He's clearly suffering from a causal fallacy and relating cause to proximity in time. It happens, but the response that followed was a quality thought.This was more of the point I was getting at. Not that you don't have strong memories of things. But that at that age, we often lack perspective.
Good on you for how you helped out though. Kids are often willing to do that, if the need arises. We just often give them too much of a cushy life to see it in action.
Posting this here because I want to avoid the silly circus that would erupt if I posted on MCB:
What is going in the Flynn case?
Better, tell me if/where I am wrong on the following:
1. Flynn was charged with lying to the FBI
2. Lying to the FBI was the only charge brought against Flynn
3. Flynn plead guilty to lying to the FBI (only charge he plead guilty)
4. Before sentencing Flynn's lawyers found new evidence
5. Flynn filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea
6. Government filed a motion to dismiss all charges
7. Judge Sullivan appointed amicus curie to argue against the government's motion to dismiss charges and to argue on [in favor of?] holding Flynn in contempt.
Yeah, it's really inexplicable that "one of the best firms in the nation" could screw up something as basic as providing their client his complete file.
This is the best break down I have seen.
He does all kinds of stuff on his YouTube page.
Long but doesn't miss a thing.
The found evidence was with the first firm he fired. Not bums mind you one of the best firms in the nation. Not really a smoking gun so to say.
Give it a watch it breaks down everything.
I haven't watched the video, but there are always dozens of videos on YouTube to fit a preferred narrative. I am not saying that what this guy says doesn't have merit; only saying that it probably wouldn't take two minutes to find another slickly presented video from the opposite perspective.
They employ over a thousand lawyers! One of the biggest in all the land man.Yeah, it's really inexplicable that "one of the best firms in the nation" could screw up something as basic as providing their client his complete file.
Combine that with the fact that Eric Holder and Trisha Anderson are members of that firm I would think that they have been in touch with their malpractice carrier. I wonder if they have a well documented file re: waivers of conflicts of interest.
Yeah, well it's hard to imagine that such a silk stocking law firm has such bad document management.They employ over a thousand lawyers! One of the biggest in all the land man.
They have offices all over the globe.
I think that is a bit much I am sure holder was nowhere near that.
So cry he had bad counsel I truly doubt he did. I think they worked out exactly what they were supposed to but Donald changed his mind about the pardon so Barr stepped in.
Yeah, well it's hard to imagine that such a silk stocking law firm has such bad document management.
Stop with the strawman already. I listed the evidence multiple times. You can write a lengthy article, but then you act like you can't look at a Twitter thread that contains screenshots of official documents with links or use Google.Since you won't identify specific evidence, I had to compile your loosely connected theories as to why Flynn is "exonerated" into a list of things you've asked myself and others to address, which include:
Yes, innocent people do plead guilty. We know that the FBI agents who interviewed Flynn didn't think he was purposely lying. Flynn's prior lawyers at Covington, who prepared the FARA filing, were informed that the Special Counsel was focusing on the FARA issues. They didn't inform Flynn of this development for weeks and not until after his proffer sessions started with team Mueller.(1) DOJ prosecutor Van Grack lied to Judge Sullivan for 3 years about material that "totally contradicted the prosecution's case," "may have committed other crimes," "lied to [Sullivan] multiple times," Van Grack led Sullivan to conclude the Flynn investigation was about Trump/Russia when it wasn't;
(2) any false statements did not meet the "materiality" requirement of 18 USC 1001;
(3) the justifications for opening an investigation into Flynn are "BS";
(4) FBI was about to close the case on Flynn;
(5) FBI/DOJ conspired to use the "unconstitutional" Logan Act to prosecute him;
(6) the FBI agents interviewing Flynn discussed setting up a perjury trap;
(7) the FBI agents didn't think Flynn was lying;
(8) Flynn asking Russia not to escalate sanctions wasn't illegal;
(9) Flynn did questionable things, but "none of the [questionable things he did] were related to Russia or the election";
(10) Obama / leaks;
(11) there's no proof that the GRU stole "the emails";
(12) Obama's officials "admitting under oath they never saw any evidence of collusion";
(13) Sullivan's appointment of amicus is an attempt to give the "Resistance one last chance to relitigate the discredited Russia investigation";
(14) Innocent people sometimes plead guilty.
First, my point about Flynn using US foreign policy to benefit himself personally has always been more dependent on what he did, as opposed to whether he lied to the FBI about what he did. You seem willing to acknowledge that some of what Flynn did was "questionable," but never specify what you mean by that except to say it doesn't relate to Russia or the election. Nevertheless, I'll do my best to respond to the above points, in no particular order, with the hope that you will respond to my points about what Flynn was doing.
"Innocent people sometimes plead guilty" (#14)
I agree that this is true. I do not think Flynn's guilty pleas themselves are proof-positive that he lied to the FBI and I think FBI agents are not perfect, and I have to think at least some of them are corrupt.
But guilty people also plead guilty. Flynn admitted to more than just the lie about sanctions -- he also admitted to lying about his conversations with the Russians about the Egypt resolution, and to lying on his late FARA filing about his work for Turkey. If Flynn chose not to cooperate and instead planned to make the case about Strzok and FBI bias, I have to think the DOJ would have added charges under FARA and others that were withheld in exchange for his cooperation. So the discussion about whether he's guilty for lying about sanctions specifically still leaves open the question of his guilt for other things beyond the sanctions.
Here you go again with your fake reading comprehension problems. You know I listed the lies in this thread.Van Grack, issues raised in Motion to Dismiss (roughly, #1 - 6)
I grouped these together because they are partially dependent on each other and generally relate to the DOJ's motion to dismiss, which you claim raises "new huge developments" that must be addressed. Of course, the fact that these issues are being raised at Bill Barr's behest supports the point of my initial post.
When you talk about Van Grack "lying" on "multiple occasions" and "for three years" to Judge Sullivan, I think you're referring to (1) the question of materiality, (2) the FBI's draft memo about closing the case on Flynn, (3) the FBI memo about the Logan Act, and (4) the Priestap notes about how to handle the Flynn interview. None of these has any bearing on whether Flynn actually lied to the FBI about discussing sanctions with the Russians, but rather only deal with whether he can / should be charged for it. And again, I do not have a specific "Van Grack lie" to assess because you won't name one.
Materiality / draft FBI memo closing file. Your theory here, I think, is that Van Grack led Judge Sullivan to believe the Flynn interview was based on "Trump / Russia" when it was actually based on the counterintelligence investigation into Flynn which the FBI had considered closing. I have not seen a document that shows that Van Grack lied to Sullivan about this. The FBI had not closed its counterintelligence investigation on Flynn, and the Kislyak call was clearly relevant to the CI into him, thus, there was no need to mislead Sullivan about the predicate for the interview in order to establish that the lies was "material." Judge Sullivan in his order accepting Flynn's plea cited plenty of case law showing how low the threshold is for "materiality":
https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.dcd.191592/gov.uscourts.dcd.191592.144.0_3.pdf (around p. 51)
The DOJ is essentially turning the "materiality" threshold into something it's not in order to protect Flynn. I think of the CI investigation into Flynn as pertinent to, and part of, the broader Trump/Russia investigation, and that his lies would have been material to both. If there's something specific Van Grack said to Sullivan about the status of the investigation(s) that wasn't true, I haven't seen it, and you haven't pointed it out. Moreover, Sullivan has, in the past, come after the DOJ for similar conduct to what you're claiming about Van Grack:
On January 4th the FBI was about to close the Flynn investigation and on the same day FBI agent Strzok intervened to keep it open. On January 5th, Obama held a meeting with high ranking officials to discuss Flynn and Comey brought up The Logan Act. Then someone illegally leaks Flynn's name to Washington Post. On January 6th Comey briefed Trump on the Steele dossier allegations so CNN could then report on it. On January 12th, the Washington Post mentions the Logan Act against Flynn and reveals his calls. On January 24th the FBI notes suggest they want to get Flynn to lie to prosecute him or "get him fired." NPR : "It also apparently avoided prospective charges for Flynn's son. Flynn and his attorneys considered the deal to be the least bad way out of the jam."Logan Act. You claimed Strzok and the FBI/DOJ "conspired" to use the "unconstitutional" Logan Act as a last resort against Flynn because there wasn't any other evidence of illegal activity. You said "some accused [John] Kerry of violating it" but that it was never used to prosecute an American citizen.
The FBI assessed whether Flynn was violating the Logan Act because Flynn was violating the Logan Act. It wasn't Strzok's job to decide whether to charge him with violating it, or whether it was constitutional, it was the DOJ's. And the DOJ chose not to prosecute him, which undercuts the theory that there was some conspiracy to do so. It is true that it's rarely if ever used / charged. One person that accused Kerry of violating it, and who said Kerry should be prosecuted for it, was Trump himself. Weird that Trump did not assess the constitutionality of the Logan Act when he was accusing Kerry of violating it.
Either way, the FBI's deliberations about the applicability of certain charges to a person's conduct is not exculpatory evidence.
It's funny how Van Grack withheld the information that contradicted his case until Barr assigned the US Attorney Jensen to review the case. As soon as Jensen was assigned to review the case Van Grack magically produced all the information that he withheld from Flynn's defense team.Priestap notes. The theory here, I think, is that Priestap's notes about the goal in Flynn's interview were exculpatory, and therefore should have been produced under Brady. We will see whether Sullivan agrees. I do not think deliberative notes strategizing over an interview are proof of "entrapment"; that's not how entrapment works. Nobody forced Flynn to negotiate with the Russians and lie about it. The notes detail that the goal of the interview was to determine whether Flynn would tell the truth about his relationship with the Russians, which was a stated purpose of the CI investigation (which undercuts the theory that the FBI needed to gin up Logan Act charges to interview Flynn). The DOJ interviewed Priestap about these notes, and Priestap apparently contradicted the theory the notes Barr used them for, but the DOJ didn't mention the Priestap interview in its motion to dismiss.
For what it's worth, the Priestap notes are the piece of evidence I'm most curious about when it comes to Sullivan's review of them and the circumstances surrounding the prosecution. I do not think the Priestap notes are, by themselves, proof of a Brady violation, but I'd be far overstepping my knowledge and expertise if I tried to predict what Sullivan does with the info.
Judge Sullivan is violating his own order that he gave December 20, 2017 and his prior denial of amicus briefing."Sullivan helping the Resistance" (#13)
There's no evidence Sullivan has any particular political bias that is motivating his actions in this case. If there was legitimate prosecutorial misconduct that led to Flynn's wrongful prosecution and conviction then I would hope Sullivan would dismiss the charges, notwithstanding my belief that Flynn is otherwise a criminal and someone who sold out his country.
The intelligence community and Mueller were both relying on the Crowdstrike assessment of the hacking because the DNC refused to hand over their server to the FBI. Crowdstrike was already being paid by the DNC so they are hardly a neutral party. Schiff had the under oath testimony of the Crowdstrike guy saying that he had no evidence of Russia stealing the emails for 2 years, but he kept it hidden until Grenell said he would release it. Schiff also hid the under oath testimonies of Obama administration officials admitting that they saw zero evidence of any conspiracy or collusion with Russia from the Trump campaign although they were saying the exact opposite on CNN and MSNBC. The examples of the Russia case crumbling keep coming."No proof the GRU stole the emails" (#11)
First, this is not relevant to Flynn's guilt or innocence for lying to the FBI. Second, it's what our intelligence community has concluded, it's all over Mueller's report and the bipartisan Senate Intel report, etc., and you've already expressed supreme confidence in "official government documents" with respect to Barr's motion. Third, it's not just the GRU that interfered on Russia's behalf in 2016. I don't understand your fixation on disproving Russia's involvement in 2016.
It's quite ironic that as more evidence comes out as to how weak and flimsy the evidence was to start and continue the investigation that you and most on the left are still clinging to the idea that this was all legitimate and done above board. It's not surprising that you and many on the left were all for multiple investigations, but all of the sudden it's considered destructive to the rule of law for the DOJ to examine the investigations to make sure they were done according to the law.Conclusion
One of the best things that could ever happen to a criminal defendant is to be prosecuted by a branch of government that is controlled by a person whose political and criminal exposure is impacted by what that defendant knows. The benefit to Barr and Trump of claiming that the whole investigation is "illegitimate" is that it has impacts beyond Flynn's case (Stone, Manafort, etc.). That is the broader goal Barr is trying to accomplish. It's destructive to the rule of law, because it has no basis in the rule of law.
I do not agree with your legal assessments of Flynn. The fact that you think an incoming National Security Advisor talking to the Russian ambassador about not escalating in response to sanctions as something illegal is hard to take as a serious argument. You seem to stretch and exaggerate things to fit your odd criteria even after new evidence has come out recently that puts more holes in the Russia investigation.SFL, I am curious to know whether or not you agree with my legal assessments of Flynn's guilt or innocence. But now that I've responded to you, I want to know from you whether you agree there was a concerning pattern of clandestine meetings with Russians and/or Russian cutouts during the election and transition, and what you make of that pattern? Specifically I'm referring to Flynn, Kushner, Trump, Cohen, Manafort, Rick Gates, Erik Prince, Stone, Papadopoulos, Don Jr., etc. I want to know what behavior of Flynn's you think was "questionable." I'm curious whether you're bothered by Trump lying about a multi-billion dollar deal in Moscow while much of this was going down, and whether you think his refusal to release tax returns relates to dealings with foreign entities he doesn't want us to know about? There are plenty of counter-intelligence redactions to the Mueller report, plenty of spin-off investigations we don't know the outcome of. Is there literally no basis at all for me and others to be suspicious of the sum of these things?
What is this?In February when career DOJ prosecutors were quitting over apparent disagreements with Bill Barr about the sentencing recommendations for Roger Stone, I wrote this post explaining why setting Stone up for a pardon was important to Trump.
This is bananas. Barr has to be the most obviously conflicted AG ever.madaboutpolitics.com
Michael Flynn became a secret advisor to the Trump campaign in approximately fall 2015, and was a national security advisor to Trump thereafter until being fired in 2017 shortly after the transition. Today, Barr directed the DOJ to dismiss charges against Flynn that he's already pled guilty to, consistent with his pattern of using his influence in the DOJ to protect Trump from those who might harm him the most. Here's more background to explain why Flynn is so important to Trump and Barr to "exonerate":
Flynn was a lieutenant general with the Defense Intelligence Agency until he was ousted in 2014 over concerns about his Russian contacts. In the year before he left the DIA, Flynn asked permission to travel to Russia to visit the GRU, Russia's military unit which was later determined by US Intelligence to be responsible for hacking the DNC and DCCC in 2016. Not long after Flynn's departure from the DIA, Flynn began using his foreign contacts for personal profit. He was paid tens of thousands of dollars by Russian connected companies in 2015, including a 45k fee for speaking at a gala dinner in honor of RT, Russia's state-owned media company, a dinner at which Flynn was seated next to Putin while working as an advisor to both Carson and Trump. He was paid over half a million dollars to secretly lobby for the Turkish government during the 2016 election season, which he failed to disclose (and lied in his disclosures about) until 2017. He was hired as an advisor to a private equity group that controlled NSO Group, a cyber-hacking firm run by Israeli intelligence.
One of Flynn's most ambitious projects -- which happened to overlap with his advisory role to the Trump campaign -- was his secret work with ACU Strategic Partners, and subsequently Iron Bridge, to partner with Russia to build over a dozen nuclear reactors in the middle east. Flynn took multiple trips to Saudi Arabia, as well as trips to Egypt, and Israel in 2015, in connection with these deals, all of which he failed to disclose on his security clearance forms during the transition.
Russia's support for Trump in 2016 was almost certainly based in large part upon its expectation that a Trump administration would lift sanctions imposed by Obama's administration in connection with Putin's illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014. Those sanctions, in combination with other international sanctions over Crimea, crippled Russia's economy to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars. In December 2016, Obama's administration imposed additional sanctions on Russia, this time in connection with its interference in the 2016 election a month prior. Both of these sanctions regimes precluded Russia's participation in Flynn's nuclear deal involving the Saudis and other nations in the Middle East.
Flynn knew that the only way his lucrative ACU / Iron Bridge nuclear deal would work was with the lifting of sanctions against Russia. Within hours after Obama imposed the election-interference sanctions against Russia in December 2016, Flynn -- who was on vacation in the Dominican Republic at the time -- engaged in several back-and-forth phone calls between the presidential transition team in Mar-a-Lago and Sergei Kislyak. Kislyak was the Russian ambassador Jeff Sessions lied about communicating with, and had met in secret with Flynn with discussions dating back to December 2015. Flynn essentially communicated to Kislyak not to worry about the new sanctions, which Kislyak could only have understood to mean that the Trump admin would lift them as soon as Trump was inaugurated. Kislyak agreed not to engage in a "tit-for-tat" with retaliatory sanctions, and within hours, Trump tweeted about how smart Putin was for not retaliating. Eleven minutes after Trump's inauguration, Flynn texted Alex Copson, the head of the ACU nuclear project, that the deal was "good to go." That night, Copson told a future whistleblower that he expects Trump to "rip up" the sanctions against Russia, allowing the project to go forward.
The FBI apparently knew the contents of Flynn's call with Kislyak about the sanctions, and (correctly) expected him to lie about the call. Flynn certainly knew it was wrong to undercut foreign policy of the sitting Obama administration, and likely knew it was a violation of the Logan Act. Moreover, Flynn could have had concerns that such behavior could be construed as aiding and abetting Russia's election crimes, which he was well aware of at the time he was telling Kislyak what amounted to "don't worry about Russia attacking us, we're good." So predictably, Flynn lied to the FBI when questioned about what he discussed with Kislyak. His deputy, KT McFarland, appears to have lied to the FBI as well.
Flynn ended up pleading guilty to lying to the FBI and/or DOJ about three things pertaining to foreign contacts: (1) whether he discussed sanctions against Russia with Sergei Kislyak; (2) the extent of his discussions with Russia and other countries about a US resolution pertaining to Israeli settlements; and (3) his secret lobbying on behalf of Turkey during the campaign.
Flynn admitted to these lies under the penalty of perjury, not because he was set up by the DOJ, but because he was caught lying. At his first sentencing hearing, Judge Sullivan wondered aloud whether Flynn should have been charged with treason (to be clear, he shouldn't have). It is inconceivable to think Flynn was negotiating the Trump administration's sanctions policy with Russia while communicating with transition officials who were with Trump at Mar-a-Lago without Trump knowing anything about it. Whether or not Trump's knowledge of this would result in any sort of criminally chargeable conspiracy, it would be politically damaging for the public to know that Trump truly was promising to "rip up" sanctions against Russia at a time when they were actively attacking our elections to ensure he became president.
Trump's behavior toward Flynn since his arrest has been predictable in light of the above. He has publicly floated pardons, as he did with Manafort, and had his counsel, John Dowd, call Flynn's attorney to remind him of the president's "feelings toward Flynn," while expressing concern that Flynn might have information that could implicate the president.
Despite the Twitter troll accounts using three stars in their profiles to demonstrate their support for Flynn, whom they describe as a "patriot," and Trump defenders' efforts to make him into a martyr, Flynn is far from being a patriot or a martyr. He's been selling American foreign policy for personal gain since his disgraceful exit from our military. He was willing to secretly extradite a US resident to Turkey, write an op-ed praising Erdogan without disclosing himself as a lobbyist, rip up sanctions against an enemy attacking our elections, and provide nuclear technology to countries with whom the US does not have counterproliferation agreements, like Saudi Arabia, all for personal profit at the expense of US foreign policy.
Like Flynn's career as an international grifter, the DOJ dropping Flynn's prosecution has no basis in furthering the interests of the US. As I'm writing this, NYT is reporting that Trump was preparing to pardon Flynn as recently as last week. Barr's goal in dismissing the case is clear: to protect Trump from legal exposure. We should expect this behavior to continue as long as Trump is POTUS and Barr is AG.
I'm no lawyer, but that seems very odd that Judge Sullivan would need a lawyer. Isn't he capable of responding to the appeals court.https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal-judge-hires-high-powered-dc-attorney-to-defend-his-actions-in-flynn-case/2020/05/23/9cae4d5e-9d0c-11ea-ac72-3841fcc9b35f_story.html
So Sullivan has hired a lawyer to defend his actions to the appeal court? He's a judge; can someone explain why he'd need someone else to represent him on his own decision?