« Houthi UAVs set big Saudi refinery alight. al-jazeere, etc. | Main | Meet the Quds1 cruise missile. Made in Yemen? »

15 September 2019

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Diana C

Thank you for all of this. I've always felt that Flynn's situation is the saddest part of the Democrats' (especially the Obama Democrats') effort to to undermine anyone connected to Trump. Your detailed outline of Flynn's case should help in some way to get him some justice.

It's just very sad that Flynn has had to pay such a high price for the obvious spiteful actions of a President and his administration to undermine an incoming administration. It makes common citizens lose any sort of respect for our "deep state" and makes us wonder why anyone would want to work in that environment.

I hope Flynn can eventually be released and exonerated. That would not bring back the time he's spent in this mess or the money he's lost--not to mention his family's
pain.

People should never be a used as a means to an end. That is the real evil that is taking over our governing class. It's a real lack of concern for the importance of each and every human life. And that lack of concern shows exactly how much they don't understand or respect the founding principles of our government.

blue peacock

Larry

It would appear that what Judge Sullivan believes is going to be pivotal. I'm willing to bet that the DOJ will not be forthcoming on any of these discovery materials and will argue that it is irrelevant to the sentencing since Flynn in his plea deal waived all his future rights. Ms. Powell is arguing that Judge Sullivan enforce his Brady order.

So, the ball is effectively in Sullivan's court. We'll see how he rules.

If he rules that these discovery materials should be produced I can see the DOJ withdrawing the prosecution on the grounds that national security "sources & methods" will be compromised. That's their usual cop out when they're caught on these matters. My speculation is that under no circumstance will they release any of these discovery requests even if they are held under contempt for prosecutorial misconduct.

Larry Johnson

And here is the surprise--Sidney Powell already has obtained, not from the government, several of these documents. If the Government claims they don't exist or they can't find them she present them to the judge and he will open a can of whoop ass on the Weissmann crowd.

MP98

Obviously Flynn was railroaded, but how did he get 3 stars?
He talked to the FBI without a lawyer and then he hired really incompetent lawyers.
He pretty much put himself in this jackpot.

Larry Johnson

Seriously? He was a military intelligence officer. He didn't spend his spare time watching law and order. And why should he believe that the FBI was out to fuck him? He thought the system was fair. He didn't imagine that the FBI was acting like the KGB

Don Quixote

RE:MP98/Johnson exchange-
Why, when initially interviewed, did Flynn fudge the content of his conversation(s) with Kislyak? He had to be aware that his tenure at DIA had been a thorn in the side of the prior administration's Syria policy/propaganda. And surely he was not so isolated and tone deaf that he didn't see the narrative that was taking shape?

Don Quixote

Sadly, "we are all honorable men here" is a lousy assumption to make

Fred

Don,

Why, when interviewed by the FBI, did his memory not provide a word for word match for the transcript obtained when spying on Kislayak? Better yet, show us the transcript, or can't American voters be trusted with that information?

Vig

He didn't imagine that the FBI was acting like the KGB

well yes, its no doubt a good editorial decision on SST to delegate the more US culture related themes to others (Publius Tacitus in mind here).

Otherwise I wouldn't mind to be on Powell's research team. My favorite items start in the 30`s section, if I recall correctly.

Vig

Maybe not:
https://www.creepsonamission.com/

Larry Johnson

As Fred correctly notes, you do not know what Flynn actually said. WHAT WE DO KNOW is that McCabe testified to HPSCI that the FBI agents did not believe Flynn had lied. So, you are just accepting the establishment smear as true.

David Habakkuk

All,

The story of the memo from Sir Mark Lyall Grant, then National Security Adviser, expressing lack of confidence in the dossier attributed to Steele, was first broken by John Solomon in ‘The Hill’ in May.

(See https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/446050-did-brits-warn-about-steeles-credibility-before-muellers-probe-congress .)

Without doubt, it is an extremely important piece of evidence, and Sidney Powell is absolutely right to be placing it at the front of the list of documents she is seeking.

However, there is every reason to suspect that, when written, it was part of a panic-stricken and also disingenuous attempt by elements in the British government to put as much distance as possible between them and ‘Russiagate’ by, as it were, making Steele the ‘patsy.’

And there is good reason to fear that it may now be used, not just by people on our side but also on yours, to deflect a much larger share of responsibility for the conspiracy on to him than is deserved.

The account Solomon gave actually raised a lot of questions. A ‘source familiar with Flynn’s account’ was quoted as saying he had ‘no recollection of receiving the British communiqué or what might have happened to it, meaning that President Trump likely was not told about it.’

However, ‘Congressional investigators’ were quoted by Solomon as saying they had been approached by a ‘whistleblower’, actually a former member of Flynn’s team, who told them that ‘he personally delivered the memo to Flynn on Jan. 12, 2017’, and, among other things, ‘also claimed to overhear Flynn’s team discussing the memo.’

If this is the case, it suggests that although that figure has been appallingly treated by a bunch of thoroughly unscrupulous people, he made their task easier by failing to use a potentially devastating weapon which, unintentionally, the British end of the conspiracy had given him.

It looks however as though Sidney Powell has a much better idea of how to handle figures like Clapper and Brennan, and their British counterparts.

As to what was going on at our end, it is material that Solomon also reports that there was a slightly earlier email from ‘a subordinate national security official in Britain’, which ‘did not address Steele’s credibility but communicated that the British had nothing to do with leaking or reacting to the dossier.’

So much at least I think we can take at face value.

What is apparent from the early news coverage of the dossier, following its publication by ‘BuzzFeed’ on 10 January, and the naming of Steele as supposed author the following day, is total confusion, with some of the reporting suggesting that the sources quoted wanted to hang him out to dry, others that they wanted to defend him.

There appears however to have been a clear transition, most significantly, in the views attributed to the head of MI6, Sir Alex Younger.

On 13 January, Martin Robinson, UK Chief Reporter for ‘Mail Online’, published a report whose headlines seem worth quoting in full:

‘“I introduced him to my wife as James Bond”: Former spy Chris Steele’s friends describe a “show-off” 007 figure but MI6 bosses brand him an idiot” for an “appalling lack of judgement” over the Trump “dirty dossier”’

The sub-headings read:

‘– Intelligence expert Nigel West says friend is like Ian Fleming’s famous character
‘ – He said: “He’s James Bond. I actually introduced him to my wife as James Bond”
‘ – Mr West says Steele dislikes Putin and Kremlin for ignoring rules of espionage
‘ – Angry spy source calls him “idiot” and blasts decision to take on the Trump work
‘ – Current MI6 boss Sir Alex Younger is said to be livid about reputation damage’

(See https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4117040/I-introduced-wife-James-Bond-Former-spy-Chris-Steele-s-friends-shadowy-007-figure-MI6-bosses-brand-idiot-appalling-lack-judgement-Trump-dirty-dossier.html .)

This looks to have been the ‘party line’ at the time when Lyall Grant’s memorandum was written.

Only two days later, however, Sir Alex Younger’s views seems to have changed, with an alacrity worthy of a Stalinist ‘apparatchik’.

So on 15 January, Kim Sengupta, Defence Editor of the ‘Independent’, produced a report headlined:

‘Head of MI6 used information from Trump dossier in first public speech; Warnings on cyberattacks show ex-spy’s work is respected.’

(See https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-dossier-mi6-christopher-steele-russia-documents-alex-younger-a7528681.html )

Two particularly interesting paragraphs in that report:

‘In one of his recent tweets, Mr Trump described Mr Steele as a “failed spy”. He also claimed in another tweet that “James Clapper [director of national intelligence] called me yesterday to denounce the false and fictitious report that was illegally circulated. Made up, phony facts. Too bad!”

‘Mr Steele had, in fact, a highly successful career in MI6, received a number of commendations and is highly regarded by both British and American intelligence agencies. Mr Clapper pointed out that what he had actually said was that the intelligence service “has not made any judgement that the information in this document is reliable”.’

A possible interpretation of this is that there had been hurried transatlantic consulations between the conspirators, and it had been decided – very likely on the initiative of those on the American side – to abandon the earlier strategy of making Steele the ‘patsy’, of which the Lyall Grant memorandum was a manifestation.

Meanwhile, Clapper, as in the conspiracy to use the Ghouta ‘false flag’ to inveigle the American and British governments into handing the Syrian sarin arsenal over to jihadists, was playing both sides.

An important point to keep in mind is that a lot of the conspirators are clearly not very bright.

As to the calibre of MI6, in addition to looking at the shifty face which stares out from the ‘Independent’ story – he would be a shoo-in for a role like ‘Third Murderer’ in Macbeth – it is useful to read the text of the speech by Sir Alex Younger to which Sengupta refers.

(See https://www.sis.gov.uk/news/inside-the-modern-day-mi6.html .)

A favourite line of mine comes in his discussion of the – actually largely mythical – notion of ‘hybrid warfare’: ‘In this arena, our opponents are often states whose very survival owes to the strength of their security capabilities; the work is complex and risky, often with the full weight of the State seeking to root us out.’

Leaving aside the fact that this is borderline illiterate, what it amazing is Younger’s apparent blindness to clearly unintended implications of what he writes.

If indeed, the ‘very survival’ of the Russian state ‘owes to the strength of [its] security capabilities’, the conclusions, seen from the point of view of any patriotic inhabitant of that country, would seem obvious.

It was, the head of MI6 appears to be telling us, the coming to power of Putin and the ‘siloviki’ which preserved Russia from imminent destruction, and these are the people competent to defend it against the worst that Younger, Steele, and their associates on both sides of the Atlantic can do.

Elmo Zoneball
"5. The Flynn 302 dated January 19, 2017, mentioned in the Mueller Report."

The FBI interview of Flynn in the WH was on 24 Jan 2017.

If there is a 302 on Flynn dated 19 Jan, it's about something OTHER than what Flynn said in the FBI interview conducted 5 days later.

Rhondda

Thank you for this 'spoon bread', Mr. Johnson. It's tasty! I have read it three times-- once aloud after dinner to my husband.

Sidney Powell continues to amaze. She is indeed a Honeybadger Lady. We need more like her.

But I must say that the whole thing makes me wonder if perhaps Flynn hasn't been a bit of the Brer Rabbit. (I am hoping so, actually.) Because, as others have also noted, his seeming naivete presented during these legal troubles rather flies in the face of his three stars. Not saying stars=smarts, but it does seem like it would at least be an indicator of manipulative cunning. I find it hard to believe that he just feel off the turnip truck.

Keith Harbaugh

Thank you for your detailed review of the Powell/Flynn Motion.
BTW, two links to PDFs of Powell's original motion are at this sundance column.

You wrote (but I have added the emphasis):

[Re item 2] There was nothing that General Flynn did [that] met the threshold for allowing the U.S. Government to collect against him.
...
[then, after Powell’s request [item 7] for info “concerning any earlier investigation of Mr. Flynn, and the basis for it.” you wrote]
This is the heart of the matter—
on what basis was a counter intelligence investigation of General Flynn authorized?
I think it is vital to compare this explicitly to how Susan Rice viewed the matter back in early January 2017.
Susan Rice wrote in her “memo-to-herself” on the day Trump was inaugurated, 2017-01-20:
President Obama said he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia.
[After that there is a classified redaction, of unknown length.]
The President asked [Comey] to inform him if anything changes in the next few weeks that should affect how we share classified information with the incoming team.
Senators Grassley and Graham somehow obtained access to this memo, and asked Rice several questions re her memo. Rice referred the matter to her attorney, who responded to the senators with a letter, dated 2018-02-23, which stated (emphasis added):
President Obama and his national security team
were justifiably concerned about
potential risks to the Nation’s security
from sharing highly classified information about Russia
with certain members of the Trump transition team,
particularly Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.

In light of
concerning communications between members of the Trump team and Russian officials, before and after the election,
President Obama, on behalf of his national security team,
appropriately sought the FBI and the Department of Justice’s guidance on this subject.
...
While serving as National Security Advisor,
Ambassador Rice was not briefed on the existence of any FBI investigation into allegations of collusion between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia,
and she later learned of the fact of this investigation from Director Comey’s subsequent public testimony.
Ambassador Rice was not informed of any FISA applications sought by the FBI in its investigation,
and she only learned of them from press reports after leaving office.

BTW, the links, and my knowledge of the situation, are from a recent (2019-09-15) sundance column, which contains more extensive text of the memo and letter.
Obviously, this certainly opens up questions about where the views Rice expressed came from.
I would certainly hope that people with the appropriate clearances, and without political bias, examine that question and report the answers, to the extent they can.
Very glad Sydney Powell and you are attempting to answer those questions.

Keith Harbaugh

An extremely worthwhile sundance column, linking to Sidney Powell's 2019-09-30 SUPPLEMENTAL STATUS REPORT to Judge Sullivan:
"Flynn Lawyer Tells Judge Motive Behind Why Flynn Took Guilty Plea…", 2019-10-01
Several highlights (emphasis added) from sundance's quite lengthy, but meaty, column, in which
sundance draws a number of inferences that may or may not be actually true:

As highlighted, Michael Flynn -under pressure from Mueller’s prosecutors- signed a plea
to avoid his son, Mike Flynn Jr., being indicted/accused.
As we suspected General Flynn signed a plea deal
to avoid seeing his son charged with a fabricated FARA violation.

...
...

In the two-and-a-half years following [testimony before Congress of Clapper and DAG Sally Yates], there was nothing that would deliver the answer as to: who unmasked General Michael Flynn?

The reason is simple, Flynn wasn’t unmasked – because
Flynn was under FISC authorized active surveillance.
[So sundance infers, using reasoning he describes in the sequel.]

...

Put it all together and….
(1) There was never an unmasking request because the collection was not incidental….
(2) Because the intercept was not incidental.
(3) Because the intercept was part of the FISA court granting a surveillance warrant.
[Not sure about sundance's logic there. Was something left out?}

The lack of incidental collection is why FISA-702 doesn’t apply;
and why there’s no paper trail to an unmasking request.
The intercept was not ‘incidental‘ because the intercept was the result of direct monitoring and FISC authorized surveillance being conducted on Michael Flynn.

...

There are only three options:

  1. Incidental collection = unmasking request.
  2. Direct intercept / Legal = Active FISA Title-1 surveillance authority.
  3. Direct intercept / Illegal = Active surveillance without Title-1 authority.
All of the evidence from documents over the past two years indicates #2 was the status of Michael Flynn at the time of the Sergey Kislak call.

The incoming National Security Advisor of President-Elect Donald Trump was under active Title-1 FBI surveillance as granted by the FISA court.
That’s how the FBI intercepted the phone call with Sergey Kislyak
and why there’s no unmasking request.

This doesn’t deal with the propriety of the FISA warrant, or the legal basis,
the legal predicate that must exist prior to granting the FISA warrant.
However, accepting that Michael Flynn was under court approved surveillance reconciles all the issues.

Additionally, this would explain two more issues.
#1) President Obama warning incoming President Trump not to hire Michael Flynn as his Nat. Sec. Advisor; and
#2) a very strong possibility that Flynn’s status is the redacted paragraph in the January 20th, 2016, Susan Rice memo.

...

This FBI surveillance background of Flynn would also reconcile another unusual date within the Mueller report.
An FBI 302 written on January 19th, 2017, before the Flynn interview on January 24th, 2017, about Kislyak
...

Keith Harbaugh

The Government responded to Powell's request that they produce Brady evidence on Tuesday, Oct 1.
Links to their two responses are at, as usual, a sundance column:
"Prosecution Responds to Flynn Discovery Motion – Government Refuses to Provide Any Additional Evidence…", 2019-10-01
You may access the government's response directly at these two links:
"GOVERNMENT’S RESPONSE TO DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO COMPEL THE PRODUCTION OF BRADY MATERIAL AND FOR AN ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE" (41-page PDF)
"NOTICE OF DISCOVERY CORRESPONDENCE" (4-page PDF of letter)

To summarize, the government's response was, as expected, essentially "F..k you".
It has been suggested that this now allows Sidney Powell to present to the court examples of the material she has requested,
that she somehow has acquired through non-official channels,
and assert that they are relevant and the govt. is negligent in not seeing that and producing those.
If she does so, how Judge Sullivan would rule is certainly a good question.

BTW, I believe in Judge Sullivan's 2019-09-10 order requesting the govt. response, he set a deadline for that response of Tuesday, 2019-09-24.
If anyone knows how that deadline got extended or ignored, I would like to hear it.
Also, if anyone knows of a way to find these motions, briefs, and responses without relying on sundance to provide links, I would really like to learn that.
I tried https://www.courtlistener.com/ , but couldn't figure out the right search criteria, if such exist.

Marie Gauron

He did what he did on purpose. This was a "super deep" operation to get incriminating info out in the open.

Keith Harbaugh

Eureka! I found how (one way, at least) to use courtlistener.com to get ALL the docket info on the Flynn case.
First give google this search entry:
michael t. flynn site:courtlistener.com
The resulting top hit currently points to:
https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6234142/united-states-v-flynn/
And indeed, that seems to be a list of ALL relevant docket items.
This gives a way to follow what is happening in the case without relying on sundance.

And BTW, the most recent docket entry should be quite interesting to those at SST interested in the Flynn case.
Flynn's attorney is requesting the govt. provide "the data and metadata" on two Blackberries she asserts the govt. possesses, which once belonged to none other than Joseph Mifsud.
She is extremely specific on the identities of those Blackberries, giving among other things their IMEI, PIN, and SIM Card Id
(how on earth did she get that info? I guess a little birdie told her :-)

As to why she wants to know what is/was on those phones, she writes (but the emphais is added):

This information is material, exculpatory, and relevant to the defense of Mr. Flynn,
and specifically to the “OCONUS LURES” and agents that western intelligence tasked against him likely as early as 2014 to arrange—unbeknownst to him—
“connections” with certain Russians
that they would then use against him in their false claims.

The phones were used by Mr. Joseph Mifsud.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

December 2020

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    
Blog powered by Typepad