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Mueller’s Quest for The Donald: Making sense of the Michael Flynn plea

Mueller’s Quest for The Donald: Making sense of the Michael Flynn plea

Mueller wants The Donald more than anything Mueller ever has wanted before in his prosecutorial and law enforcement career.

Today was another spectacular speculative day on Twitter and in the media due to Michael Flynn’s guilty plea to one count of lying to the FBI regarding Flynn’s communications with the Russian Ambassador in late December 2016.

A somewhat moribund Russia-collusion conspiracy community sprang back to life instantaneously.The treason-choir found its voice again.

Pundits speculated endlessly about what it all means — in a distinctly binary manner: Trump is a gonner, or it’s a big nothing burger.

The Logan Act, that never-enforced hobgoblin of small minds, was trending.

So what to make of the latest feeding frenzy?

Here’s my take:

1. The only thing of which I am certain is that Mueller wants Donald Trump to take a perp walk, or at least be impeached based on the findings of Mueller’s investigation. Mueller wants it more than Mueller has ever wanted anything before in his law enforcement and prosecutorial life. And he will stop at nothing to get The Donald. Sure, he’ll charge or convict Manafort and Flynn, and anyone else he can find, but they are just stepping stones.

2. The less Mueller has on The Donald, the harder he will squeeze people lower down on the food chain. Mueller didn’t assemble a team almost the size of the entire US Attorney’s Office for the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations in order to send Mike Flynn to a federal leisure camp for a few months.

3. If Mueller can’t perp walk The Donald or get him impeached, Mueller will settle for The Donald’s family members. Don, Jr. and Jared Kushner would be consolation prizes, but Mueller will take them if he can get them.

4. If all Mueller gets are process crimes and matters unrelated to the pre-election day campaign, he has failed in his quest. Mueller knows that. He may have started with Manafort (pre-Trump campaign) and Flynn (post-Trump campaign) charges, but it can’t end there, or Mueller will go down as a failure. Remember, he’s supposed to be investigating Russian interference in the election, not the political calculations of the Trump transition team as to how best to prepare for the imminent assumption of the presidency.

5. We don’t know what we don’t know about what it means. Equally “rational” arguments could be made that the Flynn plea is (a) a big nothing burger because it’s post-campaign, and lying about something that itself wasn’t illegal, or (b) a big f-ing deal because Flynn would not be offered such a sweet plea unless he gave up the goods.

6. You want me to speculate like everyone else? Is that what you really want? Okay, here goes: Mueller doesn’t have the goods on The Donald so far. And it’s frustrating him and his team. He’ll keep up with the process crimes and the non-campaign related crimes, so that when he comes up short he has something to show for what likely will be many tens of millions of dollars spend in pursuit of The Donald.

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Comments

casualobserver | December 1, 2017 at 8:41 pm

Without any apparent oversight or limits on scope, staff, money, or time I suspect one alternative goal is to keep this alive through at least 2 election cycles. Keeping the fog alive and ability for opposition to suggest wrongdoing for years may help erode/dilute GOP power. Nothing close to defanging the big dog. But certainly hurts his ability to enact policy. Not that the party is very helpful at this point, though.

A few things:
> The Logan Act – Nobody has been prosecuted for violating this, ever.

> Flyn’s communication with the Russian Ambassador – It’s his job, after all. Or at least for the few months he had it.

> Additional charges – One thing I like about DJT is he at least *tries* to avoid breaking the law, as opposed to Hillary who was more concerned about keeping said lawbreaking from coming to light. Trump’s out of a real estate background. He knows breaking a law intentionally can’t be hidden forever. You have lawyers to tell you what *not* to do, not how to get away with it. (and as a side-benefit, if the lawyer says “Don’t do this” and you order your people “Don’t do this” you have a paper trail.)

    AmandaFitz in reply to georgfelis. | December 2, 2017 at 11:25 am

    Read Sidney Powell’s book, “Licensed to Lie” about how Mueller and Comey’s FBI destroyed individuals and companies.

    Obviously, as the Democrats well know, if questioned by the FBI, the ONLY speech a target should make are either. “I do not recall” (Hillary) or “I invoke my Fifth Amendment rights…” (Lois Lerner). Anything else opens you up to a process crime, even if it’s just a problem of timelines.

    Never forget what they did to Senator Stephens- a travesty and a tragedy!

This is the problem with the special prosecutor or investigator or whatever. Other then the AG firing him, and all the political crap that follows, there is no control over him.

It would be nice if the supremes could issue an injunction against him or rule against the witch hunt. Like how the “John Doe” horror was ended in Wisconsin by their state supremes.

I’m seeing another factor. Postulate that Mueller isn’t totally stupid. He must realize that this whole Russian Collusion thing is a fake.

Hillary and the DNC don’t want to admit that the horrible material WikiLeaks publicized were leaked by a Dem staffer who, against all odds, retained some shreds of integrity, or were discovered by everyday hackers who found Podesta’s primitive ideas of password security and Hillary’s ridiculous secret server to be no challenge to crack. No, it must have been done by a much more capable opponent, even a rival and enemy of the US. How about those Pakistani con-men Debbie W-S hired? No, not so good, they’re Muslims and therefore untouchable. Hey, how about the Russians?!

Damn, that sounds good. But not good enough to win an election; they have to tie Trump to it somehow. So, they postulate that he’s somehow part of a Russian plot. Putin’s Puppet! A little alliteration can’t hurt, especially when you have nothing else. No evidence or even logic is needed; hell, they’re only dealing with voters, and the Dems have been successfully conning voters for decades.

Of course when you do apply a little logic, or look for a shred of evidence, that fantasy fades. And by now, Mueller must know this.

So what, seriously, does he think he’s going to get? Manufacturing evidence is time-consuming and risky. Is this a “show investigation” (a sort of a poor man’s “show trial”) intended to frighten off anyone who might cooperate with the President in pursuit of his policies? That seems unlikely; all that’s necessary to avoid the danger completely is to be certain to have nothing to do with any Russians, and that shouldn’t be too much of a limitation. Harassing Trump’s relatives? To what end? Pardons would limit the damage, and there’d be no political stigma of consequence as none of them are career politicians.

The other possibility is that Mueller is a True Believer. That would explain things better, but it still strikes me as unlikely. A True Believer has to be seriously dumb, or seriously nuts, and I’m not convinced that Mueller is either.

A few thoughts and observations:

1. Mueller may want to extend this out a bit longer, in order to push off the risk that someday he and Comey will be subject to an investigation re their collusion/obstruction of justice with Hillary, Bill, Holder, Lynch and the Ruskies.Kinda like how Matt Lauer was so hard on Bill O’Reilly — keep the focus off the guilty.

2. I doubt that Flynn will be a very vigorous witness against Jared, Don Jr. and, if it comes to pass, Trump.

3. If they do succeed in pushing Donald out on an impeachment, (1) Pence could be President for 10 years if they don’t get Donald out before the 2019 (very unlikely).

4. If Trump is not impeached by the House and/or removed by the Senate, the good news is that, due to the early appointment of a special prosecutor, the Administration is much less likely to be caught up in a real scandal — they’ll be more cautious.

    Edward in reply to Tolstoy. | December 4, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    I know it was just a slip, but the Impeachment/Conviction process isn’t “and/or”, it must be Articles of Impeachment by the House and Conviction (or not) by the Senate.

One additional thought: What in the world can Trump have ever done that would be more traitorous than what Obama was caught on tape saying to Putin’s second in command when Barry was running for a second term: “Tell Putin that I’ll have more flexibility [re Ukraine, nuclear disarmament, etc.] after the election.” The unspoken qui-pro-quo: I’ll have more flexibility if Putin backs off on his misbehavior long enough, so that i can claim Pax Obama.

    Nothing. No one in government in the history of the United States has done what obama has done – with the complete complicity of the democrat media.

    No Attorney Generals except holder and lynch have ever turned the blind eyes they have to such lawlessness. Now, sadly, AG Swamp Sessions is doing just that.

Serious Question: What do we do if they actually use this crap to remove Trump from office? At one point do we rise up to stop the Democrat/Establishment complex from abusing the legal system in an effort to take the presidency away from the democratically elected official?

This “investigation” has the potential to be one of the most, if not the most, corrupt and tyrannical assertions of power in the history of the United States, if Mueller takes it as far as we think he wants to take it.

We know what is going on. We predicted all these plea deals and process crimes long before they came out. We cannot, as good citizens who support liberty and justice, let this insidious ploy reach its despicable goal.

What do we do?

Is one of the reason why they are fighting so hard to keep Moore from office is that he is a vote against impeachment?

The U.S. Constitution requires a two-thirds majority for conviction. The 2018 elections could be one of the most important elections to break the Uni-party. We need to spring in to action now.

“What do we do?”

We will observe and report. We will write about how the Republic has fallen, we will complain in the comments. All the while remaining civil and cultured.

But we will not take direct action. We will not resort to violence. We will not advocate any kind of illegal insurrection to save America.

Because that would be poor form.

And as we are led to the work camps, I will warn you:

“Don’t make a fuss, we might get in trouble”

What I find interesting (perhaps because I’m in general agreement) is that every comment shares at least one outlook: Few on our side believe in the legitimacy of Mueller’s mission; all suspect him of operating outside the law and in the interest of other ruling factions and not the public interest.

True or false, that’s a fact that’s not going away. It makes the questions posed by Dr Ransom and Fen quite compelling: What to do if Mueller attempts to take out an elected president by serving as lead law whore for coup d’etat.

I’m way too old to play at revolution, but my gut tells me that Mueller is playing by ancien regime rules in country that he no longer gets.

First of all, I do not believe there is any smoking gun evidence which will show ANY Trump/Russia collusion during the election. Why? Because with this much pressure out there to find such evidence, we would at least have some information that such evidence actually exists. And, that we do not have.

Does Mueller really want Trump impeached? Probably. If he can do that. But, it is highly unlikely that he will. That leaves only his mandate, from the Establishment, which is to bring sufficient pressure to bear on Trump and members of his administration to discourage further inquiry into the very real illegalities which members of the Obama administration were involved in. Sessions was supposed to do that, but he is a wink and a nod away from being replaced. So far, the DOJ has identified one, that’s right one, leaker and that was a very low level employee in Atlanta. If Trump fires Sessions, then that firewall is gone. The Comey firewall is already gone.

The purpose of the Mueller operation was never “Get Trump”. The man was a major Presidential candidate and the Democrat government in 2016 knew everything that there was to know about him. If there was anything which could actually harm Trump, and the Establishment really wanted to get rid of him [which it apparently does], it would have happened by now. No, Mueller’s purpose is not to remove Trump but to keep certain criminal activities from being investigated. So, we will see Mueller and Co. continue to pick the low hanging procedural crime fruit from the periphery of the Trump universe to send a credible warning to Trump to back off. This probably will not work with Trump, but we’ll have to wait and see what happens.

Flynn’s usefulness as a witness against anyone else for alleged criminal acts is of very low quality. He was not part of the campaign and anything he did with regards to speaking with the Russians after the election was not illegal. So, as a witness, or even an investigative tool, Flynn is of little obvious worth. However, as a threat, an example of what could happen to members of the Trump family if Trump does not play ball, he has some worth. This is one of the ugliest examples of political blackmail ever seen and it is all out in the open. And, it was all set up by Sessions and Rosenstein, Republicans.

    Tom Servo in reply to Mac45. | December 2, 2017 at 8:54 am

    Agree with what you say on all points, and especially with respect to Flynn.

    If a Prosecutor wants to use the testimony of someone who copped a plea in court, he charges them with Conspiracy of some sort, so that then they will quite naturally be expected to testify against the other participants.

    A Prosecutor does NOT charge someone he wishes to use as a witness with officially Lying, since that tends to destroy his credibility for any future testimony. (“This man is an admitted and convicted Liar, your honor.”)

    MarkS in reply to Mac45. | December 3, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    “The purpose of the Mueller operation was never “Get Trump””. Au Contraire!

A heartfelt thank you all for the interesting, articulate comments from informed people. I sincerely pray you are right. Mostly, I’m consoled by Professor Jacobson given his gloomy, despair several short weeks back. That said, it’s difficult to believe this won’t get uglier before it’s over and the only good news seems to be ithat everyone – literally everyone – now knows that the Clintons are rotten to the core and the Democrats in general are little better. If getting Trump is the only goal, the cost of the attempt, successful or not, will have been very, very high. The presence of people, in government, willing to take the risks with the country that they are is frightening.

    Anonamom in reply to Owego. | December 2, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    I agree with you about the interesting article and comments. For me, however, this situation only contributes to the feeling of despair. Just what the H*ll is wrong with us as a people that we tolerate these witch hunts? We allow federal bureaucrats to terrorize people for political purposes and complain only if it’s the “other team” doing it. Because I have no illusions left; the GOPe will do the same thing if they believe they can get away with it. (In fact, an argument can be made that they are part and parcel of the initiation of this particular travesty.)

    Personally, I am sickened that, after spending my entire adult life in law enforcement, my best advice to someone I love would be SHUT UP and RUN AWAY should they ever have the misfortune of getting targeted by the feds.

Who will prosecute Mueller for his illegal acts? Huh? Huh?!

Special Mueller’s has to file expenses shortly and Judicial Watch has already FOIA’s this is Mueller’s why. Flynn’s why is lawyer expenses and protecting family members from Mueller’s malicious prosecution. I say Malicious because the FBI/DoJ had already given Flynn a pass on not remembering all the conversations from Flynn’s wiretapped conversations.

the way to stop Mueller is to get another special prosecutor going which will come back to Mueller’s responsibility Options are Either or Both; 1) For Uranium One and the other abominations of corrupt influence that happened under Mueller working for Obama 2) For illegal unmasking and illegal wiretapping by Obama that very likely happened all the way back when Mueller was FBI director.

2nd method to stop Mueller is for DoJ to sue Special Mueller for overreach on authority letter because Not the slightest Russia Collusion’s been found and clearly Mueller’s exceeding authority.

    jrterrier5 in reply to mathewsjw. | December 2, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    “the FBI/DoJ had already given Flynn a pass on not remembering all the conversations from Flynn’s wiretapped conversations”

    When did FBI/DOJ give Flynn a pass? I’ve seen this on several blogs but cannot find any original source documents.

Six ways to Sunday, right Chucky?

Are there any already senate confirmed persons at any job who would be good replacements for Jeff Sessions? If not, then President Trump should nominate someone who would be great replacement for Sessions to be head of CFPB. Once that person was confirmed by Senate President Trump could force Sessions resignation and name CFPB head to be acting attorney general using the federal vacancies act to bypass the GOPe senate RINOs that support Sessions and Mueller.

Paul In Sweden | December 2, 2017 at 6:22 am

I still fail to see the evidence of a crime that Sessions stipulated under oath were required to appoint a special prosecutor. Beyond evidence of a crime, what is the actual crime that has been alleged to have been committed that Mueller is seeking evidence?

This Zero Hedge article (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-27/why-mueller-really-indicting-flynn) posits the notion the Flynn guilty plea is not part of some campaign to penetrate the deepest reaches of Trumps private sanctums.

Rather it arose because Flynn viscerally angered the Deep State</b? by publicly exposing corrupt Deep State practices. Such puissant principled stands cannot be tolerated by the Deep State. Flynn must be pilloried to deter future principled purveyors of truth from denouncing the Deep State

We are witnessing nothing less than the opening machinations of an attempted coup, effected by vindictive and embittered political opposition on the Left, undertaken under the guise of allegedly non-partisan and objective legal and moral authority.

Hillary and her cronies walk free for their server lawbreaking and for Uranium One, but, Flynn and Manafort receive the full force of legal scrutiny? This is a total farce.

    schm0e in reply to guyjones. | December 2, 2017 at 9:01 am

    Nobody on either side of anything thinks it’s “nonpartisan,” does he?

    jrterrier5 in reply to guyjones. | December 2, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    Mueller was appointed by Deputy AG Rosenstein, who was appointed by President Trump. Both Mueller and Rosenstein are registered Republicans. So you may need to change the story-line of your conspiracy.

Serious question.

Is it true that in order for the Flynn guilty plea to be substantial the charge would need to have been related in some way to the crime with which they want to charge The Don?

Special counsels serve a very important role in our democracy:

They keep America safe from process crimes.

Fire him and let the chips fall where they may.

    Absolutely.

    And here is how the chips will fall:

    -the democrat media will explode. (So?)
    -crazy nancy pelosi will have a face spasm (more fun)
    -Krazy Kamila Harris will announce her run for president (ok. more fun)
    -Screaming Faucahontas will start screaming (what else is new)
    -Bill Mahr will be obnoxious. (When isn’t he?)
    -hollywood will make a propaganda film about it (another one?)
    -the GOPe will run like rats to hide (what else is new?)

    -AND…..The Donald – dutifully supported by us — will come out shining.

    Fire Mueller, and expose him.

Does anyone else think if Mueller does use Flynn to try and go after Trump that the charge will be obstruction for firing Comey?

The reason being I doubt there’s any collusion there for Mueller to go after but he can use Flynn’s statement to imply something is there and that Trump tried to obstruct the FBI investigation.

Kinda like another process crime thing. Is that a possibility?

    tom_swift in reply to Ginsu. | December 2, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    Mueller can’t do anything to the President while he’s in office; i.e., before he’s impeached, or resigns, or is incapacitated.

    And whether Congress tries to impeach Trump has nothing to do with possible criminal charges. They’ll impeach him if they think they can get away with it; actual honest-to-gosh high crimes and misdemeanors will not be necessary.

    The tactic will be what we’ve just seen. Mueller will do something basically inconsequential, and the MSM will try to hyperinflate it into something wildly criminal, even though purely imaginary. And the Court of Public Opinion will take it from there. Or so they believe—they still think 2016 was some sort of weird trick, and can’t conceive that the voting public isn’t hot to see them remove President Outsider.

      jrterrier5 in reply to tom_swift. | December 2, 2017 at 5:29 pm

      Ken Starr thought otherwise:

      “A newfound memo from Kenneth W. Starr’s independent counsel investigation into President Bill Clinton sheds fresh light on a constitutional puzzle that is taking on mounting significance amid the Trump-Russia inquiry: Can a sitting president be indicted?

      The 56-page memo, locked in the National Archives for nearly two decades and obtained by The New York Times under the Freedom of Information Act, amounts to the most thorough government-commissioned analysis rejecting a generally held view that presidents are immune from prosecution while in office.

      “It is proper, constitutional, and legal for a federal grand jury to indict a sitting president for serious criminal acts that are not part of, and are contrary to, the president’s official duties,” the Starr office memo concludes. “In this country, no one, even President Clinton, is above the law.”

      Mr. Starr assigned Ronald Rotunda, a prominent conservative professor of constitutional law and ethics whom Mr. Starr hired as a consultant on his legal team, to write the memo in spring 1998 after deputies advised him that they had gathered enough evidence to ask a grand jury to indict Mr. Clinton, the memo shows.

      Other prosecutors working for Mr. Starr developed a draft indictment of Mr. Clinton, which The Times has also requested be made public. The National Archives has not processed that file to determine whether it is exempt from disclosure under grand-jury secrecy rules.”

      https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/22/us/politics/can-president-be-indicted-kenneth-starr-memo.html

How many of the posters here who are now complaining about Mueller bringing “process” crimes and about the lack of limits to his investigation felt the same way about Ken Starr’s investigation of Bill Clinton or his impeachment for a “process” crime of lying under oath?

    tom_swift in reply to jrterrier5. | December 2, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    You don’t believe Clinton’s crimes were real?

      jrterrier5 in reply to tom_swift. | December 2, 2017 at 5:24 pm

      Which “crimes”?

      The articles of impeachment were (1) perjury during the Paula Jones deposition; and (2) obstruction of justice – related to the Lewinsky matter. https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/clinton/stories/articles122098.htm

      Prejury has now become known as a “process” crime not worthy of consideration or charges. Not sure when this terminology came into vogue but it’s all I read these days.

      As far as the obstruction, President Trump could easily find himself in that same box given his public comments about the lack of contacts with Russians and his apparent involvement in the false/misleading statement issued by Don Jr about the meeting with the Russian lawyer at Trump Tower.

      As far as Whitewater, after 4 years of investigation, he has never charged.

        jrterrier5 in reply to jrterrier5. | December 2, 2017 at 5:26 pm

        edit: “As far as Whitewater, after 4 years of investigation by various independent counsel, Clinton was never charged.

        jrterrier5 in reply to jrterrier5. | December 2, 2017 at 5:26 pm

        edit: after 4 years of investigation by various independent counsel, Clinton was never charged.

        Edward in reply to jrterrier5. | December 4, 2017 at 7:32 pm

        making false statements during an interview (not under oath) by a Federal official is a process crime. Signing a false statement with an 18 USC 1001 False Statements warning is a process crime.

        Perjury is a process crime only to Democrats trying to make Bill Clinton’s plea, fine and loss of law license (in addition to settlement with Paula Jones) to be nothing at all. To normal people when you take the Oath “I swear (or affirm) that the statement(s) I am about to make will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth (So help me God is optional for those Swearing), it means something. Pathological liars think it is just a suggestion and/or no big thing.

Rosenstein is as dirty as Mueller, Comey, Holder and Lynch re the “investigation” of the Clinton’s pay-for-uraninium scandal. Hence, the exquisite irony (Rosenstein is probably still smiling to himself and his cronies about his luck in being in the right place at the right time) of Rosenstein appointing hi co-conspriator, Mueller, to do the Trump investigation. Note that the appointment was done in record time by Mr. R.

I agree with the many Commenters above — much of the Mueller investigation is a sterling effort on the part of the FBI/DOJ deep state to walk back the cat.

))) slam ((( That does it! *looks up walks back the cat.*

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