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  • Appeals Court orders Sullivan to dismiss case against General Flynn.


    • A newly released bit about the conspiracy.


      • Sally Yates, reports Comey went rogue.


        • Originally posted by surfgun View Post
          Sally Yates, reports Comey went rogue.

          Still not reading the links you post....

          But Yates defended the FBI's basis for conducting its interview with Flynn, who was under scrutiny for conversations he had with then-Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak after the November 2016 election. Flynn was ultimately fired from his post as national security adviser in February 2017 for lying to Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with Kislyak.

          "Interviewing General Flynn was really right at the core of the FBI's investigation at this point to try to discern, what are the ties between the Trump administration and the Russians?" she said, adding that there was a "risk" Flynn would be compromised.
          My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.


          • Posted a lefty link for you as that is the only one’s that you will read. Would you prefer a centrist/right story that you will claim is propaganda?



            Last edited by surfgun; 05 Aug 20,, 18:12.


            • Originally posted by surfgun View Post
              Posted a lefty link for you as that is the only one’s that you will read.
              LOL I read your link. You didn't. I quoted from it. Apparently you don't want to believe that's what was in the link you provided.
              My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.


              • Just in case anybody missed this:

                Ted Cruz asks Sally Yates if the FBI was surveilling any other candidates for president. Her answer reminds the public of Russia's efforts to help Trump.

                Yates' response: “No… there was no information that the Russians were working to aid another candidate other than Donald Trump."
                My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.


                • Judge orders Justice Department to verify its filings in Flynn case
                  The order is a signal of intense distrust between the judge, Emmet Sullivan, and the department, whose filings are typically accepted at face value.

                  The federal judge presiding over the criminal case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn has ordered the Justice Department to conduct an unusual review of its filings in the case and certify by Monday whether any have been manipulated.

                  The order is a signal of intense distrust between the judge, Emmet Sullivan, and the department, whose filings are typically accepted at face value. In this case, DOJ has already acknowledged that two documents it previously filed — handwritten notes taken by former FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe — were altered "inadvertently" to include inaccurate dates.

                  Sullivan's demand will force the Justice Department to confront tricky interpretations of handwritten notes that DOJ and Flynn's legal team have relied on to seek the dismissal of the prosecution.
                  Flynn pleaded guilty in December 2017 to making false statements about his interactions with Russia's then-ambassador to the United States in the weeks before President Donald Trump's inauguration. Flynn encouraged the Russian envoy, Sergey Kislyak, to resist escalating a sanctions battle with the outgoing Obama administration, which sought to punish Russia for interfering in the 2016 election. But Flynn told FBI agents in a Jan. 24, 2017 interview — as well as other Trump administration officials — that sanctions were not raised on the calls.

                  Though Flynn pleaded guilty to lying and cooperated with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigators for a year, he dropped his legal team in early 2019, hired anti-Mueller firebrand attorney Sidney Powell and reversed his posture, claiming he was entrapped into a guilty plea by corrupt FBI agents and DOJ prosecutors. Earlier this year, Attorney General William Barr appointed a Missouri-based U.S. attorney to review the case and, as Flynn mounted an effort to unravel his guilty plea, Barr moved in May to dismiss the charges altogether.

                  But Sullivan has resisted pressure to drop the case, instead appointing an outside adviser to argue against dismissal. That adviser, former Judge John Gleeson, has accused Barr of an overtly political effort to drop the Flynn case in order to protect a prominent Trump ally. Sullivan's posture has led to contentious litigation, including a failed effort by Flynn's team to ask the appeals court to elbow Sullivan aside while accusing him of bias. In the intervening months, the Justice Department and Flynn have continued to publicly post sets of documents that Flynn's team has characterized as evidence of FBI misconduct.

                  Two of those documents included the notes that DOJ now acknowledges were altered, a revelation that Sullivan said last month left him "floored" and demanding answers. In his new order, Sullivan notes that DOJ did not respond to his request to authenticate all 14 exhibits it has filed in support of the dismissal motion.
                  "Although the government relies heavily on these 14 Exhibits, the government has not provided a declaration attesting that the Exhibits are true and correct copies," he wrote Friday. Though he acknowledged there is typically a legal "presumption" that documents filed by the government are authentic, it doesn't apply in this case. "Here, however, the government has acknowledged that altered FBI records have been produced by the government and filed on the record in this case."

                  In his order, Sullivan demanded by Monday a sworn declaration that all other documents in the case are "true and correct copies." That declaration, Sullivan says, must spell out the name, date and author of its contents — aspects that were sometimes left ambiguous by the publicly filed records. Sullivan also asks for DOJ to provide transcripts of the handwritten notes, which could also eliminate ambiguities related to some of the hard-to-read scrawlings.

                  The alteration in Strzok's notes have already led to significant public confusion about a key aspect of the FBI's investigation of Flynn. Strzok's notes summarize a Jan. 5, 2017, Oval Office meeting at which President Barack Obama, FBI Director James Comey and other national security officials discussed Flynn's contact with Russian officials. The document filed in court included a notation that indicated a date range of Jan. 4-5, 2017 — an addition that DOJ attributes to an inadvertently scanned sticky note.

                  Despite little ambiguity about the date of the Oval Office meeting, the inclusion of Jan. 4, 2017, as a potential earlier date helped Trump deploy the issue during a debate last month with former Vice President Joe Biden.

                  Strzok's notes indicate that Biden mentioned the Logan Act — a mostly defunct 18th-century law that criminalizes efforts by private citizens to conduct U.S. foreign policy. The FBI internally discussed using the Logan Act as a basis for its decision to interview Flynn a few weeks later as it investigated his contacts with Russia’s ambassador to the United States. Ultimately, FBI and DOJ officials said the interview was conducted as part of the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation of contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia.

                  Strzok’s notes provide no context about why Biden raised the Logan Act, if it was in response to anyone else or how any officials responded. Biden has previously acknowledged being present in the Oval Office during the discussion of the Flynn matter and indicated he was broadly aware of the FBI investigation. “But that's all I know about it. I don't think anything else,” Biden said.

                  Trump, though, accused Biden of dredging up the Logan Act himself to go after Flynn.
                  "You gave the idea for the Logan Act against General Flynn," the president said at the Sept. 29 debate.

                  Yet other documents released by the DOJ indicate that the notion of pursuing a Logan Act charge against Flynn originated inside the FBI on Jan. 4, 2017, a day before the Oval Office meeting occurred. Messages exchanged between Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page on that day reveal a discussion of the obscure law. Strzok provided the text of the statute to Page, as well as an analysis by the Congressional Research Service that noted the Logan Act had been in relative disuse for more than 200 years and could be unconstitutional.

                  On Thursday, the Justice Department also signaled in a public filing that it had completed its review of the Flynn case and had no additional documents to turn over. DOJ specifically pointed out that it found no evidence of an earlier draft of the FBI's summary of Flynn's Jan. 24, 2017 interview with Strzok and agent Joe Pientka. Flynn's legal team, as well as outside allies including Trump himself, have suggested for more than a year that an "original" summary — known in FBI parlance as an FD-302 — of the interview exists and must be turned over, but DOJ said it scoured all FBI systems and had already turned over three drafts as well as the first finalized version, completed on Feb. 15, 2017.

                  "You have previously been provided with three draft versions of the FD-302, dated February 10, 11, and 14, 2017, that were circulated in PDF format by email to FBI personnel for review," Justice Department officials indicated. "[T]hese are the only draft versions of the FD-302 that we have located during our diligent searches.

                  "The department also indicated it found no additional relevant communications about Flynn's case among FBI higher-ups that hadn't already been disclosed.

                  Nobody trusts the Trump Administration. Can't imagine why....
                  My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.


                  • Ex-deputy FBI chief McCabe: Officials had reason to think Trump posed 'danger to national security'

                    Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe Tuesday defended the bureau's investigation into the Trump campaign's ties to Russia, claiming that political bias played no role in an inquiry that shadowed much of President Donald Trump's administration.

                    "We didn’t open a case because we liked one candidate or didn’t like the other one," McCabe told a Senate panel. "We didn’t open a case because we intended to stage a coup or overthrow the government... We opened a case to find out how the Russians might be undermining our elections. We opened a case because it was our obligation – our duty – to do so. We did our job."

                    As the inquiry went on, McCabe told lawmakers that federal investigators became "alarmed" at Trump's multiple interactions with then-Director James Comey. In those contacts, Trump urged the FBI to drop an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn's contacts with a Russian ambassador while he allegedly attempted to obstruct the Russia investigation when he ultimately fired Comey for his management of that inquiry.

                    At that point, McCabe said investigators had reason to think that Trump "posed a danger to national security."

                    McCabe, who served as the bureau's acting director after Trump fired then-FBI Director James Comey for his role in managing the Russia inquiry in 2017, is the fourth witness to be called before the Senate Judiciary Committee's investigation into the Russia inquiry.

                    So far, the Republican-controlled panel has heard from Comey, former Trump Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and former Obama Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.

                    All three have defended the legitimacy of the inquiry.

                    Led by Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., the Republican members have cast the Russia investigation as a politically motivated operation to undermine candidate Trump and later the Trump presidency.

                    The committee's review builds on a separate investigation by the Justice Department's inspector general, which last year determined that the FBI's requests for surveillance of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page was riddled with errors.

                    Although the inspector general was highly critical of the FBI's actions in seeking the Page surveillance, the review found that political bias played no role in launching the investigation.

                    McCabe acknowledged those errors Tuesday, saying that he would not have approved of the surveillance warrant for Page had he known about the errant document.

                    "I was shocked and disappointed at the errors and mistakes that the (inspector general) found," McCabe said. "To me, any material misrepresentation or error in a (wiretap) application is unacceptable. Period."

                    "Who is responsible for ruining Carter Page's life?" Graham asked McCabe who appeared by video.

                    "We are all responsible for the work that went into that (warrant)," McCabe said.

                    The Justice Department's inspector general's findings led to the prosecution of a former FBI lawyer who pleaded guilty earlier this year to falsifying an email used to support the surveillance request. Federal authorities also used an unverified dossier, purporting to chronicle Trump's past activities in Moscow, to support the warrant application.

                    When the FBI obtained the dossier in September 2016, compiled by a former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, Comey told lawmakers he was unaware Steele's primary source was a suspected Russian agent.

                    Graham has said that abuses uncovered by the inspector general have "shaken" confidence in the system.

                    My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.


                    • Trump Pardoned Flynn to Save Himself
                      The president’s act of clemency was less about mercy than self-interest.

                      Here’s the first and most important thing to understand about the crime for which President Trump just pardoned former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn: Flynn did not lie to protect himself. He lied to protect Donald Trump.

                      At the end of December 2016, Flynn had a series of conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. A month later, on January 24, 2017, Flynn was asked about those conversations by the FBI agent Peter Strzok.

                      In the first set of conversations, Flynn urged Kislyak to oppose a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlement activity. The second set occurred a week later, while Flynn was on holiday in the Dominican Republic. There, Flynn sought to convince Kislyak to persuade the Russian government not to retaliate against the United States, over a round of sanctions punishing Russia for intervening in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump.

                      From Flynn’s own narrow personal point of view, there was no reason to lie about any of these conversations. Yes, he was pushing the limits a little bit, doing diplomacy before the new administration took office. A more elegant diplomat would have found a way to honor the rule that there’s only one administration at a time, while also communicating what he wanted the Russians to know about the differing intentions of the incoming administration. But such limit-pushing has surely happened often before in the history of American foreign policy. All Flynn had to say to avoid legal jeopardy was, “Yes, I spoke to Ambassador Kislyak. Possibly I was premature. My bad.”

                      So why didn’t he say that?

                      Flynn did not attend the notorious Trump Tower meeting on June 9, 2016, arranged on the promise that the Russian government would deliver dirt about Hillary Clinton. He was not part of Roger Stone’s conversations with Donald Trump in which, the Senate Intelligence Committee concluded, Stone discussed a back channel to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. He was not aware of Paul Manafort’s sharing of Trump-campaign data with Konstantin Kilimnik.

                      Flynn had dubious dealings of his own to cover up, yes. He had failed to register as an agent of the Turkish government as he should have. But that omission—and Flynn’s lies about it—only became an issue after Flynn was caught lying about the Kislyak conversations. In the end, Flynn was never charged for violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

                      Maybe Flynn lied because he had a long, bad habit of lying. He admitted in court documents that he lied to the FBI about his Turkish work. When his security clearance was up for renewal in 2016, Flynn lied to investigators about his famous December 2015 trip to Moscow, claiming that it was paid for by U.S. businesses, when in fact it was paid for by the Russian state.

                      But the lie about his conversation with Kislyak was a different kind. In all those previous lies, the truth would have been damaging to Flynn. When Flynn talked to Strzok in January 2017, the truth would have been at worst embarrassing, a confession of clumsiness rather than culpable wrongdoing. So again: Why lie?

                      That’s a question answered by another question. Why did Attorney General Jeff Sessions misrepresent his conversations with Kislyak when asked about them during his confirmation hearings in January 2017? Like Flynn, Sessions was not involved with Trump’s other contacts with Russia. Unlike Flynn, Sessions did not have a track record of lying. Quite the contrary. Sessions is a punctilious man, attentive to the law and careful of his reputation. And yet when asked by the Senate Judiciary Committee whether he had communicated with the Russian government, Sessions replied that he “did not have communications with the Russians.”

                      One potential answer, I would propose, is that Sessions and Flynn lied about their conversations with Kislyak precisely because they were not in the loop on Trump’s other contacts with Russia. They knew that the swirling Trump-Russia scandal was lethally radioactive. They did not know exactly where the radioactivity was centered. They lied to protect the group secret, without themselves knowing what the group secret was. They lied about their own contacts with the Russian ambassador because they intuited that there was some terrible truth about Russia that Trump would want concealed. And because they did not know that truth, they lied extravagantly and excessively, when a guiltier person might have lied more strategically and precisely.

                      That’s all old news now. But the old news has become urgently relevant again with Trump’s pardon of Flynn on the afternoon of the Wednesday before Trump’s final Thanksgiving as president. Flynn lied to protect Trump. He surely did not know what specifically he was protecting Trump against. But here’s what Flynn did know: Trump wanted to undo the sanctions President Obama had imposed on Russia. That mission would be made easier if Russia did not escalate in response to the Obama sanctions. Flynn sensed that Trump’s preferred Russia policy was based on motives that everybody around Trump recognized as dangerous, even if they could not quite define where the danger lay. So when asked by the FBI about the conversation, Flynn acted like a man aware of a terrible secret that must be concealed at all costs. Trump is now pardoning Flynn to reward him for that concealment, as Trump has already commuted Roger Stone’s sentence, to reward him for his lying. Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen was much more thickly involved in Trump’s dealings with Russia than Flynn. But he stopped lying, so, as of yet, there is no pardon for him.

                      A big question mark hovers over the head of Paul Manafort, the man most deeply implicated of all. Manafort has kept his mouth firmly closed. His silence helped defeat Robert Mueller’s investigation, limiting its effort to determine what, precisely, transpired between Trump and Russia. On trial and in prison, Manafort has not talked. Is his reward from Trump coming?

                      The president’s pardon power has traditionally been thought to be absolute. Trump’s pardons of provocateurs like former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the Fox News talking head Dinesh D’Souza, and military personnel accused of war crimes stirred furious criticism, but no one denied the pardons’ validity. But Trump’s pardon of Flynn for lying to protect him, his commutation of the sentence of Roger Stone, and the even more outrageous pardons perhaps still to come? Those raise different questions. Trump is offering clemency to people who each, in varying degrees, had and still have his fate in their hands. As he pardons them, he is presumably thinking not of justice to others, but of safety for himself.

                      And worse may be pending, should Trump follow these self-protecting pardons with an attempt at a self-pardon. Ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court will rule whether a self-pardon is valid. Enough legal scholars argue that it would not be that Trump’s attorneys should worry that a self-pardon won’t stick. But if Trump can buy silence with his pardons of others, he might not even need to pardon himself. The thing we do know for certain is that an administration that began amid charges of conspiracy is ending with an effort at obstruction.
                      My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.


                      • In his nomination hearings William Barr stated several times that a President who pardoned someone for a quid pro quo was guilty of obstruction of justice and possibly treason.

                        Those aren't my words, they are the words of the Attorney General appointed by Donald Trump.

                        The pardon may have just not only complicated Flynn's life (as you pointed out elsewhere) but Trump's as well.
                        “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                        Mark Twain


                        • Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
                          In his nomination hearings William Barr stated several times that a President who pardoned someone for a quid pro quo was guilty of obstruction of justice and possibly treason.

                          Those aren't my words, they are the words of the Attorney General appointed by Donald Trump.

                          The pardon may have just not only complicated Flynn's life (as you pointed out elsewhere) but Trump's as well.
                          Which begs the question "Where is Trump getting his pardon advice from?" A seasoned lawyer would point out the potential jeopardy that Trump is placing himself in by issuing a full pardon to his criminal associates.

                          As if there was any doubt:

                          Trump is forgoing legal advice and instead listening to friends, TV hosts, and relatives on who to pardon, report says

                          President Donald Trump is leaning on the counsel of friends, TV hosts, and family members in deciding who to pardon before he leaves office on January 20, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday.

                          Usually, people convicted of federal crimes can apply to the White House to be considered for a presidential pardon, and their cases are reviewed by Justice Department attorneys.

                          But Trump is relying on the recommendations of people close to him, particularly Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and advisor, sources told The Post. The newspaper described Kushner as having played an important role in Trump's previous pardons.

                          Speculation is growing about who the president will pardon in his last weeks in office. The Post did not specify which people Trump's circle had suggested for pardons.

                          On Wednesday, The New York Times reported on speculation that a pardoning "blitz" could include George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign aide who pleaded guilty to lying to investigators as part of Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.

                          Traditionally, presidents reserve their pardons for people who've been victims of a miscarriage of justice. But Trump has been accused of using the power to shield his associates from punishment.

                          There has even been speculation that Trump could pardon himself, an unprecedented move that some legal experts believe would be struck down by the Supreme Court.

                          The president on Wednesday said he had pardoned Michael Flynn, his former national security advisor who pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents about his contact with Russian officials before Trump took office. Trump claimed that Flynn did not receive a fair hearing.

                          But Trump is not the first president to be accused of misusing pardons — Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton were also accused of abusing the power.

                          Trump is creating a small army of "zombie" witnesses for future prosecutors.
                          My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.


                          • Originally posted by surfgun View Post
                            A newly released bit about the conspiracy.
                            Yeah, that was back in the days when the Administration would actually investigate violations of the Logan Act, rather than encourage them.
                            Did you have a problem with that note about a law that might have to be enforced by the next Administration?
                            Trust me?
                            I'm an economist!