Logan Act

February 8, 2017 – A DOJ memo clears General Flynn of Logan Act violations but it is never turned over as exculpatory evidence

Today Michael Flynn and his attorney Sidney Powell returned to federal court for a status hearing before Judge Emmet Sullivan.  Generally status hearings are uneventful; however, this hearing falls on the heels of an explosive filing by Flynn’s defense outlining allegations of serious prosecutorial misconduct; and claims the DOJ is withholding Brady material.

(…) “A DOJ memo exists dated February 8, 2017, that clears General Flynn of the Logan Act violation he was accused of violating. (Remember, the “Logan Act” was said by Sally Yates to be a big part of the reason for the FBI to interview Flynn.)

Then Ms. [Sidney] Powell went on to discuss the issues surrounding the missing notes from FBI Agent Joseph Pientka, and the original FD-302 written by Pientka.  The DOJ says they don’t have it.

Judge Sullivan asked Ms. Powell if she was going to withdraw the guilty plea based on the direction she was going.  Ms. Powell said no, and pointed to the possibility of dismissal based on wrongful prosecution; and a case that would never have been brought if all the evidence was visible.

(Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 9/10/2019)

December 29, 2016 – The Intel community releases the Joint Analysis Report claiming Russia hacked the DNC, then Obama imposes sanctions

“Prior to March 9th, 2016, the political surveillance and spy operations of the Obama administration were using the FBI and NSA database to track/monitor their opposition. However, once the NSA compliance officer began initiating an internal review of who was accessing the system, the CIA and FBI moved to create ex post facto justification for their endeavors. [Full Backstory]

After the November 8th, 2016, election everyone within the Obama network associated with the Trump surveillance operation was at risk. This is the impetus for the “Muh Russia” collusion- conspiracy narrative that was used as a mitigating shield. Within a few days after the election ODNI James Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan began pushing the Russia election interference narrative in the media.

By mid-December 2016 the Obama administration was deploying a full-court-press using their media allies to promote the Russia conspiracy.  However, despite their public proclamations Clapper and Brennan were refusing to give any specifics to congress.

(Credit: Conservative Treehouse)

The hard narrative was that Russia interfered. That was the specific push from within the Obama intelligence apparatus writ large.  All IC officials, sans Mike Rogers (NSA), had a self-interest in pushing this narrative; after all, it was the defensive mechanism to justify their illegal spying operation throughout 2016.  This was their insurance policy.

The media was doing their part; and using the information leaked to them by those who were part of the 2016 operation(s) began battering the Trump transition team every hour of every day with questions about the Russia hacking narrative; thereby fertilizing the seeds of a collusion conspiracy.

On December 29, 2016, the IC produced, and rushed to completion, a ridiculous document to support the false-premise.  This was called the Joint Analysis Report which claimed to outline the details of Russia’s involvement hacking into targeted political data base or computer systems during the election.  We were introduced to “Grizzley Steepe” and a goofy claim of Russian hackers.

On the same day (12/29/16) President Obama announced a series of sanctions against Russians who were located in Maryland.  This was Obama’s carefully constructed response to provide additional validity to the Joint Analysis Report.  After fueling the Russia conspiracy for several weeks the Obama administration knew this action would initiate a response from both Russia and the incoming Trump administration.

On the day the JAR was released and Obama made the announcement, President-elect Donald Trump and some of his key members were in Mar-a-Lago, Florida.  Incoming National Security Adviser Mike Flynn was on vacation in the Dominican Republic. As expected the Obama action spurred calls between Russian emissary Kislyak and Flynn.

The Obama IC were monitoring Kislyak communications and waiting for the contact.  Additionally, it is suspected Flynn may have been under a FISA surveillance warrant which seems confirmed by the Weissmann/Mueller report. The FBI intercepted, recorded, and later transcribed the conversation.

The media continued to follow the lead from the Obama White House and Intelligence Community (writ large) fueling a narrative that any contact with the Russians was proof of collusion of some sort.   In addition, the communications team of the White House, DOJ, FBI and aggregate IC began pushing a narrative surrounding the obscure Logan Act.

The ridiculous Logan Act promotion was targeted to infer that any action taken by the Trump campaign prior to taking office was interference with the political Obama Russia action, and would be evidence of collusion. That was the plan.  DOJ Deputy AG Sally Yates was in charge of pushing the Logan Act narrative to the media.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 4/28/2016)

December 29, 2016 – March 30, 2017: A timeline of General Michael Flynn events

General Michael Flynn (Credit: Congressional Quarterly/Roll Call)

December 29 2016General Michael Flynn speaks to the Russian Ambassador. The conversation takes place the same day that outgoing President Barack Obama imposes sanctions against Russia for suspected hacking of Democrats’ emails during the election.

The conversation is recorded by intelligence agencies and later reviewed by the FBI. Recording or releasing Americans’ conversations is prohibited without written approval from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA). The existence of recorded conversations and the contents of the conversation are barred from public release by classification rules and privacy laws.

December 29 2016 – Obama announces sanctions on Russia.

December 30 2016 – Russian leader Vladimir Putin addresses Obama’s sanctions by not expelling any U.S. officials. Putin’s lack of retaliatory action prompts some to later conclude that Flynn relayed a message regarding the sanctions in his December 29th conversation with the Russian Ambassador.

January 3 2017 – Loretta Lynch signs Section 2.3 of Executive Order 12333 – Procedures for the Availability or Dissemination of Raw Signals Intelligence Information by the NSA – into effect. This order is significant. As I note in, The Suspicious Timing of Obama’s NSA Data-Sharing Order:

Prior to the formal signing of Section 2.3 it appears that there existed more latitude within the White House in regards to collection of information on the Trump Campaign. However, once signed into effect, Section 2.3 granted broad latitude in regards to inter-agency sharing of information. By the time the new order was signed, the information was already in the Obama White House’s possession.

The new order, had it been implemented earlier, might have restricted White House access to information regarding the Trump Team. Once signed, it granted broad latitude to inter-agency sharing of information already held.

Importantly, the transcript of Flynn’s call was already in the possession of the Obama White House.

January 4 2017Mike Flynn informs transition White House Counsel Don McGahn that he is under federal investigation for work as a paid lobbyist to Turkey.

Jan 12 2017 –  Mike Flynn’s Dec 29 2016 call is leaked to Washington Post. The article portrays Flynn as undermining Obama’s Russian sanctions.

Jan 15 2017 – VP Pence appears on Face the nation to defend Flynn’s calls – five days before the inauguration of President Trump.

January 19 2017 – The New York Times reports, on the eve of Inauguration Day, that several agencies — the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and the Treasury Department are monitoring several associates of the Trump campaign suspected of Russian ties.

January 19 2017 – Obama’s top intelligence and law-enforcement deputies meet to talk about Flynn’s conversation with Kislyak, according to a Feb 13 article in the Washington Post.

January 20 2017 – Inauguration.

January 23 2017Acting Attorney General Sally Yates increases pressure on FBI Director Comey regarding Mike Flynn – telling Comey that Flynn could be vulnerable to blackmail.

January 23 2017 – The Washington Post reports that the FBI intercepted a conversation in late December 2016 between Michael Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The intercept is supposedly part of routine spying on the ambassador.

January 23 2017 – The FBI reports nothing unlawful in content of Flynn call. Having listened to the tapes, the FBI clears General Michael Flynn of any wrongdoing in his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Flynn did not violate the Logan Act by attempting to influence US foreign policy.

January 24 2017 – Mike Flynn is interviewed at the White House by the FBI. It is during this interview that Flynn supposedly lies to the FBI – despite having his calls already cleared by the FBI. The surprise – and unscheduled – interview is conducted by Peter Strzok.

January 25 2017 –  The Department of Justice receives a detailed briefing on Flynn from the FBI.

January 26 2017 – Yates contacts White House Counsel McGahn who agrees to meet with Yates the same day.

January 26 2017 – Sally Yates meets with McGahn. She also brings Mary McCord – Acting Assistant Attorney General – and Head of the DOJ’s National Security Division.

Yates later testifies the meeting surrounds General Flynn’s phone calls and his FBI Interview. She also testifies that Flynn’s call and subsequent interview “was a topic of a whole lot of discussion in DOJ and with other members of the intel community.”

January 27 2017 – McGahn calls Yates and asks if she can come back to his office.

January 27 2017 – Yates returns to the White House without McCord. McGahn asks to examine the FBI’s evidence on Flynn. Yates says she will respond by Monday.

To my knowledge, Yates fails to provide McGahn with the FBI’s evidence on Flynn.

A timeline of these multi-day events can be found here. The timeline comes from Yates’s full testimony which can be viewed here. Yates’s testimony specific to Mike Flynn can be seen here.

Sally Yates became Acting Attorney General on January 20, 2017, after Loretta Lynch left office upon President Trump’s inauguration. On January 30, 2017, President Trump fired Yates for refusing to enforce the Travel Ban.

January 27 2017 – (evening) President Trump has dinner with FBI Director James Comey. President Trump asks Director Comey if he is under investigation, BUT President Trump does not ask about the Flynn investigation at this meeting.

January 30 2017President Trump fires Acting Attorney General Sally Yates for refusing to enforce the Travel Ban.

February 2 2017 – Details of conversations between President Trump, the Australian Prime Minister, and the Mexican President are leaked – portraying the calls as contentious. Both Australia and Mexico denied the calls were contentious.

February 8 2017 – In an interview with the Washington Post, Michael Flynn denies having discussed sanctions with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

February 8 2017Jeff Sessions is confirmed as Attorney General.

February 9 2017 – The New York Times and the Washington Post publish articles claiming that General Michael Flynn discussed sanctions with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in December of 2016.

The articles are confusing and some details contradictory.

February 13 2017 – The Washington Post reports that Acting Attorney General Sally Yates warned the White House in January that General Michael Flynn may be vulnerable to Russian blackmail, due to his conversations with Ambassador Kislyak.

February 13 2017 – Mike Flynn resigns as National Security Advisor after it was revealed he had misled Vice President Mike Pence about phone conversations he had with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States.

February 14 2017 – The New York Times reports that members of the Trump campaign had “repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials” – according to four anonymous sources. The Trump campaign denies the claims – and the Times admits that there is “no evidence” of cooperation or collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians.

February 15 2017 – Former intelligence officer John Schindler, now a journalist, tweets about escalating hostility in the Intelligence Community to Trump’s Presidency.

March 1 2017 – the NYT inadvertently reported on why the Obama Administration wanted a last minute January 3, 2017 rule change that allowed for intra-agency sharing of globally intercepted personal communications. In a piece titled “Obama Administration Rushed to Preserve Intelligence of Russian Hacking“, it was made clear that the Obama Administration was sharing information broadly and at low levels of security classification:

In the Obama administration’s last days, some White House officials scrambled to spread information about Russian efforts to undermine the presidential election — and about possible contacts between associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump and Russians — across the government.

For more on this important detail, see: The Suspicious Timing of Obama’s NSA Data-Sharing Order.

March 30 2017 – Mike Flynn offers to testify in exchange for immunity. He makes the offer to the FBI and the House and Senate intelligence Communities. There are no takers of his offer.

Per Flynn’s lawyer:

General Flynn certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, should the circumstances permit.

The Washington feeding frenzy was stunning at this point in time. The Obama/Clinton Russia-Trump narrative was in full swing.

Fast-forward to today so we can add a further twist to the whole mess:

This was immediately scoffed at – but ask yourself, why would the White House risk making this statement without proof.

Then this video from January 13, 2017, suddenly surfaced:

Flynn knew his calls were being recorded. He engaged in nothing illegal on these calls. Flynn knew he had done nothing illegal.

Flynn had no legal obligation to speak with the FBI.

But he did so anyway.

(Read much more: themarketswork.com, 12/03/2017)

(Reposted with special permission.)