Saturday, May 9, 2020

Professor Turley Dunks On Obama

Earlier I appended to Obama Feeling The Heat? a short Twitter thread by Jonathan Turley--a law professor at George Washington University.  I reproduce that thread here:

President Obama is being quoted on Flynn, saying "There is no precedent that anybody can find for someone who has been charged with perjury just getting off scot-free." It is a curious statement.
First and foremost, Flynn was not charged with perjury... 
>>Did The Mueller Team Violate Brady and Flynn Orders? 
>>With the release of the new material from the case of Michael Flynn, an array of experts came forward to assure the public that it was all standard procedure for investigators to conclude that there … 
Second, we now know Obama discussed charging Flynn under the Logan Act which has never been used successfully to convict anyone and is flagrantly unconstitutional.
Third, this reaffirms reports that Obama was personally invested in this effort.
Finally, there is precedent...  
There is a specific rule allowing for this motion under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 48(a). There are specific Supreme Court cases like Rinaldi v. United States addressing the standard for such dismissals.... 
The Justice Department has dismissed cases in the past including the Stevens case. That was requested by President Obama's own Attorney General Eric Holder for the same reason: misconduct by prosecutors. It was done before the same judge, Judge Sullivan. How is that for precedent? 

Lots of conservatives are having fun with Obama's absurd and inarticulate attempt to offer an opinion on the Flynn case. I note Turley's comments because Turley is quite liberal in many areas, except that he maintains a rather touching and slightly outdated faith in the Constitution as the law of the land. He's also ordinarily quite mild in expressing his opinions, so it's notable when he titles the expanded version of his Twitter thread: President Obama Declares “There Is No Precedent That Anybody Can Find” For The Flynn Motion [He May Want To Call Eric Holder]. The whole thing savors of dunking on O.

In this expanded version Turley goes right for the jugular at the outset, mocking Obama's claim to be unable to find any precedent for "someone who has been charged with perjury just getting off scot-free":

The Obama statement is curious on various levels.  First, the exhaustive search may have been hampered by the fact that Flynn was never charged with perjury. He was charged with a single count of false statements to a federal investigator under 18 U.S.C. 1001.


Turley's commentary is all very much on point, but it was his closing paragraph (an expansion of his original "Second" and "Third" points) that I particularly enjoyed:

The rare statement by President Obama is also interesting in light of the new evidence. As I discussed in a column this morning in the Hill newspaper, the new material shows that Obama was following the investigation of Flynn who he previously dismissed from a high-level position and personally intervened with President Donald Trump to seek to block his appointment as National Security Adviser. Obama reportedly discussed the use of the Logan Act against Flynn. For a person concerned with precedent, that was also a curious focus.  The Logan Act is widely viewed as unconstitutional and has never been used to successfully convicted a single person since the early days of the Republic.  Now that is dubious precedent.

It's a very, very short step from noting that Obama seemed by his actions and by his discussion of the laughable Logan Act pretext to be personally invested in thwarting Flynn's accession to the NSA post to the suggestion that Obama knew of and approved of Comey's plan of action against Flynn.


  1. His Fake News "leaked" phone call shows a real lapse in discipline. Was it Valerie Jarrett's night off? is Nursey Fatima (Michelle) gonna slap him around when she discovers he was using his "pen and phone" without permission while she was at the Netflix propaganda plantation?
    It'll be interesting to see if he carries lumps and bruises at his next public appearance.
    Tom S.

  2. Michael Flynn wanted to withdraw his plea deal so that he could be tried on whatever charges Mueller and his gang of Trump-hating lawyers decided to present.

    If Mueller's gang decided to charge Flynn for "perjury" or for lying to the FBI or whatever else, then Flynn would be tried and Mueller's gang would have to prove its charges.

    William Barr intervened to drop all the charges, because Barr figured that the prosecution would fail. The reasons why the charges would fail are explained to the judge -- and to the public -- in the DOJ motion to drop the charges.

    We are not dealing with a situation where Barr decided to let Flynn get off scot-free for lying to the FBI. Rather we are dealing with a situation where the DOJ would not be able to prevail in a trial of Flynn for lying to the FBI.

    Flynn could not be charged for perjury, because he was not under oath when he answered the FBI's questions.

    1. A small but important correction: it was NOT Barr who summarily decided on his own to deep-six the Flynn case, but rather the USA of EDMO Jensen, who after reviewing the prosecutors' documentation, came to the conclusion there was NO CRIME COMMITTED, and thus there was no basis to continue prosecuting Flynn. He made that recommendation to Barr, and Barr concurred.

      This detail destroys the DEM/MSM narrative that Barr made a politically motivated decision to let Flynn get away with his crime.

  3. "It's a very, very short step..."

    That it is, sir.

  4. I think hubris, getting rattled, not a lack of discipline.

    It’s amazing how successful this operation was against Flynn, until very recently.

    1. I would say that if one becomes "rattled" in an engagement it is precisely a failure of discipline. However, after reading the following at Am Thinker this morning I am of two minds on the subject. Perhaps the Enemy is indeed shifting to the offensive; keeping in mind the ultimate goal is the destruction of the Republic.

      Tom S.

    2. I say, rattled and increasingly desperate as the true dimensions of what will be revealed is increasingly clear.

  5. Related:

    >> Paul Sperry
    · 3h
    DEVELOPING: Investigators are looking into suspicions by Flynn's legal team that President Obama directed FBI Director James Comey and Acting AG Sally Yates to investigate Flynn, using the Logan Act as predication, the day after the FBI closed a counterintelligence case on him. <<