May 30, 2020

About those newly declassified Flynn transcripts...

At The Federalist, from Sean Davis: "Declassified Flynn Transcripts Contradict Key Mueller Claims Against Flynn/Newly released declassified transcripts of call transcripts and summaries between Flynn and Kislyak contradict key claims made against Flynn by former Special Counsel Robert Mueller." ("Although Obama officials claimed via leaks to the press that Flynn, a decorated combat veteran and retired three-star Army general, was illegally operating as a secret Russian agent, the transcripts show that Flynn’s primary focus throughout his conversations with Kislyak was ensuring that Russia and the U.S. could work together to defeat Islamist terrorist [sic] and the growing influence of ISIS throughout the Middle East. Obama officials never explained how working with international partners to defeat ISIS constituted a federal crime.")

At NY Magazine, from Jonathan Chait: "New Transcript Shows Trump Adviser Michael Flynn Colluding With Russia in 2016." ("Flynn’s discussions with Kislyak were not part of a criminal conspiracy. They were, however, part of a secret channel of communications, the premise of which was that the two parties had a secret common interest against the United States government. One word that might describe this relationship would be 'collusion.'")

At the NYT, from Julian E. Barnes, Adam Goldman and Nicholas Fandos: "Flynn Discussed Sanctions at Length With Russian Diplomat, Transcripts Show/The former national security adviser now says he does not remember those discussions as he fights a criminal charge he had previously pleaded guilty to" ("Critics of the Trump administration seized on the transcripts’ discussions as evidence that Mr. Flynn was undermining existing Obama administration foreign policy. They argued that the Constitution allows for only one president at a time and that if an incoming administration begins foreign policy negotiations before taking office, it confuses the issue of who holds power.... Conservatives have said that Mr. Flynn did nothing wrong and that it was in the public interest for him to represent the views of the incoming administration.")

82 comments:

The Bergall said...

I've observed this for years.....good set of examples professor.

Francisco D said...

Critics of the Trump administration seized on the transcripts’ discussions as evidence that Mr. Flynn was undermining existing Obama administration foreign policy.

The criticism is that the Trump administration had different foreign policy objectives than the Obama administration, thus making Flynn and Trump illegitimate in their eyes.

That is a good indication of the collective arrogance of Obama and his minions.

Jeff Weimer said...

People are seeing in them what they want to see.

I see what a senior official soon to be in responsibility should be doing in his area of responsibility.

wendybar said...

Obama administration were protecting Isis. Just figuring that out now??

rcocean said...

Amazing. Chalit's reading just shows him to be, a complete and total lying Liberal Democrat HACK. Bascially, the Transcript shows Flynn doing what the incoming NS Advisers should be doing, talking to foreigners and conducting diplomacy. Usually during the interim period, the outgoing administration works closely with the incoming team, to ensure continuity in Foreign Policy.

Obama however, decided to destroy Flynn and spy on Trump. Its never been done before, and hopefully will never be done again. Do liberals/Leftists care? Nope. they only care about one thing: Does this hurt or help the Democrats and the liberal/Left. That's why the NYT refuses to criticize Mueller or Obama.

Jupiter said...

"... it confuses the issue of who holds power."

And we can't have that, now, can we?

rhhardin said...

Obama wasn't able to make deals then because he'd be replaced by the time the deal went into effect. Trump had that power after the election. It is one president at a time, just not Obama.

Owen said...

I guess people are going to see what they want to see here. Few preconceptions will be altered by the new evidence. But the long delay in exposing what strikes me as a perfectly mundane conversation —entirely consistent with Flynn’s new duties as NSA pro tem— has served its purpose. It enabled Flynn to be destroyed, Trump to be stymied and discredited, the Russiagate myth to be perpetuated and reinforced, and precious years to pass while the #Resistance fought to gain and keep power.

I am sickened but that’s nothing new.

buwaya said...

It is always amazing to see how creative people can be in interpreting whatever is said or written. As with Chait and co. in this case. They are paid for their creativity of course.

It is the basis of my distrust of law. There simply is no way to write anything in such a way as to prevent someone from interpreting it to mean the opposite of what it says. Add sufficient power behind such an interpretation and poof, that bit of law blows away as if it never was. There is no all-powerful independent secular arbiter that will secure the meanings of those words.

The only way to protect yourselves (as a group) from predation by other groups of humans is to control enough (ultimately) physical power to make laws mean what you think they should. Power is everything, and everything is a power struggle, no matter the words used to dress it up.

Mark O said...

There is no legitimate or reasonable excuse for the actions of the Obama administration in wrongfully targeting Flynn. Of course, Obama believed that any disagreement with him was a crime.
One dredges up optimism that spying on an opposition Presidential campaign will be seen as a terrible treachery and that Barr will illuminate and prosecute the crimes.
To my sorrow, I cannot be certain of even that.

Temujin said...

Incoming Presidents have previously had their team start talks with foreign representatives. Obama's administration did this. However, John Kerry, meeting with representatives of Iran and other nations after he was out of office, talking to them as if he was a representative of the US government, is something entirely different.

If you want to consider collusion, or the Logan Act, look no further than the Ketchup King residing on Beacon Hill.

As for the multiple readings of the Flynn/Kislyak transcript, this is why we cannot move forward as a country. A thing is what is is. A is A. A thing cannot be both one thing and another thing at the same time. Only one of these readings can be correct. But that aside, nothing heard over the transcripts from Flynn should have even been heard, let alone used to attack him. And THAT is the story that continues to unfold with yet another investigator selected to study JUST the unmaskings: who did them, who ordered them, when, and...why?

There is much to this story yet to be told. But as of today, Michael Flynn's life, career, reputation, and finances have been destroyed. And he's still in jail. Who does he see to ask for his life back? His time, money, career, house, reputation? How does he get back what he is owed from Judge Sullivan who is now playing Prosecutor Sullivan?

Automatic_Wing said...

Are we to assume that an incoming Biden (or whoever it is) administration would wait until after the inauguration to talk to any foreigners?

Michael K said...

This is why DC juries will never convict any of the Obama crooks.

Of course, a large segment of the DC jury pool has been in Minneapolis this week. They need to get home to be sworn in if those trials start soon.

n.n said...

So, it was Trump's policy to flatten the curve of Obama's wars, and focus attention on the spread of terrorism throughout the greater Middle East that was driving excess deaths and catastrophic anthropogenic immigration reform. This conflicted with Obama et al motives and direction, and the so-called "Deep State" in collusion with foreign and domestic interests, and the press, activated to sabotage the administration through any means necessary.

Narayanan said...

It is not clear who originated these 'contacts' :
- If it was Flynn I will have to agree with Obama team.
- If it was Kislyak then all Flynn had to say was call me later. so again I have to agree with Obama team. They wanted strained relations with Russia. which Flynn clearly knew that.

- Did Flynn give heads up to Trump or Pence before talking to Russia or FBI?

AlbertAnonymous said...

Well isn’t it obvious? Obama had already defeated ISIS. I know because he told me. And he, unlike Trump, never lied.

Whoever Russia and Flynn were talking about wasn’t ISIS. It was some JV team...

Kevin said...

So the argument is that asking the Russians not to overreact, to keep any response to a proportional one that doesn’t create a series of unnecessary escalations, undermines Obama’s foreign policy?

Sure.

wild chicken said...

The whole thing is outrageous, but like with trump, the things Flynn says in his own defense are annoying. Why did he say he forgot?

rcocean said...

Gosh, gee whiz. Guess people will see what they want to see. Sorta like Hitler. Some like him, some don't. Everyone has an opinion. Who's to say what's right or wrong?

Birches said...

I'm pretty sure no one had a problem with the incoming Obama administration talking to foreign leaders when W was a lame duck. In fact, I believe it was encouraged.

It's obvious that Collusion furthers are grasping at straws. They can't admit they were wrong. The stupidity of believing that either Flynn or Jeff Sessions isn't allowed to talk to the Russian ambassador. I'm really interested to see who Hillary Clinton was talking to in December 2008.

gadfly said...

Not all of the Flynn-Kyslyak call transcripts were released, supposedly because DOJ didn’t have them all. Unsurprisingly, one that was strangely missing contained discussion of Jared Kushner setting up a “back channel” with the Russians.

Kislyak, obviously concerned about wire taps, set up the calls with Flynn using language that implied that Russia and Trump were unified against ISIS (as the code word for Democrats).

Transcripts released can be interpreted to show that Flynn, while under investigation for his ties to Russia and already on thin ice with the President-Elect, got on the phone and through the Russian Ambassador, persuaded Vladimir Putin to hold off on retaliating for US sanctions. Ultimately, the latest transcripts indicate that Flynn kept Trump apprised on his talks with the Russian ambassador as they progressed – which puts Trump into the calls, so to speak. Flynn engaged in these calls on his own initiative with Trump’s consent — but without knowledge given to the Obama Administation. Flynn lied when he testified that he first discussed the calls with Trump on February 7, 2017 but Mueller discovered evidence that put such communication back to January 3rd.

Regardless of the Trump News Network spin in The Federalist, releasing the tape transcripts does not help the Trump story that his campaign never used Russian assets in winning the election – which is against the law.

Original Mike said...

"They were, however, part of a secret channel of communications, the premise of which was that the two parties had a secret common interest against the United States government."

A "secret" communication channel (a.k.a. the telephone) that Flynn knew was monitored by the US IC.

And who is this "United States government" he speaks of? Flynn was the incoming administration.

All they have left is lying about how many lights there are. And their sycophants will lap it up.

Birches said...

I mean the excerpt from Chait's piece is insane: "They were, however, part of a secret channel of communications, the premise of which was that the two parties had a secret common interest against the United States government." Their common enemy was ISIS! How do you misread the call transcript like that?

Bruce Hayden said...

The left is spinning like crazy. Obama had just evicted a bunch of Russian government employees on the grounds that they had hacked the DNC server and had interfered with our election. We now know that that was all BS. The Obama Administration had no evidence about the hacking, and esp that they had given them to Wikileaks. Completely fabricated story. Turns out that Crowdstrike had no real evidence either. They just thought that it looked kinda like the sort of thing that hackers in Russia (as well other from other Soviet block countries, such as neighboring Ukraine) often do. There may have been some Cyrillic remnants left behind. Maybe. But Cyrillic wasn’t limited to Russia, but rather is Slavic, and its use closely parallels the Roman/Orthodox split. Besides, the Soviets had actively Russified their non-Russian fellow USSR Republics. Moreover, the CIA had already been shown to use hacking tools that made their hacks look Russia (Chinese, etc, as needed). And out of that little, very weak, evidence, 17 intelligence agencies were supposed to have conclusively agreed that it was the Russians who had hacked the DNC server, despite having no evidence whatsoever, besides what they got from Crowdstrike, whose boss admitted under oath to Congress, that they had almost nothing. Transcripts finally released in the last week or two.

The Obama Administration was fucking with the incoming Trump Administration with their expulsion of Russians. Their justification was completely fabricated. They all knew it. They wanted the Trump Administration to come into office with a soured relationship with Russia (among other things that they were trying to screw up). Flynn reminded the Russian Ambassador that their shared goal was fighting Islamic terrorism and adventurism in the Middle East, and therefore asked that the Russians not make matters worse by overreacting to the eviction of their people from the US. He knew and accepted that the Kremlin had to respond, just asked that they not overreact and ratchet up tensions. Nothing else, except to work on setting up a Secure videoconference Between Putin and Trump right after the inauguration. This actually appeared to be a request on the Russian side, and didn’t appear to have originally come from Flynn, or Trump. Flynn also felt out the Ambassador about the Israeli vote in the UN. The Ambassador told Flynn that they were blocked in (by their Middle East allies), and had to support it. Flynn said he understood.

That was the interference in foreign policy that had the Obama people screaming “Logan Act” - Flynn telling the Russians that he (and thus Trump) accepted their necessity of directly responding to Obama’s deliberate provocations, but asked that they not go any further than necessary, because it might harm their ability to fight Muzzie militants together, which they both agreed was a higher priority.

If someone tells you any differently, read the transcripts of his calls with the Russian Ambassador yourself.

MayBee said...

Here's how we handle this:

We ask Joe Biden, right now, if he wins in November will he promise nobody associated with him will speak to foreign diplomats or foreign leaders, except in support of Trump.

Ray - SoCal said...

No, his attack on Kavanaugh showed that.
Republicans Have Decided to Ignore All of Kavanaugh's Lies

> Blogger rcocean said...
>
> Amazing. Chalit's reading just shows him to be, a complete and total lying Liberal
> Democrat HACK.

The Godfather said...

Flynn talking to Kislyak “confuses the issue of who holds power”? Does that mean the Russians weren’t aware of the US election or how it came out? Hard to square that with the Russians having colluded with Trump to effect the election ain’t it?

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

Flynn made no mention of trade sanctions, contrary to Mueller's lies; he discussed expulsions of diplomats. He hoped Russia would not reciprocate against Obama's expulsions on Dec. 29, closer to inauguration day than election day. He hoped that relations between the President-elect and Russia would not be constrained by decisions during the transition time by the outgoing President. One President at a time: Trump shouldn't trample on Obama's actions before the 2017 inauguration; but Obama's decisions during the transition shouldn't constrain Trump too much either.

Every Trump-Russia narrative has been discredited. All that is left is that Russia interfered via DNC hacks, Obama was right to get tough about that, and Trump was doing something wrong in wanting to dial that down. Surely no one will embarrass themselves by bringing up the Facebook troll farm. The DNC hacks have never been properly investigated, and the Obama administration made sure no investigation was carried out. Hillary and Obama were extremely pissed off about Hillary losing.

cronus titan said...

The transcripts have zero legal value. At this point, a lot of people have way too much invested (personally and professionally, including the media) in the "Russia, Russia, Russia" theory to acknowledge the fraud. THere is much to lose if the theory is wrong.

Wait until the original 302 comes out and shows Flynn was truthful, and it was corrupt FBI agents (Strzok, Page, maybe McCabe) who re-wrote it and lied to Pence and the courts.

Unknown said...

It clearly shows that even as he was outgoing, Obama was trying to screw up American foreign policy. Flynn was absolutely correct, Obamas desire was to box trump in and "hopefully" force an aggressive Russian response to a nothing hoax, A NOTHING HOAX.

The attempt by russia to impace our elections was laughable. The only people who actually damaged our elections was Obama, the democrat party and the democrat press.

Really hoping a lot of Obama cronies are tossed in jail, they deserve it.

Sebastian said...

"part of a secret channel of communications"

WTF? It wasn't secret. To the public, yes, but not to anyone involved.

Of course, there was nothing criminal going on. The notion that a diplomatic exchange laying the groundwork for a new relation with a new administration constitutes "collusion" would make it impossible to have such discussions during any transition.

Not to mention that the last-minute Obama sanctions were themselves undoubtedly intended to complicate a reset of the reset of the reset.

Mike Sylwester said...

the Constitution allows for only one president at a time and that if an incoming administration begins foreign policy negotiations before taking office, it confuses the issue of who holds power

What happened during the transition period after Constitutional scholar Barack Obama won the 2008 Presidential election?

Did President-elect Obama instruct his new National Security Advisor to do everything "by the book"?

Mike Sylwester said...

Jonathan Chait is convincing proof that many liberals are stupid.

Bay Area Guy said...

Flynn was a political threat to Obama, so Team Obama tried to cut his legs off, both legally and politically.

Thru the dogged work of Sidney Powell, these assholes, including idiot Judge Sullivan, have been outed, while Flynn has survived, and hopefully, will be rehabillitated.

Time to drop the hammer, Durham!

Big Mike said...

Am I the only one concerned that since Trump’s inauguration the Democrats and the news media have jointly decided that the United States should have an antagonistic policy towards Russia, and that they have colluded in an attempt to force Trump to adhere to that policy using the Mueller Investigation and, for instance, the news media response to Trump’s July 2018 summit with Putin?

Sebastian said...

"All that is left is that Russia interfered via DNC hacks"

Of course, the Crowdstrike CEO declared under oath that they couldn't tell if the Russians did it.

Owen said...

Bruce Hayden @ 10:54: Nailed it.

Wonderfully complete and succinct picture of what was really going on. Obama and his people were baiting a trap. Flynn fell into it. Trump was greatly hindered by it. The country has been badly hurt by it. And it persists: even, and particularly, among apparently intelligent people.

As I said above, the transcript isn't going to change their minds.

tim maguire said...

One word that might describe this relationship would be 'collusion.'"

Wow, one word that might describe...that’s some harsh and damning stuff.

Owen said...

Cronus titan @ 11:05: "...Wait until the original 302 comes out..."

Not holding my breath here. Not only because the history in this instance is such a sorry mess of serial fabrications and rewrites for ulterior motives of a document that, as I understand it, is supposed to be a faithful and near-contemporaneous record by eyewitnesses to what occurred before their eyes and ears in a live interview.

Not only because this specific history is so messed up already; but because I no longer believe in the integrity of the institution that uses such record keeping. The truth is not in them.

Hey Skipper said...

@Bruce Hayden:

Damn you and your incontrovertible facts!

[/sarc off]

At Volokh recently, you amply demonstrated how powerful progressives' antibodies are to a dose of those facts, no matter how large.

(Predicting Gadfly's on-point response in 1,2,3 ... ∞.)

Yancey Ward said...

Chait is a sack of shit. His entire essay boils down this- anyone talking to a Russian was guilty of collusion, but only if they are a Republcan official. Any Democrat official talking to a Russian is doing something that is entirely expected and, thus, not open for criminal investigation.

Bruce Hayden said...

Also keep this in mind when discussing the archaic, never prosecuted by the DOJ, Logan Act - Presidential transitions are federally funded. That means that as Trump’s designated NSA, Flynn was essentially a federal employee working completely within his job description and responsibilities. That makes him little different legally at the time from then Secretary of State, John Kerry (but, of course, not later for Kerry negotiating with Iran after leaving office) or Obama’s NSA.

Michael K said...

Regardless of the Trump News Network spin in The Federalist, releasing the tape transcripts does not help the Trump story that his campaign never used Russian assets in winning the election – which is against the law.

Nobody thinks a partisan radical like gadfly would be influenced by truth. We just ignore him and other loonies like Inga.

I disagree with one point made by Bruce above. There is no evidence that the DNC server was ever "hacked" by internet methods. The download speed means a thumb drive and we know who that must have been.

bgates said...

"They were, however, part of a secret channel of communications, the premise of which was that the two parties had a secret common interest against the United States government." Their common enemy was ISIS! How do you misread the call transcript like that?

It's not a misreading. Trump/Flynn and the Russian government had a common enemy in ISIS. Opposition to ISIS was against the interests of the Obama administration.

They argued that the Constitution allows for only one president at a time plus, occasionally, one Office of the President Elect.

Birkel said...

Two screens.
Reverse the party labels and the Leftist Collectivists defend their guy.
And the guy on the conservative side stays right where they are; there is no hint of a crime.

Now tell me which side is correct about the current facts.

Bruce Hayden said...

“Transcripts released can be interpreted to show that Flynn, while under investigation for his ties to Russia and already on thin ice with the President-Elect, got on the phone and through the Russian Ambassador, persuaded Vladimir Putin to hold off on retaliating for US sanctions. Ultimately, the latest transcripts indicate that Flynn kept Trump apprised on his talks with the Russian ambassador as they progressed – which puts Trump into the calls, so to speak. Flynn engaged in these calls on his own initiative with Trump’s consent — but without knowledge given to the Obama Administation. Flynn lied when he testified that he first discussed the calls with Trump on February 7, 2017 but Mueller discovered evidence that put such communication back to January 3rd.”

You have built quite an edifice on sand there. As others have pointed out here - just wait until the original 302s come out (if ever). We don’t really know what Flynn said to the two FBI agents sent over to interview him on a fraudulently orchestrated perjury trap. All any of us have seen are heavily redacted versions of the heavily edited versions of the 302s supplied to Flynn’s attorneys. Edited by a non participant to the call (Lisa Page) under orders from her boss, who setup the perjury trap in the first place by lying to a federal official (Flynn - by then the President’s National Security Advisor). What, BTW, was Flynn charged with? 18 USC §1001, which makes it a federal crime to make material misstatements to a federal official - just as DD McCabe did to get Flynn to agree to meet his agents, and then, by proxy, in having his top attorney misleadingly edit the transcripts of the meeting.

“Regardless of the Trump News Network spin in The Federalist, releasing the tape transcripts does not help the Trump story that his campaign never used Russian assets in winning the election – which is against the law.”

Interesting movement of the goalposts. Just blithely assume that Trump used Russian assets to win the election, then point out that these transcripts, from a month and more after the election, don’t prove that Trump used Russian assets. Of course they don’t. Because they are more than a month after the election. The election was over by then.

But there has been nothing besides a lot of smoke, that has mostly blown away by now, supporting your assertion that the Russians intentionally helped Trump win. Indeed, the contrary is more likely - it has been confirmed that they preferred Crooked Hillary. But mostly they were just trying to screw up our Democratic process, something have been doing for at least a half century now.

buwaya said...

Facts (legal facts) don't matter, the law doesn't matter. Reason doesn't matter.
Words don't matter.

These are irrelevant to power struggles. Its all about how many back you, and what resources they control.

Bruce Hayden said...

“ I disagree with one point made by Bruce above. There is no evidence that the DNC server was ever "hacked" by internet methods. The download speed means a thumb drive and we know who that must have been.”

Sorry. I didn’t mean to imply that. I agree that it very, very, likely was an inside job. Rather, I was addressing the argument made by the Obama people, Mueller’s people, etc that the overwhelming evidence was that the Russians got the emails by hacking the DNC server, and then provided them to Assange. There was no evidence of that, really, and the, until just recently released, testimony by the head of Crowdstrike showed how weak, to nonexistent, the evidence of Russian interference by that route really was. Even as late as the Mueller Report, they were still pretending that the evidence by this route was overwhelming, when it was fabricated and almost nonexistent. This is part of the smoke I was talking about. Nothing behind it. Nothing.

Bruce Hayden said...

“ plus, occasionally, one Office of the President Elect.”

Presidential transitions are provided for by federal statutes, and funded by the federal government.

Owen said...

Michael K @ 11:55: "...The download speed means a thumb drive and we know who that must have been."

I drank the same Kool-Aid as you. Of course, the star witness to that story was the victim of a "robbery" right afterwards, so I am not optimistic we will ever get to the bottom of it.

Zach said...

"Secret channel of communications"?

He was the incoming national security advisor! Three weeks before his administration came into office!

"They were, however, part of a secret channel of communications, the premise of which was that the two parties had a secret common interest against the United States government."

The "United States government" here is the outgoing administration. Outgoing as in, outgoing in three weeks. To be replaced by, among others, Flynn himself.

What he means to say here is that the outgoing administration and the incoming administration had policy differences.

wholelottasplainin' said...

Narayanan said...
It is not clear who originated these 'contacts' :
- If it was Flynn I will have to agree with Obama team.
- If it was Kislyak then all Flynn had to say was call me later. so again I have to agree with Obama team. They wanted strained relations with Russia. which Flynn clearly knew that.

- Did Flynn give heads up to Trump or Pence before talking to Russia or FBI?
**************
That last question is utterly immaterial. Bruce Hayden (and Barr himself) have pointed out that it has been routine for members of an incoming administration to begin to make contacts with foreign governments to ensure a smooth transmisstion. IIRC he also said that the outcoming governments generally provide office space for such people to work out of. As for Flynn, he had been picked by Trump for the a post that would involve making and contacts and developing relationships with the Russkis, among others. There is NO evidence that Trump was blind-sided by Flynn's actions.

Deevs said...

I read the Jonathon Chait piece, but not the others. The quotes he chose to highlight and then the conclusion he tried to draw from them were incoherent to me. It was fun to see him drag out collusion again.

Zach said...

They argued that the Constitution allows for only one president at a time and that if an incoming administration begins foreign policy negotiations before taking office, it confuses the issue of who holds power....

The United States only has one president at a time, but every few years it has a President Elect, who is legally and morally entitled to begin making plans for exercising the power of the office to which he has already been elected.

The outgoing administration has legal power to represent the country, but with a fixed and rapidly vanishing term of authority, they have no moral power to bind the country in ways that the incoming administration does not approve of.

The resolution to the dilemma is that the outgoing administration should have consulted with the incoming administration before making policy changes that would carry repercussions beyond Jan 20.

Drago said...

gadfly the Hopeless Moron: "Not all of the Flynn-Kyslyak call transcripts were released, supposedly because DOJ didn’t have them all. Unsurprisingly, one that was strangely missing contained discussion of Jared Kushner setting up a “back channel” with the Russians.

Kislyak, obviously concerned about wire taps, set up the calls with Flynn using language that implied that Russia and Trump were unified against ISIS (as the code word for Democrats)."

Yes.

The lefties are literally going to die on this idiotic "hill".

As expected.

After 4+ years of lie after lie (exemplified nicely by the voice-actuated automaton gadfly here), they have no choice. Admission of the truth is not possible for them.

Drago said...

Hey Skipper: "(Predicting Gadfly's on-point response in 1,2,3 ... ∞.)"

gadfly doesn't have responses.

He has the ability to cut and paste from the farthest reaches of the lefty fever dream swamp only.

And always.

Jupiter said...

The way these Lefties toss that word around, you would think that "collusion" was a crime. Like, with a law against it. But it isn't. Espionage is a crime. Perjury, breaking and entering, disturbing the peace -- all crimes. But collusion, no. Colluding is perfectly legal. Collude all you want, there is no law against it.

Lurker21 said...

Obama, McCain, and Romney all talked to foreign officials during their campaigns. That seems to be standard procedure now.

Jonathan Chait is the fellow who proposed the theory that Donald Trump has been a Russian asset since 1987, so he obviously has a dog in the fight and an axe to grind when it comes to Russian collusion theories.

Michael K said...

Of course, the star witness to that story was the victim of a "robbery" right afterwards, so I am not optimistic we will ever get to the bottom of it.

I wonder if we will ever hear from the Medical resident at GW hospital who was ordered out of ICU when the still living "robbery victim" was admitted? Probably not me as I am too old to live that long.

hombre said...

Until now Republicans have seen the enemy as external hostile powers. Democrats, like despots everywhere, have always seen the enemy as their internal political opponents. Obama had no external enemies that he did not inherit. ISIS was the “junior varsity.” We were not attacked by Muslim terrorists. Syria never crossed the “red line.” All we needed with Russia was a “reset button.” Iran would be our peaceful friend with the right bribe.

Trump is not as stupid as the Republicans. Democrats and their mediaswine consorts are anti-Constitutional, seditious enemies of the Republic and he sees that. For example, these NY and NYT articles have nothing to do with “truth in the eye of the beholder.” Flynn was not obliged to uphold Obama’s discretionary policies. He was obliged to smooth the way for transition to a new administration. The articles are simply doubling down on Obot corruption.

Birches said...

I suppose you're right bgates.

ISIS is codeword for Democrats....

And the right has a problem with conspiracy theories? Hahaha

hombre said...

Drago: ‘The lefties are literally going to die on this idiotic "hill".’

No. They aren’t. They are playing to a cadre of idiots who may well compromise a majority of the country.

Embarrassing isn’t it?

Rick said...

They argued that the Constitution allows for only one president at a time and that if an incoming administration begins foreign policy negotiations before taking office, it confuses the issue of who holds power.

There's a simple way to tell if left wingers applying this standard are doing so only because it satisfies their partisan political goals.

Is there a circumstance where a left wing politician has done this or worse where they have not applied the standard. Since this has happened - for example with left wingers reassuring Iran they will return to appeasement as soon as Dems control the Presidency again - we can discard this conclusion as partisan nonsense. There's no justification to apply this standard in this case but not in worse cases where the roles are reversed. What Flynn did is far less conflicting because (1) there's little to no conflict in the first place, all he told them was not to escalate a sanction war, and (2) a new President was already elected and he was the incoming appropriate representative whereas Dems interfering with our foreign policy have no position at all. Since it's not even close which interference is worse Chait's absurd focus solely on Flynn show he is attacking Flynn because he is an enemy and defending the left wing deep state because they are his allies. In other words he is a typical mainstream journalist.

Joan said...

Gotta give gadfly points for creativity, though. I've never seen "ISIS is code for Democrats" before. Quite the knee-slapper!

Rick said...

I've never seen "ISIS is code for Democrats" before.

Interestingly I have heard American Taliban or Taliban Wing referring to conservatives many times including by elected officials, high ranking institutional officials, and by left wing commenters on this site: the full range of powerful to useless. Yet no left winger on this site has ever criticized them. So it's strange one single instance of this type of rhetoric is worthy of criticism from people who routinely pass on similar criticism of their allies.

Why sometimes it seems left wingers simply refuse to judge themselves by the standards they hold others to.

Unknown said...

Blogger Big Mike said...

Am I the only one concerned that since Trump’s inauguration the Democrats and the news media have jointly decided that the United States should have an antagonistic policy towards Russia, and that they have colluded in an attempt to force Trump to adhere to that policy using the Mueller Investigation and, for instance, the news media response to Trump’s July 2018 summit with Putin?

5/30/20, 11:29 AM"

No, I was livid about it in the first 90 days. It seemed like the democrats and their media partners were trying to start WWIII just so they could get Trump out of the whitehouse. They are dangerous, evil people.

Rick said...

hombre said...
Until now Republicans have seen the enemy as external hostile powers. Democrats, like despots everywhere, have always seen the enemy as their internal political opponents.


This was the key to victory for the Chinese communists. While the nationalists focused on fighting the Japanese the communists focused on fighting the nationalists. Mao went on to kill 60 million people during the "peace" afterward and 98% of Americans couldn't even name the Nationalist leader.

hstad said...

AA, thank you for finally addressing what I believe to be one of the most dangerous threats to our Country - all embodied in this one 'terrorist' act by the 'State' and 'MSM' players against General Flynn.

I previously asked you, as a law scholar and your law experienced bloggers to address the Flynn clown show by the Federal prosecutors, Courts and MSM. This article I hope is the beginning of more to come. In addressing the main issue here - if the 'State' can go after a decorated 3 Star General - what chance does the average citizen have in our Republic?

Drago said...

Birches: "ISIS is codeword for Democrats....

And the right has a problem with conspiracy theories? Hahaha"

It is factual to say that obama's administration downplayed the rise and danger of ISIS in order to advance their more overarching strategic goal: empowering Iran to become the dominant player in the middle east.

Another area in which Flynn has insider information on the policy and its effects in the field which, if made public, would be quite embarrassing to the obama admin.

Matt Sablan said...

"Am I the only one concerned that since Trump’s inauguration the Democrats and the news media have jointly decided that the United States should have an antagonistic policy towards Russia, and that they have colluded in an attempt to force Trump to adhere to that policy using the Mueller Investigation and, for instance, the news media response to Trump’s July 2018 summit with Putin?"

-- The 80s called; they want their foreign policy back.

Lee Moore said...

Bruce Hayden :

"The Obama Administration was fucking with the incoming Trump Administration with their expulsion of Russians…..

…If someone tells you any differently, read the transcripts of his calls with the Russian Ambassador yourself."

I did read them. It’s quite clear that the “the Obama Administration was fucking with the incoming Trump Administration” - so clear that not only was it obvious to the presumably quite sharp Russian Ambassador :

KISLYAK : And I just wanted to tell you that we found these actions have targeted not only against Russia, but also against the president elect

it was even clear to the doofuses at CNN :

https://edition.cnn.com/2016/12/29/opinions/russia-sanctions-ghitis/index.html

“Obama puts Trump on the spot with Russia sanctions”

The Obama Administration was pursuing its domestic policy objective of fucking with the incoming Trump Administration, by trying to engineer a punch up with the Russkies on the foreign policy front.

Now, at the time, the Obama Administration was the actual US government. The future Trump administration was not. Consequently, at the time of Flynn’s calls, the Obama Administration’s efforts to screw with Trump by pursuing a fight with the Russkies was official government policy. So Flynn’s efforts to cool it with the Russkie Ambassador were screwing with official government policy.

So all those pieces we’ve seen saying “Flynn did nothing wrong, look he was trying to cool it and that’s in US interests” are missing the point. It wasn’t what the then US government thought was in US interests. The legal government thought damaging relations with Russia was a good policy, contributing to their gooddomestic policy of screwing with Trump.

So if the Logan Act were a thing, Flynn would be guilty as hell.

En passant, I’ll note that from reading the transcripts – and perhaps someone knows the facts – it’s not at all obvious to me that the 29 Dec 2016 Flynn-Kislyak phone call is happening after the expulsions of 35 Russkies has been announced – or at least after Flynn is aware of them. He seems to be talking about rumors and possibilities. However whatever the rights and wrongs of that, I’ve seen an internet meme that the transcripts show that Flynn did not discuss “sanctions” as defined in Mueller’s statement of offense as the contents of EO 13757. This looks wrong. The sanctions on FSB and GRU are discussed and they are in EO 13757.

Moving on :

Cronus titan : The transcripts have zero legal value.

By which he means, zero legal value without the 302s of Flynn’s interview so that we can see if he was lying. I beg to differ. The transcripts, which even if they do show clear breaches of the Logan Act, do not show Flynn – to the smallest extent – as an agent in the pay of the Kremlin. Quite the opposite. If Flynn was a Kremlin agent, Kislyak could not conceivably have said what he said about the Obama measures being directed against the president – elect. It insinuates some common interest between Russia and Trump, which would be deranged in a phone call between an agent and his controller, which both knew would be being listened to by the US authorities. Flynn and Kislyak would have been more belligerent if they knew it was just a show for the amusement of FBI listeners in.

The transcripts demonstrate that the DoJ is legally correct when it says that even if Flynn lied, such a lie was not material to any counter-intelligence investigation. Having cleared Flynn up to the point of dotting the final i, and crossing the final t, on 4 January, there’s nothing in the transcripts that could justify continuing the investigation, still less interviewing Flynn about it on 24 January.

Amadeus 48 said...

Well, I guess that settles it.

Yawn

narciso said...

they had an investigation of walid phares, who happens to be a maronite christian, on his support of the egyptian government, why because qatar backed the salafi militants behind morsi, who released a whole spell of them,

Original Mike said...

"ISIS is codeword for Democrats."

That's impressive, gadfly. Did you think that up yourself?

Josephbleau said...

"They argued that the Constitution allows for only one president at a time and that if an incoming administration begins foreign policy negotiations before taking office, it confuses the issue of who holds power."

The constitution also allows for a president elect, or they would have had the inauguration the day the electors voted in December. There was no confusion, Obama had the power, Trump had power to be realized in the future.

Bruce Hayden said...

"Am I the only one concerned that since Trump’s inauguration the Democrats and the news media have jointly decided that the United States should have an antagonistic policy towards Russia, and that they have colluded in an attempt to force Trump to adhere to that policy using the Mueller Investigation and, for instance, the news media response to Trump’s July 2018 summit with Putin?"

Part of it, of course, is that focusing on the Ruskies means ignoring the Chinks, the Red Chinese. Part of why the Dems and their Deep State allies wanted Gen Flynn out of the Trump WH was that he was the one who most aware that the bigger threats to US interests were the ChiComs. Who gave the Wuhan Coronavirus, and turned it into a pandemic. But it goes much further with the Chinese engaging in aggressive foreign policy, etc.

And, of course, another big part is that the Chinese have bought and paid for so many at the top of the Dem party, from the Biden family, on down, as well as big tech companies like Google and Twitter. All at least partially controlled by the Chinese.

Narayanan said...

wholelottasplainin' said...
Narayanan said...
- Did Flynn give heads up to Trump or Pence before talking to Russia or FBI?
**************
That last question is utterly immaterial. Bruce Hayden (and Barr himself) have pointed out that it has been routine for members of an incoming administration to begin to make contacts with foreign governments to ensure a smooth transmisstion. IIRC he also said that the outcoming governments generally provide office space for such people to work out of. As for Flynn, he had been picked by Trump for the a post that would involve making and contacts and developing relationships with the Russkis, among others. There is NO evidence that Trump was blind-sided by Flynn's actions.
-------------=============
thanks for taking time to respond. Had the transition been simple baton passing between UniParty anointed many of the current issues would be papered

Flynn clearly stepped out of bounds unless his charge from Trump/job description has been superseded or includes contacting/responding directly Foreign Ambassadors - who primarily liaise through StateDept.

I primarily take him to task for lack of situational awareness him being intelligence honcho and all

--- What is the job description of the National Security Advisor?

The national security adviser offers the president a range of options on national security issues. Among other duties, the national security adviser helps plan the president’s foreign travel and provides background memos and staffing for the president’s meetings and phone calls with world leaders.

Ray - SoCal said...

I’ve been shocked by all the dirty tricks pulled against Trump since he became the GOP nominee.

The Russian collusion hit from the Media, Democrats, and deep state has been astonishing in its effectiveness and vindictiveness against Trump and Anyone associated with him.

They put Flynn through Hell.

Rory said...

"all the dirty tricks"

Trump himself was a dirty trick, promoted by the Clinton campaign and the DNC to throw the Republican primaries into disarray.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

It is true that Person A, should he say to Person B, “I can’t talk about X,” could be said to have “discussed the issue of X with Person B.” In a literal, didactic, rather unfair way, yes that statement is literally true. But it’s hardly the hook to hang a 1001 violation and treason charge on a man. It doesn’t pass the smell test.

Terry Ott said...

I confess to having wasted precious minutes by reading the Chait piece TWICE. After the first reading, confused, I concluded that I must have been unable to appreciate the point he was making. I took a break. Drank a delicious martini, up, with blue cheese stuffed olives … to clear my head. Read it again, even more carefully. The martini didn’t help at all. But then, upon reflection, I think I cracked the code, so to speak. Obviously Chait had consumed at least two martinis before he threw together his barely comprehensible word salad, and then fell asleep at his keyboard before proofreading it. Damned deadlines. ..publish it and just hope that someone, anyone, maybe Inga, can interpret it as “Flynn bad; traitorous weasel” which apparently is what he meant to say.

Bruce Hayden said...

“Flynn clearly stepped out of bounds unless his charge from Trump/job description has been superseded or includes contacting/responding directly Foreign Ambassadors - who primarily liaise through StateDept.

“I primarily take him to task for lack of situational awareness him being intelligence honcho and all

“--- What is the job description of the National Security Advisor?

“The national security adviser offers the president a range of options on national security issues. Among other duties, the national security adviser helps plan the president’s foreign travel and provides background memos and staffing for the president’s meetings and phone calls with world leaders. Flynn clearly stepped out of bounds unless his charge from Trump/job description has been superseded or includes contacting/responding directly Foreign Ambassadors - who primarily liaise through StateDept.”

I think that you very much misunderstand the job of an NSA in a modern Republican Administration. The last place that a Republican Administration is going to trust to for day to day dealings with major world powers is the State Department. It is filled with careerist Deep State bureaucrats, very often very liberal, and no doubt in this Administration, heavily into #Resistance. They are more often than not Dems with impeccable credentials, having prepped well, then gone on to an Ivy League school, and probably grad school. The absolute last people someone like Trump would trust. If you want a major treaty, you go through the State Dept. that is where you go for visas, and Americans in foreign countries having problems. But if the Trump Administration wants to ask the Putin Administration informally about something, not important enough for a direct call between the two of them personally, it would still to this day, probably go just like these calls went, between the NSA and the Russian Ambassador to the US. Both, no doubt, talk daily to their principals. Interestingly, one of the interesting aspects to the calls was that there were several oblique references in the calls to the Russian bureaucracy and their inflexibility. All of these countries have their equivalents to our State Department, and much of modern day to day high level diplomacy seems to be getting around them, while still appeasing them.

These discussions were exactly the sorts of communications that a modern NSA, esp in a Republican Administration, would be involved in. They are one or at two levels removed from the very top (I think that Flynn was operating more through Pence than with Trump directly). This couldn’t have been through State directly, because they were the ones imposing sanctions on our side, and demanding retribution on the Russian side. And it was too low down for the two principals to discuss personally.

I should add that Congress has oversight over the State Dept, but not over the NSC, which is supposed to be the NSA’s staff. That is part of why IG Atkinson got fired - he took NSC business to Congress (to Schifty and his HPSCI).

What really ballooned under Obama was the NSC as a parallel organization to the State Dept, IC, DOD, etc. It had started with a couple, under Kissinger, and had grown to 600 people by the time Trump took over, most of whom had been forwarded from various departments and agencies. during the impeachment, we found that it still had 600 staffers, many of whom were, not surprisingly, Obama holdovers, intent on sabotaging Trump’s foreign policy from within the West Wing of the WH. And that, again, was why Flynn had to go - because he was apparently planning on the sort of downsizing and streamlining of the NSC that was finally accomplished this year, after a number of NSC staff helped try to get Trump impeached. Flynn probably would have done it three years earlier.