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01 December 2017

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LondonBob

This was always a fishing trip for a process crime. They should have known better, as should the Russian amabassador with his mobile phone. Daft.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/how-michael-flynns-guilty-plea-implicates-israeli-intelligence-and-perhaps-the-logan-act/article/2642278

The Israeli angle seems interesting.

Grazhdanochka

Flynns Lies seem to be about as deep as this Well necessarily goes...

Of course a Man spooked could feel pressure to say anything he feels is wanted of him, but I cannot judge his Character on this as yet.

Why he did it? Could be any Number of things - From basis of Political Climate, a moments Poor Decision, overall Dishonesty or something else (Carrying Water?)

What is notable though is the obviousness that any 'Collusion' with Russia were it some deep seated Plot would not require these Communiques back and forth that only draw Attention. It would be understood in advance what largely each Actors intents and Plans are)

This is the Equivalent of Doenitz requiring U-Boats to make regular Reports back to Base with obvious Consequences that came.... and believe me this Lesson is understood by those who need to )

Fredw

These charges are of course the end result of a plea bargain. They are not anything like a maximum of what could be proved. Their content in no way indicates a lack of evidence about other matters.

Yes he lied about things that he didn't need to lie about. But to think that exonerates him requires that we take the charges at face value - that we believe that is all there is to it. That is actually possible, but I certainly would not risk any money on it.

This seem so obvious as to not need saying, but apparently it does need to be said.

Cold War Zoomie

Seems to me that communicating with foreign ambassadors before taking office is not a minor issue, although it might not be illegal. Obama was still the president and his State Department was handling foreign policy.

"Pre-inaugural meetings between representatives of the incoming administration and foreign diplomats or leaders should be sharply limited. They should be confined to a few persons, clearly authorized by letter from the president-elect or the secretary of state-designate, to speak for the incoming administration. These discussions may be for the educational purpose of allowing new officials to inform themselves about the problems they will face. There should be substantive talks that will allow the new administration to act immediately upon taking office. In either case, the incumbent administration should be kept informed to the extent possible. Nothing should give the impression that the president-elect has any authority to act before the inauguration or interfere with ongoing actions by the incumbent administration."

http://web1.millercenter.org/commissions/comm_1986.pdf

Publius Tacitus

Well Fred, you probably need to watch more of the Judicial/Cop shows that you are drawing on to profess expertise in these matters. Your ignorance is laughable. For starters, in a plea agreement like this the prosecutor does not, i repeat, NOT exclude other, more damning evidence. Why? Because the agreement hinges on the defendant admitting to certain key facts. If those facts are not in the agreement then the defendant is not admitting. Which means the prosecutor has no leverage over the defendant.
Really, if you cannot be smart about this stuff just stay silent.

jdledell

PT - With all due respect, I think your conclusion that Trump and other high ranking officials are in the clear is way too premature. This relatively minor indictment of Flynn is not conclusive of the total amount of information he has relayed to Mueller's team. The liberals are rightfully castigated for jumping to conclusions on Trump's potential liability, we should not jump to conclusions in the other direction.

Publius Tacitus

This is nonsense. That's why we have elections. In any event, Trump and his team did nothing to undermine Obama. To the contrary. It was Obama who unleashed the intel community to interfere in the US election. That's the story.

Publius Tacitus

JDLEDELL,
Deal with facts rather than your opinion. If Trump and his senior advisors had actually been "colluding" with the Russians then they would have had lines of communication and points of contact. They would not have to rely on Mike Flynn and Ambassador Kislyak playing telephone tag.
ZERO evidence of the other RUSSIAN ties. ZERO!!!

Alves

That is kind of a convoluted reasoning.

It is a BARGAIN. Both sides do a risk assessment. The prosecution can make a deal for any number of reasons, among them the possibility that it could not even get a guilty verdict in the first place.

jdledell

PT - I think your reply to Fredw is way out of line. Many of us come here to learn, and being told to shut up is not conducive to discussions and learning.

Publius Tacitus

Then Fredw should avoid asserting "facts" that are completely wrong. He is neither a lawyer nor prosecutor and has zero experience in these matters. If he did, he would not have written something so patently foolish and ill-informed. I reiterate the advice of Mark Twain, "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool then open one's mouth and remove all doubt.

Fredw

This document is a charge sheet and a guilty plea. It does not address other matters and does not rule out other charges. If there is an agreement document, this is not it. And of course the prosecutor does not publish all the things he knows about other people who may also be subject to charges. That would be ridiculous. As Flynn noted in his signed statement: "The preceding is a summary, made for the purpose of providing the Court with a factual basis for my guilty plea to the charge against me. It does not include all of the facts known to me regarding this offense."

Richardstevenhack

Alexander Mercouris does his usual excellent analysis at what really lies behind the Flynn charges...

The case against Michael Flynn: Lying to the FBI about asking Russia’s help to protect Israel (full analysis of indictment and Flynn’s guilty plea)

Botched attempt by Kushner and Flynn to block UN SC Resolution 2334 on status of Jerusalem lies behind case against Flynn

http://theduran.com/michael-flynn-lying-fbi-russias-help-israel/

Quote

My guess is that over the next couple of weeks the focus of Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation will increasingly become Kushner. Doubtless it will be about his dealings with Kushner that Mueller will be asking Flynn questions, with Mueller wanting to know how and why Kushner came up with his cack-brained idea of asking the Russians to block Resolution 2334.

However there is no evidence of any illegal collusion by Kushner with the Russians either before the election or after it, and it bears repeating that everything that has been discussed in this article and which has arisen from Flynn’s guilty plea and indictment happened after the election. It cannot therefore have any bearing on the Russiagate collusion case against the Trump campaign, or the claims that the Russians meddled in the election to help Donald Trump. On the contrary, the fact that the Russians turned down Kushner’s and Flynn’s suggestion that they act to block Resolution 2334 if anything argues the opposite.

End Quote

Eric Newhill

CWZ,
Have you forgotten that on Nov. 18. 2008, President elect Obama starting calling and meeting with foreign leaders; even the head of the Palestinian Authority. Do you imagine that they were just talking about the weather?

I don't know what is normal and customary, but I do know that Obama was setting up foreign state connections right after being elected.

In that light, what Flynn/Trump admin did seems like a smart thing to do given the new direction that Trump wanted to take and that Obama was trying to scuttle.

All else is anti-Trump crusading. Mueller's got diddly.

ex-PFC Chuck

Bob Parry at Consortium News has a piece up that focuses on the civil rights abuse aspect of the investigation and indictment, and how we should all be worried about the precedents being set by it.

In other words, the Justice Department wasn’t seeking information about what Flynn said to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak – the intelligence agencies already had that information. Instead, Flynn was being quizzed on his precise recollection of the conversations and nailed for lying when his recollections deviated from the transcripts.

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/12/01/the-scalp-taking-of-gen-flynn/

jpb


Jared Kushner apparently ordered General Flynn to initiate contact with Russia. It is likely Jared Kushner told the FBI he ordered General Flynn to contact Russia and General Flynn lied about the contact. This gave Mueller the 'head shot' to indict General Flynn. I agree with Publius Tacitus that this goes no where. It is unfortunate that General Flynn made a mistake talking to the FBI. No one should talk to the FBI without consulting a criminal attorney to avoid the 'process law' used to trap otherwise honest and honorable men.

Fredw

I should just let this go, but I don't see myself as asserting "facts". I am asserting the absence of facts. I have now read the documents several more times. They are very narrowly tailored to a small set of incidents of no great importance, though many may find them annoying. If that were all they had, there would be no point to a guilty plea that burns his bridges to pwoerful people who have supported him so far. Conviction would take a while and would produce a short prison term and a probable pardon.

And come on! We are talking about lying. The height of the man's career was spent in intelligence. Not an environment that promotes a rigid culture of truth telling or rule following. This was pretty much business as usual. A conviction for lying would have precisely zero effect on anyone's opinion of him.

So I am pretty sure there are "facts" out there that we don't have. The whole thing doesn't make sense with just the facts we do have. I don't know what those "facts" are and I don't claim to. I actually agree with you that the whole "collusion" thing has been blown out of proportion. But it seems clear some powerful people are scared to death of whatever is out there. Which is another way of knowing that there is something important to find out.

Jonathan House MD

It does seem that what Fredw and jdledell are saying is also being said by former federal prosecutors. Of course that doesn't mean they are correct, but it is not clear why you think the notion is foolish that the plea to a minor felony could be part of a bargain that entails informing about other offenses by other people. More important offenses and/or more important people.

Here's an excerpt from a left-wing site, Talking Points Memo: those quoted are said to have expertise and/or experience in these matters:
...
"Former federal prosecutors told TPM that Special Counsel Robert Mueller made a calculated move to keep Flynn’s charge limited, and that,… they wouldn’t have done so unless the former intelligence official had divulged some very juicy secrets.
.
“What’s interesting to me is what he’s not charged with,” said Steven Miller, a former anti-corruption federal prosecutor. “This is a very narrowly drawn structural plea bargain. By virtue of a single count he can’t get more than a five-year sentence. You don’t get that unless you’re giving something serious to the government. And the number of players left are relatively small: it’s [Jared] Kushner, it’s [Donald] Trump Jr., it’s the Trump campaign, and it’s the President. So I think this is something that would cause all of them to be extraordinarily worried.”

Jens Ohlin, an expert in criminal law at Cornell Law School, concurred, saying what essentially amounts to a “sweetheart deal” would not be offered unless Flynn could incriminate a bigger fish. “The government would not agree to this deal if Flynn was merely providing information on someone who is in a peripheral place in the criminality,” Ohlin said. “So if he’s providing information in exchange for this deal it’s because it’s [the information is about] someone who is even more centrally located than Flynn.”

Former prosecutors say that Flynn must have entered into a proffer … agreement with Mueller’s team in which he divulged every detail he knew relevant to their investigation. The government found the information sufficiently valuable that they agreed to strike a deal, despite Flynn’s undisclosed lobbying on behalf of Turkey and reported discussions about spiriting an exiled Muslim cleric loathed by Turkey’s government out of the U.S.
The decision not to include a violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act for his Turkey lobbying or other possible charges in Flynn’s plea agreement is not as unusual as it may seem. “They have discretion to do whatever they want,” Seetha Ramachandran, a former Justice Department official and assistant U.S. attorney said of federal prosecutors. “The practice really varies between different federal districts. Some U.S. attorneys’ offices and parts of [Main] Justice want a cooperator to plead guilty to everything they’ve ever done. Some use a more bare-bones type of guilty plea. So I think it really varies. He’s chosen this strategy.”

“I think this is the tip of the iceberg,” said Steve Vladeck, a national security expert at the University of Texas School of Law. “The question is whether we’re going to start hearing stuff from Flynn’s camp about what he’s sharing with investigators, whether we’re going to see more movement, more indictments coming down in the next couple of weeks from Mueller. The real story of today is that there’s a guarantee that there’s big news coming down the pike.”

This way of thinking may be wrong but the reasoning does not seem tendentious to me.

Larry Kart

You think Mueller is stupid? Flynn is cooperating -- i.e. he has already given or is going to give Mueller what Mueller thinks he needs to proceed, otherwise this deal would never been agreed to. Further, it's almost certainly not about collusion anymore but about obstruction of justice. Deal with facts, yes, but why do you think that what's visible to us right now are all the facts that eventually will be revealed?

blue peacock

It seems from the Flynn plea deal that the Trump team was colluding with Israel and NOT the Russians.

Will Mueller investigate this collusion or is he just gonna focus on a few easy scalps?

Manafort has been indicted for money laundering from our Ukrainian "friends" and Flynn has accepted lying to the FBI under oath. Nothing yet that sheds any light on the original accusations and media hysteria of how Putin stole the election from Saint Hillary.

SR Wood

I think you are an apologist for the Trumpster and I think we have to wait for Mueller's investigation to play out before spouting conclusions. After all, he's only been at it for a couple of months. How long did it take to get the full story on Nixon?

notlurking

Does anybody remember Manafort...who?.....next

Babak Makkinejad

No, as long as ths said Ambassador is not that of the Russian Federation.

jpb


No,it was Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak who requested Flynn call the Trump team to find out their views on the Obama sanctions...https://consortiumnews.com/2017/12/01/the-scalp-taking-of-gen-flynn/

blue peacock

It is quite possible that Flynn did the plea deal because he may not have had the money for the long legal battle in a trial.

The fact that in this deal the DoJ has only confirmed that he was not entirely accurate in his recollection of his conversations shows that this could be just a witch hunt. There are no accusations of substantial violations of the law.

What if the FBI interviewed Mueller himself on his investigation of UraniumOne, would he face the same charges if his recollection was not entirely perfect? This whole Mueller investigation seems to be to get some indictments of those in Trump's orbit while forgetting about the original reason why he was appointed in the first place as special counsel.


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