A MUST-READ UPDATE: After the following commentary appeared in yesterday’s Evening Edition, a magnificent op-ed by James A. Gagliano was posted at the WASHINGTON EXAMINER. The headline says it all: “Michael Flynn was railroaded by Comey’s FBI.” Gagliano concludes that Flynn definitely was set up –- as opposed to Hillary, who got special treatment –- and that this absolutely was driven by politics. His piece sums up just about everything we’ve discussed here and notes other serious problems with the FBI’s activities as well, such as Lisa Page’s involvement in re-writing Flynn’s 302 (interview notes) when she wasn’t even present at the interview.
"Careful examination of fresh facts,” he says, “related to Flynn pleading guilty to Title 18 U.S. Code 1001 (lying to a federal agent) provides an eye-popping and clear-cut case of investigative inconsistencies and partisan political bias.”
Oh, and who is James A. Gagliano? He’s someone who knows all about how things are supposed to be done at the FBI, having worked there for 25 years. He’s now an adjunct assistant professor in homeland security and criminal justice at St. John’s University and a member of the board of directors of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund. In addition, he’s a law enforcement analyst for the folks at CNN, who probably won’t be inviting him to any cocktail parties after they’ve read this.
And now, since he's a law enforcement analyst, I just hope he'll tell us what has to happen to put some people behind bars for what they did to an innocent American who served his country for over 30 years.
ORIGINAL COMMENTARY: Recent developments in the Michael Flynn case have led to the release, in just over a week, of a massive amount of “Brady” material that had been withheld literally for years. Flynn attorney Sidney Powell says there's more to come. Believe it or not, there are so many exculpatory documents that, if laid end-to-end, they would reach all the way to...the door of the White House Oval Office.
Figuratively speaking, of course, but I am not kidding. You won’t read about this in very many places, but when we put two and two together, it’s obvious that President Obama HAD to know all about “Crossfire Razor,” as well as the umbrella investigation “Crossfire Hurricane,” and was, in fact, quite aware of the Flynn take-down. It's ridiculous to conclude otherwise.
We already knew he had some pretty strong reasons for wanting Flynn out. We knew he didn’t appreciate Flynn’s vocal opposition to his Iran nuclear agreement and hated the thought that Flynn would help Trump dismantle it. Flynn thought it was a terrible deal and had not kept his opinion to himself. The Iran deal and Obamacare were supposed to be the twin stars in Obama’s Legacy Crown. Obama saw Flynn as a major threat.
We also knew that the intelligence community didn’t appreciate Flynn’s plan to streamline the bureaucracy and give the military greater independence in the field, without relying on the CIA, which he thought just slowed them down on the battlefield.
And we knew that military officials didn’t appreciate Flynn’s desire to get their administration “leaner and meaner.” He was a foe of duplication and waste. He was advocating --- horror of horrors --- audits of the Department of Defense and the Pentagon. (Why, we might have found out what Stefan Halper was really being paid to do and what kind of expense account he had.)
These reasons already seemed like enough for “the swamp” to want to take Flynn down. But Andrew C. McCarthy has just offered another reason, the biggest one yet, a reason so obvious to me now that if it were a snake, it would’ve bitten me. Come to think of it, the scenario he describes is full of snakes.
As a preface, let me say that McCarthy is convinced the sneaky “ambush” interview of Flynn had not been long in the works. Emails from January 21 and 22 (Trump was sworn in on January 20) show that they didn’t start out with the surprise perjury trap plan. They needed a way to set Flynn up without giving the White House any notice about the meeting, and this was really the only alternative they had. As Bill Priestap said in his notes, get him to admit to a violation (of the Logan Act??), or get him to lie, so they can prosecute or see him fired. But the interview appears to have been sort of a last-ditch idea, because with Trump about to take office, THEY HAD TO GET RID OF FLYNN RIGHT AWAY.
And the interview had to just come out of nowhere. If they had approached the White House with a request to interview Flynn, the way they were supposed to, the White House could have turned them down. That’s why Comey was so stealthy about it –- he didn’t even officially inform acting Attorney General Sally Yates, because then she would have been obligated to alert White House attorney Don McGahn. This interview was their silver bullet against Flynn, and they HAD to make it count.
So, to the point: why was it so critical that they get Flynn out immediately? It goes much further than the reasons stated above. Simple: it was so the phony “Trump/Russia” investigation would be able to continue into Trump’s presidency. (There are varying opinions regarding what constitutes “treason,” but this sure fits mine.) Flynn was one of Trump’s few allies in his new administration, and, being an experienced member of the intel community himself, he would have found out about the bogus investigation quickly and put a stop to it.
When Comey gave that self-satisfied interview about sending “a couple of guys over,” he made it sound as if, hey, he just did it because of the chaos in the new administration and because he could get away with it. That's not the truth. He did it because they HAD to get this session with Flynn to trap him right away, and they couldn’t risk the Trump White House saying no, or saying maybe in a few weeks, or saying okay but they’d send a lawyer or two to sit in.
As McCarthy says, “Michael Flynn was not the objective. He was the obstacle.” The FBI’s real objective was, he says, “first formed in collaboration with Obama administration officials. Recall the January 5 Oval Office meeting to brief President Obama on Russian “meddling” in the 2016 election. Comey, Brennan, Clapper and Mike Rogers were there to brief the group. The guest list included President Obama, Vice President Biden, national security adviser (and Flynn’s predecessor) Susan Rice, and acting Attorney General Sally Yates.
To put this meeting into perspective, here’s what McCarthy wrote about it in February of 2018.
Importantly, the Trump Tower meeting that ended with a briefing for Trump from Comey about salacious stories in the Steele “dossier” would take place the following day. By that time, the original FISA warrant to spy on the Trump campaign was set to expire in a couple of weeks, just as Trump was taking office. So the Obama administration would have to figure out how to renew that while Obama was still in. The officials at the January Oval Office meeting needed to keep an investigation going on someone who was about to be sworn in as President.
We all know the January 20 Susan Rice email to herself that says Obama wanted everything done “by the book.” But there’s more of even greater significance that isn’t as widely quoted, and it speaks to their need to keep a GREAT BIG SECRET from the incoming President: “President Obama says he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia.” And she closes with Obama’s instruction to Comey to inform him “if anything changes in the next few weeks that should affect how we share classified information with the incoming team.”
Such as, perhaps, an incoming national security adviser who was caught lying about conversations with Russian officials? There you go, the perfect excuse not to share classified information! In one move, they’d get rid of Flynn before he could find out anything AND justify keeping the new President in the dark about the ongoing investigation. At Obama’s direction.
Anyway, the picture is clear now. If you don’t know what a “soft coup” looks like, I’d say it looks exactly like the picture painted by McCarthy after he’s connected all the dots.