Sunday, May 10, 2020

The Plot Against Flynn Traced To The Oval Office

Andy McCarthy has a must-read article up this morning: Flynn and the Anatomy of a Political Narrative--a title which, in a sense, doesn't do justice to what McCarthy does in his article. McCarthy draws on newly revealed testimony as well as--crucially--information drawn from a NYT article that came out shortly after Flynn's resignation. By putting these sources together what emerges is a picture of Obama himself at the center of a conspiratorial web targeting the Trump administration through the framing of Flynn. We also see James Comey (disgraced former FBI Director) at the head of an empowered FBI--the key domestic agency in the US Intelligence Community because of its law enforcement functions--in McCarthy's words "running rings" around the FBI's "nominal superiors" at DoJ. Which is a telling fact.

McCarthy begins with ground that should be familiar by now--the Obama, Sally Yates, Comey "pull-aside" meeting in the Oval Office on January 5, 2017. This is the meeting described in the now released transcript of Mary McCord's House testimony as well as in Yate's interview by Team Mueller. (See: Mary McCord: Leak To David Ignatius Could Have Come From Obama WH.) Here's McCarthy's description of what occurred in that "pull-aside" small-group meeting:

After the main briefing, the president asked Yates and FBI director James Comey to stick around to meet with him, along with Vice President Biden and National Security Advisor Susan Rice. Yates was taken aback when Obama explained that he had “learned of the information about Flynn” and his conversation with Kislyak. She was startled because, she later told investigators, she “had no idea what the president was talking about.” 
Yates had to figure things out by listening to the exchanges between President Obama and FBI director Comey. The latter was not only fully up to speed, he was even prepared to suggest a potential crime — a violation of the moribund Logan Act — that might fit the facts.

Apparently Obama assumed that not only Comey but Yates as well would know what he was talking about re the Flynn/Kislyak conversation. In fact, Comey probably assumed the same, because Comey's right hand guy, disgraced former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, had called McCord, the head of DoJ's National Security Division (NSD) and briefed her on the Flynn/Kislyak call two days previously. However, McCord hadn't briefed Yates on the matter, as Obama and Comey assumed would have happened. McCarthy writes:

Evidently not appreciating what the FBI regarded as the urgency of the matter, McCord did not pass the information along to the acting AG [Yates] before her White House meeting.

That's actually a very important detail. As we have learned, the reason that neither McCord nor Yates saw the "urgency" of the Flynn/Kislyak conversatoin was because they recognized that Flynn's discussions with foreign leaders--including Kislyak--were perfectly appropriate in the transition period. Moreover, they also regarded the whole Logan Act theory as basically nonsense. The point is that the supposed urgency regarding the call had nothing to do with law or national security, and everything to do with plotting a coup under color of law. That hadn't occurred to Yates or McCord at that point.

McCarthy turns to the NYT article--Flynn’s Downfall Sprang From ‘Eroding Level of Trust’--for a key detail that has largely gone unremarked--until now:

When General Flynn was forced to resign as national-security adviser after just three weeks on the job, the New York Times did its customary deep dive, in which seven of its best reporters pressed their well-placed sources for details. It was a remarkable report, which recounted — as if it were totally matter-of-fact — that Flynn’s communications with Kislyak had been investigated by the FBI in real-time consultation with President Obama’s aides. For example (my italics):
"Obama advisers heard separately from the F.B.I. about Mr. Flynn’s conversation with Mr. Kislyak, whose calls were routinely monitored by American intelligence agencies that track Russian diplomats. The Obama advisers grew suspicious that perhaps there had been a secret deal between the incoming [Trump] team and Moscow, which could violate the rarely enforced, two-century-old Logan Act barring private citizens from negotiating with foreign powers in disputes with the United States."

"Obama advisers"? I think we know that means: Susan Rice, or someone in her immediate staff. Telling Rice was the equivalent of telling Obama himself, and that puts us squarely inside the Oval Office (square peg in oval hole?). And almost immediately the idea arose of

nailing Flynn on the Logan Act . . . an obsolete, unconstitutional vestige of the President John Adams administration that has never, ever been prosecuted in the history of the Justice Department (the last case appears to have been in 1852; DOJ was established 18 years later). [In fact, the only two instances in which the Logan Act was invoked involved indictments that never, as McCarthy notes, proceeded to actual prosecutions.]

Where did the idea of using the Logan Act come from? Not from DoJ, which would have had to approve a prosecution. McCarthy quotes McCord's view that it actually originated in the office of disgraced former DNI James Clapper:

McCord (whose interview is Exhibit 3 in DOJ’s Flynn dismissal motion) later told investigators that the Logan Act flyer originated in the office of Obama’s director of national intelligence, James Clapper — specifically proposed by ODNI’s general counsel, Bob Litt. Obviously, by January 5, Comey was already discussing it with Obama.

McCarthy puts that together with more from the NYT article that tells us a lot about who the key plotters were:

For the legal analysis of Flynn’s exchanges with Kislyak, the president’s aides [again, probably to be read, Rice or someone deputed by her] consulted the FBI, not DOJ: 
The Obama officials asked the F.B.I. if a quid pro quo had been discussed on the call, and the answer came back no, according to one of the officials, who like others asked not to be named discussing delicate communications. The topic of sanctions came up, they were told, but there was no deal. 
So no misconduct.

No misconduct, which means: no evidence of a crime, no predication, and therefore, no investigation may legally be conducted. No interview of Flynn, because that's an investigative step. In other words, if this plot to frame Flynn and damage or even remove Trump were being run "by the book", it would all have been dropped right then and there with the knowledge that Flynn's actions were those that were "by the book." But Comey was never one to do things "by the book," as the "dumbfounded" Yates discovered when Comey went ahead and dispatched Strzok and Pientka to interview Flynn against her wishes.

Here's a final takeaway from this. It would appear to be very much in the interests of Yates and McCord to cooperate with John Durham, to separate themselves to the greatest degree possible from the plot to screw Flynn. And when I say "cooperate" I mean "cooperate fully," because once you start cooperating there's no drawing lines. Not here, anyway, where Yates and McCord would be in no position to draw any lines with Durham.

Also, Susan Rice could be facing some very serious decisions.


  1. Revolutionaries + national security tools = constitutional chaos.

  2. Listening to the duplicitous Gowdy on Maria Bartiromo's program this morning say that Republicans should be happy with taking down Comey, McCabe, Clapper, Brennan, etc. while letting Obama off the hook. The evidence is mounting up quickly that Obama was the fulcrum of this entire operation; who, like the other participants, never considered Trump could survive. Is it any wonder he has emerged to rally his foot soldiers and the media to spin their sanctimonious tales.

  3. Again, the plot to entrap and persecute Flynn is actually small potatoes compared to other criminal conduct that all of this was intended to conceal. That is what has Obama, Brennan, Clapper, and Comey so agitated right now. They couldn't care less whether Flynn fries or walks; they just don't want anyone to find out about the other stuff hiding in the closet. The best they can hope for now is to throw up a smokescreen of indignation over the imaginary "politicization" of DOJ by Barr and hope they can sell the public that future indictments are retribution.

    And the degree to which the flop sweat river is flowing strongly suggests that Durham is aiming high. Barr will make the final call (and likely Trump will weigh in as well), but if they choose to reveal the sellout of US national security technology and information during the Obama Administration, the country will be roiled in a way not seen in 150 years.

    1. It should all come out.

      - TexasDude

  4. On December 29, 2016, President Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats. The purported reason was that Russia had meddled in the USA's Presidential election.

    However, Russia had not meddled in the election, and none of the diplomats has been accused of participating in any such meddling.

    The real purpose of the expulsion was to poison US-Russia relations shortly before Donald Trump became the new US President. Furthermore, any effort by the Trump Administration to improve those poisoned relations would be treated as proof that Trump and his campaign staff had colluded with Russia to affect the election.

    That was Obama's plan, and Obama's plan indeed was executed when Trump's new National Security Advisor Michael Flynn talked on the phone with Russia's Ambassador. Flynn's phone conversation was treated as proof that Flynn was a secret agent of Vladimir Putin.

    1. Totally. The reality of the Logan Act narrative was in a sense the exact reverse of what was put out. Obama repeatedly attempted to screw around with foreign policy matters that outgoing presidents have always left alone, allowing the incoming president to get established. It was an outrageous attempt to undermine Trump that, if Bush for example had done to Obama, woulda been called out by the media.

    2. “ The real purpose of the expulsion was to poison US-Russia relations shortly before Donald Trump became the new US President.”

      ...and to firmly plant the notion of Russian meddling in the public’s mind. I distinctly remember at the time thinking that it meant the Russians really must have been up to something. Now I’m amazed at how naive I was.

  5. The question McCarthy doesn't seem to notice is how did the Obama advisers get the idea that Flynn was doing deals with the Russians? This appears to have sprung fully formed from the forehead of Zeus (or Obama's Demi-god aides,) because there is no antecedent basis for it in the Flynn phone call transcript, or the WFO's investigation of Flynn since August.

    So where did they get that idea? Did a little bitd fly in the window of the oval office and whisper it in ValJar's (or Susan Rice's) ear?

    Second point: it would not have mattered if there were a deal struck between Flynn and Kislyak/Putin -- Flynn is a member of the Presidential Transition Team, a government paid official at the time he talked to Kislyak, whose task during the transition includes making contact, establishing avenues of communication and mutual understandings, and developing working relationships, with various foreign officials, include the Russian ambassador. Flynn was thus an "Authorized person" to be conducting negotiations (on behalf of the upcoming administration, of course) with foreign governments, and thus the Logan Act cannot apply to him, deal or no deal!

    The take-away I get from McCarthy's article is that it was the Obama administration officials that were in the biggest panic about Flynn in early January 2017, as they were about to turn the keys over to the Trump administration. This suggests the motive for destroying Flynn at all costs before he could meaningfully get his nose under the NSC tent as Trump's NSA was to prevent him from discovering evidence of criminal wrongdoing that was likely orchestrated out of the vastly expanded Obama NSC.

    I'll go out on a limb and speculate that there were multiple mendacities committed or known about/documented within the Obama NSC, any one of which could potentially put many of these people in the Obama Administration in jail if it were ever found out, and the Russia Collusion Hoax is only one of them. I'm betting the Biden/Ukraine money laundering kickback scheme is also another big one. Who knows what is buried there about Benghazi? You get the point.

    Officials in FBI and DOJ no doubt also committed criminal acts and massive abuses of power, but this is beginning to look like the motive was to protect the outgoing masterminds of criminality in the Obama Administration, scared to death the evidence of their various criminal acts would be found in records at NSC once Flynn took over as Trump's NSA.

    Hence, the mission for Strzok and his politically minded pals in FBI was to do a Stalinesque "Investigate the man and find the crime to fit him with" job on Flynn.

    Lavrentiy Beria would approve.

    1. It's all an extension of the Russia Hoax that was formulated months before. Maybe over a year before.

    2. Rather than “getting the idea that Flynn was doing deals with the Russians” I believe O&Co needed to get Flynn (as a troublesome extension of troublesome Donald J. Trump) and scratched around until they thought they’d found the perfect idea.

    3. Violation of the Logan Act ... It's such a self-evident canard that it doesn't merit discussion. Like charging a cop with impersonating a law enforcement officer because he's in uniform headed to work on his first day on the job, but hasn't arrived at the precinct yet. That's how weak that sauce was.

  6. I don’t think anyone can stop this cluster frick from rolling right up to Obama. I’m 74 years old with a life long thirst for history and I am amazed by the current zeitgeist. I mean that what we are witnessing is truly Historic. Either “the center will not hold (sic)” and the social wheels fall off or we indulge in a no nonsense civil war that will shock this bloody nation into forgetting about LGBQSHIT, PC, and free shit and concentrate on supply chains.

    1. No. Our choice is not and never has been binary.

  7. "The Obama officials asked the F.B.I. if a quid pro quo had been discussed on the call"

    "Quid pro quo ... on the call." Oh my. It's déjà poo - the sense that you've heard this sh*t somewhere before.

    1. Quid pro quo ... sigh ...

      The way of the world since ... forever.

      Only in certain contexts is such a thing illegal and this is not that.

      - TexasDude - Tired of it all.

    2. Precisely. That's what the fake impeachment was about--an attempt to criminalize foreign policy, at least when the president is GOP. Doesn't every treaty involve a quid pro quo, after all?

    3. Quid pro Joe, on the other hand...move along, nothing to see.

      Accuse your enemies of that which you are guilty. The Obama crew and their courtiers, including their media acolytes obviously, just can't not be dishonest vile scum. It's their very nature. Deceit is the only means by which their insidious "progressive" agenda can be advanced and imposed on the masses.

      Oh, look, another example in a long line of near-daily examples has just surfaced: "NBC News' Chuck Todd aired a deceptively edited clip of Attorney General Bill Barr discussing the Michael Flynn case during his 'Meet the Press' broadcast on Sunday, prompting the network to concede the "mistake" hours later..."

      "Mistake." Yeah. Funny how they keep making the same "mistakes" again and again and again. And only in one direction.

    4. That's why it's "negotiating".
      No one starts out from the position of "heads I lose, tails you win". Well, no one except Obama.
      Tom S.

  8. As my wife points out to me when I bring up subjects like this: "No one knows what you're talking about." No one does. We do, here, thanks to Mark, as well as to the commenters, all of whom are sharp as paint.

    Not a word of Obama's despicable, snide role in what I have no trouble calling treason can be found in the NYTimes or on CNN, or any other MSM outlet. Before anyone goes near Obama, that has to happen.

    1. Obama has been flushed. He'll be running for cover again soon, but he's been located, his position in all this is now known and he won't be able to hide.

  9. Listening to DiGenova's interview on WMAL this AM:

    he says the reason the Mary McCord, etc., are all squealing like stuck pigs now is because the Motion to Dismiss in the Flynn case "reads like an indictment, and the reason it reads like an indictment is because it is going to be part of an indictment."

    >> <<

    1. Thanks. I was looking forward to that.

      That's a good point--not surprising coming from a prosecutor. One thing I noticed especially in McCord's self serving article in the NYT yesterday is that she never once addressed one of the central points of the DoJ motion--the lack of predication. That lack of predication will, as I've been maintaining be central to the coming conspiracy indictments. That's exactly why she left that out.

  10. "That's a good point--not surprising coming from a prosecutor."

    The real question is what do David French, George Will and William Kristol think? LOL.

    French still clings to his notion that Flynn is guilty.

    1. That is so pathetic--and intellectually corrupt.