Catherine Herridge has a twitter thread in which she provides images of two internal FBI email exchanges early in the workday of January 4, 2017. Those email exchanges involve Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and James A. Baker. First, here is an image of the emails:
The first email is from Lisa Page to James Baker, and is captioned: “code section at question.” I wonder whether Page means “code section IN question”? The entire text of the email is simply the United States Code citation to the Logan Act: “18 USC 953”.
What’s going on here?
It looks like the day before Comey’s big Oval Office meeting–which took place on January 5, 2017–the lawyers for the top two officials at the FBI were scrambling to get a handle on the Logan Act. The reason I say they were “scrambling to get a handle on the Logan Act” will be apparent when we look at the second email–Strzok’s.
(…) The next step that we see, however, is a lengthier email from Strzok to Page just a few minutes later, at 09:52:37. It has no caption, but it’s all about the Logan Act. That must mean that Page, as soon as she had emailed Baker, immediately contacted Strzok (text? phone?) to tell him what was up.
In less than ten minutes Strzok emails Page providing the text of the Logan Act as well as a precis of an article on the statute gleaned from the Congressional Research Service (CRS). Strzok does two things:
1) He points out that nothing in CRS suggests that the Logan Act could apply to an incoming administration, and
2) He quotes a passage from CRS which points out all the constitutional problems with the Logan Act. Among other things, CRS correctly notes that no one has ever actually been prosecuted under the Logan Act–not just never convicted, but never prosecuted. The very few attempts were dropped before things ever got to a trial–wiser heads having prevailed.
We presume, therefore that James Baker did his homework and came to the same conclusions that Strzok pointed out as emerging from the CRS presentation: That the Logan Act certainly doesn’t apply to an incoming administration and may not apply to anyone, due to its well known constitutional infirmities. To proceed against Flynn on the basis of the Logan Act would be a very risky undertaking, both legally and politically. Thus when Obama takes Comey and Sally Yates aside the next day, at the Oval Office meeting, and the topic of the Logan Act is raised, Comey–who, whatever else you may say about him is not a stupid lawyer–responds forthrightly that the Flynn – Kislyak calls “appear legit.”
If Comey had been smarter politically he would have said to himself, Whoa, I cannot allow myself to get involved in a plot with knuckleheads raising a Logan Act issue! But he went ahead when he saw that’s what Obama and the Deep State–probably including several GOP senators–clearly wanted. He tried, in effect, to finesse the matter by pretending that the contact with Flynn was pure routine, while hoping to find some false statement in Flynn’s answers that could somehow be put to use.” (Read more: meaninginhistory.blogspot 6/27/2020) (Archive)