Sometimes public silence can be deafening or, for that matter, misleading.
For nearly two years now, the intelligence community has kept secret evidence in the Russia collusion case that directly undercuts the portrayal of retired Army general and former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn as a Russian stooge.
That silence was maintained even when former acting Attorney General Sally Yates publicly claimed Flynn was possibly “compromised” by Moscow.
And when a Democratic senator, Al Franken of Minnesota, suggested the former Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) chief posed a “danger to this republic.”
And even when some media outlets opined about whether Flynn’s contacts with Russia were treasonous.
Yes, the Pentagon did give a classified briefing to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) in May 2017, but then it declined the senator’s impassioned plea three months later to make some of that briefing information public.
“It appears the public release of this information would not pose any ongoing risk to national security. Moreover, the declassification would be in the public interest, and is in the interest of fairness to Lt. Gen. Flynn,” Grassley wrote in August 2017.
Were the information Grassley requested made public, America would have learned this, according to my sources:
- Before Flynn made his infamous December 2015 trip to Moscow — as a retired general and then-adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign — he alerted his former employer, the DIA.
- He then attended a “defensive” or “protective” briefing before he ever sat alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Russia Today (RT) dinner, or before he talked with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
- The briefing educated and sensitized Flynn to possible efforts by his Russian host to compromise the former high-ranking defense official and prepared him for conversations in which he could potentially extract intelligence for U.S. agencies such as the DIA.
- When Flynn returned from Moscow, he spent time briefing intelligence officials on what he learned during the Moscow contacts. Between two and nine intelligence officials attended the various meetings with Flynn about the RT event, and the information was moderately useful, about what one would expect from a public event, according to my sources.
DIA spokesman James Kudla on Wednesday declined comment about Flynn.
Rather than a diplomatic embarrassment bordering on treason, Flynn’s conduct at the RT event provided some modest benefit to the U.S. intelligence community, something that many former military and intelligence officers continue to offer their country after retirement when they keep security clearances.
It’s important to wind back many months to where the Russia collusion narrative started and the media frenzy–driven suggestion that Flynn may have been on a mission to compromise America’s security and endanger this great republic when he visited Moscow.
Would the central character in a Russian election hijack plot actually self-disclose his trip in advance? And then sit through a briefing on how to avoid being compromised by his foreign hosts? And then come back to America and be debriefed by U.S. intelligence officers about who and what he saw?
And would a prosecutor recommend little or no prison time for a former general if that former military leader truly had compromised national security?
The gap between the original portrayal of Flynn’s activities and the actual facts likely is one of the reasons a prosecutor working for special counsel Robert Mueller pointedly rejected a judge’s suggestion at Flynn’s aborted sentencing last month that the general might have engaged in treason.
There’s no sugarcoating the mistakes Flynn did make. By his own admission, he misled the FBI and Vice President Pence about the fact that sanctions did come up in a December 2016 conversation with Kislyak, then Moscow’s ambassador to the United States. He didn’t file proper foreign-lobbying paperwork for money he received from Turkish sources. And he likely did not file the proper paperwork disclosing or seeking permission for the $45,000 in speaking and travel fees he got for the RT event.
Those are sins for which Flynn has paid, and will pay, dearly.
But there is ample evidence now that the event that many “Russia collusion” cheerleaders have cited as the start of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Moscow was, in fact, something very different.
I keep thinking to myself, what does someone like General Flynn think? What does a decorated, loyal, dedicated military man think about his country turning on him and trying to destroy him simply because some people plotting the downfall of their duly elected President thought he could be forced to lie for them?
For some reason he lied to Pence, but he didn’t lie to the FBI; he simply couldn’t remember things as the transcripts of recording showed. However, were it not for the disregard of the facts of his trip to Russia, Gen. Flynn would NEVER HAVE BEEN QUESTIONED about those things.
Meanwhile, no prosecutor would have taken the case against Hillary, where she abused national security and lied about it on video, destroyed evidence and “couldn’t remember” 37 times when SHE was interviewed. Oh, no… of COURSE they wouldn’t.
It’s no stretch to believe this is the character of the entire “investigation”.
Question, have either of the Clintoon’s filed the appropriate paperwork for their speaking engagements in Russia or other foreign countries?
@Boris Badenov: Oh, that’s just silly. Clinton’s don’t have to follow rules or laws. They’er CLINTON’S, for God’s sake! Laws for for schlubs.
May 16, 2019 — Flynn told Mueller people tied to Trump and Congress tried to obstruct probe
The judge has ordered that the transcripts be provided by May 31.
@Greg: Is there a FISA on Flynn? he is no dummy as an innocent man that has nothing to hide he would be cooperative with the investigators. He knew they already had the phone call by spying, and the admin knew he was being spied on.
@Greg: And yet Mueller couldn’t find obstruction. Sounds like this “bombshell” is going to be another great, big, dud.
Mueller couldn’t find obstruction because DoJ policy didn’t allow him to do so. He did, however, lay out enough information for Congress to conclude that it took place, despite the fact that the White House refused to answer any questions related to the topic.
If it weren’t for DoJ policy and Trump hiding behind the presidential seal, he’d be under indictment.
No, it simply wasn’t there. You can’t find something that doesn’t exist; you can only pretend it exists if you WANT to and that doesn’t hold up in court.
If it weren’t for the DOJ, FBI and CIA using “evidence” they all suspected or knew was false to initiate illegal spying and “investigations”, there would not even be a question of obstruction.
Mueller didn’t find obstruction because what he found did not meet stare decisis requirements. Finding obstruction and stating so is not the same as bringing an indictment. Mueller failed to do the job he was tasked and took the coward’s way out leaving the decision to Rosenstein and Barr.
Clearly, you are not as smart as you think you are by relying on your left wing talking heads.
@retire05: There was no collusion and there was no obstruction. Collusion never WAS a crime, so Mueller didn’t linger on it, but leaving the question of obstruction open-ended would be useful to Democrats in Congress. It’s always been all about politics and it is about to publicly unravel.
Perhaps that was the reason to drag the “investigation” out for two years; to try and get Trump to react in some what they the Democrats could use. He simply did not fall into their trap.
That’s why Mueller wasn’t investigating collusion. He was, on the other hand, investigating criminal conspiracy.
Mueller listed several examples of obstruction that he found. He didn’t indict Trump because he wasn’t allowed to indict Trump; he didn’t directly accuse Trump because, if he did, Trump wouldn’t be allowed to defend himself in a court of law (since there was, and could be no, indictment).
Mueller did what he could in the circumstances: detail and copiously document the ten instances of obstruction he found, and then turn it over to the only group he saw as legally able to address the malfeasance: Congress.
@Michael: Would that be why his report states there was no evidence of collusion by Trump or anyone in his campaign? Because he wasn’t investigating it? That doesn’t sound like good investigatory practice.
Don’t hurt yourself twisting reality to try and fit into your fantasy world.
How does the Media convince idiots of this nonsense?
Then they go around repeating it, total illogical insanity.
I guess if they are so poorly educated to think Congress is a superior branch, makes laws, has the right to trample on any citizens rights without just cause. Are never aware of what the job of Special prosecutor or AG entail, and really dont mind sounding ignorant so never look into it.
So much of what the IC did that was so far outside standard procedure not bordering on political but deep into banana republic seditious activities, which they will call “mistakes” some call treason.
Mueller was to find a binary decision, obstruction or no obstruction. Part II of his report would garner a first year law student a big fat F. So Mueller, in order to muddy the waters for the benefit of his Democrat (establishment) friends, decided to say the President could not be “exonerated” of obstruction. That statement was totally uncalled for and served as only fodder for the Dems.
The President, as any American citizen, has the right to defend themselves in a court of law. Mueller knew he had a losing case so he obfuscated and took the coward’s way out.
Here is the process; had Mueller beyond a reasonable doubt, found obstruction he could have said so. That would have allowed the House to conduct impeachment procedures. There is no doubt that the Democrat House would find for impeachment. Then it goes to the Senate for an actual trial. With that trial comes discovery and Mueller would look like a fool and he knew it.
Mueller knew, early on, there was no “collusion” on the part of ANY American with the Russians. I think you will learn that the report was delayed for no other reason than to get past the mid-terms. And that worked to the benefit of the Democrats.
You really should stop opining on things you are illiterate on.
No criminal conspiracy, specifically with the Russian government.
I was convinced when I read the 2000 DoJ finding specifically forbidding the indictment of a sitting president. Both Greg and I have linked to it, each of us more than once.
Really? You yourself have told me that I can’t know what he was charged to do, since we haven’t seen Rosenstein’s directive. Has that situation changed?
Tell me more about your time as a law professor.
It was entirely called for if, as happened, he a) found plenty of evidence of obstruction, b) was not allowed to indict the president, and c) wanted to indicate that somebody needed to act, even if he couldn’t do so within the DoJ guidelines.
Nobody is saying he doesn’t, Professor. But if Mueller is not allowed to take what he found to court, then Trump would not have the opportunity to defend himself in a court of law because, per DoJ guidelines, the accusation would not be allowed to end up in a court of law. It would be patently unfair for Mueller to accuse Trump in such circumstances, since Trump couldn’t then do anything about it.
Here’s what Mueller did say, however:
He would have so stated. He did not so state.
Such does not seem to be the case. You can’t tell me that Pelosi doesn’t believe that she has a truckload of evidence to use against Trump in an impeachment hearing.
Which is why Pelosi doesn’t want to impeach; she knows that the majority-Republican Senate would never convict, no matter what.
One wonders, then, why he turned the case over to Congress and called on that body to do something about it. Here’s part of what he says on the topic:
“With respect to whether the President can be found to have obstructed justice by exercising his powers under Article II of the Constitution, we concluded that Congress has authority to prohibit a President’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice.”
Well, he knew that there is no Federal law against “collusion,” which is why he was looking into “criminal conspiracy.”
As I’ve already suggested more than once, “physician, heal thyself.”
Your explanation of what Mueller did involves chicanery and conspiracy theories. Mine involves Mueller simply following the guidelines of the organization for which he worked. You’re hearing hooves and assuming it’s a herd of zebras.
[NOTE: Edited more than once to add new citations.]
@Michael: That is true, the DOJ does not indict…its not their place constitutionally to do so.
What is the proper check on the President for criminal behavior?
Outside of the ballot box, what could that be?
Its in the constitution , that a huge hint.
It was done in an investigation by Kenn Starr second hint.
Only 2 Presidents have had this happen third hint.
To come at the issue that Mueller could not make a case for collusion conspiracy or obstruction the media hands you a retarded talking point, hey it isnt working.
The report and the way the summary was worded could only have been composed by Weissmans band of butt sore fools.
Cant exonerate? Was that the assignment?
Cant indict, point taken, was never his assignment, his assignment was to come up with evidence for the house to Impeach Trump, he just couldnt do it.
If there was anything that could impeach Trump it would have clearly been laid out with all the legal language needed for the congress to proceed.
You don’t have to be a law professor to understand the law or what is required of first year law students. Or are you of the misguided conception that all jurists teach law?
The bottom line (again, for the dense): Mueller was to make a binary decision; obstruction or no obstruction, NO OBFUSCATION. He did not do that and consequently, his Part II is worthless as a legal determination
In justifying his non-decision, Mueller claimed any other outcome would be unfair to the president. From the special counsel’s report:
We determined not to apply an approach that could potentially result in a judgment that the President committed crimes. Fairness concerns counseled against potentially reaching that judgment when no charges can be brought. The ordinary means for an individual to respond to an accusations is through a speedy and public trial, with all the procedural protections that surround a criminal case. An individual who believes he was wrongfully accused can use that process to seek to clear his name. In contrast, a prosecutor’s judgment that crimes were committed, but that no charges will be brought, affords no such adversarial opportunity for public name-clearing before an impartial adjudicator. The concerns about the fairness of such a determination would be heightened in the case of a sitting President, where a federal prosecutor’s accusations of a crime, even in an internal report, could carry consequence that extend beyond the realm of criminal justice.</
Got that? Mueller doesn’t say a federal prosecutor could not make an accusation of a crime (because they can) he says it would be unfair to do so. WTF?
Continue to prove you have no clue what you are talking about. I’m loving it.
No hints necessary. I pointed out that Mueller did, in fact, refer the case to Congress for impeachment.
Which is exactly what he did. He specifically outlined in his report Congress’s responsibility with the information he gathered.
@retire05: The section of the report you cited outlines exactly the point I’m making in this thread. Exactly, down to the most minute detail. There is nothing at all in the section you cited which, in any way, bolsters your case — not even the part you set off in bold.
No, Kitt; Mueller’s task was to find if a crime (obstruction) was committed (i.e. the crime of obstruction was found giving examples or no crime of obstruction was found, end of story). He did not find a CRIME was committed so he played games with his “exoneration” comment.
The part highlighted in bold shows why Mueller fails the first semester law student test.
And you taught Constitutional law where? I find it odd that you want to pretend to have legal acumen but only recently read the U.S. Constitution.
I’m under the impression that only law professors give grades to first-year law students, which is the skill you pretended to have when you gave Mueller’s report a grade.
You said previously that Greg and I, as laymen, were unable to understand the law about Congressional committees requesting copies of the president’s tax returns. It’s interesting that you’re now of the mind that “You don’t have to be a law professor to understand the law.” When did you change your opinion on that?
No charges can be brought that should ring a bell with everyone. Impeachment requires charges.
See the logic? No you wont, cause you are stuck in your circular argument of non logic.
Ken Starr had the same rules as Mueller yet he recommended charges and Congress took that legal argument and impeached.
What Mueller has done is insure the reelection of the President and most likely the loss of the Democrat house. Cause they think they are on welfare they cant legislate, we need an immigration update. Its been 54 years, time we have reforms. We have no budget, we spend more than we take in, agencies go on spending sprees so they get the 3% budget raise they dont need.
He did find that a crime was committed, and he referred it to Congress to deal with, since that is the only legally-appropriate venue for doing so. Had he not found that a crime was committed, he would have so stated. He did not so state.
I haven’t. Not all lawyers teach law, you idiot. But you, and Greggie Goebbels, don’t even have a rudimentary knowledge of Constitutional law. Period. End of story.
I’m sick of arguing with someone who doesn’t know what they are talking about when it comes to the law. And funny you have so much time during the day to post when school is still in session and you should be in the class room. Perhaps you are trying to pull a head fake. Or is your school not in session at 9:30 in the morning?
He’s referring to the “traditional prosecutorial decision,” and you know that. He listed plenty of high crimes and misdemeanors for Congress to attend to. Ten, in fact.
Mueller has recommended that Congress impeach. He outlines the legal basis for it in his report, in some detail.
You keep believing that, Cupcake. That way you can feed your ego by thinking you’re right.
Coming from you, or Greggie Goebbels, it’s more like Prep aration H.
@Michael: Please quote where in the report tMueller says congress impeach, that is a dirty TV lie.
“traditional prosecutorial decision,” and you know that. He listed plenty of high crimes and misdemeanors for Congress to attend to. Ten, in fact.
It listed 10 things that he and his expert legal team investigated at length and could not find enough reason to charge with obstruction.
No I know he and his team could have clearly referred charges for impeachment. We have seen this before with the Starr Report you and those that are grasping for hope the country will never recover and be better from the socialist failure experiment, just want to believe your propaganda, will never look further than the boob tube for information.
Now we have the congress as welfare queens getting paid to squeal the loudest most insane drivel for their 5 minute spot on cable.
No budget, no immigration reform, nothing for their voters.
Or, “no collusion”. To simplify, NO NOTHING. NADA. ZIP. ZERO. It’s what you always get when you base your hopes on lies.
“Plenty” would have resulted in some statement like, “Trump committed obstruction.” There was no such statement; not even close. So, not only was there not “plenty” of evidence of obstruction, there was NO evidence of obstruction.
HAD he committed obstruction, he also would have stated. He could not state he didn’t because clearing the President of wrongdoing was not his mission; finding a crime was his mission. He failed, but he did not have the guts to say so.
If there was actual evidence that Trump committed some crime, I am fairly confident that the Republicans in the Senate would vote to impeach. However, there IS no evidence of any crime, so though the Democrat House might (not certainly) vote to impeach, based on political bias, it would fail in the Senate where there are enough votes to defeat political bias.
Find cite where in the Starr report it says, “Congress, impeach.”
@Michael: haha couldnt do it maybe they will tell you on your boob tube. lololol
@Deplorable Me: Sad news, Before Grumpy Cat could be called to give definitive proof of Obama and Hillarys guilt on running the coup, he passed away he was only 7. It was rumored He was given it by Doris Day who got it from Tim Conway……
@Deplorable Me, #8:
Over 900 former federal prosecutors have now publicly disagreed with you. They believe something is most definitely there.
Does the Mueller report exonerate Trump? I asked 12 legal experts.
An assertion that the Mueller report contains nothing in the way of evidence of serious wrongdoing is utter nonsense. It’s there for anyone to see, even in the redacted version, just as it’s totally obvious to anyone who can see that Trump is now misusing his power of office to continue his obstruction efforts. Ordering subordinates to break their oaths of office to prevent Congress from exercising its lawful oversight power is obstruction of justice, in addition to abuse of power.
If the GOP didn’t still control the Senate and hadn’t sold their souls to the devil, this guy would already be gone. Maybe he would have pardoned himself on the way out the door, or left that to Pence.
Cue music, and then break to commercial….
@Greg: #39 A meme and it wasnt that good funny but not good.
Is so sad your 900 ambulance chasers are not congress, you people voted in a pile of brain dead attention whores and commies. The Green new deal is just something coughed up by AOCs cat.
And that means…. what? Here, I’ll help you out: NOTHING. Nothing but there are 900 prosecutors that shouldn’t be.
What it contains is unproven innuendo and speculation. On the facts, which the report was supposed to use to either incriminate or clear Trump, it can’t bring itself to state the obvious: Trump has committed no crimes, no collusion. It was all for naught. But, Democrats wouldn’t like that, so it just leaves them hanging onto their illusions. Bottom line though is that if he could not directly say, after two years and $35 million dollars, that Trump colluded with Russians or obstructed justice, then he simply didn’t do either. But, you keep whining and crying, if that is what pleases you.
Right, because Democrats don’t care about facts, laws or justice; they want political revenge. They want enough control to be able to implement a police state where they can squeeze confessions out of innocent people or get them to implicate other innocent people; political opponents that they want disposed of. Gestapo. KGB. Democrats. All the same species.