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Logan Act Used as Pretext to Investigate Flynn (READ: Court Docs)

Posted by FactReal on December 18, 2018

12/4/2018: FLYNN’S SENTENCING MEMO CITED THE ‘LOGAN ACT’…BUT IT DOES NOT APPLY TO THE PRESIDENTIAL TRANSITION TEAM

Summary:
* Under this dormant 218-year old statute no one has ever been convicted.
* It prohibits private citizens from interfering in diplomatic disputes with foreign governments
* But it does not apply to members of presidential transition teams.
* Lawyers, judges, and constitutional scholars regard the law as unconstitutional.
* Every president-elect has his transition members engage with foreign governments to prepare for the challenges that lay ahead.
* Yet Democrats seized on the Logan Act at the end of the Obama administration as a pretext to investigate the Trump team, and to interview Flynn on Jan. 24, 2017.

[Also see: Nothing Wrong with Flynn Talking to Russia during Transition]

READ THE COURT DOCUMENT: (Mueller’s Sentencing Memo for Flynn)
Name: GOVERNMENT’S MEMORANDUM IN AID OF SENTENCING
Case 1:17-cr-00232-EGS Document 46 Filed 12/04/18
PDF: Justice Department | Scribd | Google

REPORT: Prosecutors recommend no jail for Trump’s ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn
Via CBS: (12/4/2018)

Special counsel Robert Mueller filed a sentencing memo Tuesday night [12/4/2018] suggesting that Michael Flynn has given the government “substantial assistance,” and it recommends that Flynn serve no time for making a false statement to the FBI. The sentencing guidelines for Flynn’s offense suggest zero to six months of incarceration. […]

Flynn met with the special counsel 19 times as part of his agreement to cooperate with the government in its investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. According to the filing, Flynn has been cooperating in “several ongoing investigations.”

ANALYSIS: Logan Act used as pretext to investigate Trump team:
From Kimberley A. Strassel‘s article, ‘Mueller’s Gift to Obama’: (12/6/2018)

The Flynn sentencing document, meanwhile, contained yet another outrageous gift to Obama alumni. In laying out the “serious” nature of Mr. Flynn’s crimes, the document asserts that one of the questions about the Flynn-Kislyak discussion was whether “the defendant’s actions violated the Logan Act,” a 1799 statute that criminalizes negotiation by unauthorized persons with foreign governments that are in dispute with the U.S.

Only two defendants have ever been charged under the Logan Act, the more recent one in 1852, and neither was convicted. It is normal for members of a presidential transition team to talk to their foreign counterparts, and on all manner of subjects. Yet Democrats seized on the Logan Act in the waning days of the Obama administration as a pretext to investigate the Trump team, and to intervene in the Flynn case. It was on Logan Act grounds that then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates dispatched FBI agents to interview Mr. Flynn on Jan. 24, 2017—the interview now central to Mr. Mueller’s charge that he lied to investigators.

It’s hard to overstate how unserious the Logan Act claim is. If Mr. Mueller has no case to make that Mr. Flynn violated the Logan Act, he has no business bringing it up. The only conceivable reason to throw it in was to give cover to the Obama officials who used it as their excuse to target Mr. Flynn in the first place, which they then used to help justify the appointment of a special counsel.

ANALYSIS: Logan Act doesn’t apply to presidential transition members like Flynn:
From Gregg Jarrett ‘s article headlined, ‘Mueller strikes out trying to nail Trump – Flynn sentencing memo is a big nothing’: (12/5/2018)

[T]he Logan Act, which prohibits private citizens from interfering in diplomatic disputes with foreign governments… Lawyers, judges, and constitutional scholars regard the law as unconstitutional.

Nevertheless, this long dormant law does not apply to members of presidential transition teams who are acting not as private citizens, but as incoming government representatives of the person about to assume the presidency. They would therefore be constitutionally authorized to conduct foreign affairs. Every president-elect has his transition members engage with foreign governments to prepare for the challenges that lay ahead.

Not even Mueller would be foolish enough to bring a case under the Logan Act, especially since Flynn did not interfere in a diplomatic dispute under the meaning of the act. To the contrary, Flynn sought ways to de-escalate tensions over U.S. sanctions President Obama imposed on Russia by asking the Russian government to limit its response “in a reciprocal manner.”

By doing this, Flynn was acting for the benefit of the U.S. government and in a manner not inconsistent with the Obama administration’s wishes and policy.

ANALYSIS: Israel Claim Does Not Fall under Logan Act:
Gregg Jarrett: also clarified: (12/5/2018)

Flynn’s other contact with Russia, also referenced in the court documents, dealt with a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements on the West Bank. However, this, too, would not fall under the Logan Act, since the U.S. took no position on the U.N. resolution. By abstaining, it neither supported the resolution nor opposed it.

And since the U.N. measure imposed no sanctions, it was nothing more than an idle diplomatic statement. Flynn, or anyone else in the incoming Trump administration, can hardly be accused of interfering.

RELATED
Nothing Wrong with Flynn Talking to Russia during Transition
Flynn Targeted for Destruction? He Opposed Obama Policies
Crimes Against Flynn Ignored by Mueller
Comey: “I Sent FBI to Flynn, Broke Protocol and Got Away with It” (Video)

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Nothing Wrong with Flynn Talking to Russia during Transition (READ: Court Docs)

Posted by FactReal on December 17, 2018

FLASHBACK: ON 12/1/2017 MICHAEL FLYNN PLED GUILTY TO LYING….BUT WHY?
There was nothing wrong with Flynn talking to foreign ambassadors during transition or discussing sanctions on Russia or vote in the U.N. regarding Israel.

READ THE COURT DOCUMENT:
Name: INFORMATION as to MICHAEL T. FLYNN, COUNT ONE
Case 1:17-cr-00232-RC Document 1 Filed 11/30/17
PDF: Justice Department | Scribd | Archive.org

REPORT: Michael Flynn pleads guilty to false-statements charge in Russia probe (12/1/2017)
Via Fox News:

Flynn entered the plea at a federal court in Washington, D.C., shortly after Mueller’s office released a one-count charging document. The false-statements charge pertains to Flynn’s interactions with the Russian ambassador in late December — specifically discussions about sanctions and other matters he apparently claimed never happened.

Flynn was accused of “willfully and knowingly” making the false statements to the FBI while serving in the Trump administration.

According to the charging document, those false statements were that:

  • “On or about Dec 29, 2016, FLYNN did not ask the Government of Russia’s Ambassador to the United States … to refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions that the United States had imposed against Russia that same day; and FLYNN did not recall the Russian Ambassador subsequently telling him that Russia had chosen to moderate its response to those sanctions as a result of his request.”
  • “On or about December 22, 2016, FLYNN did not ask the Russian Ambassador to delay the vote on or defeat a pending United Nations Security Council resolution; and that the Russian Ambassador subsequently never described to FLYNN Russia’s response to his request.”

The latter statement appears to refer to the body’s vote a day later to condemn Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

In a striking rupture with past practice, the Obama administration refrained from vetoing the condemnation, opting instead to abstain. The rest of the 15-nation council, including Russia, voted unanimously against Israel. At the time, Israel was lobbying furiously against the resolution and President-elect Trump’s team spoke up on behalf of the Jewish state.

ANALYSIS:
Nothing Wrong with Flynn talking to Foreign Ambassadors during Transition or Discussing Sanctions on Russia

Byron York explained: (12/4/2018)

[T]he sketchy beginnings of the Flynn investigation. It started with the Obama administration’s unhappiness that Flynn, during the transition as the incoming national security adviser, had phone conversations with Russia’s then-ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak. Because Kislyak was under American surveillance, U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies had recordings and transcripts of the calls, in which Flynn and Kislyak discussed the sanctions Obama had just imposed on Russia in retaliation for its 2016 election interference.

There was nothing wrong with an incoming national security adviser talking to a foreign ambassador during a transition. There was nothing wrong with discussing the sanctions. But some officials in the Obama Justice Department decided that Flynn might have violated the Logan Act, a 218 year-old law under which no one has ever been prosecuted, that prohibits private citizens from acting on behalf of the United States in disputes with foreign governments.

ANALYSIS:
Flynn Conversation with Russian Ambassador about Israel Vote also Legal:

Conservative Review’s Jordan Schachtel wrote: (12/5/2018)

On December 1, 2017, Gen. Flynn pled guilty to making false statements to the FBI about his conversations with Kislyak, even as reports surfaced that FBI agents who interviewed him did not believe he lied to them.

In the charge sheet, special counsel Robert Mueller’s team of Democrat prosecutors tried to sully Flynn’s reputation by exposing two supposed misdeeds.

In the first charge, Flynn was accused of misleading the FBI about a conversation he had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak on Dec. 22, 2016 (as the incoming national security adviser), about an upcoming anti-Israel United Nations Security Council resolution. Flynn was accused of asking Russia to help delay or defeat the measure, which the Obama administration let pass as it abstained from the vote.

At Conservative Review, I argued that Flynn not only did nothing wrong here, but that by standing with our greatest Middle East ally, he actually acted in America’s interests.

Next, investigators accused Flynn of wrongdoing when he discussed sanctions policy the next week (on December 29) with the Russian ambassador. The mere fact that a very senior incoming administration official was open to discussing Russia sanctions policy (which he had every right to do) was enough for Obama officials and pundits to label Flynn as a man who committed treason against his country.

RELATED
Flynn Targeted for Destruction? He Opposed Obama Policies
Crimes Against Flynn Ignored by Mueller
Comey: “I Sent FBI to Flynn, Broke Protocol and Got Away with It” (Video)

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Flynn Targeted for Destruction? He Opposed Obama Policies

Posted by FactReal on December 17, 2018

In charging Gen. Michael Flynn, Mueller Turned a Policy Dispute into Criminal Activity (12/5/2018)
Via Conservative Review’s Jordan Schachtel:

So why was Flynn targeted for destruction? […]

He was first targeted for destruction at the end of the Obama administration, when as DIA [Defense Intelligence Agency] director, he appeared to publicly disagree with Obama’s policies about radical Islamic actors, resulting in his reported forced retirement from the military.

It appeared that the worst was over, but then Gen. Flynn entered the political arena, choosing to throw his support behind the man hated most by the legacy media: Donald J. Trump.

Obama Officials Waged Secret Campaign to Oust Flynn…planted series of stories to discredit Flynn, bolster Iran deal (2/14/2017)
Via The Washington Free Beacon:

The abrupt resignation … of White House national security adviser Michael Flynn is the culmination of a secret, months-long campaign by former Obama administration confidantes to handicap President Donald Trump’s national security apparatus and preserve the nuclear deal with Iran, according to multiple sources in and out of the White House who described to the Washington Free Beacon a behind-the-scenes effort by these officials to plant a series of damaging stories about Flynn in the national media. […]

Flynn had been preparing to publicize many of the details about the nuclear deal that had been intentionally hidden by the Obama administration as part of its effort to garner support for the deal, these sources said. […]

Eli Lake, a Bloomberg View columnist and veteran national security reporter well sourced in the White House, told the Free Beacon that Flynn earned a reputation in the Obama administration as one of its top detractors. […]

“[Flynn] was a withering critic of Obama’s biggest foreign policy initiative, the Iran deal,” Lake said. “He also publicly accused the administration of keeping classified documents found in the Osama bin Laden raid that showed Iran’s close relationship with al Qaeda. He was a thorn in their side.”

RELATED
Crimes Against Flynn Ignored by Mueller
Comey: “I Sent FBI to Flynn, Broke Protocol and Got Away with It” (Video)

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Crimes Against Flynn Ignored by Mueller

Posted by FactReal on December 17, 2018

SELECTIVE JUSTICE
Crimes against Flynn Ignored by Mueller:
* They leaked Flynn’s classified phone conversations
* They revealed Flynn’s identity

Why has Mueller ignored Obama administration crimes? (12/9/2018)
By Victoria Toensing from the law firm diGenova & Toensing:

The matter of Gen. Michael Flynn began with criminal conduct. But it was not committed by Flynn. The crimes were leaking the contents of classified telephone conversations between Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and revealing the identity of Flynn as a party to the conversations.

The sorry saga began with a January 12, 2017 column about the Flynn/Kislyak conversations by The Washington Post’s David Ignatius, who described his source as a “senior U.S. government official,” i.e., an Obama administration functionary. Whoever told Ignatius the fact of and substance of the eavesdropped conversations committed a felony by leaking classified information.

The second crime is publicly revealing a U.S. citizen’s identity as being a party to those conversations. When there is authorized intelligence collection of foreign officials, the identity of the U.S. person who is incidentally picked up during that collection is to be minimized (not disclosed), even within the U.S. government. […] Providing it [Flynn’s identity] to Ignatius was a crime.

[…]

Thus, before Flynn flunked remembering every word of a conversation he was asked to recall weeks later, an Obama administration official had egregiously broken the national security and privacy laws. But only Flynn has been charged with a crime.

In charging Gen. Michael Flynn, Mueller turned a policy dispute into criminal activity (12/5/2018)
By Jordan Schachtel:

So why was Flynn targeted for destruction?

The decorated general made plenty of political adversaries during his military service as Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) chief in the Obama administration and as a member of the Trump campaign and administration. This has resulted in a ruthless campaign targeting his reputation and his livelihood for destruction. The story is not so much about Flynn’s alleged abuses of power, but instead about the abuses of power committed by the individuals and groups going after Flynn.

Mueller’s Gift to Obama
Shouldn’t the special counsel investigate the crimes that drew Flynn into his probe?
(12/6/2018)
By WSJ’s Kimberley A. Strassel

It’s hard to overstate how unserious the Logan Act claim is. If Mr. Mueller has no case to make that Mr. Flynn violated the Logan Act, he has no business bringing it up. The only conceivable reason to throw it in was to give cover to the Obama officials who used it as their excuse to target Mr. Flynn in the first place, which they then used to help justify the appointment of a special counsel.

RELATED
Comey: “I Sent FBI to Flynn, Broke Protocol and Got Away with It” (Video)

Posted in Law, Left, Obama, Trump | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Comey: “I Sent FBI to Flynn, Broke Protocol and Got Away with It” (Video)

Posted by FactReal on December 17, 2018

DID COMEY LURE FLYNN INTO A PERJURY TRAP?
Video shows ex-FBI Director Comey explaining how he:
* Kept Flynn unrepresented by legal counsel and unaware of the true nature of the meeting
* Violated protocols and policies which are always in place regardless if the administration is new or not.
* Took advantage of fledgling Trump Administration

REPORT: Ex-FBI Director Comey Explains How He Took Advantage of Fledgling Trump Administration:
“Former FBI Director James Comey, speaking to an appreciative audience in New York on Sunday [12/9/2018], told NBC’s Nicole Wallace that he sent two FBI agents to visit then-National Security Adviser Mike Flynn at the White House on January 24, 2017, because he figured he could get away with it,” reported CNS News.

VIDEO & NOTES TO PONDER:

* Comey proudly stated he broke the rules…because he could:

FROM VIDEO ABOVE:

WALLACE: “You look at this White House now, and it’s hard to imagine two FBI agents ending up in the State room. How did that happen?”

COMEY: “I sent them.” [Audience celebrated.]

COMEY: “Something we’ve — I probably wouldn’t have done or maybe gotten away with in a more organized investigation — a more organized administration.

* Did Flynn think the FBI agents were there as colleagues/co-workers and not as investigators (where he was the target), and thus, Flynn wasn’t exact in his recollection of his phone conversations weeks prior?
On the video, Comey acknowledged they didn’t tell Flynn the reason for the FBI visit:

FROM VIDEO ABOVE:

WALLACE: “What did he [Flynn] think they were coming over there for?”

COMEY: “I don’t think he knew. I know we didn’t tell him.”

* They wanted Flynn unguarded, so they made him think this was a normal chat between pals:

FROM VIDEO ABOVE:

COMEY: “And I thought, it’s early enough, let’s just send a couple of guys over.”

“And so we placed a call to Flynn, said, hey, we’re sending a couple of guys over. Hope you’ll talk to them. He said, sure. Nobody else was there. They interviewed him in a conference room at the White House Situation Room, and he lied to them. And that’s what he’s now pled guilty to.”

FROM COURT DOCUMENTS:
Mueller’s court documents (attachment B, page 4 of 6), show they decided not to tell Flynn it was an investigation:

Before the interview, McCabe, [redacted] and others decided the agents would not warn Flynn that it was a crime to lie during an FBI interview because they wanted Flynn to be relaxed, and they were concerned that giving the warnings might adversely affect the rapport.

* Flynn was unguarded, jocular and did not lie, according to FBI agents who talked to Flynn
FROM COURT DOCUMENTS:
Mueller’s court documents (attachment B, page 4 of 6), show the FBI agents who talked to Flynn on January 24, 2017, found that Flynn was:

relaxed and jocular…unguarded and clearly saw FBI agents as allies…talked about various subjects, including hotels…the President’s knack for interior design….Flynn was so talkative… [FBI agents] Strzok and [redacted] both had the impression at the time that Flynn was not lying…The agents left Flynn in a collegial, positive way.

* Video above shows the audience celebrating Comey’s remarks about violating protocols and rules.
“Those same liberals applauding him wildly would presumably be appalled if a police detective proudly described how he prevented a criminal suspect from speaking to a lawyer simply because he could,” points out Jonathan Turley [see below].

ANALYSIS:
Constitutional Law Professor Jonathan Turley wrote a great critique of Comey’s admission on TheHill.com: ‘No glory in James Comey getting away with his abuse of FBI power‘ (12/15/2018)

[Emphasis added]

“I probably wouldn’t have … gotten away with it.” Those words this week from former FBI Director James Comey could well be chiseled in marble as his epitaph. He was explaining another violation of bureau policy during his tenure

What was shocking was not that Comey violated protocols or policies again but the reaction of the audience to his admission. In describing how he set up a critical meeting with Michael Flynn, former national security adviser to President Trump, the audience was audibly thrilled by his cleverness in keeping Flynn unrepresented by legal counsel and unaware of the true nature of the meeting. […]

… Now Comey has again admitted to violating rules and protocols, by setting up Flynn. […]

What was Comey’s justification? Because he could. He refers to the “process” of other administrations. That process, however, was still in place and did not change. Moreover, he noted that he thought he could get away with it because this was “early” in the administration. That is not principle. >It is opportunism. He was supposed to work through the Justice Department and not simply follow the rules only if he might be caught breaking them. […]

… There was nothing noble in Comey seeking to reduce the chance that Flynn might have legal counsel. Those same liberals applauding him wildly would presumably be appalled if a police detective proudly described how he prevented a criminal suspect from speaking to a lawyer simply because he could. […]

Comey seemed to delight the audience by taking credit for keeping Flynn in the dark about the FBI interview. When Wallace asked what Flynn thought the FBI agents wanted, Comey replied, “I don’t think he knew. I know we didn’t tell him.” Actually, Comey didn’t tell anyone. Not the White House counsel, not the acting attorney general, not the Justice Department. He “just sent a couple of guys over” to the White House because he could “get away with it.”

RUSH TRANSCRIPT: COMEY’S ADMISSION ON HOW THEY TRICKED MICHAEL FLYNN FOR FBI INTERVIEW:
Place: 92nd Street Y (cultural center) on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, NY
Date: Sunday, December 9, 2018
Host: NBC’s Nicole Wallace
Full video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xqGu66D6VU
or https://www.facebook.com/92ndstreetY/videos/2196969490544212/

WALLACE: “You look at this White House now, and it’s hard to imagine two FBI agents ending up in the State room. How did that happen?”

COMEY: “I sent them.” [Audience celebrated.]

COMEY: “Something we’ve — I probably wouldn’t have done or maybe gotten away with in a more organized investigation — a more organized administration. In the George W. Bush administration, for example, or the Obama administration.”

“The protocol, two men that all of us perhaps have increased appreciation for over the last two years.” [Audience applauded.]

“And in both those administrations there was process. And so if the FBI wanted to send agents into the White House itself to interview a senior official, you would work through the White House Counsel and there’d be discussions and approvals and it would be there. And I thought, it’s early enough, let’s just send a couple of guys over.”

“And so we placed a call to Flynn, said, hey, we’re sending a couple of guys over. Hope you’ll talk to them. He said, sure. Nobody else was there. They interviewed him in a conference room at the White House Situation Room, and he lied to them. And that’s what he’s now pled guilty to.”

WALLACE: “What did he think they were coming over there for?”

COMEY: “I don’t think he knew. I know we didn’t tell him.”

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