Sunday, December 16, 2018

Rationalizing Russiagate

On the matter of Flynn Vs Mueller, Sundance at CTH: Special Counsel Responds to Judge Sullivan Request for FBI Notes – Fails to Submit Agent Pientka January Interview Notes… See CTH for the attachments referred to.
The filing by the special counsel team (full pdf below) is a must read.

The special counsel begins their filing by criticizing the approach taken by the Flynn defense in the defense sentencing memo; and attempts to validate/justify their charges against the accused. The details in their response to the judge’s request tell quite a story.

The attachments are very interesting. They begin with notes by FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe outlining the contacts with Michael Flynn prior to the FBI interview on January 24, 2017. McCabe did not inform main justice, Sally Yates, until after FBI agents were dispatched. The documents reveal Yates was not happy with McCabe’s decision.

FBI agent Peter Strzok and agent Joe Pientka were sent to the White House to interview Flynn only a few minutes after McCabe called Flynn. There was obviously a plan in place.

From the second attachment we discover that agent Strzok did all the questioning and agent Pientka took all the notes (screen-grab below). Those FD-302 interview notes, written by Pientka on January 24th, 2017, are part of the what Judge Sullivan ordered to be submitted. However, those notes are not included in the responsive Mueller filing.

Where did Joe Pientka’s FD-302 notes go? They are not in the responsive filing despite the judge’s request.

Instead what we see is that FBI Agent Peter Strzok was interviewed internally by the FBI on July 19th, 2017. The FD-302 notes of that interview were written on July 20th, 2017 and submitted for entry on August 22nd, 2017. This is around the time that Strzok was working for the special counsel, and Robert Mueller was informed of the strongly biased text messages retrieved by the DOJ inspector general.
More attachments here, Techno Fog, Special Counsel has filed their Flynn reply memo. It defends the circumstances of the Flynn interview. It claims Flynn tried to "minimize" what he did. (A lie.) So there was an original set of notes by Pientka, but the charge of perjury is based not on those contemporaneous notes, (themselves a selective interpretation of the truth), but rather on Peter Strzok's six month old recollection/mental  re-creation of the interview. It's pretty clear that the Crossfire Hurricane team (which later became the Mueller investigation) didn't approve of Pientka's version of the events, probably destroyed the originals (a well known Andrew Weismann gambit), and then substituted Strzok's well coached version. Fox: Mueller releases Flynn files showing FBI doubts over ‘lying,’ tensions over interviewJoe diGenova Discusses Flynn Case…

The Last Tradition, Gregg Jarrett: Michael Flynn is innocent, wrongly prosecuted by Mueller to hurt Trump
Hillary Clinton was allowed to bring nine lawyers with her for an interview with the FBI where no stenographer was present, no video or audio recordings were made, mot even a written transcript. These corrupt FBI officials led by James Comey moved heaven and earth not to catch Hillary Clinton in a lie.

Compare that to Michael Flynn who was told not to bring a lawyer by the FBI officials who handled his case. Where is the equal scales of justice? There is none and the real criminal is Robert Mueller!
Fox News reports if you want a textbook example of wrongful prosecution of a man who should never have been charged with a crime, just look at the case of retired Army Lt. Gen. and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
The left-wing and Never-Trump push back on Flynn begins. At the WaPo Marc Fisher has a front page hit piece on Michael Flynn’s transformation from storied officer to heated partisan. It has no news regarding his Mueller case, but presents a strong case that Flynn is a right wing asshole who clearly has it coming.  Tiana Lowe at WaEx: Right-wing mythmaking of Michael Flynn
It still remains unclear how much Flynn is actually guilty of. That Flynn's behavior was bad doesn't make the FBI's less so. As my Washington Examiner colleague Quin Hillyer detailed, the FBI was unethical in laying out a perjury trap if they didn't have a real crime to investigate.

But Flynn is a liar, one clearly smart enough to think that he could game the legal system, but not strategic enough to get away with it.
. . .
That Flynn was one of the premier intelligence operatives in the country seems to have temporarily slipped from the minds of his most blind and ardent defenders.

The Trump cheerleaders at American Greatness call the case against Flynn a " set-up," referring to lying to federal investigators, as the Mueller filing demonstrates, a premeditated decision, as "walk[ing] back his initial denial."

Kurt Schlichter calls it a "disgraceful persecution," as though Flynn wasn't actually guilty of intentionally lying to the FBI. . . .
Mona Charen at NRO does some wishful thinking: Trump Russia Collusion Possibility
It has become an article of faith in some quarters on the right — well, most — that the Mueller investigation has found no evidence of collusion with Russia and has accordingly shifted gears to process crimes like lying to the FBI or obstruction of justice. Having decided that this must be true, many have called for Mueller to wrap it up.

But this requires a lot of wishful thinking. . . .
IMHO, Judge Sullivan should throw out the Flynn conviction based on lost and tainted evidence, declare a mistrial with prejudice, to prevent the "team" from filing fresh charges, and award the Flynn massive amounts of money for their misconduct, to be taken out of the Special Counsel's unlimited budget to make him whole.

Mueller Continues To Be Interested In Interviewing Trump. After what they did with Flynn why would anyone sit down with the special counsel team willingly?

Rowan Scarborough at WaT:  Anti-Trump dossier author was hired to help Hillary challenge 2016 election results. Remembering when questioning the results of the election would be considered un-American? Good times!
British ex-spy Christopher Steele, who wrote the Democrat-financed anti-Trump dossier, said in a court case that he was hired by a Democratic law firm in preparation for Hillary Clinton challenging the results of the 2016 presidential election.

He said the law firm Perkins Coie wanted to be in a position to contest the results based on evidence he unearthed on the Trump campaign conspiring with Moscow on election interference.

His scenario is contained in a sealed Aug. 2 declaration in a defamation law suit brought by three Russian bankers in London. The trio’s American attorneys filed his answers Tuesday in a libel lawsuit in Washington against the investigative firm Fusion GPS, which handled the former British intelligence officer.

In an answer to interrogatories, Mr. Steele wrote: “Fusion’s immediate client was law firm Perkins Coie. It engaged Fusion to obtain information necessary for Perkins Coie LLP to provide legal advice on the potential impact of Russian involvement on the legal validity of the outcome of the 2016 US Presidential election.

“Based on that advice, parties such as the Democratic National Committee and HFACC Inc. (also known as ‘Hillary for America’) could consider steps they would be legally entitled to take to challenge the validity of the outcome of that election.”

The Democrats never filed a challenge, but Mr. Steele’s answer suggested that was one option inside the Clinton camp, which funded Mr. Steele’s research along with the Democratic National Committee.
Ed Morrissey at Hot Air: Mystery Mueller Subpoena Continues: Lockdown At DC Circuit. NYT on Mueller's mystery court fight:  The Special Counsel Is Fighting a Witness in Court. Who Is It?
Will we ever learn who the person is?

Maybe. The person is most likely not barred from speaking publicly about the case, but because the proceeding has been sealed, the lawyers involved cannot discuss it. If the witness ultimately loses and the court orders jail time, then it would most likely become public.
I don't trust the NYT not to withhold information from us if it would hurt their narrative.

Sundance at CTH: Why Wouldn’t The Obama Intelligence Apparatus Wiretap The White House?… They did it because they were pretty sure they could get away with. Help make sure they don't.

AP proudly announces that Investigations look at Trump’s life from all angles. And that was preordained from the moment he beat Hillary Clinton. The American Thinker, When Does Trump Say, 'Enough Is Enough!'?
When does Trump say, “Enough is enough!”?

Enough can have two meanings here. One meaning is the junkyard dog being taunted until it bares its teeth and attacks ferociously. Trump has that power as President. Assuming Huber and Horowitz have been doing more than playing board games with their reams of lawyers and investigators for the past year, there should be indictments and prosecutions. Not to mention releasing FISA warrant applications and similar documents.

From the Clinton Foundation to the Spygate scandal. From Hillary Clinton’s emails to bogus FISA warrants, there is much for the junkyard dog to attack. When is enough? When does Trump go “scorched earth[TL1] ” through transparency against those conspiring to destroy him?

Declassify the FISA warrant and expose the collaboration of his Deep State enemies with foreign intelligence agencies. As the Clinton Foundation scandals become public, hammer away via tweets and public comments. If Trump believes he is going down, he will bring half of Washington, DC with him.

Trump can simply release the hidden information and instruct his Justice department to pursue any and all crimes committed. Regardless of the political party of the perpetrators. That’s not weaponization of his administration, but instead simply the pursuit of justice and accountability. Let the chip fall where they may, across the political spectrum.

This would be the “draining the swamp” we were promised. Despite assurances that “pain is coming”, the deep state swamp is in full bloom. Yet the deplorables have Trump’s back with a 49 percent approval in the December 11 Rasmussen daily presidential tracking poll.
Fox: Former FEC commissioners: Trump-Cohen 'hush' payments not necessarily a violation. Hans A. von Spakovsky, another former FEC member: Trump’s Ex-Lawyer Didn’t Violate Campaign Finance Laws, and Neither Did the President. Sounds like a good defense witness to me. Prosecutors aren't supposed to bring cases they don't think they can win just to embarrass the defendant. It's a good read. Not Guilty? Former FEC Commissioner Says Cohen and Trump Didn't Violate Campaign Finance Law
"Mr. Cohen pleaded guilty to a supposed violation of that law because of payments that were made, I guess you could call them hush money payments, to two women who were claiming that they had had affairs with the President. The problem with his guilty plea is that those payments aren't covered by the law. The only way these kind of expenses are covered under the law is if they are campaign related expenses and these are not campaign related expenses, this is a potential personal liability of the President and you actually can't use campaign funds – money that you've raised from campaign contributors, to pay for something like that."

However, Michael Cohen said the payments were made to influence the election. According to von Spakovsky, Cohen is missing a key point.

"There's another provision of the law that says that an expenditure and expense is not campaign related if it's an expense that would exist whether or not you're running for office, and that's why this is not a campaign expense," he said.

Von Spakovsky also challenged those who believe President Trump's actions constitute a civil offense. He said in order for there to be a criminal violation of campaign finance law, one must prove there was a "knowing and willful" violation.
HuffPo: Lindsey Graham Has No Problem With Trump ‘Lying About Sex’ "I think most people would lie to protect their family,” the Republican senator told Fox News."
Graham also compared the president’s lies about whether or not he paid to keep women silent about alleged affairs to the one President Bill Clinton told about not having “sexual relations” with intern Monica Lewinsky in the White House.

“I voted against that article of impeachment because I think most people, blindsided, would lie to protect their family,” Graham added. “Lying about sex wasn’t enough then for me, and it’s not enough now.”

He added:

“He is like every other person. Bill Clinton lied about having sexual relationships with that woman. I voted against that article of impeachment because I think most people would lie to protect their family.”

Graham claims he was the one Republican to vote against that article of impeachment because he thought “the average person in that circumstance would be compelled to lie.”
But, Never Trumpers will always have David French: Republicans, Don’t Fool Yourselves — Donald Trump Is in Serious Trouble. "I hates him!"

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