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Michael Flynn Tag

The Special Council investigation led by James Comey friend and ally and former FBI head Robert Mueller has been in search of a crime since its questionable inception.  In fact, so intent is he on digging up some kind of crime, any kind, that he's amassed a legal team that rivals in size the entire U. S. Attorneys Office for the state of Rhode Island.  Courtesy of your tax dollars. Reports suggest that he's bagging his first head on Monday.  Reports do not, however, state who will be arrested or on what charges.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has launched a grand jury in Washington, D.C., for his investigation into alleged Russian influence into our presidential election. The Wall Street Journal reported:
The grand jury, which began its work in recent weeks, is a sign that Mr. Mueller’s inquiry is ramping up and that it will likely continue for months. Mr. Mueller is investigating Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 election and whether President Donald Trump’s campaign or associates colluded with the Kremlin as part of that effort.

Since the election there has been an unprecedented attempt to unwind the election result. Events have accelerated on several fronts lately with attempts from outside and within to paralyze the Trump administration. What started as a collective media freakout on Election Night 2016 quickly progressed to an unprecedented attempt to intimidate Electors into changing their votes. Some Democrats announced, even before Trump took office, plans to impeach him, and Democrat politicians fed media-driven Russia collusion conspiracy theories for which they knew there was no evidence. Chuck Schumer, for example, used the alleged fact of Donald Trump being under FBI investigation as an argument against confirming Neal Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, even though Schumer (but not the public) knew from intelligence briefings that Trump was not personally under investigation.

When Robert Mueller was first appointed Special Counsel, I thought, given his generally good reputation, that this might be a streamlined process with fewer leaks, focused on either proving or disproving allegations of Russian interference. But I did acknowledge, for example in this radio interview, that there was a risk that in the wrong hands the powers vested under the Order appointing Mueller could be abused:

I was a guest today on Newsmax TV – America Talks Live with Bill Tucker. The main topic was my post about James Comey's Senate testimony, Robert Mueller should step aside: Friends shouldn’t be investigating friends:
"... the case has dramatically changed since James Comey was outed, or outed himself, as the leaker of a memorandum to the NY Times and testified before the Senate. Remember this case started as an investigation of Russian involvement.

The Special Counsel investigation led by Robert Mueller barely has gotten off the ground, and already there is a stench. That stench was created by former FBI Director James Comey, who admitted in testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee that he leaked, through a friend, memoranda purporting to document improper conversations between Donald Trump and Comey. Most important among those conversations was a February 14, 2017, one-on-one meeting in which Trump supposedly told Comey that Trump "hoped" that Comey would see fit to "let go" of the investigation into Michael Flynn. As described in Comey's prepared statement (emphasis added):

I was not able to watch James Comey's testimony today live, as I was in the car much of the day. I was able to listen to the first hour and a half on terrestrial radio, as so many AM stations were carrying it that I was able to keep tuned even as one station faded out. After that, I followed on Twitter, and since then have seen many accounts and videos of what I missed. I'm not going to try to catalog the questions and answers, I'm late to that.

The official statement (pdf.) from James Comey, to be read during the hearing tomorrow, has bombshells -- but they are helpful to Donald Trump. The statement is embedded in full at the bottom of this post. Comey confirms -- contrary to media reports -- that he told Trump that Trump was not personally under investigation. That's a pretty big concession considering speculation that Trump himself was under investigation. Comey also paints a picture of Trump trying to put in a good word for Michael Flynn, but there is no suggestion that anything rising to the level of obstruction of justice was said. Also, Comey made clear that those comments did not relate to the general investigation of Russian interference in the election. We will have additional analysis shortly.

On Thursday James Comey will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee. It will be the Greatest Show on Earth that day, broadcast live by every major network:
“The Young and the Restless” will be preempted by a different soap opera on Thursday. The star will be former FBI director James B. Comey. In a rare move, CBS is scrapping its daytime lineup to carry live coverage of Comey's testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, and NBC and ABC are doing the same. This is a big deal that places the Comey session on a shortlist of congressional hearings deemed worthy of live airings on broadcast television — a list that includes the Army-McCarthy hearings in 1954, Watergate hearings in 1973, Iran-contra hearings in 1987, Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas hearings in 1991 and President Bill Clinton impeachment hearings in 1998.

I was a guest today on Newsmax TV - America Talks Live with Bill Tucker. The main topic was James Comey's upcoming testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. I was able to clear up a common misconception about Comey's May 3, 2017, testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Many people -- on Twitter and in the punditry -- believe that Comey stated on May 3 there had been no attempts to stop his investigation. If Comey gave such testimony before the Senate, it would be consistent with the testimony of Rod Rosenstein, the Deputy Attorney General, on May 19 that there had been no "political interference" in the investigation (emphasis added):

On Monday, former national security adviser Michael Flynn refused to honor a subpoena from the Senate Intelligence Committee for documents connected to the investigation into its Russian probe. He invoked his Fifth Amendment right. The committee has tried another way to receive the documents by issuing two subpoenas for two of Flynn's former businesses. From Reuters:
"While we disagree with General Flynn's lawyers' interpretation of taking the Fifth ... it's even more clear that a business does not have a right to take the Fifth," the panel's vice chairman, Democratic Senator Mark Warner, told reporters, referring to Flynn's decision to invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Joe Scarborough has painted a no-win portrait of VP Pence. On today's Morning Joe, Scarborough said that Vice-President Pence "is either a sucker and a dupe for Donald Trump . . . or he's a liar. There is no middle ground." Giving Pence the dubious benefit of the doubt, Scarborough advised, "if it is the first, I think it's about time for Mike Pence to go to Donald Trump and say, as I think most of us would, if you set me up to be your liar again, I'm walking."

According to The New York Times, former FBI Director James Comey wrote a memo on February 14 that President Donald Trump asked him to let go of an investigation into Michael Flynn, the former national security advisor. However, the NYT admitted that the reporters did not see the memo and "a Comey associate read parts of it to a reporter over the phone." The source (remember the source isn't even Comey) claimed the memo said this:
“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Mr. Trump told Mr. Comey, according to the memo. “He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”

Author reaction posts are one my favorite things to publish on the site. The breadth and variety of thought and opinion articulated by our bloggers always make my little political heart beam. See: Trump is the Nominee, What Now? Legal Insurrection Authors Debate Legal Insurrection Authors Respond to Trump Victory This post was Leslie's idea. So I reached out to the squad and asked them to share their thoughts on President Trump's first 100 days in office. Without further ado...

The House Intelligence Committee has invited some former President Barack Obama's administration officials to testify in a closed hearing over the panel's investigation into possible Russian interference in our presidential election. The committee included former acting Attorney General Sally Yates who President Donald Trump fired when she instructed Department of Justice "lawyers not to make legal arguments defending" Trump's executive order on immigration back in January.

A recent revamp of Trump's National Security Council cut former Breitbart News Chief Executive Steve Bannon's role entirely. Bannon's role as a National Security Advisor was controversial from the get-go.