NEW - General Flynn is getting new lawyers. Flynn "is terminating Covington & Burling LLP as his counsel and has already retained new counsel for this matter" Interesting development at this stage...
With the information we have, can't be 100% certain the transcripts were produced to Judge Sullivan. (Leaning that way, however.) We'll see. Court Order below. The Motion for Leave to File Documents Under Seal isn't on public docket.
In a text message to @POLITICO Rudy Giuliani said he was not Flynn’s new lawyer. Alan Dershowitz replied that he’s not representing Flynn. Joe DiGenova in an email wrote, “We are not at liberty to discuss.” https://politi.co/2IAOTKr w/ @joshgerstein
Flynn "volunteering" info that he and Kushner had a "sensitive meeting" w/ the Russian Ambassador at Trump Tower is significant -- It may show why Strzok thought he was telling the truth: because he was volunteering - and not hiding - the extent of his contacts w/ the Russians.
Flynn confuses me. First, he uses Eric Holder's Law Firm, then he clings to his guilty plea when Judge Sullivan gave him a way out and finally, he denies that he ever received the warning from the Brits that Christopher Steele was unreliable. His staff remembers the communication. The Brits remember it! How could he not know something that important? Maybe when he gets rid of Holder's lawyers, we will learn more.ReplyDelete
In these cases the simple explanation is usually the right one. It seems clear--and I'm trying to be charitable--that Flynn is not the sharpest tool in the shed.Delete
I still think that there is a lot that we don't know. None of us have had the full weight of the government come down on us.Delete
Will Chamberlain has a good write-up about the power of the federal government vs. the ordinary citizen. I know that you have also touched on this topic.
As far as Flynn not being the sharpest tool in the shed, I don't know. He was considered a pretty good general and his contrarian views that upset Obama.
Perhaps as Mike S. says, Flynn has a few skeletons in his closet. I won't be surprised to find out that there was widespread surveillance of a lot of DC power figures. Several conservative Republicans have hinted that the information that will be revealed is pretty earth-shattering.
Personally I think that Flynn has been put through the ringer unfairly and I think that we conservatives should give him the benefit of the doubt until we know differently. Just my humble opinion.
I don't insist. However, Strzok, FWIW, came away thinking Flynn wasn't dumb but a bit naive, perhaps. He was also very surprised that Flynn was willing to sit there talking to them instead of telling them, hey, I've got things to do.Delete
I really do wonder whether he let the lawyers talk him into the plea. I know all about the weight of the Federal government, believe me. But maintaining his guilt under oath? Did you watch the Chamberlain video in which he describes the sentencing hearing? It's hard to figure.
I appreciate your response. I think had I been interviewed by the FBI I would've been in the same situation.Delete
I grew up watching the old Lone Ranger show with Clayton Moore, the FBI TV show, Adam 12, Andy Griffith and the message to me was clear: the government is the good guy. The policeman is your friend. I operated under that naive and patriotic assumption that it's my duty to be loyal, thrifty, cheerful, reverent, etc., stuff.
Now I realize that there are snakes like Jim Comey, Strzok, McCabe, Clapper. I've had dinner with Clapper and used to admire him.
That's the only point I want to make. Maybe Flynn should've known better and I'm projecting myself own naivete on him.
But it's still a shock to me to find out how corrupt my government is. And a big disappointment to find out that as a "true believer", so many others with more power and authority aren't.
No offense taken at all--if that's what you were thinking. I do think Flynn was a bit naive not to understand that the Deep State was gunning for him. This was an exceptional situation and he didn't seem to get that.Delete
I know I'd think twice, myself.
Yes, that's what I was thinking, that I offended you.Delete
I'd think twice, now about talking to the FBI, you better bet. It took until my mid-50s and even now, I still have to protect myself from my naivete and gullibility.
I suspect that I'm like a lot of Americans who trusted their policeman, mayor, Pope Francis. As Catholics, you're taught not to question certain things.
I know that, for example, I could never send Manafort to Riker's Island if I were a judge. I couldn't lure men with lies, money, drinks, etc. I've got to be able to sleep at night.
A few more things and then I'll get off my soapbox. The Dems are inviting a psychiatrist from Yale to come to Capitol Hill to talk about how crazy Trump is.
The Dems are changing House rules to make it easier to go to court and get a contempt citation from a federal judge.
I never bought the idea that Michael Flynn's legal expenses caused him to plead guilty to lying to the FBI about his phone conversation with Russian Ambassador Kislyak.ReplyDelete
For many years, Flynn had earned a general's salary or pension. After he retired, he earned plenty of extra income.
The charge that he lied to the FBI about that phone conversation is a rather simple case. He could afford a vigorous legal defense that was likely to prevail.
I likewise doubt that he pleaded guilty because of his son's legal jeopardy.
Because I doubt those two common explanations, I have entertained several speculations.
One speculation of mine is that he did have a sexual affair with Svetlana Lokhova, as Stefan Halper insinuated.
Another speculation of mine is that Flynn indeed was vulnerable to Russian blackmail. I dismiss as preposterous the idea that he was vulnerable because he violated the Logan Act, but perhaps he indeed was vulnerable because of Lokhova or because of other shenanigans.
If Flynn defended himself on the charge of lying to the FBI about the Kislyak conversation, then perhaps he figured that the blackmail angles -- Lokhova, etc. -- would be revealed in a trial.
One other speculation is that Flynn crossed some line he should not have crossed in his conversation with Ambassador Kislyak. Flynn perhaps did violate the spirit of the Logan Act by undermining the Obama Administration, which still was in power. Perhaps Flynn also did some ad hoc negotiating on behalf of his lobbying client Turkey.
Perhaps the transcript of that conversation would explain Flynn's guilty plea. The transcript surely could have been declassified if Flynn had wanted to use it in his legal defense.
I am just speculating. Flynn's non-defense is a baffling mystery.
Well, it IS baffling, and for the time being I'll stick with my simple explanation: he's a not so smart guy getting bad advice from lawyers he should never have hired in the first place.Delete
OTOH, one thing we know for sure: the Deep State had it in for Flynn. Is it possible that there's more to this than my simple explanation? Yes, undoubtedly.
I want to add another thought in regard to the possibility that Flynn actually was having an affair with Lokhova, as Halper insinuated.Delete
If Flynn's wife divorced him, he might lose a lot more wealth than he would spend on a legal defense on the charge that he lied to the FBI about his conversation with Russian Ambassador Kislyak.
If Flynn's wife divorced him, then he might lose about half his wealth. He might lose a lot more that way than he would spend on lawyers to defend himself about lying to the FBI about that one phone conversation.
By pleading guilty to the FBI, Flynn might figure that he would prevent his wife from obtaining a lot of information about his Lokhova affair.
More speculation of mine.
Might bold move without holding at least an ace high boat. An affair, which are notoriously easy to track down, would pretty well destroy this in front of a jury.
My thinking, too.Delete
There are no saints in DC. Every long term player has skeletons in the closet. Most of the time, those skeletons stay hidden and do not become overt liabilities because once someone uses this type of thing for political advantage, everyone else can be in play as revenge. But the Clintons and Obama have broken this taboo. Flynn has been (and still is) being blackmailed. And no, it's not about RussiaGate.ReplyDelete
The idea that Flynn is being blackmailed, and at this juncture has finally decided it's safe to fight back, has some explanatory power going for it. Still, some of his actions just seem ... stupid. Such as sitting down for an FBI interview in the first place.Delete
Prior to all of this coming out, I would've spoken to the FBI if I didn't do anything. Now I won't. I don't trust the US Government as far as I can throw them.
I'm really starting to see why Trump says we're not so different from Russia. We have a constitution, but it's been shredded by Dems, Reps and judges.
Pre-Trump, were we being treated so differently than Colonialists? Why'd the Tea Party come out after Obama was elected?
What's the difference between a Mitt Romney, George W Bush, Paul Ryan and an Obama? Like Sundance says, the Uniparty.
I was always skeptical of the Dems and the media and since 2006 I've known that the Reps weren't much better. We need to elect more men with spines of steel like Trump, enact term limits, tear down the administrative state, enhance Miranda rights, etc.
What we really need is an informed citizenry. Unfortunately, most people prefer to stick to their cherished illusions.Delete
We were supposed to believe that Flynn pleaded guilty because he -- a retired three-star general who owns a lobbying business -- was too poor to pay for a vigorous legal defense that was likely to prevail.ReplyDelete
Flynn even had to sell his house !!!
Maybe Flynn has been living in a homeless shelter, because of his legal expenses.
Now, however, it turns out that Flynn can afford to pay "a very high profile" lawyer whenever he decides to do so.
It's possible that the "high profile" lawyer is acting pro bono for patriotic of political reasons and expects tangible return down the road--possibly in the form of publicity, book royalties, or whatever.Delete
Flynn's legal actions never made sense to me. Until now, when I see his lawyers are from Holder's D.C swamp outfit. OMG.Delete
Judge Sullivan must have been disgusted with Flynn's predicament. Now, finally, Flynn will have lawyers working in his interest. I predict fireworks. Maybe napalm.
Napalm. I like that. Scorched Earth works for us too?Delete
Having read the 302 forms, I am even more mystified by his guilty plea -- and by the FBI's making such a big deal about this.ReplyDelete
I hope that William Barr eventually will explain to the public what was going on here too.
Re Barr, I really do believe--as I think I said yesterday--that getting to the origins of the Russia Hoax is necessary, but it's not enough. I think We The People deserve to know what was going on with the Mueller Inquisition, too. Not just as a matter of curiousity, either.Delete
Having thought about Flynn's situation some more, I perceive that, after the 2016 election, there was a flock of trusting lambs that included:ReplyDelete
* Donald Trump
* Michael Pence
* Michael Flynn
* Jeff Sessions
* Don McGahn
* and others
This flock of trusting lambs relied on the DOJ/FBI leaders as their shepherds. The DOJ/FBI leaders were nonpartisan professionals who would use their experience and knowledge to guide the lambs to new pastures.
The flock of lambs did not suspect at all that they were being misled into a slaughterhouse.
This perspective helps me to understand the Flynn affair.
The DOJ/FBI leaders, pretended to be benevolent shepherds, were conspiring, from Election Day, to prevent the Trump Administration from governing.
The DOJ/FBI leaders intended to prove in particular that Trump, Flynn and even Sessions had collaborated with the Kremlin to steal the 2016 election and to destroy the US population's faith in Democracy.
As a top priority, the DOJ/FBI leaders intended to remove Flynn from the Trump Administration. For more than a year, Flynn had been an active agent of the Kremlin, but now Flynn would be the USA's National Security Advisor!
If you just focus on the 302 forms and eventually on the transcripts of the Flynn/Kishlayk conversations, then you will remain mystified, baffled.
* What was Flynn's lie?
* Why did DOJ/FBI make such a big deal about it?
* Why did Trump fire Flynn?
* Why didn't Pence speak up for Flynn?
* Why did McGahn swallow the Logan Act insinuation?
You cannot consider such questions in a normal manner.
The lambs were trusting their shepherds, not suspecting that they were being guided into a slaughterhouse.
The shepherds were deceiving and misleading the lambs every step of the way. The shepherds intended to slaughter all the lambs.
Think of the situation with that perspective in order to comprehend the Flynn affair.
It's clear that Comey wasn't trusted--probably because of that attempted blackmail (however you want to interpret it) at Trump Tower shortly before the inauguration. However ...Delete
I agree that too many in the administration were far too willing to trust, for example, Sally Yates. There was certainly every reason in the world to be deeply distrustful of any DoJ that had been largely built up and staffed by Eric Holder.
Since Flynn has fired his lawyers, it's plausible that he has come to think that they were misleading him all this time about his need to plead guilty.Delete
I do wonder about that.Delete
In time, it will become evident that the DOJ/FBI/CIA/IRS and other federal agencies were morphed into corrupt criminal enterprises by the Obama Administration. Yes, that sounds outrageous, but that is in fact what occurred. This was accomplished largely via infiltration of deeply Leftist political partisans at the highest levels, but also by forcing out long-serving neutral federal employees and compromising others via blackmail and intimidation. The process was slow at first, but reached a crescendo during Obama's second term. The nation's two premier law enforcement institutions (DOJ/FBI) really did become rogue agencies that committed terrible criminal acts with impunity and arrogance. This is well known in DC circles, and the national press will not touch the story. Barr has his work cut out for him. Until there are prosecutions and tangible accountability, no one should trust the DOJ/FBI in any manner.ReplyDelete
Yesterday, Liberty Unyielding published an article by J. E. Dyer, titled Serious question about a Flynn set-up, after Thursday’s Flynn/Manafort two-fer in the collapsing Spygate edifice.ReplyDelete
Scroll down to the article's subheader An unexplored aspect of a Flynn set-up. Dyer is developing a thesis that ...
.... Flynn’s company being hired to represent the Turkish businessman Ekim Alptekin, in the summer of 2016, was a set-up of Flynn. ...
Azra Turk represented herself to Papadopoulos as a Turk. Papadopoulos said she was a government asset, probably Turkish or U.S. And The New York Times reported on 2 May that she was said to be an FBI “investigator” (not, let us note, an “agent”). ...
In early August , Ekim Alptekin, a Turkish businessman and the chairman of the Turkey-U.S. Business Council, contacted Flynn’s consulting firm, the Flynn Intel Group, about repairing Turkey’s image in the United States. ....
For an objective like “repairing Turkey’s image in the U.S.,” you want former diplomats and senators: people who can open doors in New York, on Capitol Hill, at Commerce, in Foggy Bottom. ...
The goal for the Alptekin contract seemed to shift pretty quickly from its original nature [“repairing Turkey’s image”] to lobbying for the extradition to Turkey of shadowy cleric Fetulleh Gulen. .... The Flynn Intel Group wasn’t really who you’d hire for that purpose either. If you were really trying to make it happen, you’d seek out a long-established firm with a lot more relevant juice. Gulen is one of the hottest potatoes on the planet; the ability to open the loftiest doors on “Mahogany Row” at the State Department, and in the White House, would be what you’d look for in a lobbying firm. ...
The Flynn Group, with its roots more in security, intelligence, and analysis, didn’t look like a good fit for the supposed objectives of the client. Yet near-simultaneously with the launch of Crossfire Hurricane, Flynn’s firm was contacted by a potential client who would end up linking Flynn to the same theme-bucket by which Papadopoulos was being pursued through Stefan Halper. ...
it’s a good question whether Michael Flynn, undoubtedly a quick-minded, intelligent person with a highly-relevant background, realized at some early point that this approach from Alptekin was a set-up. ... The Alptekin overture occurred just when the anti-Trump Spygate effort swung into overdrive, after the Democratic National Convention in 2016. ...
Alptekin ... is a Dutch citizen of Turkish origin with an array of connections that include Stefan Halper, Joseph Mifsud, George Soros, and senior U.S. officials ...
Yeah, I read that. I was thinking of using that to explain why, although I believe Flynn was framed and want to see him exonerated, I'm not in full sympathy with him.Delete