I'm taking a bit of time off today--or at least this morning. Also to rest my eyes.
Two quick comments.
The next Michael Flynn hearing is coming up. FWIW, what will interest me the most will be how aggressive the DoJ attorney is. We know Sidney Powell will push hard on the theme of government misconduct and that Gleeson will be unhinged. So I'm interested in how DoJ intends to react to having been stonewalled--in the face of all evidence and legitimate constitutional concerns--at both the District and Circuit court levels. Powell has stated that, if balked again, she'll "go straight to the Supreme Court." Will DoJ adopt a similarly aggressive posture?
And now a request.
Shipwreckedcrew has an article out today in which he maintains--IMO convincingly--that the "insurance policy" that Strzok and Page texted about was, in fact, simply the Michael Flynn case. I say his argument is convincing. It's extended and draws in most of the available evidence. Here's his conclusion. As you'll see, he's echoing points made here--both by me as well as by commenters--while expanding on them:
Agent Barnett said there wasn’t much “predicate” to support the investigation of General Flynn, yet on August 15, 2016, Lisa Page and Peter Strzok have already concluded that General Flynn has connections to Russia and Putin that meant he should not have access to classified information.
It is a violation of FBI policy to open a counterintelligence case file on a US Person with no present intention to conduct a counterintelligence investigation of the US Person. It might even be a crime.
And yet that is exactly what Special Agent Barnett says FBI Deputy Assistant Director for Counterintelligence Peter Strzok did with regard to General Michael Flynn, decorated U.S. war hero.
He opened a counterintelligence case file on General Flynn, then put it in his “back pocket” just in case it turned out that he needed to have such a file open later on — depending on who won the election.
That’s a problem.
Strzok knows it.
So does his lawyer.
Andy McCabe told him to do it.
Andy McCabe is an idiot.
Peter Strzok is a fool for following that direction.
Proving once again something that I have said here a few times — and my friends connected to the FBI are unhappy about having to grudgingly admit — moving up through the ranks of FBI management too often has nothing to do with whether the people being promoted know what they are doing.
“All Volunteer” management results in too many idiots volunteering to be promoted.
Earlier in the article he mentions something else that a commenter here pointed out--the close connection in time between the Flynn case opening and the "insurance policy" text. Could some kind person try to locate that comment for me, while I'm on my mental health break? I recall specifically responding with praise for that insight.
The "just in case" nature of the Flynn case--with little actual investigation conducted--is also a point I made.
And how many times have I recounted Field Agent "folk wisdom" to the effect that, to get promoted in the Bureau all it takes is a "willingness to relocate?"
UPDATE: Here's the comment from EZ that I was referring to above--pointing out the connection between the opening of the Flynn case and the reference to the "insurance policy." I've also added a comment from Unknown that points out that Sidney Powell had made that connection in March, 2020. Probably sooner, but she mentioned it publicly at that point:
EZ September 25, 2020 at 2:59 PM
An interesting related discovery:
Look at the date for the "insurance policy" text message:
>> The text Strzok sent to Lisa Page on Aug. 15, 2016, read: “I want to believe the path you threw out in [former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe's] office — that there’s no way he gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take the risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.” <<
And what happened on Aug 15, 2016?
Crossfire Razor was opened on Flynn.
(Officially, it was opened on the 16th, but IIRC it was green-lit" on the 15th, and thus was likely a topic of discussion in the meeting attended by Strzok/Page in McCabe's office.)
This is consistent with Barnett's account of virtually nothing going on in CR in September to November 2016; management was giving no direction to investigate anything, and wasn't approving NSLs that Barnett sought, and refused to allow him to interview Flynn. After the election, FBI management sudden got much more interested, most likely because Trump won the election, and now they needed to dust off the "insurance policy" investigation -- CR -- and see if they could find a way to frame Flynn for something. Even with that push, Barnett and the other agents/analysts could see any basis to continue, because there was no evidence Flynn committed any crime. Strzok even approved shutting it down at the end of December, but countermanded it when the Flynn/Kislyak phone call transcripts were discovered by CR, and somebody conjured up the laughable Logan Act angle to keep the investigation open even longer.
The[y] never planned to use the Flynn investigation before the election because they knew there was no there there. It likely was opened to placate somebody high up in the WH, and was seen by Strzok and others prior to Trump's surprise election as merely an "insurance policy" investigation that could be dusted off and used to hobble the trump administration if the inconceivable were to happen, which it did. That's why there was no pressure from above to do much of anything before the election.
After the election everyone at the top of FBI and DOJ went into CYA mode, and CR took on a much greater importance in that regard.
mark wauck September 25, 2020 at 3:01 PM
Note that McCabe's role is probably key, here. SWC, echoing EZ, raises it, too. The significance of McCabe is that he had a definite axe to grind against Flynn. I'm guessing that McCabe's grudge against Flynn for testifying against McCabe in the Robyn Gritz lawsuit played a role here. Of course, the IC jihad against Flynn was a major factor, but McCabe's grudge made possibly "getting even" with Flynn very attractive to McCabe--to set the FBI's wheels in motion.
SWC is right about that: It's appalling that an idiot like McCabe was running the day to day operations of the FBI.
Unknown September 28, 2020 at 12:15 PM
I watched a video of Sidney Powell's speech at Hillsdale College on March 11, 2020. She mentioned the closeness in time during the speech: the 15 August "insurance policy" email; the 16 August opening of an investigation of Flynn by the FBI; and the 17 August meeting with Flynn when Pientka was observing him as a subject.