Slowly Things Are Unraveling

Just the News has been one of the leading sources for information on the Flynn case and for tracking misreporting of the Mueller investigation. Today the site posted an article listing some of the things that need to be investigated in the Mueller investigation.

The article notes:

Despite a February 2018 order from the judge in the Flynn case Emmett G. Sullivan to prosecutors to turn over all material exculpatory evidence to the defense — including information impeaching the credibility of witnesses against him — prosecutor Brandon van Grack never turned over any of the recently released information showing:

    • FBI agents investigating Flynn’s contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak  had recommended closing the case after turning up “no derogatory information.”
    • Agents were blocked from closing the case by fired, anti-Trump agent Peter Strzok, who in text messages attributed his move to intervention from the bureau’s “7th floor” leaders.
    • A senior FBI official confessed qualms — in notes recorded after a 2017 senior strategy meeting on the Flynn investigation — about whether the bureau’s purpose was to discover the truth or, instead, entrap Flynn in a lie that would lead to his dismissal or prosecution.

The recent revelations raising questions of prosecutorial misconduct in the Flynn case fit an emerging, more general pattern of questionable tactics employed by the Mueller probe, including withholding relevant exculpatory evidence and misrepresenting the government’s interactions with investigative targets.

The article lists nine problems with the Mueller probe:

  1. Misrepresentation of Papadopoulos cooperation
  2. Silence about Trump Tower meeting exculpatory evidence
  3. Court filings with deceptively edited email
  4. Scope memo used debunked Steele Dossier to set investigative parameters
  5. Mueller final testimony ignores Steele Dossier
  6. Deceptive editing of Dowd voicemail
  7. The secret side deal
  8. Improper acquisition of transition email
  9. Misleading Trump’s lawyers about his status

General Flynn is not the person who should be facing a prison term. Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It is chilling that this abuse of our legal system has been allowed to continue as long as it has.

One Reason Transparency About The Russia Investigation Is Taking So Long

Yesterday John Solomon posted an article at Just The News about some behind-the-scenes maneuvering by Adam Schiff that made it difficult to get the truth out about the investigation into President Trump and any connections he might have had with Russia.

The article reports:

Shortly after Schiff took over from Republican Rep. Devin Nunes as chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) in 2019, he sent a letter to the office of then-Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.

The letter obtained by Just the News specifically ordered that the witness transcripts — some of which contained exculpatory evidence for President Trump’s team — not be shared with Trump or White House lawyers even if the declassification process required such sharing.

“Under no circumstances shall ODNI, or any other element of the Intelligence Community (IC), share any HPSCI transcripts with the White House, President Trump or any persons associated with the White House or the President,” Schiff wrote in a March 26, 2019 letter to then-Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.

“Such transcripts remain the sole property of HPSCI, and were transmitted to ODNI for the limited purpose of enabling a classification review by IC elements and the Department of Justice,” Schiff added.

U.S. intelligence officials said Schiff’s request made it impossible for them to declassify 10 of the transcripts, mostly of current and former White House and National Security Council witnesses, because White House lawyers would have had to review them for what is known as “White House equities” and presidential privileges.

But 43 of the transcripts were declassified and cleared for public release and given to Schiff’s team, but they have never been made public despite the committee’s vote to do so, officials said.

One senior official said the 43 transcripts were provided to Schiff’s team some time ago, and the 10 remain in limbo. Asked how long House Intelligence Democrats have had the declassified transcripts, the official said: “You’ll have to ask Mr. Schiff.”

A spokesman for Schiff and House Intelligence Committee Democrats did not return an email Monday seeking comment.

The article concludes:

Newly declassified footnotes from the Horowitz report released last week show the FBI’s key informant in the case, the former British spy Christopher Steele, may have been the victim of Russian disinformation. More declassified evidence from that probe is expected to be released later this week.

In the meantime, Republicans who led the House Intelligence Committee probe in 2018 when the witnesses were interviewed are trying to learn what came of the transcripts.

Schiff’s letter to Coats suggests that at the time the new Democratic chairman was still interested in releasing the transcripts.

“I hope our staff can reach agreement soon on a schedule for returning the transcripts to the Committee for ultimate public release,” he wrote.

Nearly 13 months since the letter, that release has not happened.

Elections have consequences. The consequences of turning the House of Representatives over to the Democrats was three years of wasted money on an investigation that many of the Democrats knew was unwarranted from the beginning. Because the Democrats were so focused on getting President Trump, they overlooked the looming problem of the coronavirus and were not prepared to deal with it. In fact when President Trump closed our borders to China, the Democrats criticized him for it. We may find out in the coming months why the Democrats were so intent on removing President Trump. As more information comes out about the surveillance of the Trump campaign and Trump presidency, it is becoming more obvious that laws were broken. The goal may have been to take out President Trump before that was discovered.

A Small Step Toward Justice

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air is reporting today that there have been some small steps taken by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) Court to insure that the civil rights of Americans will not be violated as they were in the case of Carter Page.

The article reports:

Substantively, it might not seem like much, but symbolically, this order will sting the FBI and Department of Justice. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court effectively barred any agents involved in the Carter Page FISA warrants from taking part in its proceedings as a consequence of the misconduct that took place in Operation Crossfire Hurricane. Also, the court will now require agents and attorneys to swear under oath explicitly that they have included all potentially exculpatory evidence in their presentations:

A secretive federal court on Wednesday effectively barred F.B.I. officials involved in the wiretapping of a former Trump campaign adviser from appearing before it in other cases at least temporarily, the latest fallout from an internal inquiry into the bureau’s surveillance of the aide.

A 19-page opinion and order by James E. Boasberg, the chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, also largely accepted changes the F.B.I. has said it will make to its process for seeking national-security wiretaps following a damning inspector general report about errors and omissions in applications to monitor the adviser, Carter Page.

But Judge Boasberg ordered law enforcement officials to specifically swear in future cases that the applications to the court contain “all information that might reasonably call into question the accuracy of the information or the reasonableness of any F.B.I. assessment in the application, or otherwise raise doubts about the requested findings.”

…The banishment of Crossfire Hurricane figures is almost certainly meant to be embarrassing, but that’s about as much teeth as FISC has in this situation. As the New York Times’ Charlie Savage points out, the court has limited authority to deal with FBI misconduct. It has no oversight over the Department of Justice at all, which is an executive-branch agency. Presumably the court’s rotating judges had already adopted a more skeptical approach to more recent surveillance warrant applications after reading the Michael Horowitz report, but unless Congress changes the FISA law, courts are still required to follow it.

Speaking of which, the law is due to expire, and Donald Trump has already declared he won’t sign an extension without significant changes. Given what happened in Crossfire Hurricane, few would be surprised to know that, of course:

Unless it it renewed, FISA sunsets on March 15th. There are recommendations on the table to reform the law. President Trump has stated that he will not sign an extension of the law without reforms. Considering how the law was illegally used against him and his campaign, I think that is a very reasonable approach.

Michael Flynn and FBI Misconduct

Yesterday Fox News posted an article about the case of Michael Flynn.

The article reports:

“I did not lie to them.”

With those words in a declaration and supplemental motion filed Wednesday, former national security adviser Michael Flynn formally asked a federal judge for permission to withdraw his guilty plea for making false statements to two FBI agents in the White House back on Jan. 24, 2017.

In a sweeping argument that took aim at the bureau’s “outrageous” conduct, Flynn’s legal team highlighted a slew of information that has come to light since Flynn’s plea — including that no precise record of Flynn’s statements to the agents exists and that the original handwritten FD-302 witness report from the interview is “missing,” with subsequent versions later “edited” in some undisclosed manner by anti-Trump FBI officials.

Moreover, Flynn’s team maintained he had no reason to lie about his communications with the Russian ambassador concerning how the country should respond to sanctions imposed by the Obama administration, or a then-pending vote on Israel in the United Nations. After all, Flynn said, he knew federal officials “routinely monitor, record, and transcribe” conversations like the ones he had with Russian diplomats.

The article continues:

Horowitz further revealed that Pientka (FBI Agent Joe Pietnka) was part of an apparent undercover operation to essentially spy on the Trump campaign and Flynn during a routine intelligence briefing in August 2016.

Pientka’s “participation in that presidential briefing was a calculated subterfuge to record and report … anything Mr. Flynn and Mr. Trump said in that meeting,” Flynn’s lawyers wrote. Morever, the FISA court itself has rebuked the FBI as a whole, the filing noted.

Pientka “bore ultimate responsibility for four falsified applications to the FISA court and oversaw virtually every abuse inherent in Crossfire Hurricane — including suppression of exculpatory evidence,” Flynn’s team added.

The FBI has repeatedly refused to respond to Fox News’ request for clarification on Pientka’s status, even as Republicans in Congress have sought to question him.

The article concludes:

In December, U.S. District Judge Emmitt Sullivan had seemingly crushed Flynn’s hopes for ditching his guilty plea, saying that Flynn had waived his constitutional rights to obtain exculpatory information by pleading guilty.

Then, earlier this month, Flynn moved to withdraw his guilty plea for this first time —  just days after the Justice Department reversed course to recommend up to six months of prison time in his case, alleging he was not fully cooperating or accepting responsibility for his actions.

On Wednesday, the govenrment kept its recommendation of between zero and six months in prison, but specifically stated it would not “oppose” a sentence of probation. That walkback was notable, and signaled that Flynn likely will not serve time in prison.

Flynn’s lawyers, earlier this month, argued that “because of the government’s bad faith, vindictiveness and breach of the plea agreement,” Flynn’s plea should be withdrawn. That led to Wednesday’s supplemental filing — and, perhaps, new life for Flynn’s defense team.

Please follow the link to read the entire article–it includes a lot of significant details. I hope that Michael Flynn is not only exonerated, but reimbursed for the legal expenses he has incurred defending himself from a smear campaign.

The Political Cost Of Impeachment

What the Democrats in the House of Representatives are doing is not impeachment. It might be called ‘impeachment light’, but it is not impeachment. Impeachment is something that is supposed to begin with a vote of the full House of Representatives. At that point, both parties are allowed to call witnesses and question witnesses. The accuser (or accusers) of the President is asked to step forward and state his case. What the Democrats are doing violates a number of basic principles in our Constitution. Our Constitution allows a person charged with a crime to face his accuser. Our Constitution allows for both sides of an accusation to be heard. Our Constitution allows for any exculpatory evidence to be heard. None of this is happening in ‘impeachment light.’ So what is the cost of this charade to the Democrats?

The Washington Times posted an article today that includes the following:

Independent voters are warming up to President Trump, says a new survey which finds that Mr. Trump is now besting Democratic front-runners in a theoretical matchup.

“A new IBD-TIPP poll shows President Trump has gained significant ground with independent voters in head-to-head matchups with the Democrat Party frontrunners for president,” wrote Matt Margolis, a contributor to PJ Media.

He cited the factors. Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, for instance, leads Mr. Trump by just one percentage point among independents, down from Mr. Biden’s 18 percentage point lead in September. Against Sen. Elizabeth Warren, 49% of independents backed Mr. Trump, while 43% favored the Massachusetts Democrat.

The article concludes:

“What caused such a dramatic swing in Trump’s favor with independents? Is it a coincidence that this poll was conducted after Nancy Pelosi formally launched an impeachment inquiry into President Trump? Not to me,” Mr. Margolis said.

“Impeachment is not exactly popular among voters, and only a minority of independents support it,” the analyst noted. “Many on the right have warned Democrats that impeachment fever will only benefit Trump in the long run — and they appear to be proven right by this poll.”

I am sure that the House Democrats are aware of these numbers. It will be interesting to see what they do about them.

Behind The Scenes–The Search For Roots

While Robert Mueller was making the headlines with his appearance on Capitol Hill, the internal investigation at the Justice Department was continuing as to the source of the charges of Russian collusion by the Trump campaign.

Fox News posted an article today about that investigation. Before I go into the details, I think we need to consider why the internal investigation is important. Despite what the Democrats are trying to spin, Mueller, in the afternoon session and his opening remarks, made it clear that there was no evidence of collusion. His task was to look for collusion. The second part of his report, based on speculation by news sources, tried to imply that there was obstruction. That charge was based on conversations and thoughts–not actions. The President talked about firing Robert Mueller. Robert Mueller was not fired. Was talking about it a crime? Using that standard, you can pretty much find anyone guilty of anything. If I decide that I need money and say that I want to rob a bank, is that a crime? Not unless I follow through on it.

The internal investigation is important to determine the source of the charges against candidate Trump. If the source is questionable or political, then the same technique can be used against any future President. That does not bode well for our republic.

The Fox News article points out a few basic things the internal investigation has uncovered:

The Justice Department’s internal review of the Russia investigation is zeroing in on transcripts of recordings made by at least one government source who met with former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos overseas in 2016, specifically looking at why certain “exculpatory” material from them was not presented in subsequent applications for surveillance warrants, according to two sources familiar with the review.

The sources also said the review is taking a closer look at the actual start date of the original FBI investigation into potential collusion between members of the Trump campaign and the Russians, as some allege the probe began earlier than thought. Both components are considered key in the review currently being led by Attorney General Bill Barr and U.S. Attorney from Connecticut John Durham –– an effort sure to draw more attention in the coming weeks and months now that Robert Mueller’s testimony is in the rearview.

The recordings in question pertain to conversations between government sources and Papadopoulos, which were memorialized in transcripts. One source told Fox News that Barr and Durham are reviewing why the material was left out of applications to surveil another former Trump campaign aide, Carter Page.

The story continues:

A source told Fox News that the “exculpatory evidence” included in the transcripts is Papadopoulos denying having any contact with the Russians to obtain the supposed “dirt” on Clinton.

But Papadopoulos did not only meet with Mifsud and Downer while overseas. He met with Cambridge professor and longtime FBI informant Stefan Halper and his female associate, who went under the alias Azra Turk. Papadopoulos told Fox News that he saw Turk three times in London: once over drinks, once over dinner and once with Halper. He also told Fox News back in May that he always suspected he was being recorded. Further, he tweeted during the Mueller testimony about “recordings” of his meeting with Downer.

…Former Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., now a Fox News contributor, first signaled the existence of transcripts of secretly recorded conversations between FBI informants and Papadopoulos earlier this year.

“If the bureau’s going to send in an informant, the informant’s going to be wired, and if the bureau is monitoring telephone calls, there’s going to be a transcript of that,” Gowdy said in May on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” acknowledging he was aware of the files and suggesting they included exculpatory information.

The article concludes:

The Barr-Durham review is likely to draw more attention following Mueller’s highly anticipated testimony on Capitol Hill. Republicans sought to focus their questioning on the origins of the Russia investigation under then-Director James Comey’s FBI—a topic Mueller repeatedly said was “out of his purview” due to the ongoing investigation being led by the Justice Department. Another review is being conducted by the DOJ inspector general.

“Maybe a better course of action is to figure out how the false accusations started,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said Wednesday. “Here’s the good news—that’s exactly what Bill Barr is doing and thank goodness for that.”

The fact that an investigation which began with the misuse of government agencies to spy on a political opponent has taken two years is a miscarriage of justice. Those responsible need to be severely penalized so that the country never has to go through this again.

Choose Your Lawyer Wisely

It was announced recently that General Flynn had fired the attorneys who were supposed to defend him against the charges brought against him in the Mueller investigation. It is annoying to me that James Comey bragged about not going through the proper protocol to interview General Flynn and about telling the General that he did not need a lawyer. It seems to me that a man who had served his country for many years was treated very shabbily by the government he served for so many years. Well, things may be changing.

Sara Carter posted an article today reporting that General Flynn has hired defense attorney Sidney Powell to represent him before his sentencing hearing in Washington D.C.’s federal court. Sidney Powell wrote the book License to Lie about previous cases where Andrew Weissmann  misused his power as a prosecutor.

The article reports:

Powell is the author of the New York Times best seller and tell-all book Licensed To Lie, which exposed the corruption within the justice system. The book is based on the case Powell won against prosecutor Andrew Weissmann, when he was deputy and later director of the Enron Task Force.

Weissmann served as Mueller’s second in command for the special counsel investigation into the Trump campaign, despite the fact that his tactics have been highly criticized by both judges and colleagues. He was called unscrupulous and has had several significant issues raised about how he operated during the Mueller inquiry into Trump campaign officials, including Flynn.

He prosecuted the accounting firm Arthur Andersen LLP, which ended in the collapse of the firm and 85,000 jobs lost world wide. Maureen Mahoney took the case to the Supreme Court, and Powell consulted.  Mahoney overturned Weissmann’s conviction and the decision was reversed unanimously by the court.

Powell has openly stated in columns and on cable networks that Weissmann’s dirty tactics of withholding exculpatory evidence and threatening witnesses to garner prosecutions should have had him disbarred long ago.

It seems to me that Weissmann has not changed his tactics. It is good news that Sidney Powell will be representing Michael Flynn. I suspect that with her as his lawyer, Flynn’s case will be thrown out of court.

Drip, Drip, Drip…

There are still a lot of unanswered questions about the whole Russian collusion thing. I suspect the truth will gradually come out over the next two or three months, but I wonder if the dyed-in-the-wool Trump haters will believe the truth when it does come out. Meanwhile, there are some very interesting hints of things to come that periodically show up.

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today about some comments made by Trey Gowdy this morning on “Sunday Morning Futures” with Maria Bartiromo. There is a video in the article, but here are the relevant quotes:

Trey Gowdy: There’s a lot of serious questions that need to be asked. When did the Russian probe begin? When did it become hopelessly co-mingled with the Trump campaign? What was the factual predicate? Where are the transcripts, if any exist between the informants and the telephone calls to George Papadopoulos? Why the defensive briefing so inadequate of President Trump? Why didn’t they do a follow-up defensive briefing? That doesn’t even get to the whole FISA abuse in the fall. That’s just the spring and summer of 2016. There’s lots of questions and I hope Bill Barr finds someone who is skilled enough to answer them…

Maria Bartiromo: I’m really glad you brought that up. The FBI’s conversations with George Papadopoulos. Because when the FBI agent sends in informants to someone they’re looking at, typically those conversations are recorded, right? Those people are wired.

Trey Gowdy: Yeah, if the bureau is going to sends in an informant the informant is going to be wired. If the bureau is monitoring telephone calls there’s going to be a transcript of that. Some of us are fortunate enough to know those transcripts exist. But they haven’t been made public. And I think one in particular has the potential to actually persuade people… There is some information in these transcripts that has the potential to be a game changer if it’s ever made public… If you have exculpatory evidence that was not shown to the court, that ain’t good. I’ve seen it. Johnny (Ratcliffe) has seen it. I’d love for your viewers to see it.

Trey Gowdy: We can call it a dossier. It sounds official. It’s really something the National Enquirer would blush if they printed it. So we know it was used four times by the United States government. What we’re trying to figure out is if it was used a fifth time in the intelligence assessment and you’ve got Brennan and Clapper and Comey, all three who know full well whether or not it was used in the intelligence assessment, but they’re giving you different versions. So there is information that exists in December of 2016 and I hope anyone who has access to it, Senator Burr, Devin (Nunes), whoever is open minded, go look at that and I think it will help you understand whether or not that dossier, that unverified hearsay, was used five times or just four times by the United States government. It’s pretty bad if it was used four times. It’s REALLY BAD if it was used five times!

So what can we expect? More attacks on Attorney General Barr, attacks on John Durham, and almost manic attempts to remove President Trump from office will occur in an attempt to prevent the truth from getting out. If the truth is about to come out, look for a major distraction–an indictment of someone that can be somehow connected to President Trump or some such other distraction. The people involved in the misuse of government agencies during the Obama administration are going to play hard ball. The only way to prevent this abuse from happening in the future is to play hard ball back. It is going to get ugly, but if justice prevails, it will be fun to watch.

 

How A Kangaroo Court Works

The website study.com includes the following definition of exculpatory evidence:

In Brady v. Maryland (1963), the Supreme Court held that exculpatory evidence withheld in a criminal trial can result in a re-hearing of the case. In this case, Brady was convicted for murder, and the prosecutor failed to tell a jury that another defendant, who had committed the murder with Brady, had already confessed to the killing. The court stated that the jury needed to hear that evidence because it could assist them in their decision regarding Brady. From then on, any exculpatory evidence the prosecutor or law enforcement has is called Brady material, the requirement to turn Brady material over to the defense is called the Brady rule.

Any evidence from a crime scene is subject to the Brady rule.

But what other kind of evidence is exculpatory? The law says ‘any evidence’ that tends to show innocence of the defendant is included. This can include crime scene evidence, witness testimony, DNA results, and medical records.

…The Supreme Court said that without the rule, the defendant’s due process rights would be violated. Due process comes from the 5th and 14th Amendments to the Constitution, and means that before the government can take away your liberty, it must first give the person the rights and process due to him or her under the Constitution. If the government has evidence that says you might be innocent, it would violate the fairness and impartiality of the trial process by just ignoring it and not letting the jury see it.

The concept of exculpatory evidence is going to be in the spotlight as the case against General Michael Flynn moves forward.

Yesterday John Solomon reported the following at The Hill:

For nearly two years now, the intelligence community has kept secret evidence in the Russia collusion case that directly undercuts the portrayal of retired Army general and former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn as a Russian stooge.

That silence was maintained even when former acting Attorney General Sally Yates publicly claimed Flynn was possibly “compromised” by Moscow.

And when a Democratic senator, Al Franken of Minnesota, suggested the former Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) chief posed a “danger to this republic.”

And even when some media outlets opined about whether Flynn’s contacts with Russia were treasonous. 

Yes, the Pentagon did give a classified briefing to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) in May 2017, but then it declined the senator’s impassioned plea three months later to make some of that briefing information public.

“It appears the public release of this information would not pose any ongoing risk to national security. Moreover, the declassification would be in the public interest, and is in the interest of fairness to Lt. Gen. Flynn,” Grassley wrote in August 2017.

Please follow the link to the article at The Hill to see the details, but the bottom line here is simple.

The article explains:

Rather than a diplomatic embarrassment bordering on treason, Flynn’s conduct at the RT (Russia Today) event provided some modest benefit to the U.S. intelligence community, something that many former military and intelligence officers continue to offer their country after retirement when they keep security clearances.

It’s important to wind back many months to where the Russia collusion narrative started and the media frenzy–driven suggestion that Flynn may have been on a mission to compromise America’s security and endanger this great republic when he visited Moscow.

Would the central character in a Russian election hijack plot actually self-disclose his trip in advance? And then sit through a briefing on how to avoid being compromised by his foreign hosts? And then come back to America and be debriefed by U.S. intelligence officers about who and what he saw?

And would a prosecutor recommend little or no prison time for a former general if that former military leader truly had compromised national security?

Highly unlikely.

It really is time for the deep state to stop its attack on President Trump and those who have supported him. Unfortunately, now that the Democrats control the House of Representatives, we can expect to see more taxpayer dollars spent on trying to undo an election they didn’t like.