Update: The original 302 in the Flynn case –- the one that was not delivered to Judge Emmet Sullivan by his Friday 3 p.m. deadline –- reportedly emerged on Monday. So it does exist!
CBS News published a story saying that Judge Sullivan has demanded that the 302 of Flynn’s FBI interview (with redactions) be made public. It’s not clear from their story whether he was referring to these original notes or the 302 dated almost seven months later.
But FOX News reported that the original 302 was handed over to Judge Sullivan on Monday, after a discussion with the judge about whether or not the redactions it contained were appropriate. Sullivan agreed that they were. Maybe we’ll get to see it.
This contemporaneous version reportedly says that when the FBI officials asked him if he if he had told the Russian ambassador not to escalate the diplomatic conflict over sanctions with the U.S., he answered, “Not really.” According to the notes, Flynn added, “I don’t remember.”
Flynn has been dragged through the judicial mud over THAT?
More analysis coming. In the meantime, there’s an excellent summary at the link:
At this writing, the James Comey hearing has just wrapped up, and, of course, Comey followed it with his own little news conference with reporters out in the hall.
According to FOX News’ Catherine Herridge, in Monday’s hearing he accused Republicans of being focused on two things that were “old news.”
“So, another day of Hillary Clinton’s emails and the Steele dossier,” he said with a fleeting smile. “This while the President of the United States is lying about the FBI, attacking the FBI, and attacking the rule of law in this country. How does that make any sense at all? Republicans used to understand that the actions of a President matter, the words of a President matter, the rule of law matters, and the truth matters.”
Herridge asked Comey if he personally was in any way responsible for the hit the reputation of the FBI has taken over the past year. To that he (unsurprisingly) said, “No. The FBI’s reputation has taken a big hit because the President of the United States, with his acolytes, has lied about it constantly, and in the face of those lies, a whole lot of good people who watch your network believe that nonsense. That’s a tragedy; that will be undone eventually. But that damage has nothing to do with me.”
Really? This from the guy who lied big-time, violated DOJ/FBI protocol repeatedly and leaked confidential notes to someone he knew would get it to the New York Times, with the goal of having a special counsel appointed to investigate the President. (And, by the way, casually saying one “hopes” they can go easy on Gen. Flynn because he’s a “good guy” is NOT obstruction of justice, as Comey seems to have convinced himself.) Comey seems to think he’s the most Ethical Being in existence and will never allow himself to see, let alone acknowledge, where he has fallen short.
He also reportedly maintained in the hearing that his handling of Flynn’s interrogation was perfectly in keeping with the guidelines as laid out in the FBI manual. Just a week ago, he said that his way of setting it up did not follow protocol and that in another administration, he wouldn’t have gotten away with it. So which is it?
As I have said before, if anyone is guilty of spewing “nonsense,” it is Comey. And with every one of his attacks on those of us trying to determine what in blazes has been going on at the Bureau, while the Justice Department stonewalls at every turn, he HIMSELF hurts the reputation of the FBI. He hurt it again today with the latest of his smug little lectures. Don’t expect him to ever get that, though.
I’ve tried to bring you the facts as we learn them, along with analysis that made sense rather than making my head explode with misinformation, logical fallacies and the obvious confirmation bias that shapes most mainstream news stories. If the President really worked with Russians to win the 2016 election, we need to know that. If Gen. Flynn knowingly lied to investigators, we need to know that, too, though we also need to know what on earth the investigators were doing there in the first place. There are a whole lot of things we need to know, and Comey is just about the last person (Loretta Lynch, also scheduled to testify this week, is probably THE last person) we are going to learn them from. Most of the lying and covering up I’ve seen in the past couple of years has been coming from Comey’s side of this mess.
A transcript of Comey’s hearing should be available sometime in the next 24 hours.
While Comey is saying the handling of Gen. Flynn was by-the-book, his attorneys are now focusing on their client’s claim that the FBI tricked or coerced him into pleading guilty, according to former federal prosecutor Jon Sale. He said on FOX News Monday afternoon that Flynn could have walked away on Tuesday with no jail time if he’d just gone along with the special counsel, but something seems to have clicked and he’s taking the opportunity to address what was done to him.
Perhaps it was what Mueller said in defense of the special counsel, remarking that an experienced official like Flynn “should have known” not to “lie.” Perhaps it was the revelation that the original 302 from Flynn’s interview seems to have mysteriously disappeared (see link below). Or it was the realization that Judge Emmet Sullivan, after presiding in the Sen. Ted Stevens case with its serious prosecutorial misconduct, will be open to this argument.
Whatever it was, changing tactics a day before sentencing puts him at risk, because, as Sale explains it, under the sentencing guidelines (which would bring him 0-6 months in prison), he’s supposed to comply with “acceptance of responsibility.” If he backs away from that, it changes everything.
Here’s some food for thought for Rep. Nancy Pelosi as the second coming of her Speakership looms closer and she falls under heavy pressure from her far-left colleagues to impeach President Trump for any charge they can find, make up or exaggerate: even CNN has been forced to admit that most Americans don’t want President Trump impeached, and the number who do is falling, not rising.
In the latest CNN poll (and the fact that they even continue taking this poll suggests that they desperately want to keep this idea alive), only 43% of Americans still want Trump impeached, down from 47% in September. Granted, that’s still a ridiculously high number, but then, a ridiculous number of people have been screaming ridiculously for impeachment since the minute Trump was declared the winner. Many of them seem to think it would amount to a reversal of Hillary’s loss instead of what it would really result in: President Mike Pence.
Of course, the CNN poll results are driven by a deep, seemingly permanent split on Trump between Republicans and Democrats. But another interesting aspect lies in where the drop has come in support for impeachment that's causing the poll numbers to move. We’re told that Independents, young Americans and racial minorities are all adamantly anti-Trump. Yet since September, the percentage of Independents backing impeachment has dropped from 48 to 36%, among young voters it’s down from 53 to 45%, and among minorities, it’s down from 66 to 50%.
Having lived through the Clinton impeachment, Rep. Pelosi surely knows that the best way to drive Trump’s numbers up and her own party’s down would be a futile, distracting, blatantly partisan impeachment vote. But would knowing it would be counter-productive, harmful to America and doomed to fail be enough to persuade Congressional Democrats to stop acting like children demanding candy before they stop having a tantrum? Ironically, Nancy Pelosi might find herself having to take on the role not only of Speaker but also of “Only Adult in the Room.” I have a feeling that’s one reason why so many of her younger, “progressive” colleagues don’t want to vote for her: they have never had proper adult supervision and, having gotten their first taste of government power, they sure don’t want to start now.
Latest tally of what the Muller investigation has cost taxpayers. I wonder if it will keep going on until it reaches $5 billion? I think I’d rather have a border wall. If this were based on which group of federal authorities had caught more actual criminals, Mueller’s team or ICE, it would be no contest.
Unsurprising News the Media Would Love To Bury: Highly-touted “first transgender Miss Universe Pageant contestant” fails to win Miss Universe crown. Not even close.
According to a new report by FIRE (the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education), 90% of public and private higher education institutions in the U.S. restrict the free speech rights of their faculty and students. The study examined 362 four-year public institutions and 104 prestigious private institutions, and found that nine out of ten schools that should be encouraging open debate of ideas instead impose a variety of limits, including restrictions and punishments on speech, freedom of association, due process, legal equality, religious liberty and sanctity of conscience. The report also ranks the schools by levels of onerousness.
Click the link to read more and, most importantly if you have teenagers, to read the full report and find out which universities are in that rare 10% that still remember what a university is supposed to be.
Here’s something you don’t often see: a conservative news site salutes Sam Harris, a very liberal atheist, for bravely taking a stand for free speech for everyone and demonstrating the vast and ever-growing gap between traditional liberals and today’s totalitarian leftists.