Mueller Claims Flynn Gave “First-Hand” Details About Trump Transition Team’s Contact With Russian Officials — But What Part of That is Illegal?
Flynn lied to the FBI (a charge to which he pled guilty), but the same question remains — what part of Mueller’s latest “get” is illegal?
According to a sentencing memo published Tuesday night, Michael Flynn gave Special Counselor Mueller “first hand” details of contacts between Trump’s presidential transition team and Russian government officials.
Because of Flynn’s cooperation, Mueller has recommended a light criminal sentence.
More from CNBC:
Mueller in a sentencing memo said Flynn’s “substantial assistance” to his probe warrants a light criminal sentence — which could include no jail time for the retired Army lieutentant [sic] general.
That assistance, which includes 19 interviews with Mueller’s team and Justice Department attorneys, related to a previsouly [sic] unknown “criminal investigation,” as well as to Mueller’s long-running probe of the Trump campaign’s and transition team’s links or coordination with the Russian government.
“The defendant provided firsthand information about the content and context of interactions between the transition team and Russian government officials,” the memo says.
…Trump’s ex-national security advisor is due to be sentenced Dec. 18 in U.S. District Court in Washington.
He pleaded guilty last December to a single count of lying to federal agents about his conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the United States during the presidential transition in late 2016.
The memo (embedded and linked beneath) is almost completely redacted. The portions available to the public indicate Flynn cooperated on contacts between transition team and Russians — but since when is that illegal?
Professor Jacobson has blogged extensively about Mueller’s investigation, which was ordained as an investigation into alleged election interference but grew into a limitless probe under the guise of certain collusion (which has yet to be proved publicly). From Jacobson’s post in December of 2017:
Michael Flynn pleaded guilty last week to lying to FBI investigators regarding conversations Flynn had with the Russian Ambassador in late December 2016, barely three weeks before the Trump administration was sworn into office.
Such transitions contact with foreigners are routine, and took place during prior administrations, including the Obama administration. That makes perfect sense, since an incoming administration needs to hit the ground running with its foreign policy. Certainly there would have been howls of outrage from the media and Democrats had the incoming Trump administration waited until after the inauguration to make contact with our primary geo-political foes; it would have been portrayed as a sign of incompetence and amateurishness.
There was nothing illegal about Flynn speaking with the Russian ambassador and others. But he ran afoul of the law when he lied about it to the FBI.
It is clear from the prosecution of Flynn that Mueller views the transition as within the scope of Mueller’s investigation, otherwise there would have been no reason for Mueller to prosecute Flynn. The lying took place before Mueller was appointed and did not concern conversations during the Trump campaign. For lying to the FBI when he did, Flynn could have been prosecuted by DOJ itself.
Yet Mueller’s team took it on themselves to prosecute the case involving a crime (lying) that took place after the new administration was sworn in regarding a conversation during the transition. The public documents regarding Flynn’s plea make clear that the transition is in focus.
If news reports have any credibility (and they may not), then Mueller is investigating the political actions of the Trump transition team during the transition period.
What authority, however, gives Mueller power to investigate the political strategies of the incoming Trump administration long after the election was over? It does not appear that Mueller has that power under the Order appointing him as Special Counsel.
The media mocks Trump for calling Meuller’s investigation a “witch hunt,” but so long as Mueller keeps chasing leads off the reservation, he only lends credit to such accusations.
Sentencing memo here:
USA v. Michael Flynn – Government's Sentencing Memorandum by Legal Insurrection on Scribd
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There is nothing illegal in the presidential transition team having contact with other nations leaders and representatives. In fact one could argue that not to is irresponsible. While there are currently lawsuits in the works claiming that Muller has been using his investigation to suborn perjury.
Still it is not about the legality, it is about the public perseption. And without the alternative media the perception is strictly controlled by the liberals.
It is also impossible for that contact to be collusion because it couldn’t have affected the election which is what this “probe” is supposedly about.
Answer – nothing.
However, it has never been about illegal activity with the Russians. It has been about planting the seeds of doubt, about making the concept of “Russian collusion” pervasive enough to sway the public to believe it may be true……or at least enough of them for the left to pursue impeachment.
Losing the House may have been considered an acceptable – even inevitable – outcome in the midterms. But that flip it will prove to either destroy this nation or prove that the left is the REAL enemy, leading to their destruction.
These next two years are the tipping point.
The rabid letists are very sick. Maybe rabies shots would help.
Maybe, but so many of them are anti-vaxxers…
TRUMP will be the last White Male President of the US, after his 2020 term.
As the Demographics change, the “new” citizens will vote according to race, which is acceptable for them to do so. The fact that 95% of Africans-in-America vote for the Black candidate, in every single election, is considered Good, normal, natural, and shows solidarity in the “community”.
Hispanics do the same (70%), and Muslims come in at 98% Solidarity for the Communities.
Therefore, this country is the walking dead.
so much for diversity
Leftist logic dictates ‘loser wins’. Unless they win.
If you’re still not convinced the left is the enemy of the republic, you’ll never be convinced.
Pathetic. The only conclusion is they are all crooked. All the worn out platitudes of the political left are crumbling down. The cat is out of the bag for them. The legal system can not function because all the criminal activity is hidden by secrecy and classification of the evidence.
What I see is a career screwup sort of guy, still with nothing, and pursuing no leads which seem likely to lead to anything. So he does what any corporate flunky does when he has nothing new to show—rearrange the old stuff so that it sorta kinda looks like something new. Then he might actually get the home office to fund his budget for another year.
So, what’s the “new” costume on the same old stuff? All that’s changed is the “lenient” sentence Mueller’s recommending for Flynn, as a reward for being so “cooperative” in unspecified ways. This promotes the idea that Mueller has a squealer on his hands, one who will spill the beans on the whole operation any
minute day weekmonth now. The D’rats will be ecstatic, even though the fancy gift box is actually empty.
Now, if Mueller was actually good at his job (whatever the hell his job really is), we might imagine some lurking menace. But he’s had plenty of time to show his stuff, and nothing we’ve seen in the past few years is terribly impressive. I don’t expect that to change.
His purpose is to keep the “collusion” going.
That is all.
When one attempts to find any other purpose, it then makes no sense.
It makes perfect sense when one realizes the purpose is to constantly harass and condemn TRUMP, until he goes crazy (he won’t), he quits (he won’t) or some Democrat-Communist-Leftist attempts an assassination on him…….
With respect, Muellers job is to frustrate the Presidents term in office and punish anyone associated with Donald Trump. But even he is not immune from karma. If it can be proved that he was attempting to suborn perjury everything he has done so far will be called into question.
I know you mean well Shadow5 but there is zero evidence that whatever Mueller does, his inquisition will ever be “called into question”. Mueller could declare Trump guilty of “conspiracy” without any evidence and 99% of all Ds and 99.9% of the media would support him.
So where is the acting AG? Mueller even investigating the transition period is beyond his charge. Is there any doubt that if the political parties were reversed, a Democrat acting AG would be holding a press conference and chastising Mueller.
There is a lot of documentation that Whittaker is not a Trump team player, in fact ,has made public derogatory remarks regarding President Trump.
I don’t have any idea who the traitor in the WH is that has Trumps confidence, but who ever it is that recommended this guy, ithey are doing a superb job for the other team.
starts right here with this idiot.
Reinhold Richard “Reince” Priebus
They’re moving the goal posts. Again. The goal posts are now out of the stadium and thousands of miles away stored in a locked hangar inside Area 51.
“…as well as to Mueller’s long-running probe of the Trump campaign’s AND TRANSITION TEAM’S links or coordination with the Russian government.”
That was never part of Mueller’s remit before. No doubt since there’s nothing at all illegal about an incoming administration’s transition team’s contacts with foreign government officials from any country, Mueller will now start investigating the administration’s contacts with Russian officials after he was inaugurated. How dare he! Trump, thinking he should have a foreign policy.
Which means they’re going to fly the goalposts across the Pacific to OKinawa where they’ll be guarded by Marines on another secure US military installation.
Always remember the audience to whom they are playing. It is not about right and wrong to them it’s about what feels or appears to be right or wrong.
Always remember the audience to whom they are playing. It is not about right and wrong to them it’s about what feels or appears to be right or wrong.
I can see post-election activities of the Trump campaign and administration being part of a “collusion” investigation.
IF the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians (in some as of yet undescribed illegal manner), the payoff for the Russians would have come after the election. So if such a thing happened, it could be discovered by interrogating those involved in the operation post-election.
“What Part of That is Illegal?”
How ’bout we wait and see…???
I thought criminal charges were supposed to be public.
When? And under what exceptions?
I hope to God for our country that Mueller hasn’t been pursuing a Logan Act claim against Trump. But reading the charging document in context of the redactions that is exactly what they seem to be doing.
Mueller is stupid, but not that stupid.
I have to disagree with your estimate of Mueller’s stupidity. Or rather his venality as well as that of the House Dems, which makes them act stupid but they don’t care. Sure, he’d never get a conviction, just like he won’t get a conviction on a Trump-Russia “collusion” charge or an obstruction charge.
But that’s not the point. He and the Dems want to get an impeachment on charges that would be laughed out of court.
That would set off kinetic action, in Muller’s and Deep State’s direction.
If he doe not understand this, he is truly stupid.
I read William F. Buckley’s book, “UP FROM Liberalism” years ago. Buckley observed that when you “touch on a liberal’s mania” the really do turn truly stupid.
Trump has touched on a lot of liberal’s mania.
Correct me if I got the legal stuff wrong…
Flynn did not accept this deal to avoid prosecution for lying to the Special Counsel but to avoid prosecution of his son for the deal they were working on with Turkey! If it wasn’t for that little detail he would have fought this all the way to the Supreme court by exposing the FISA Warrant fiasco as the fruit of the poisonous tree! Mueller had to make this deal or risk the whole investigation. Flynn played Mueller like a fiddle!
Just proves how sad this whole investigation has become…
I also recall that the agents who interviewed Flynn didn’t consider anything he said to them to be untrue … it was Obama flunkies like Comey and Yates who decided that the agents were wrong.
That would further suggest that Mueller has no case on Russian collusion and is looking for a face-saving exit strategy. He apparently has no case against Trump but needs a fig leaf of meaningless and frivolous convictions of as many Team Trump or Trump family members as he can. Feeding more emptiness into the Trump hatred narrative.
BTW, for those who can handle the fact that Camille Paglia is a devout liberal, read her latest observations regarding the Dems chances of beating Trump in 2020.
You many disagree with her politics, but she is always brutally realistic. Pay attention NeverTrumpers. You might learn something.
” As with Bolsonaro in Brazil, Trump rose because of decades of failure by the political establishment to address urgent systemic problems, including corruption at high levels. ”
Just this week I was sincerely told that the Trump voters are angry, white men who don’t want to be displaced. I swear, somebody said that and others agreed. Between the Democrats at the national level and the Fake News media, there are still voters drinking the koolaid, and assuming there was no legitimate reason for what amounted to a peaceful popular uprising.
Paglia is among a few but growing realists on the liberal side who see the obvious. The Uniparty establishment has gone off the rails and abandoned reason. The Stupid Party that stood for nothing has been outdone by the Even More Stupid Party that stands for Trump hatred and nothing else.
That is why the Democrats are now offering a field of nothing but incredibly stupid, ignorant and ANGRY candidates. The only qualification for the nomination will be proving you are more outraged than everyone else.
Even Bruce Springstein said something similar yesterday. The left has become so completely unhinged that they are losing any connection to even their most devoted supporters. Too crazy for even the crazies!
“Just this week I was sincerely told that the Trump voters are angry, white men who don’t want to be displaced”
Even if that were true (and it is for some) what’s wrong with that? Must they meekly acquiesce to their displacement? Would anybody else be impugned for holding the same views?
“What authority, however, gives Mueller power to investigate the political strategies of the incoming Trump administration long after the election was over?”
Apparently, the vile, venal witch, Mrs. Pantsuit, is the authority who still runs the Justice Dept., and deputy dew-dog Session dutifully rolled over at her behest to give clear highway for Meuller to steam roll any and all at will.
The only question here is which department does Flynn go to get back his good name – and a million dollars in legal fees??
I (and many others) am struck by the citation in his sentencing memo of the Washington Post story, which illegally unmasked Gen. Flynn.
Why has no one been charged with this felony?
Why is Mueller ignoring this glaring crime?
My guess is Rosenstein orders were to pursue only the things that can implicate Trump. The prosecution of Manafort while giving Podesta immunity for the exact same crime says it all.
I have to disagree with Professor Jacobson. Flynn knew the Russian ambassador’s phone was bugged. He’s was a career Army intel officer and a former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Everybody in the intel business knows the Russian ambassador’s phone is bugged, and you should assume every ambassador’s phone is bugged no matter how friendly or hostile the nation is to U.S. interests.
Flynn was being asked about one phone call out of hundreds of calls he made to or received from foreign officials and he has to work from memory. Meanwhile the agents have an exact transcript of the conversation. Again, Flynn had to know this. The only halfway intelligent reason he had to have for continuing the conversation was he didn’t think he was in the FBI’s sights. He was wrong.
About 20 years ago the FBI “updated” their ethics training at their academy for incoming potential agents. And they teach that when they are interviewing a suspect that suspect has already “forfeited their right to the truth.” So they can lie to you every minute of every day of the year for their entire careers and it’s legal.
But if your answer when trying to remember a conversation you had weeks ago out of hundreds of conversations doesn’t quite match said transcript they can charge you with lying, making false, or misleading statements. This is why the FBI will not interview suspects, targets, persons of interview while using a recording device. And they won’t allow anyone else to use a recording device.
When they write up their 302s that report becomes the official record of the interview. When they get back to the office and write up the official report they’ll be working from incomplete notes and their own memories which are faulty. They might make an honest mistake, for the same reason Flynn might have made an honest mistake. But no matter, they don’t want any other record of the conversation to exist that might call into question the veracity of their reports. And their is evidence that they will simply lie on their reports.
Which is why if I had been in Flynn’s position I never would have talked to those agents, who by the way concluded that Flynn did not lie. Mueller decided he did 18 USC 1001, the statute Flynn plead guilty to of violating, is so broad that it gives immense power to manufacture cases. So while he fell afoul of that law, it doesn’t mean he lied. I can guarantee any one of us who was interviewed by a skilled interrogator would have wound up charged with the same manufactured crime. And Mueller and his chief henchman, Weissman, have a long history of manufacturing cases. They also have a long history of going after family members of the little fish if they don’t take the plea deal and turn on the big fish. Which is why Flynn plead guilty; to save his son from the same ordeal. And Mueller and Weissman aren’t very scrupulous about getting the little fish to not only sing but also compose if as long as they’re hearing what they want to hear.
The only reason I would have concluded why the FBI agents (including the notorious Strozk) wanted to talk to me about that conversation was to see if they could catch me in something they could construe as a lie. So the interview would have taken place in my attorney’s office. Who would have been nice and friendly, offered them seats, maybe coffee or water, then whipped out his own recording device and turned it on. The agents would have objected, but the attorney would have told them it was his office and he records law enforcement interviews. Which would have ended the interview right then and there as the agents walked out of the office.
Exactly right, and it appears Flynn was covering for Pence’s inexact response to a Farce the Nation interview.
Moral: DO NOT TALK TO FBI.
Never ever talk to any FBI agent without your very good lawyer present. One that would likely advise the answer to be “I don’t recall”.
My understanding is that he didn’t understand they were there to interview him as a suspect, or that he was making statements to them. He thought they were there to set up an FBI liaison with his office, and were having a friendly chat or something.
Which in the circumstances and given his position is totally and completely rational. FBI Counter-Intel may have been dropping by his office on a daily basis for a few minutes here and there since the minute Flynn was appointed to his position. After all, that’s part of his *job* and for Mueller to plow ahead with prosecution on a cooperating witness despite that will leave negative consequences for the FBI for decades. After all, the next transition team nominee who has the FBI ask them for ‘just a minute of your time’ is going to lawyer up, and that will *cripple* any serious counter-intel investigation on real problems.
Just for that, Mueller needs fired.
A prediction: if Mueller and the Democrats are successful in removing Trump as president, after this is over, they will say that they were wrong and they are going to return to business as usual — no one will be allowed to use what they used against Trump against them.
If this happens, they should be told, sorry, you made the laws, now live by them. If you can’t, then you’d better incarcerate all those who broken the law against Trump and his voters and his administration as a warning that this must not happen again.
People who have lied to Congress and have yet to be prosecuted:
“or some Democrat-Communist-Leftist attempts an assassination on him…….”
With a black semi-auto rifle with a high-capacity magazine, a bayonet lug, bump stock, silencer, and night vision scope while wearing a jacket (bought at a second-hand shop) with an NRA patch.
Shadow5: There is nothing illegal in the presidential transition team having contact with other nations leaders and representatives.
No, but it may be illegal to negotiate with those other nations before assuming office. It is definitely illegal to lie about those negotiations to the FBI.
LeftWingLock: Mueller even investigating the transition period is beyond his charge.
Gremlin1974: It is also impossible for that contact to be collusion because it couldn’t have affected the election which is what this “probe” is supposedly about.
That is incorrect. As DaveGinOly points out post-election activities of the Trump campaign and administration could represent the payoff for collusion.
Richard Grant: The fact that 95% of Africans-in-America vote for the Black candidate, in every single election, is considered Good, normal, natural, and shows solidarity in the “community”.
That is incorrect. Blacks vote 85-95% for the Democrats in most elections; and in most of those elections, the Democratic candidate is white. There are only a few cases of a black Republican running against a white Democrat, but when Tim Scott ran for Senate in South Carolina, the Democrat won the majority of black votes. Since then, Scott has shored up his support among blacks by bucking the Republican Party on issues of race, even though conservative blacks remain suspicious of the Republican Party.
Milhouse: Maybe, but so many of them are anti-vaxxers…
Actually, while research has not been entirely conclusive, anti-vaxxers are found on both the political left and on the political right, and it seems more related to suspicion of authority often found on more partisan ends of the spectrum.
Valerie: Just this week I was sincerely told that the Trump voters are angry, white men who don’t want to be displaced.
Richard Grant (from above): TRUMP will be the last White Male President of the US, after his 2020 term… Therefore, this country is the walking dead.
tom_swift: What I see is a career screwup sort of guy, still with nothing, and pursuing no leads which seem likely to lead to anything.
Trump’s campaign manager
Trump’s National Security Advisor
Trump’s deputy campaign manager
Trump’s personal attorney
Arminius: But if your answer when trying to remember a conversation you had weeks ago out of hundreds of conversations doesn’t quite match said transcript they can charge you with lying, making false, or misleading statements.
Flynn pleaded guilty to knowing lies.
You are making the same false assumption the media has made these last couple years, that Trump was colluding with Russia to deprive Hillary of the Presidency.
The simple fact is you, just like the media, have nothing to base your false beliefs on simply because there is nothing there to start with.
Every person locked up has been for everything BUT collusion with the Russians. The fact you present this list as conclusive evidence shows nothing more than your own Democrat bias when it comes to Real Life ™.
mailman: You are making the same false assumption the media has made these last couple years, that Trump was colluding with Russia to deprive Hillary of the Presidency.
The Russians interfered in the U.S. election, including by illegally hacking and then releasing emails from the DNC and the Clinton campaign, justifying an investigation. Meanwhile, people within the Trump campaign have repeatedly lied about their contacts with Russian agents, impeding the investigation.
“…including by illegally hacking and then releasing emails from the DNC and the Clinton campaign…”
Prove it commie. Seth Rich was murdered by the commie Clinton democrats for exposing the Clinton criminal activity.
What do you get per lie? A nickel?
Barry: Prove it
We have the conclusions of the U.S. Intelligence Community, private security firms, and the intelligence communities of other nations. We have a pattern of behavior by Russia to use cyberwarfare against open democracies. s
Publicly, we have the exact Bitly URL used to phish Podesta’s email, which the Russian agent had failed to mask properly. Also, Russian intelligence had a problem with their VPN, which revealed Guccifer 2.0’s location. Presumably, Western intelligence services have much more information, such as reported communications congratulating themselves on their success.