On Sunday afternoon, President Trump sent the following tweet:
So now it is reported that, after destroying his life & the life of his wonderful family (and many others also), the FBI, working in conjunction with the Justice Department, has “lost” the records of General Michael Flynn. How convenient. I am strongly considering a Full Pardon!
The Back Story on Flynn
The long suffering General Michael Flynn served briefly as President Trump’s National Security Advisor (NSA). In order to understand Flynn’s long legal journey over the last three years, one must be aware of the animosity President Obama and his top intelligence officials felt toward him.
Flynn had served as the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) during the Obama Administration from July 2012 to August 2014. Throughout his tenure, Flynn found himself strongly and frequently “at odds with the administration’s policies on ISIS and the Iran nuclear deal, among other things, which put him at odds with the Obama-friendly deep state.” Following his ouster, Flynn’s public remarks deepened the rift. For instance, in November 2015 during an appearance on Fox News, ” Flynn called for an investigation into the ISIS intel-skewing scandal, recommending that it “start right at the top.”
Over the transition period, Flynn, who had already been tapped as Trump’s NSA, held several conversations with then-Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. During one of the calls, Kislyak brought up Obama’s just-announced sanctions. (Although it was perfectly legal for Flynn to discuss the sanctions with Kislyak, for whatever reason, he chose to lie to Vice President Mike Pence about the calls and President Trump quickly fired him.)
Kislyak had been under US surveillance and Obama intelligence officials had access to recordings and transcriptions of his calls. After listening to the calls, several of Obama’s DOJ officials decided Flynn was in violation of the Logan Act, a law enacted in 1799, which “prohibits private citizens from acting on behalf of the U.S. in disputes with foreign governments.” (No one has ever been prosecuted under this law.)
The Washington Examiner’s Byron York explains:
The Obama officials also said they were concerned by reports that Flynn, in a conversation with Vice President Mike Pence, had denied discussing sanctions. This, the officials felt, might somehow expose Flynn to Russian blackmail.
So Obama appointees atop the Justice Department sent FBI agents to the White House to interview Flynn, who was ultimately charged with lying in that interview.
As you can probably guess, their expressed concern that Flynn might become the target of a Russian blackmail scheme was a lie. This was a set-up.
PJ Media’s Debra Heine explains:
Obama already despised Flynn. But his hate likely turned to fear when his former DIA decided to throw his support behind Donald J. Trump, another boat-rocker who had a real chance of winning. Obama made a point after the 2016 election of advising Trump not to hire Flynn. But Trump didn’t listen.
Next thing Flynn knew, government spies were listening in on his innocuous phone conversations with Kislyak, his name was unmasked by someone in the Obama administration, and the contents of the calls were leaked to the Washington Post’s David Ignatius, (which remains the only serious crime to have emerged in the Russia investigation).
Dan Bongino explains the sequence of events on his podcast:
(Note: This is a summary of Bongino’s remarks.)
Bongino discusses Flynn’s opposition to the Iran Deal, that he had information on how dangerous the deal was for the US. Because of this and Flynn’s knowledge of other administration business, “they need to make Flynn go away. He knows too much. He’s got the goods. Obama officials watch Flynn supporting Trump on the campaign trail.” They’re afraid of what he might reveal. Obama spoke to Trump to try to discourage him from hiring Flynn. Trump hires him anyway.
On December 29, 2016, two important incidents occurred. Mike Flynn was vacationing in the Dominican Republic where he did not have secure communications. The Obama team knew this. Obama needs to do something to “piss off the Russians, but not start WWIII” hoping that they will contact Flynn and they do. Obama orders sanctions against Russia and expels 35 diplomats in retaliation for their interference in our election. Why would he do this nearly two months after the election?
As the Obama team hoped, Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak calls Flynn in the Dominican Republic. They discussed the events of the day including the sanctions.
And the Obama team now has a transcript and a recording of the call. They use this later when agents interview Flynn. They know that Flynn will not remember all the details of the call and they will use this in the future to set him up for a “false statement” charge.
On January 12, 2017, an Obama official leaked Flynn’s name and details of his December 29, 2016 call with Kislyak to David Ignatius at the Washington Post who then published a story about it. The identity of the leaker is unknown. Whoever leaked it has committed a felony.
On January 24, 2017, two FBI agents arrive unannounced at the White House to question Flynn, omitting the fact that they were conducting a criminal interview,
Both agents have said they believed Flynn had been truthful in answering their questions.
Yet, Flynn is later charged with lying to the FBI.
In December of 2018, Flynn fires his legal team and hires Sidney Powell.
The Intrepid Sidney Powell
At a September 2019 hearing, Powell accused prosecutors of “egregious misconduct” and “hiding exculpatory information.”
Specifically, she revealed the existence of a DOJ memo, dated January 30, 2017, which exonerates Flynn of colluding with the Russians. Investigative journalist Sara Carter said this document is “currently under protective order and Powell is working with prosecutors to get it disclosed.” And this memo is only part of the Brady material Powell is demanding.
The date of this memo is especially relevant because, as stated in former FBI Director James Comey’s memo written immediately after his February 14, 2017 Oval Office meeting with the President, Trump asked him to end the investigation into Flynn. Trump’s words to Comey, according to this memo, were “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.” Comey used these remarks as the basis of his obstruction of justice case against Trump.
Further, it was also revealed at this hearing that, at the same time, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe had advised that Flynn had not violated the Logan Act.
Worse still, the next day, then-Fox News‘ Catherine Herridge reported the existence of a letter from the British government “disavowing” dossier author Christopher Steele. This letter, which said Steele was untrustworthy, was allegedly sent to Obama’s National Security Advisor Susan Rice and to the incoming national security team during the transition. It is among the 40 documents Flynn’s lawyer, Sidney Powell, believes may contain exculpatory evidence and for which she filed a motion to obtain. If Susan Rice had indeed received this letter, it’s highly likely that Comey would have been apprised of it.
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), who led the House investigation throughout 2017 and 2018 into Russian collusion as the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, confirmed the existence of this letter.
So, during this pivotal meeting on February 14, 2017, Comey was likely aware of three crucial pieces of information. He knew that Flynn had been cleared of both colluding with Russians and of Logan Act violations. And he probably knew that the British government considered Steele to be untrustworthy. As we learned from the December 2019 Horowitz report, Comey was almost certain that the Steele dossier was bogus by then. FBI agents had interviewed Christopher Steele’s primary sub-source in January who had said it was “made up” over beers. Yet he withheld this information from the President. Most importantly, knowing this, he opened an obstruction case against Trump.
(I posted on this last week here. I am reposting the relevant portion of the story below.)
Last week, investigative journalist John Solomon reported he had obtained a 2018 letter from the Special Counsel’s office to Flynn’s defense team which said, “According to an internal DOJ memo dated January 30, 2017, after the January 24 interview, the FBI advised that based on the interview the FBI did not believe Flynn was acting as an agent of Russia.”
The letter also states that Flynn had briefed the DIA on all of his contacts with Russia which is something he likely would not have done had he been colluding with the Russian government.
Okay, boys, so tell us again why the government continued to prosecute Flynn. Solomon explains that U.S. District Judge Emmett Sullivan, who has presided over the case has “so far has concluded that the exoneration of Flynn on the Russia collusion charge wasn’t relevant to his conviction since he pled guilty to a different crime, making a false statement to the FBI.”
Not relevant? He lied to the FBI about a crime he didn’t commit?
Flynn was caught in a perjury trap. The FBI had been looking for a way to charge him with a crime. Although they would have preferred Russian collusion, they settled for lying to the FBI.
So, ten days into Trump’s presidency, the FBI knows that General Flynn did not collude with the Russians. Yet via leaks to the media, the most notable being The Washington Post’s David Ignatius, Americans were led to believe the opposite. Ignatius published excerpts from Flynn’s conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the transition and presented a “false storyline of Flynn as a Russian stooge was broadcasted across the nation.”
Solomon spoke to Powell and was told the DOJ provided her with “three sentences from the DOJ memo.” Powell “has been unable to get the full document.”
“It’s just horrible,” Powell said. “They gave us a little three line summary of it and the letter and told us it existed but have refused to give us the actual document, which I know means there’s a lot of other information in it that would be helpful to us.”
In addition, Powell told Solomon that Special Counsel Robert Mueller “was fully aware of a letter sent in early January 2017 to Flynn from Britain’s national security adviser raising concerns about Steele’s credibility.” Solomon reports:
The British government “hand-delivered” a letter to Flynn’s team that “totally disavowed any credibility of Christopher Steele, and would have completely destroyed the Russia collusion narrative,” Powell said.
Flynn himself has no memory of receiving the communique, but people around him at the time do and confirmed the existence of the document, Powell explained. Flynn was questioned about it during his debriefings by Mueller’s team, she added.
“I was told that a copy of the document would have been given to [then-National Security Adviser] Susan Rice as well,” she added. “So the Obama administration knew full well that the entire Russia collusion mess was a farce.”
Instead of responding to the British government’s warning by abandoning the Russia collusion narrative and sparing her client the years-long ordeal of being targeted for investigation, top U.S. intelligence officials hid the communication, Powell said.
Her account confirms information that Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) provided for a May 2019 article for The Hill.
This isn’t the totality of what General Flynn has endured over the last three years, but it provides a good understanding of what Obama’s lieutenants set in motion at the end of his administration. The Mueller team continued the farce, finally forcing Flynn into pleading guilty to one charge of lying to the FBI.
If anyone deserves a pardon, it is this man, who served this country for 33 years. But, at this point, it would almost be better to force the holdovers from the Mueller team to answer for the missing documents and all of their lies.
Author: Elizabeth Vaughn
Source: Red State: President Trump ‘Strongly Considering’ a Full Pardon for General Michael Flynn, Here’s the Back Story