not realizing who is in charge. That's all that matters to Mueller (and Comey).

It won't lead to impeachment, though. Kushner doesn't seem like the type to just give up, either.

YoungHegelian said...

@EP,

The boy-scout naivete around here is charming, but here's the deal:

Rather fond of ad hominems today, aren't we, EP?

Here's the thing: the argument has been made here that there's another explanation for why Mueller & Flynn settled on lying to the FBI -- because it's a butt cover for the FBI & Flynn gets his life back. You, with your highly attuned lawyer senses, think not.

There's just one great advantage our theory has -- our exact scenario just happened in the recent past. What we are describing --- a special investigation that came up with absolutely nothing & settled for a lying to the FBI charge is exactly what happened to Scooter Libby & the PlameGate investigation. Absolutely nothing else came of PlameGate. Nothing.

Remember, the folks who are telling us now of "Chaos in the WH" are the same people who were telling us 14 months ago of "Chaos in the Trump Campaign". How'd that turn out?

Earnest Prole said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Earnest Prole said...

Earnest Prole applauds the Deep State.

You're mistaking acknowledgment for applause.

Birkel said...

No, I'm not. But it's nice for you to pretend I am wrong and I don't care about you. So pretend away.

Rabel said...

Why did Flynn lie? Just a possibility-

The lies listed by Mueller relate to two meetings with Russian Ambassador Kisylak. Flynn unwisely gave a commitment to Kisylak during those meetings to keep certain parts of their discussions secret and then misled/lied to Pence and the FBI to meet that commitment.

We seem to be assuming that the lies were exposed by NSA intercepts. It could be that there was another source, like say, the Russians. They're sneaky like that.

Not much, but it's all I got.

Michael K said...

"he want personally corrupt, twain didn't care though."

The reason I'm reading this biography is that the books I have read were all about the war. This is 1/2 about his presidency and I look forward to that.

Earnest Prole said...

our exact scenario just happened in the recent past

Here's the difference: Trump's enemies have been eavesdropping on Trump's people since the campaign, and possibly even setting them up. If an unethical prosecutor can't make something out of those conversations and traps, he belongs in another line of work.

Ann Althouse said...

@Ernest Prole

I think Dershowitz knows what he’s talking about.

Birkel said...

Oh, bull shit, Earnest Prole. Everybody knows Trump's claim that Obama wiretapped the Trump campaign was nonsense.

Ask all those really smart Leftist Collectivists UnknownInga64 cited above.

Jon Ericson said...

ep > ui

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Inga was certain Walker would be indicted. any day now.

Bad Lieutenant said...


narciso said...
For a change of pace, I started tregillis milkweed trilogy, its like lovecraft with deighton (not bond) where Nazi ubermench and British warlocks fight a battle to the death, which shortens the war, but nit misery
12/3/17, 5:50 PM


Love love loving the Google Books except of Bitter Seeds!

Earnest Prole said...

I think Dershowitz knows what he’s talking about.

We shall see. We know how the FBI wants it to play out; the question is whether they have the goods.

Birkel said...

Trust liberal but honest Dershowitz or cast my wishes with impeachment dreams?

Earnest Prole did choose, already.

narciso said...

Your welcome.

He actually is a los Alamos physicists, but in this world, they used batteries to spark certain abilities, the brits resort to strossiab stratagems.

Mac McConnell said...

The question should be, if Mueller's Special Council Order was to investigate Russian's interference in our election why is he investigating political matters of a duly elected Presidential transition team?

Darrell said...

Video Flashback: Obama State Dept, ‘No Problem’ With Michael Flynn Contacting Russian Officials

http://lidblog.com/flashback-obama-state-dept-no-problem-michel-flynn/

Mac McConnell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Douglas said...

1) The usual practice when you take a guilty plea from a co-conspirator is to have him plead guilty to or at least acknowledge the facts of the conspiracy. That makes it easier to go up the chain after higher level conspirators. Mueller's failure to do that here suggests he could not do so because Flynn was not part of any conspiracy.
2) Having Flynn plead guilty to lying does not really help Mueller very much when he puts Flynn on the stand to testify: "Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, please believe Mr. Flynn's testimony even though he's an admitted liar."

narciso said...


Other details to consider:

https://mobile.twitter.com/ClimateAudit/status/937358949610688512?p=v

Yancey Ward said...

I just love Inga:

"No one should seriously think that the Logan Act will be used to prosecute anyone. Every legal expert I’ve heard so far has said so unequivocally. Weevil should stop sounding like someone on the autism spectrum."

Please, Inga, read the following essay by Byron York who has kindly, for you, listed all the Democrats in the House and Senate who have asked for Logan Act violation investigations of Trump and his associates, along with some previously unknown guy from Harvard named Tribe.

You know what I think, Inga- you were just like them- all hyped up on Logan Act violations right up until the point you discovered, probably in the last day or two, that no one has ever been prosecuted or convicted under the act in the 218 years it has been in place. That probably deflated your balloon, and you now claim no one "serious" is contemplating using here.

Even worse for you, and I had forgotten about this, though it was probably somewhere in unconscious mind when I wrote about it yesterday is this little nugget:

"Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates has told Congress that the Logan Act was the first reason she intervened in the Flynn case — the reason FBI agents were sent to the White House to interview Flynn in the Trump administration's early days."

I don't know about you, but it appears to me a number of Democrats, at least, think a Logan Act prosecution is a good idea. But I will bow to your expertise in the matter, and say it won't happen, right?

Byron York

Bruce Hayden said...

I think that Abdy McCarthy fairly persuasively answers whether or not Mueller has anything of substance:

Nevertheless, as I explained in connection with George Papadopoulos (who also pled guilty in Mueller’s investigation for lying to the FBI), when 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. Understand: If Flynn’s conversations with the Russian ambassador had evinced the existence of a quid pro quo collusion arrangement — that the Trump administration would ease or eliminate sanctions on Russia as a payback for Russia’s cyber-espionage against the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic party — it would have been completely appropriate, even urgently necessary, for the Obama Justice Department to investigate Flynn. But if that had happened, Mueller would not be permitting Flynn to settle the case with a single count of lying to FBI agents. Instead, we would be looking at a major conspiracy indictment, and Flynn would be made to plead to far more serious offenses if he wanted a deal — cooperation in exchange for sentencing leniency. To the contrary, for all the furor, we have a small-potatoes plea in Flynn’s case — just as we did in Papadopoulos’s case, despite extensive “collusion” evidence. Meanwhile, the only major case Mueller has brought, against former Trump-campaign chairman Paul Manafort and an associate, has nothing to do with the 2016 election. It is becoming increasingly palpable that, whatever “collusion” means, there was no actionable, conspiratorial complicity by the Trump campaign in the Kremlin’s machinations.

Mac McConnell said...

Anyone that even brings up the Logan Act as a serious violation should be laughed at. Sally Yates is a partisan leftist lawfare suck ass lawyer who refused to defend the POTUS Trump's so-called "muslim ban" because it was unconstitutional, seems the Supreme Court disagreed with her.

BamaBadgOR said...

Andrew McCarthy nails it: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/454311/mueller-strategy-obstruction-justice-investigation-leading-impeachment

Per Dershowitz, should it be a crime to lie to the FBI in the absence of an underlying crime?

Matthew Sablan said...

But the Fast and Furious, Tea Party targeting, Benghazi, email gate and Clapper all told me that lying to government investigators was allowed. What changed?

Brian said...

1.) Why let Flynn plead guilty to lying making him worthless as a witness? Why not get him on the underlying conspiracy?
2.) Obvious answer is that Flynn isn't part of any conspiracy.
3.) If he's not why did Flynn lie? One theory is that he was worried about Logan act violations (perhaps coached by the FBI investigators during their questions?)
4.) How to make Flynn being an admitted liar worth something? By using it as illustration of fear. Flynn lied because he feared Logan act violations with his Kislyak conversations. The proof of that is that he lied about it!
5.) Kushner directed Flynn to have those conversations. See Kushner was worried about being exposed to Logan act violations, too.
6.) Kushner recommended Comey to be fired.
7.) Trump fired Comey.

Obstruction! Poor hero Comey is now on the right side of history again!

Brian said...

Didnt' see that McCarthy article. Looks similar to my theory yesterday. Obstruction is the new direction not collusion.

Michael K said...

The McCarthy column explains what is going on and should be read by everyone except Inga whose illusions keep her getting out of bed in the morning.

Earnest Prole said...

Earnest Prole did choose, already.

I certainly have a healthier respect than you for the damage an unethical prosecutor can inflict.

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