The first section of Powell's reply in support of her motion to compel the production of Brady (exculpatory) material is shocking, of course. It had long been known that the FBI and prosecutors had engaged in egregious misconduct--criminal misconduct--to secure the conviction of Flynn and compel him to cooperate against President Trump to force Trump from office. Expected as these revelation were, nevertheless, speaking from the perspective of nearly 30 years as a Special Agent of the FBI, I still find myself stunned by these revelations. These were not the rogue actions of a lone agent. This was a conspiracy that involved, essentially, the entire top management of the FBI and large elements of the DoJ.
Still, for me the key is the second section, in which Powell makes the point that--all other misconduct aside--the FBI had no legitimate reason to be investigating in the first place. Here is the beginning paragraph, with its associated footnote, which sums it up:
What was going on here is that, in the words Powell uses to describe the way in which the FBI prepared to interview Flynn:
high-ranking FBI officials orchestrated an ambush-interview of the new president’s National Security Advisor, not for the purpose of discovering any evidence of criminal activity—they already had tapes of all the relevant conversations about which they questioned Mr. Flynn—but for the purpose of trapping him into making statements they could allege as false.
I can't stress this strongly enough: What Powell describes is criminal misconduct and, coming from sworn law enforcement officials--investigators and prosecutors--of the US Department of Justice, it's extraordinarily serious criminal misconduct. The FBI is simply not authorized to initiate investigations of random Americans without reason, much less enter into a conspiracy to frame them for crimes they never committed by altering evidence. This is why the FBI dropped all pretense of claiming that Flynn was an agent of a foreign power--to avoid exposure of their criminal misconduct in targeting Flynn in the first place. And in this they were knowingly aided by DoJ officials.
What Powell accomplishes with this is to highlight the true goal of the conspiracy: The targeting of Flynn in this way was the first step in the attempted removal of President Trump from office. The conspirators--top officials at the FBI, aided and abetted by others at the CIA and DoJ as well as at other agencies--were willing to break the law to attain their object. This is a foretaste of where the Barr/Durham investigation is headed--it will be fleshing out the conspiracy of which the Flynn case is only one aspect.
The other aspect that calls for comment here is that, while I've spoken of "FBI misconduct," the misconduct--crimes--extend beyond the FBI. Yes, the FBI conducted the unlawful initial investigation and interview of Flynn, but the crimes against Flynn continued throughout the prosecution of Flynn--which was conducted by Team Mueller. That means that any thorough Barr/Durham investigation will need to target the entire Team Mueller operation and its key personnel. And I use the word "operation" advisedly. These are things we need to keep in mind going forward.
I have in the past written at some length regarding the issues discussed here--the guidelines covering various aspects of FBI investigations--their initiation and the techniques that may be employed--as well as the lack of a basis for investigating Flynn regarding his phone call with Ambassador Kislyak. Below are links to four posts with specific reference to Flynn, for Flynn junkies. The first is somewhat brief, the other three are longer:
Dersh Gets It Right
Russia Hysteria, False Statements, And The Michael Flynn Affair
Setting False Statement Traps Is Not Official FBI Business
Judge Sullivan's Challenge
Sorry, but I never get tired of repeating this from Bill Barr:
“The question is whether it was adequately predicated,” he told lawmakers in April.
Just like in real estate the name of the game is "location, location, location," in criminal investigation the name of the game is "predication, predication, predication." And Sidney Powell, as a former prosecutor and current defense attorney, knows that every bit as well as Barr does.
Thx for your insightful perspective on these issues... and the links to further.ReplyDelete
Your welcome, Monsieur. The lack of predication has always been key. I'll have to insert the Barr quote.Delete