D.C. District Judge Emmet Sullivan has been in no hurry to dispense with the Michael Flynn case, and I’m sorry to report it’s not over yet.
Observers thought he might go ahead and dismiss the case early this week, but it was not to be. Tuesday evening, he “indefinitely postponed” any ruling. It’s not enough for him that the Department of Justice has had it reviewed by an outside U.S. attorney and recommended dropping it; Sullivan is inviting OUTSIDE GROUPS, no doubt with their own political agendas, to file amicus (“friend of the court”) briefs, to let them all come forward and make a case against Flynn’s exoneration.
That doesn’t sound like justice to me –- just the opposite. Although conservative groups may also file briefs, this ruling by Judge Sullivan will turn the case into a total political circus. The left will organize like crazy to deluge the court with condemnations of Flynn. (“He lied! He pleaded guilty!”) That is not how decisions of guilt or innocence should be made. Flynn should never have been questioned by the FBI in the first place, as investigators had found nothing, and after four years of this atrocity, Flynn deserves much better. I hate to say it, but he deserves a better JUDGE. Investigative reporter Sean Davis agrees.
Here’s the full story at FOX NEWS, updated to say that an ethics complaint is being filed against Judge Sullivan by independent journalist Michael Cernovich, because the judge has previously refused to let groups file pro-Flynn amicus briefs. Cernovich says the judge is “acting as a politician, not a judge.” I’ll second that motion.
In other (better) Flynn news, we know as of Tuesday evening at least part of what was in the mysterious satchel that acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell hand-delivered to the Justice Department last week. As Ed Henry reported on FOX NEWS, the contents were one of several batches being declassified and brought over and may explain the pre-emptive strikes in recent days by President Obama and former intel officials. The bag contains a list of the former Obama administration officials who targeted Flynn and unmasked him in classified transcripts of recorded conversations, including those with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
This could be illegal, and the leak of his name to the Washington Post was undeniably illegal. Flynn’s name had been redacted because, as an American citizen, he has certain legal rights to privacy. (I’ll wait while you fall to the floor, helpless with laughter.)
Seriously, leaking unmasked information and/or using it for political gain is against federal law. Well, unless Obama –- or James Comey, on behalf of Obama –- told you to do it. I’m only half kidding.
Grenell has declassified the names of those who unmasked Flynn’s identity between Election Day 2016 and Inauguration Day 2017. This was an intense period for the “Trump/Russia” investigators, especially January; we’ve all seen the timeline. In particular, Obama held an Oval Office confab on January 5 and afterwards discussed the Flynn recordings with Comey and Sally Yates.
Attorney General Bill Barr has recommended dropping the case against Flynn, and U.S. Attorney John Durham is reportedly looking at the unmasking and leaking to see if prosecutions are warranted. Those who want the names of the unmaskers will have to wait a while; according to Sarah Carter, they will be made public, but Grenell and Barr will “work through this and decide who is best to release the names.”
Of course, the HUGE question is this: how did Obama come to be so very well informed of the Flynn surveillance and his call with Kislyak? By January 5, he knew all about it, to Yates’ great surprise. Maybe we’ll know soon; sources tell Ed Henry that Grenell has “four or five” other batches of intel coming, and that “it could get sticky for [former CIA Director] John Brennan in particular.”
Apparently Brennan knew something that contradicted the chosen narrative that Russia wanted to help Trump win. It was that Russia actually wanted HILLARY to win, because she was “a known quantity” and “more malleable” than a wild-card businessman like Trump.
ASIDE: Isn’t this what we’ve been saying all along? Given all we know, it defies logic to say Russia backed Donald Trump, as the fictional Steele “dossier” claimed. Good heavens, look at what Hillary did for them –- how can anyone be surprised that Putin wanted her in the White House after she approved the deal that led to their owning 20 percent of America’s uranium supply? She might as well have been their lobbyist. Plus, there's no telling what they might have had on her to use as blackmail. No, Russia was “WITH HER."
Recall that our nation’s 17 (17!) intel agencies put together an “Intelligence Community Assessment” that concluded Russia had tried to damage Hillary and help Trump win in 2016. Evidence that Brennan suppressed intel saying Russia wanted Hillary is reportedly part of what Grenell is in the process of sending over. Even though Brennan had to be aware of the political origins of the “dossier,” he pushed hard for it to be included in the assessment, and he got his way, at least partly; a “dossier” summary was included.
So far, this all seems like old news to us –- and likely to you, too –- as we’ve followed investigative reporters who had excellent sources and were reporting on this for years, mostly into a vacuum. The important thing now is that we’re finally seeing evidence, not just what “sources say.” It’s all true. The reporters who’ve been worthy of our attention all along were not just way out ahead of the pack, but also right. Unlike the “journalists” so wedded to their anti-Trump narrative that they ignore anything that challenges it, we want most of all to be correct. If we’re not, we’ll say so. But so far, we are. Correct, that is.
Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Lindsay Graham has been saying for months that he would seek testimony from Obama officials about the Russia investigation, issuing subpoenas if necessary. He wants to hear specifically about that January 5 meeting and the unmasking. As he told Sean Hannity Tuesday night, he wants to know if unmasking was “used as a political weapon.” He also wants to know “why Sally Yates didn’t know about the Flynn investigation but President Obama did.” And he wants Grenell to go ahead and release the names of the unmaskers.
The fact that the national security adviser for an incoming President was surveilled by the outgoing administration –- possibly the outgoing President –- is truly stunning. “If I ever find that the intelligence community is unmasking my phone calls to foreign leaders where I discuss foreign policy as a United States senator, heads will roll,” Graham said.
But the Senate has no prosecutorial power; that has to come from the Justice Department. The Senate can have hearings if they want to, but justice is in the hands of Durham and Barr, who must know this is the worst scandal in American government, possibly ever.