Tuesday, December 18, 2018

UPDATED: Setting False Statement Traps Is Not Official FBI Business

As the slow motion drama of the Michael Flynn prosecution winds slowly toward sentencing, it has become increasingly clear that the conservative commentariat feels conflicted. On the one hand, they can't approve of what appear to be lies on the part of Flynn--inexplicable as this appears to have been in the circumstances (Flynn knew that the FBI had a recording of his conversation with the Russian Ambassador). On the other hand, there seems to be something distinctly fishy about the entire case against Flynn. The evidence of investigative and prosecutorial misconduct--possibly including criminal acts--has become overwhelming. Nor has Robert Mueller's reply to the Flynn response to the sentencing memorandum allayed any of those misgivings--quite the contrary, as Scott Johnson (one of the Powerline bloggers) puts it:

I find the reply memo to be a shocking document. Something does not compute.

Something is clearly wrong with it all. Whether or not Flynn lied, it all seems so unfair, including the very way in which the agents conducted the interview. Another of the Powerline bloggers, Paul Mirengoff nicely sums up what we instinctively know was going on:

There’s no mystery about what happened to Flynn. Towards the end of the Obama administration, this decorated General and top intelligence official left the government and became the leading critic of the administration’s national security policy.  
Compounding his offenses against the deep state, Flynn joined the Trump campaign team. ...  
For the deep state, this was the last straw. Once Flynn was named Trump’s national security adviser, it sought revenge. ... 

Yet, the question arises: Is there a legally principled way to address the Flynn situation, one which does justice to Flynn--despite his misconduct--but preserves the integrity of our justice system and, crucially, of our courts? I believe there is and addressed it this past Saturday. The solution should, in fact, be glaringly obvious, but has escaped notice--most likely because it requires an examination of the basic principles underlying law enforcement in our constitutional system. In our system of law the State is not authorized to simply test its citizens--citizens are entitled to be left alone unless law enforcement has some articulable reason for approaching them. Let me state this very bluntly, with application to the Flynn case, before examining it in more detail:

False Statement Traps Are Not Official FBI Business. The FBI has no authority to interview random people to see whether they will lie. They must have an articulable reason for the interview to begin with--one that flows from their official duties. All else must follow from that.

In light of this principle, the first question that arises with regard to the FBI's approach to Flynn is clear: What reason did the FBI have to interview Flynn?

Presumably they could have asked him about any of the matters for which Flynn was being investigated--but they didn't. They had no articulable official reason, for the simple reason that Flynn's contacts with the Russian ambassador were perfectly proper and legal. Thus the vagueness of the rationale that McCabe presented to Flynn before he sent the two agents to the White House:

“I explained that in light of the significant media coverage and public discussion about his recent contacts with Russian representatives, that [FBI] Director [James] Comey and I felt that we needed to have two of our agents sit down with the General and hear from him the details of those conversations.”

This is absurd. Is the FBI in the PR business for the White House, or even for the Intelligence Community? Is the FBI some sort of watchdog over foreign policy? Why should the FBI want to hear the details of the perfectly proper conversation from Flynn--second hand--when they already had a recording of the conversation? In any event, listening to Flynn's second hand account could add no further details. In fact, Flynn's second hand account would certainly be less reliable and accurate than the recording of the conversation. And that was the point that the gullible Flynn missed. Mirengoff states it succinctly:

Because the agents knew the contents, it was unnecessary to ask Flynn about them. The purpose of the interview surely was to see if Flynn would lie.

Further, if Flynn were being interviewed because of a criminal violation on his part--the only valid reason for interviewing him in the circumstances--then the agents should have pursued a line of questioning that tracked the elements of some criminal offense. But they didn't. Instead, they proceeded with a preset strategy that they hoped would elicit statements--any statements--that could be interpreted as false. The interview was a test for Flynn, a trap, as Mueller himself makes crystal clear in his Reply Memorandum, that document that Johnson says "does not compute":

During the interview, the FBI agents gave the defendant multiple opportunities to correct his false statements by revisiting key questions. When the defendant said he did not remember something they knew he said, they used the exact words the defendant had used in order to prompt a truthful response.

"To prompt a truthful response?" Regarding "something they knew he said" and Flynn knew they knew? The FBI already knew the truth! Put yourself in Flynn's position. How would you like to be interviewed by the FBI regarding a conversation you had had that was perfectly proper and which they had recorded? Wouldn't you wonder what business it was of theirs, for starters, and why they needed to get your account anyway? And yet how many people would submit to the interview, thinking apparently like Flynn, well, it's the FBI--I guess I have to go along with this! And then it turns out that it's simply a test--a test of your "truthfulness"!

And so the answer seems clear: the interview was designed as a false statement trap. This appears to have been confirmed by McCabe himself, during his testimony to the House. The Hill's account of the report provides interesting details:

“Although Deputy Director McCabe acknowledged that ‘the two people who interviewed [Flynn] didn’t think he was lying, [which] was not [a] great beginning of a false statement case,’ General Flynn pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements on December 1, 2017,” a newly unredacted part of the report reads.  
The document also says top government officials had conflicting reports about why the two agents were interviewing Flynn in the first place.  
The committee “received conflicting testimony” from Comey, McCabe, then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Mary McCord about the "primary purpose" of the interview, the report states.  
The report claims that these top FBI and Justice Department officials had different answers regarding whether the agents were “investigating misleading statements to the Vice President, which the Vice President echoed publicly about the content of this calls; a possible violation of the Logan Act; or a desire top obtain more information as part of the counterintelligence investigation into General Flynn.”

Let's begin at the top: "not a great beginning of a false statement case." In other words, the visit of the agents to Flynn's office was the beginning of a false statement case. But the FBI is not authorized to go around testing the veracity of random citizens: they must have an articulable official reason. Consider this hypothetical that I hope will present the issue in an even broader light.

Suppose you're an FBI agent. At lunch one day you leave your office and go around the corner to, let's say, a hardware store. The proprietor knows you to be an FBI agent. You ask for his recommendation for some article and he responds, praising a particular product with inflated claims. You purchase it but are soon dissatisfied, believing that the proprietor deceived you. Did the proprietor "lie to the FBI?" Should you, the agent, open an investigation against the proprietor for making a "false statement to the FBI?" Clearly not. And why not? Because you didn't purchase the product as part of your official duties, even though you were on official duty at the time--you had left the office with your full complement of Bureau issued paraphernalia, badge and gun and were vigilant for any criminal activity as you walked to the store.

The two agents who interviewed Flynn certainly presented themselves as being on official duty, pursuing an official task--but where they really? The answer must be: No. They were simply testing Flynn, without pursuing a line of questioning that pertained to any suspected crime or other matter that fell under the FBI's responsibilities. The interview was a pretext of acting in the course of official duty; it was a setup, not an investigation.

The testimony of the other officials confirms this. Their inability to offer consistent rationales indicates that, even months later when they had had ample time to get their stories right, they were unsure of any justification. Reports of Yates' anger at Comey's precipitous decision to set a false statement trap for Flynn make perfect sense in that light: a competent attorney for Flynn would have attacked the case from this standpoint. What were the conflicting rationales that they offered?

  • Misleading statements made by Flynn to the Vice President, Mike Pence. That was wrong of Flynn, no doubt, and ended up being grounds for Flynn's dismissal, but it's notable that those misleading statements were not used as the basis for any indictment. After all, would we really want to outlaw all politics, all bureaucratic infighting and ass covering? Where would be the end of it?
  • The Logan Act. Again, there's a good reason why that wasn't pursued. The same reason that other public figures who, for example, travel to foreign countries to plead for the release of captives are not prosecuted. Not to mention constitutional problems.
  • The ongoing counterintelligence investigation into Flynn. In that case, why did the agents not question Flynn on that subject?

No, clearly the rationales offered to the House were no more than CYA excuses, made necessary by the FBI's ill considered action. Of course Flynn had behaved badly--as he had done with regard to his foreign agent consultancy--but this was a matter for the White House to sort out, as it did, soon enough. But our point is simple: the FBI had no official reason to test Flynn's recollection of a conversation that the FBI already possessed in recorded form. Therefore, if a prosecutor should bring a case based on an FBI "false statement test," any court should refuse to take notice of the case. The case should be dismissed as failing to show that any crime has been committed.

No court should allow the FBI to set itself up as a self appointed tester of the truthfulness of the citizenry, absent an articulable reason related to the FBI's official duties. It's not about approving Flynn's conduct. It's about preserving our basic constitutional rights and preventing unprincipled FBI and DoJ officials from turning our country into a police state.

UPDATE: I had considered doing another post discussing some of the ins and outs of 18 USC 1001, False Statements to the US Government--particularly in light of Team Mueller's non-credible claim that the Logan Act could have "potentially, potentially" provided a basis for prosecuting Flynn (only, on mature reflection, they let that moment of insanity pass). I've decided it's just not worth the time and effort to flog that horse any more. However ... a few more comments.

First, Matthew Walther has an amusing but seriously and delightfully pointed article, The Mueller Delusion. In a comment below I noted that, in response to Judge Sullivan's inquiry whether there were any other violation (besides 1001) that Flynn could be charged with, the Team Mueller prosecutors' hilarious response was:

"The facts could potentially, potentially, support a violation of the Logan Act."

Right. And the moon could "potentially, potentially," be made of green cheese.

Walther perfectly captures the farcical tone of yesterday's proceedings by observing that considering indicting Flynn under the terms of the Logan Act, "is the prosecutorial equivalent of announcing a snipe hunt." He goes on to characterize Mueller's actions to date as "doing a good impersonation of a delusional power-crazed middle-school librarian." Perfect--if the destruction of human beings weren't such a sad and serious thing.

However, for anyone who wants to learn more about 1001, its history and intent and its potential for serious and dangerous abuse of the rights of US citizens, I can't recommend highly enough Justice Ginsburg's concurring opinion in the leading 1001 False Statements case: BROGAN v. UNITED STATES. Really. To give you a flavor, consider these brief excerpts in light of what we know happened to Flynn:

Yet it is noteworthy that Congress enacted that amendment to address concerns quite far removed from suspects’ false denials of criminal misconduct, in the course of informal interviews initiated by Government agents. Cf. ALI, Model Penal Code §241.3, Comment 1, p. 151 (1980) (“inclusion of oral misstatements” in §1001 was “almost [an] accidental consequenc[e] of the history of that law”). 
Even if the encompassing language of §1001 precludes judicial declaration of an “exculpatory no” defense, the core concern persists: “The function of law enforcement is the prevention of crime and the apprehension of criminals. Manifestly, that function does not include the manufacturing of crime.” Sherman v. United States, 356 U.S. 369, 372 (1958). 
Thus, the prospect remains that an overzealous prosecutor or investigator–aware that a person has committed some suspicious acts, but unable to make a criminal case–will create a crime by surprising the suspect, asking about those acts, and receiving a false denial.

And, in fact, what happened to Flynn is even more egregious than Ginsburg imagined could happen.


  1. Mark, after reading a lot of the coverage of today's hearing and the details, I think it is clear that Sullivan doesn't want to accept this plea deal, and for two reasons:

    (1) the purported crime of lying in this instance is dodgy, and the interview itself was improper for all the reasons you outline here and in other essays, and Flynn feels that he was entrapped by the very way the interview was conducted;

    (2) Sullivan is clearly concerned that the plea is not logically and legally linked to the FARA charges which are what was used to coerce (and that is the right word) Flynn into accepting it. Even worse for Flynn, though is that Sullivan doesn't think a zero day prison sentence is proper on the FARA violations, and I have to agree with this second part myself.

    I think Sullivan would have liked to toss the plea agreement out today, but couldn't because neither party was looking to do so- they wanted him to accept it and give Flynn no incarceration. Additionally, as he probed whether or not Flynn was granted immunity on the FARA charges (he wasn't apparently), Sullivan understood that tossing the plea might well be detrimental to the defendant's legal problems with regards to FARA, something Sullivan also wasn't willing to do, and rightfully so. Thus he forced Flynn to request a delay.

    What I think Sullivan would like to see is the lying charges to be dropped and for Flynn to be forced to take a plea on the FARA violations with a leniency for cooperation, but with some minor amount of prison time. If Flynn is guilty of the FARA violations, then that would be the just outcome. What was on offer today is a corrupt deal no matter which way I look at it.

  2. Yancey, that's essentially the line that sundance was putting out yesterday, at least initially. I'm not buying it.

    As for #1, my objections are far more basic than "entrapment." I don't think there was any legal violation to begin with, and eminent legal scholars like Dershowitz agree. The judge failed to raise those very serious issues. Perhaps later today I'll do a short writeup on 18 USC 1001 itself.

    #2 The judge could have raised his concerns without making a complete fool of himself and without subjecting Flynn to virtually worldwide derision as a hypocritical traitor to his country. To have failed to read the record that was placed before him--he appears to have thought Flynn was acting as a foreign agent while he was NSD--was simply unforgiveable, and his lame attempts at smoothing it over were insufficient. Flynn is owed a groveling apology. The WSJ captures some of the absurdity of that in its editorial The Flynn Fiasco: A sentencing hearing devolves into a spectacle of misinformation:

    “All along, you were an unregistered agent of a foreign country while serving as the National Security Adviser to the President of the United States. That undermines everything this flag over here stands for. Arguably you sold your country out,” said the judge. He also used the words “treason” and “treasonous.”

    "But Mr. Mueller has never charged Mr. Flynn with violating FARA ...

    "... Judge Sullivan later apologized, sort of, telling the courtroom not “to read too much into” his outburst about “treason.” But that came after the falsehood made global headlines.

    "The FARA outburst does shed some more light on Mr. Mueller’s methods ...


    "In 50 years through 2016, the Justice Department brought only seven criminal FARA cases and won three convictions. ..."

    Jonathan Turley, another respected liberal legal scholar (and, as it happens, perhaps the leading authority on impeachment) was also stunned by Sullivan's ignorance of the basic facts as well as of the law--the law on FARA and on treason.

    Here's a good read on FARA, which shows that the WSJ criticism doesn't even go far enough: Understanding FARA Through Flynn's Very Late Paperwork. I do wonder whether I'm missing some important facts re Flynn's son, because using FARA as a standalone criminal charge without providing the remedy of retroactive registration (as was very recently afforded to the Podestas) is simply outrageous and should be laughed out of court.

    Note this phrase in what follows: "lack of a comprehensive Department enforcement strategy" - can you say "equal protection violation"?

    "In the internal audit conducted by the DOJ Inspector General’s Office, they found that there were differing understandings of the law between FBI counterintelligence agents, prosecutors, and NSD officials. Most critically, the report notes, “We believe these differing understandings are indicative of the lack of a comprehensive Department enforcement strategy on FARA, which the Department should develop and integrate with its overall national security efforts.”

    "... All of which to say, some within the DOJ believe that the purpose of FARA is to ensure timely and appropriate public disclosure."

  3. Yancey, Techno Fog makes the amusing observation: "A case about false statements has a Judge making false statements at sentencing."

    The judge did, apparently, ask if there were any other violation Flynn could be charged with, and got this amusing answer:

    "The facts could potentially, potentially, support a violation of the Logan Act." And a charge under the Logan Act would have been laughed out of court--which is exactly why Mueller didn't dream of bringing those "potential, potential" charges.

  4. I think you are so far into the weeds that you are missing the elephant in the room. Like everyone else, senior officials in the Executive Branch are fallible human beings. Sometimes, even honorable men can be seduced into conducting themselves criminally. That is why we have LEOs like the FBI. It is well known that J. Edgar Hoover instigated and authorized criminal acts, so no one should be surprised that a successor or two may have followed in his footsteps. I have no doubt that Comey and McCabe believe in their hearts that they are the good guys and have acted appropriately. Yet the evidence is quite clear that both broke the law (Class I felonies) in regard to illegal leaks and false statements under oath. And both did so while administering the nation's highest law enforcement organization as persons in a position of trust. These offenses far outstrip anything Flynn has done, and the damage to public trust is incalculable. If Whitaker, Horowitz, and Wray don't address and remedy that travesty, the rule of law will be forever debased on Mainstreet USA.

  5. For the record, no, I'm not into the weed.

    As for not understanding that senior officials are fallible human beings and "can be seduced into conducting themselves criminally," that point seems to be covered by my quoting Mirengoff re there being "no mystery about what happened to Flynn" and that what happened was driven, perhaps among other factors, by the Deep State's desire for "revenge" against a critic.

  6. Three or so days ago, I praised Andy McCarthy on this blog. He wrote over the weekend on NRO that General Flynn lied and only slightly touched on the misconduct by Mueller. Fair enough. Feeling kind of perturbed tonight. Today he has another column about Flynn lying and what transpired with the court and Sullivan. He again only briefly touches on misconduct by the special counsel. I think what the special counsel has done is an abomination. McCarthy says it unfair but legal. Is that what we aspire to in this country? I guess he's been a prosecutor so long that he is out of touch with the rest of us who are just regular citizens. How would he react if he or his son were being squeezed to the point of bankruptcy and selling his home? Yes, Flynn did wrong and he should be punished. But there are two sets of rules, one for liberals/Democrats and one for everyone else. Dinesh D'Souza breaks campaign finance laws and the government wants five years for $20,000. The real story is that he dared point out Obama's past. Obama hides big donors and is fined $375,000 and no criminal violation. Trump pays off a mistress and it's impeachable. Flynn lies to the FBI and is squeezed. Same with Cohen. What about Comey, Clapper, Brennan, Yates, Lynch, Clinton, McCabe, Strzok, Page, Preistap, Ohr, James Wolfe, Burr, Warner, Feinstein, etc.?

    There's a battle for the soul of conservatism and I'm not sure that National Review and I are still on the same team. I've donated to them and read the magazine for over 30 years. Thank God for the internet and independent journalists.

    Sorry for rambling and venting.

  7. Not a problem, Joe. It's unfortunately been a pattern with him.

    It's true that, one way or another, Flynn lied. Either he lied to the FBI or, if he didnt' lie to the FBI, then he's now lying to the court by pleading guilty of lying.

    I don't like to see lying of any sort, but the fact of the matter is that typically the prosecution has all the advantages, with the full weight of the government behind them. It sounds virtuous to say he should have stood up to them, but in practice it's not so easy--especially when judges give the entire presumption of rectitude to the investigators and prosecutors, however unmerited that may be.

    I highly recommend the opinion by Ginsburg that I linked in the UPDATE. I never thought I'd be recommending one of her opinions, but it's really rather powerful. A broken clock is right 2x a day.

  8. Yancey, if you have access to the WSJ you may wish to check out Michael Ledeen's opinion piece re the sentencing hearing: The Real Story of the Flynn Hearing. Ledeen's view is similar to yours: that Judge Sullivan was basically pushing Flynn to withdraw his guilty plea, but had to settle for delaying sentencing.

    I agree there's a good argument for something of that sort. In the famous Sen. Ted Stevens case in which Sullivan went after the prosecutors it does need to be remembered that Stevens, unlike Flynn pleaded not guilty. However, I have two reservations.

    1. The judge could have done that without making himself look foolish--re treason in particular.

    2. Ledeen points out, as I have, that Sullivan can't be a lawyer for Flynn. I've stated several times time Flynn's guilty plea puts Sullivan in a difficult position. Nevertheless, because of the overwhelming disparity in resources between the government and the defendant, I still believe Sullivan could have taken a more active role simply by postponing the sentencing and demanding more documents from the Special Counsel--there are more relevant docs. The guilty plea shouldn't be allowed to turn the court into a rubber stamp.

  9. Yancey, here's another article you'll want to read. It agrees with how I felt before the hearing and how you felt after the hearing--while pointing out that Sullivan misstepped with his "treason" nonsense: Sullivan's Travails.

  10. And then there's this, which handily summarizes a real outrage perpetrated by Sullivan the very next day: Judge Sullivan rides again.

  11. Dershowitz' critique of Sullivan's performance is well worth reading. He's very critical: Alan Dershowitz: Michael Flynn now has three options to stay out of prison.

    1. I'm being blocked from reading this the Fer
      I'm being blocked from reading the Dershowitz article. Why?

  12. Great work Mark (and others).

    The million dollar question is:
    What are the odds that Mueller and his co-conspirators (all of them all the way to Hilary or even Obama) .... even a single one of them will be prosecuted, convicted and incarcerated for any of their crimes from conspiracy to influence a national presidential election, illegal entrapment, pay to play, dereliction of duty from a single indictment of any kind before the statute of limitations has expired for all of them?

    I think almost every one of them, even the worst offenders of all, will walk without so much as an indictment within the "legal" (an oxymoron) limits of our two tiered justice system. Don't you?

    It is hard to see how anyone will ever be even indicted in time. Certainly never Hillary, Obama, Lynch, Clapper, Brennan, Yates, Holder, Powers, Lois Lerner and nearly that entire cabal of anti-American criminals who in my mind also stole Obama's second term election win with the suppression tactics of the IRS on hundreds of conservative 501c and other charitable political organizations! It is hard to admit that "legally" we are already a banana republic and have been for many years.

    Thanks much if you want to address OUR national hopelessness for justice in these dozens or hundreds of criminal actions.
    Citizen Carson

  13. Anon, you're absolutely correct. The roots of this certainly go back to the 2012 election at least--and further if we count the criminal enterprise that the Clintons started well before that. There's so much more behind this. That they should walk ...

    I really can't begin to express the shame I feel for this country. And for the organization I took so much pride in.

  14. I feel your pain Sir. thanks for your reply.

    I found & clicked onto your blog for the first time yesterday and read your latest entries, reader comments and your replies to them. I revisted one of the linked articles and read one or two new to me. I've been paying attention to politicians since I was 12 when our government drafted my older brother, sent him to Vietnam.

    I was 9 when JFK had his head blown off in the middle of a daytime parade for God's sake. We were in Amish country but we watched the '60's, the whole cultural revolution unfold with the anti-war movement & the establishment both propagandized about ... every night by the (only) big three, only liberal TV networks. "And that's the ... way it is!" - Walter Conkite told us every week night. He lied at least in part every single night so many decades ago.

    And the media complex has only swollen. Like the government, the deep state and technology.

    It is hard to see any of it being corrected but maybe this SCO cabal will get .... wait for it .... investigated by the Senate. It's underway. We can only pray something substantial happens to unravel much of this "invisible cloak" of home grown Marxist corruption and rampant financial criminal activity in our body elect.

    Think where we'd be if Hillary had one.

    Even if they convicted every criminal since the Clinton years forward ... it still leaves a Hydra of overgrown deep state Marxist bureaucrats, press, Academia & entertainment influence in tact. It seems a permanent or long term power grid or monetary crash can be the only end. Sooner or later.

    I'm 64 and have been paying attention for over 50 years. This form of government is only fit for a moral and religious people. So we are hopeless in our current social moral condition as we watch it grow progressively "progressive" and debased and corrupt.

    We all suffer from a normalcy bias too, that we will always have our freedom during peace time at home, at least during our life times. But the Left in this country won't be happy until they have absolute power over all Americans, one way or another.

    This started long before we were born with Hoover, FDR and forward. To witness over fifty years of slow motion train wreck subversives at work in our free press, academia and entertainment cabals will wear the best of us down.

    Trump is obviously the biggest game changer in our lifetimes. I wonder if he will be able to hold out on declassifying all the FISA requests, 301 forms, text messages and other docs until the political crescendo of the 2020 campaign. Say March or May or later in 2019. I can still fantasize too of a MAGA agenda Republican landslide for a filibuster proof Senate sweep. Another supreme Justice to fill Ginsburg's seat. Even just to get some prosecutions engaged in time to punish could occur. When we fantasize and hope. And to secure the borders and drain the swamp. Lock her up. Obama was exchanging email on her illegal server too as the press has reported it. Justice delayed is justice denied. For us American deployables.

    On top of everything else & how far the Left has already taken us into their fundamental transformation, now they've been caught rigging a presidential election. Twice. We know Hillary did just that against poor true communist Bernie Sanders. Except he calls it socialism. But he's rich after Hillary's successful election rigging, in true communist fashion.

    I feel your pain Sir. I have a pragmatic and realistic view of it all. I am blessed to have been born here with my distant grand father and his small family landing in Philadelphia in 1752, from Hamburg. My real last name, my family name is one of those hanging in the Anglican church at Valley Forge. I feel your pain Sir.

    Your article today encouraged me again that maybe Sullivan will finally start the unraveling. Thanks!
    Keep giving us these great insights so we can still hope conviction will prevail for all who earned it. Democrats too.
    Citizen Carson

  15. Thanks, Citizen Carson. I'm a few years older and, growing up as a Catholic in Chicago, witnessed all these events of the cultural revolution, the "fundamental transformation" you speak of, from a somewhat different perspective. But, apparently, not so different. From the perspective of "meaning in history," the roots are far deeper than the 60s, but that's a fairly handing starting point for analysis of the cancer that has metastasized throughout our world. Your reference to "50 years of slow motion train wreck," of course, brings to mind the period for Catholics since the second Vatican Council--and, not coincidentally, we see the same type of cancer metastasizing in the Church that we see in the general culture.

    Paul Sperry has an article today which I haven't read yet but which apparently exposes more of the Deep State's coverup machinations: John Huber, Justice Dept. Sheriff Who Never Quite Rode Into Town. On the one hand, it's difficult not to feel pessimism in the face of the Deep State, yet on the other hand there are signs of change, reasons for cautious hope. Hopefully the very exposure of the existence and nature of the Deep State that Trump has wrought is a positive development. Knowledge is power.

  16. Too many voters are uninterested beyond the propaganda they are happy to accept about it all. You will not be encouraged at all by what the Sperry article explains.

    Knowledge is power but it seems only Trump is able to assemble news reports to expose to the interested small minority, mostly via Twitter it seems, what has occurred. Only by declassifying all the relevant documents that he and his own "non professional political" advisers can obtain, if any, from the Russian hoax to Uranium One documents, will any of this move past the current stalling tactics by the deep state.

    It seems he will somehow have to get his own hands on unredacted copies of those documents to scan and distribute them himself to Americans via Twitter and the White House website or it will never happen. The FBI (and DoJ) ordered the raid of Trump's lawyer Cohen, ignoring client attorney privilege. But they are probably not willing to produce the unredacted documents in question for Trump or anyone else to see plainly. Is there any reason to believe Trump has really even seen the unredacted documents in question himself, yet?

    After reading Sperry's article I am more convinced than ever that the fix is in, that it has been in from the start of Bubba's presidency when the Clinton's were so cool and popular in DC seats of power that there is no stopping it now. Not ever.

    Trump is only a speed bump on the road to hell for all of us, not just (Monica and) Anita, Kathleen, Jennifer and so many others. It is all absolutely rotten to the core and will all have to be tossed out with no hope for our national beginnings and purity of "of, by and for the people" to ever be reconstructed in this deliberately dumbed down, deceived, jacked up and antagonized nation of Marxist voters.

    You caught me in a state of particularly strong pessimism in the first 24 hours of considering my view of things. I hope you can stay more optimistic than I am Sir.

    Thanks for considering these thoughts whether you post them or not. Sperry's article finishes the work of pessimism for most of us. Hope your faith is stronger than his and mine. What direction it goes to a large degree rides on Sullivan now. I think.

    Enjoy your family, friends and dwindling liberties this Christmas & in the new year. It is about all that is left for us to do, productively while we wait for them to come round up all us deplorables. Hopefully only after the Trump & Pence presidencies have slowed the inevitable down for a little longer. Could Pence even get his hands on the unredacted documents in question? Not if they are all shredded and bit bleached. Somebody should tell Rush it's time to panic.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours. Thanks for your life of service Sir.
    Citizen Carson

  17. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  18. You've forgotten Bill Barr, assuming he sticks it out to become AG--as I suspect he will. From what I know, or think I know, of him, his motives for taking the job are sound. Not a retirement gig, as it seems to have been for Sessions.

  19. Anonymous said...

    then again, Rosenstein has been corralled too finally. On a leash.

    Trump has said he has seen the documents and it is being considered very strongly to declassify them. If these things are true, Trump can perhaps inflict a deep wound to the deep state and this whole Russian hoax and SCO affair. But he can't drain most of the swamp.

    A 9/11 type tragedy and SHOCK could bring us together for a week or a month maybe. A crash of the dollar to a penny or the grid down for long and we are in real trouble.

    It's great to see this change of things that Trump has brought, the political pendulum finally swinging to the right again. At least we have some hope finally in justices of all rank seated already.

    To witness from a helpless position the epic struggle between liberty and tyranny in our country and everywhere is a fascinating spectacle. Trump is a game changer for now. Thank God.

    Conservatives are lost until they regain academia and learn how to educate the electorate. Politics follows society.

    Make America Great Again
    Merry Christmas
    Citizen Carson

  20. Sorry for my goof, Citizen Carson. I unintentionally deleted your comment. For some reason I wasn't allowed to republish it, so I've published it as the content in a comment nominally under my own name.

    Yes, declass is Trump's TRUMP card, and hopefully Barr will be backing him with internal moves to clearn house at DoJ/Fbi finally.

    The other side, however, is that the Deep State may now be playing its FED Card. I guess this tells us how much is at stake?

  21. It's hard for me not to view Barr as another long standing member of the ruling elite cabal of .... politicians. But I sure hope you are right about Barr, Mark!

    Why not Trey Gowdy? He would probably turn it down anyway.

    Yes the FED is just part of the Hydra. It's a good analogy I think from Greek mythology. Except Hercules was able to KILL Hydra, where my analogy falls apart.

    I feel it a HUGE compliment that you found my thoughts in pixels worthy of your blog's pages, negative as they seem overall. Thank you Sir.

    As Trump would say: "We'll see what happens". And well take it, like the weather because we can't change DC either. Not too much. It's a REAL Hydra. Only Trump and a few blessed operators with him can expose and PROMOTE the truth about it well enough to lop off some of it's heads. Maybe.

    Thanks again for persisting through my thoughts and posting them too! I'll keep reading and try to change my attitude!

    All the best and God bless America!
    Merry Christmas!
    Citizen Carson

  22. In the legal world Gowdy is strictly a lightweight, whereas Barr is definitely a heavyweight. Further, Barr has been outspokenly and sharply critical of both Mueller as well as of the failure of the DoJ to investigate Hillary. Barr has been speaking out on these topics for over a year.

  23. roger that. fingers and toes are crossed there are some legal victories for us regular Americans watching all this stuff, for our system of government and preserving any faith that is left in it. Would love to see some comeuppance on so many who have so flaunted the law.

    Anyone making odds on how long to get Barr confirmed and sworn in? Or if it will happen with a few remaining RINOs in the Senate? I couldn't begin to guess.

    thanks for the encouragement! Keep up the great work!
    Maybe Barr & Trump together can rock the DC world and dump half of it into prison cells. Then publish the real impact on history along with you so it's ubiquitous. Hope so.

    Then ride out another term and one or two of Pence or a more dynamic force of nature. Someone like ... you maybe.
    Be well ...
    Citizen Carson

    Citizen Carson

  25. Yes, Citizen Carson, I don't think there's any doubt of that.

  26. not sure if you took the time to read it. you shouldn't if you want to stay optimistic.

    it is pretty thorough and .... shall we say ... realistic. And it is terribly pessimistic. But I thought it detailed and summed it all up quite well.
    Happy New Year Patriot!
    Citizen Carson

  27. The idea that the investigations are the coverup is a theme that sundance at Conservative Tree House has emphasized repeatedly. I believe that it's basically true, i.e., that there are two aspects to Team Mueller's (with help inside DoJ/FBI): 1) one is the coverup aspect, which is simply defensive, but 2) there is the offensive aspect which hinges on drumming up criminal charges or impeachable offenses.

  28. Roland, no idea. The link works for me: