As many of you may be aware, Kevin Brock is a guy who's in a position to understand quite well what was going on in the Flynn case--and, in fact, in the entire Russia Hoax. Brock is a former assistant director of intelligence for the FBI. He has an excellent article at The Hill today: Did the FBI target Michael Flynn to protect Obama's policies, not national security?
I realize doing a post on Brock's article may seem, by now, a bit like beating a dead horse--we've been going over the basic points about predication and FBI authority on a regular basis. Nevertheless, although Brock is in one sense going over familiar ground, he explains it well and gathers a lot of important points in one place. Moreover, the basic point is absolutely fundamental--both for understanding what went down in the Russia Hoax as well as for understanding where Barr and Durham are headed.
Do yourself a favor and read the entire article:
How would you like to be investigated by the FBI because you disagreed with the president’s policies? Sounds a little KGB-ish, you might think — and you’d be right, because the FBI has zero authority to conduct such an investigation. But the more we learn about the FBI’s investigation of Michael Flynn, the more it appears he was targeted precisely because, as the national security adviser to the incoming Trump administration, he signaled that the new administration might undo Obama administration policies — which is kind of what the American people voted for in 2016.
Some will say that Gen. Flynn was investigated for legitimate criminal or national security reasons. Yet, the FBI’s ultimate interview of Flynn addressed none of the grounds that the FBI used to open the original case against him. For those of us who have run FBI investigations, that is more than odd.
As you'll see, when Brock says "more than odd" what he means is: potentially criminal. The pattern of FBI conduct that has emerged is actually important evidence that will go toward proving the big conspiracy that Durham is working on.
For the record, Flynn clearly exercised poor judgment as a result of being interviewed by the FBI. The larger question is whether the team under then-Director James Comey had a legitimate basis to conduct the interview at all.
FBI documents show that a Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) case was opened against Flynn. The stated reasons, in rank order, for initiating the investigation were that he was a member of the Trump campaign; he had “ties” to various Russian state-affiliated entities; he traveled to Russia; and he had a high-level top-secret clearance — for which, by the way, he was polygraphed regularly to determine if he was a spy.
These are all the reasons that I went over, one by one, in Opening And Closing The Flynn Case. The conclusion to be drawn is clear to Brock.
None of the listed reasons is unusual activity for the kind of positions he held. ... Yet, most chillingly, the Crossfire Hurricane team stated it was investigating Flynn “specifically” because he was “an adviser to then Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump for foreign policy issues.”
Let me be clear: That is not a legitimate justification to investigate an American citizen.
On Jan. 4, 2017, two weeks before the Trump inauguration, FBI agents at a lower level — where the real work is done — prudently tried to close the Flynn investigation, citing the absence of any derogatory information or other facts that would enable the bureau to keep the case open.
Shockingly, the closing document also stated that there never had been any facts that indicated Flynn was possibly acting as an agent of a foreign power. In other words, there was no basis for investigating Flynn in the first place, and therefore no justification for any further actions. Despite this, the Comey team intervened, halted the case closure, and started laying plans to confront Flynn. The only problem was, they had no legal basis to conduct an investigative interview with him.
This is an important point that Brock is making. Again, just last night (Victoria Toensing On Predication--And Me On The Logan Act) I noted that "the FBI never had any grounds to interview Michael Flynn--no predication for any investigation, and an interview is an investigative act." IOW, the FBI was acting outside their authority. That might be one thing if those who made the decision to investigate and then to interview Flynn were acting with a good faith belief that they had a legitimate reason for doing so, but as we have seen--and Brock once again makes clear--it's well nigh impossible to credit that, given what we've learned.
Flynn’s participation in the Kislyak conversation was not illogical, given his new role as incoming national security adviser. The call contained no reasonable criminal or national security violation on his part. Nevertheless, Comey, McCabe and others appeared anxious to find a way to justify interviewing Flynn. Four pages of FBI notes and emails released within the past week seem to indicate that the Comey team strategized around an interview approach that might elicit false statements from Flynn, which could be used to damage him.
... They had no legal basis for being in Flynn’s office and confronting him.
The people who sent Strzok and Pientka to interview Flynn were almost all lawyers--even highly experienced former DoJ lawyers. I don't believe Priestap is a lawyer, but McCabe is. Comey, Baker, and Lisa Page all had combined many years of DoJ experience at high levels. The legal problems with what they decided to do--interview the Flynn, the National Security Adviser without any official authority--couldn't possibly have been missed by them. There couldn't possibly have been an oversight or misunderstanding of such a basic issue as: Do we have any authority for doing this? What that means is that the FBI--or, these FBI officials--were knowingly acting outside the scope of their authority, but under color of official authority. That's a crime, and especially when the object is to deprive a citizen of his constitutional rights. That's a conspiracy.
The FBI 302 documenting the interview of Flynn shows that it did not probe possible violations of any criminal statute or examine counterintelligence issues. Instead, it focused on exploring what the Trump administration might do differently than the Obama administration. In other words, it was an interview about policy differences between two presidencies.
A politically manipulated FBI is a threat to the nation. An independent FBI is and has been a blessing to the nation, and is one of the key reasons America is different from totalitarian regimes. That is why the Comey legacy must be thoroughly examined and reforms enacted as needed. It is vital to all of us.
I do think the drip drip drip release of information about Flynn's targeting is a good thing and that the Fake News group won't be able to write this off or wish it away.ReplyDelete
Whether it's Brock writing for the Hill or Gagliano commenting on CNN, these are opportunities for independents and fair-minded Democrats to hear from men who aren't necessarily associated with conservatism.
I think, and, admittedly hope, that this will turn into a snowball rolling downhill. You know what happens next. The momentum picks up and is near-impossible to stop.
It's only a few days now, but Comey and Brennan have been quiet on Twitter. I haven't heard much from Clapper on CNN. I don't have cable, so maybe he is still on the air, but nothing he says seems to make the news.
May I just comment about the audacity of Lisa Page and Peter Strozk to whine on Twitter about how unfairly that they are being treated? Especially, Page, is bad. Undercover Huber really zinged her with her lack of self-awareness.
A lot of chutzpah.
"...Comey and Brennan have been quiet on Twitter."Delete
Perhaps the phrase, "On advice of counsel", could be inserted here.
Once again, Tom S. gets right to the heart of it in just a few words.Delete
Mens Rea & Actus Reus together inch ever closer to the light.ReplyDelete
Why I do believe I'm beginning to smell evidence of a criminal conspiracy.
here's what amazes me:ReplyDelete
in addition to never having predication to open CR, and then WFO not finding any evidence to support the hypothesis that FLynn was working on behalf of Russia, the 7th Floor Brain Trust of the FBI keeps the CR investigation alive by fantasizing that Flynn magically violated the Logan Act, even though as a Presidential Transition Official, he was "authorized" to talk to foreign officials and discuss matters and issues between their countries and the US, which means the Logan Act cannot possibly apply (its dubious constitutionality being of academic interest at that point.)
And then, once Strzok and Pientka interview Flynn without warning him what they are doing, the 302 shows they never asked him about ANY potential crime or counter-intel issue during the interview!
If they thought he would be blackmailed by Russia over the discrepancy reported in the MSM over what he told the VP, then why didn't the FBI agents ask Flynn if any Russians had tried to blackmail him? IOW, they knew the blackmail excuse was just an excuse.
So, the mystery to me is why didn't Strzok and Pientka at least create a facade of investigating SOMETHING they they had plausible jurisdiction to investigate when they questioned Flynn, even if all they hoped to do was elicit an answer that could be construed as a "false statement"?
It is as if they thought no one would ever check, or else they were zealots who redoubled their efforts having forgotten their original putative purpose for the interview!
They basically unzipped their fly and stuck it out for the world to see, and documented it in their own 302!
How could they be that stupid to not even give themselves some pretense of a legal "figleaf"?
Is this an example of what le'Carre refers to as "an old spy in a hurry"?
In a hurry? More like franticly desperate to interrupt the inauguration so their misdeeds wouldn't be discovered.Delete
Remember, Susan Rice's CYA memo of the Jan 5 meeting wasn't written until going out the door at noon on Jan 20. The WH/Rice seemingly thought something was going to happen to change the course of history--why else wait until the very last minute to memorialize the meeting?
Her last official act was to provide a rationalizing cover for their coup conspiracy. And even that told too much truth, e.g., discussing withholding classified material from the incoming administration.
For all the cries of how stupidly, ham-handed, etc. they behaved it was, as Wellington said of Waterloo, "A damn near thing."Delete
Luckily for the Republic, PDJT is not as stupid as they are.Delete
Perhaps Mueller legacy would be more accurate.
Mueller transitioned the FBI into supposedly a counter terrorism focused agency, from a criminal focused one.
First, the flop sweat is becoming apparent for all to see, and some it is coming from people no one would suspect have skeletons in the closet (here's looking at you George W. Bush, who nary uttered a peep during the Obama Administration, but can't seem to hold his tongue now).ReplyDelete
Second, Comey has been trying to sell the allegation that Trump is Putin's puppet and therefore represented a supreme security threat to the US when installed as the new president. In reality, the former head of the FBI has clearly demonstrated his bona fides as an arch criminal, and that is no trivial thing.
Last, lots of disinfecting daylight is currently shining on the DOJ/FBI as a result of the Flynn revelations, but the really serious stuff is still well hidden in the closet, and will likely remain there until after the election. If Barr chooses to go there, the next two years will be likely be volcanic.
Lindsay Graham releases less redacted Second Scope memo by RR for Mueller SCO:
>> https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/SJC%20Scope%20Memo%20-%202020-05-06.pdf <<
Thanks. What BS.Delete
Only reason Lindsay Graham released anything is Maria Bartiromo called him out going through his promises without action.ReplyDelete
Actually, Graham just told HAnnity that he got the memo from Barr yesterday -- he hasn't been sitting on this at all.Delete
The hatred the Bush Family has got for Trump is amazing. I was surprised to find out George Bush voted for Hillary.ReplyDelete
There is a piece in The Lid that goes over, superficial, why both Bushes hate Trump and attempts to go over the historical context since the late 1960s why Trump is getting this amount of vitriol, emnity, and, ultimately, deranged hatred.Delete
I believe that was originally posted by J. E. Dyer on her blog:Delete
I've gone from liking W. to despising him. I regret voting for him. He's too much like his father. At least I can say that I didn't support Jeb!.Delete
As the Who sang, "I won't get fooled again". No more Bushes, Romneys, Doles, McCains, etc. I put Haley in that category. She's trying to position herself as a conservative. I believe she's more of a country club Republican.
Speaking to Anon. @ 2:44 above.Delete
Interesting article. It is the connect-the-dots version of Codevilla's discussion of, "It's not about Party affiliation: it's about who you have dinner with."
Hydra lives and Jeffery Epstein still didn't kill himself.
Speaking to Joe @ 8:59:Delete
I agree, wouldn't vote for her for dogcatcher on a bet.
When Dyer does a deep dive, she goes aquanaut.
So even if the unexpected happens, that all the corrupt players are prosecuted and convicted, the first Democrat President after Trump will pardon them all.ReplyDelete
I'm tempted to agree, but I will say that if the evidence comes out good and strong, so there is no doubt among most people about what happened here, then Dem candidates will have to promise not to issue pardons. A Dem prez could break that promise but would probably try to get re-elected first, and by then much justice would have been served.Delete
A lot of ifs there, I know, but if enough evidence comes out to convict the bastards, that's probably enough evidence to hold off pardons for a while.