Flynn Was Wrong to Deny - but Who Leaked?
The cover up is usually worse than the original offense. That’s the old adage they’re slapping on Mike Flynn’s apparent sending out of Vice President Pence to cover for him. Based on Flynn’s denials over a phone call with the Russian ambassador a short while after Obama slapped sanctions on Russia. And yes, if Flynn is gone by the time you read this, it will be because of what he did to the Vice President. Not because of the phone call itself.
But there likely was a crime committed. Make no mistake. It's starts with the Washington Post (who else?) quoting a couple of unnamed official sources - both current and former U.S. officials, as the story puts it. And that story last Thursday started this little snowball from hell rolling along.
In other words, U.S. security officials released key information about a phone call between a key member of the incoming administration and a foreign ambassador. Who did the listening? The FBI? The NSA? The CIA? All three and a handful of other intelligence agencies??
And who leaked those key details, several weeks into the new administration's term? The former government official? Or even more troubling, the current one? Or are some of these anonymous leakers at State?
What is their justification for the leak? Democrats are already busy howling out a narrative worthy of a Jason Bourne film. One they hope, that includes a heroic and lengthy inquiry, of course, by a special prosecutor.
If there is any evidence of venal interests corrupting the administration's decision making process - especially but not exclusively with regard to Russia - then of course an inquiry would be justified. So far there is nothing. Nor is Flynn's phone call evidence. At least, given what has been leaked so far.
The fact that the Logan Act is being dredged up to somehow suggest that Flynn is guilty of breaking some law, any law please, shows the ridiculousness of the situation. And what well-informed wonk thought up that one? Hey, look at this! The Logan Act! I remember a class at Georgetown (Harvard, Yale, etc.) on this!
Who? Someone at State perhaps?
So. Take a transcript from an intel operation spying on the incoming National Security adviser. Blend in a never-really-used law from 1799. Mix vigorously with a dash of venom. Release to select media outlets. Watch it bubble away in public view. And next, they will surely add some background commentary and release further bits of detail, as the story risks winding down.
This is an illegal conspiracy by powerful entrenched interests in intelligence and perhaps at State. With a view to disrupting the current administration. And perhaps - in their view- to discredit it and somehow topple it. Not a feisty little whistleblowing operation. And this conspiracy - the one with certain bureaucrats using every trick they can think of to derail this administration - is definitely worthy of a Jason Bourne film. And that is very troubling indeed.
Posted by AllardK at February 14, 2017 5:20 PM
“This is an illegal conspiracy by powerful entrenched interests in intelligence and perhaps at State.”
That is also my conclusion, so far, Allard.
These national intelligence agencies are part of the swamp that needs draining as they have become very powerful fiefdoms and operate outside their authority when they release confidential information and other records to those unauthorized to receive it.
I would like to see the Trump people set up a sting operation for some of these leakers. Plant a juicy story that is false and track where it comes from.
Leaks are wrong and should be investigated. Part of the problem here is that it was not just one leaker in the Intelligence Community. There were reportedly nine- that is 9- separate sources. We’re talking a conga line. And it is worth noting the IC knew, but waited for weeks for Trump to act. As recently as Friday Trump denied knowing anything about this, but today, it turns out he was lying and, yes, he knew.
The Russians interfered with our election. Did the Trump campaign coordinate with an adversary?
It sure looks likes it.
One other point- what are people in the IC supposed to do when the people at the top of the intelligence hierarchy are the ones who are compromised? If a president and National Security Advisor are working for an adversary and can classify any dissension out of existence, what then?
“One other point- what are people in the IC supposed to do when the people at the top of the intelligence hierarchy are the ones who are compromised?”
Wow, what a great question phx8. The obvious answer just has to be…leak it to the press.
LOL…good grief phx8, use your “little grey cells” please. Can you think outside the Liberal box?
Back in January, the Intelligence Agencies took the normal route. They reported concerns about Flynn to Sally Yates and she passed that information to the President. Now, if Donald Trump was a loyal patriotic American, he would’ve reacted to that revelation by asking for Flynn’s resignation immediately. But that’s not what happened, instead Trump tried his best to bury this issue. He completely ignored the severe security threat posed by admitting a man comportment by Russia into the Situation Room and other highly sensitive spaces.
Given the extremely abnormal situation whereby the President of the United States completely disregards basic concepts such as rule of law, leaking the information regarding Flynn was the last best hope of the intelligence community in order to keep Flynn from accessing anymore top secret information.
Remember, there is much about this case that we don’t know about. For instance, since January 20, numerous people in Russia have been arrested on charges of spying on behalf of the West. Did Michael Flynn rat out our moles? It is impossible to tell right now.
One remedy is for Congress to investigate. Unfortunately, the Republicans are not doing their job. Chaffetz heads the Oversight Committee, and he said “it will take care of itself.” Nunes on the House Intel Committee is refusing to look at this, other than to investigate leakers. McConnell in the Senate continues to try to slow walk it, and refuses to go with a Select Committee.
That doesn’t work. In business, I always found the best policy is to deal with problems first, to make them a priority, and take them on head-on. The worst policy is to ignore them.
Some Republicans seem to think they will get what they want if they just ignore all of these terrible things with Trump & the Russians. It is a bad idea. It is a bad strategy.
If something is terribly wrong with Trump & Flynn & others, it is far better to put it down immediately & get it over with, rather than let it run.
The other day I went out to dinner with some people, and someone said ‘Now we will see what the American people are really made of.’ That is true. The system will work if we believe in it. Punting on it for perceived partisan advantage might seem attractive in the short term, such as the Senate refusing to advise and consent on a SCOTUS nominee, but it will do more harm than good in the long run.
It would be terrible for the country if this turns into the IC versus one faction of the Trump administration, but if the Republicans in the legislative branch won’t do their job, there is not much recourse.
Several GRU people have been disappeared, including #2 in Cyber Security, and at least one was found shot in the back seat of his car. It could be an internal power struggle. It could also be someone on the Trump team is a mole.
Will Warren and phx8 go on the record as advocating that American intelligence agencies leak highly confidential and secret information to the press? No waffling please.
“Thirty-five Democrats in the House have sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch urging her to appoint an independent Special Counsel because Donald Trump “has repeatedly engaged in actions constituting unauthorized foreign policy in violation of the Logan Act.”
Dating back to 1799, the law has resulted in a grand total of one indictment (during Thomas Jefferson’s presidency) and no conviction. But the Logan Act remains a convenient statute to brandish against disruptors of foreign-policy orthodoxies.
The Jan. 12 letter — relying on an arcane and wobbly relic of a law — is an example of opportunism that isn’t even opportune. Worse, it’s an effort to spur Justice Department action that would establish a dangerous precedent.”
Anyone leaking classified information should expect to be prosecuted, and that may apply regardless of the motivation. However, people in intelligence and the military owe their first allegiance to the Constitution. They have an obligation to disobey an illegal order. In a case where a person in IC obtains information that a superior is compromised, and seeing nothing happen, then they may have a moral obligation to act. They take that risk full well knowing the consequences.
In the case of Flynn, nine sources did it. I’ve never seen anything like that in my life.
Word of advice: you really, really don’t want to get into a discussion of what Flynn tweeted.
“They take that risk full well knowing the consequences.”
Agreed phx8. Now, these “patriots” should step forward and not hide in the darkness and cowardice of leaking information to the press. Can you not see the danger of anonymous security leaks?
Can a government survive and function with an intelligence community filled with “deep throats”.
There are other remedies my friend.
Did it ever strike you, Royal, that the extraordinary number of leaks from the intelligence and justice communities reflects a genuine alarm over the depth and nature of this administration’s relationship to Russia and particularly Putin.
Does anybody find it strange that the FBI even interviewed Flynn about the phone call with the Russian ambassador? While a politically important story, on its face, it didn’t appear to me to rise to a criminal matter. Perhaps there is more to this story than an ethical breach by Flynn.
“WASHINGTON — Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials.”
CNN has the names and is contacting these people for comment.
As of right now there is no evidence of collusion, however, the Trump campaign said no such contact ever happened in the first place.
Senior. Russian. Intelligence. Officials.
“Officials emphasized that communications between campaign staff and representatives of foreign governments are not unusual. However, these communications stood out to investigators due to the frequency and the level of the Trump advisers involved. Investigators have not reached a judgment on the intent of those conversations.”
Here was Spicer this morning:
“@PressSec Sean Spicer tells @jonkarl nobody on the Trump campaign had contact with Russia before the election.”
11:19 AM - 14 Feb 2017
The communications were frequent. They were at a high level.
Both Trump and Pence are on record as having previously denied such contacts occurred.
Sean Spicer said it best, this is a trust issue, not a legal issue. The American people can no longer trust that their own elected officials are loyal to the United States.
Trust is part of it. The Trump administration can’t get ahead of the story about the Russians influencing our election because they keep lying- especially Trump. The GOP refuses to push an investigation. The people at the top were in charge of classified information, so they thought they could keep the story under wraps. Supposedly Director Comey couldn’t say anything about the investigation because Flynn was involved, and Comey didn’t want to tip him off. Not sure I buy that, but it’s possible.
Trump keeps attacking the media, launching various personal attacks, and lying.
The idea now seems to be to concentrate on the leaking and the need to go after the leakers, rather than the elephant in the room- the Russians influenced our election, and it may be the Trump campaign colluded with them.
It is so shameful for those on the left to accuse those who oppose them for things they have no knowledge of.
Wait until the dimocrats get hauled before any of the committees and do a Hilary truth count.
Twould be cool to get Ben Rhodes before one of those committees and check out his nose length
How about John Brannen and others who had security clearances that put them in the extreme minority of those who could hold such clearances. It would be cool to have those sitting at the tables in the committee room and before each answer do the nose measurement to record the growth.
This morning I caught a few minutes of Limbaugh again. Wish I could have heard more. It was the craziest stuff I have ever heard. According to Limbaugh, what is going on right now is because of Obama and an “Obama shadow government.” I kid you not. Through 250 chapters of community organizers and anyone in government put in place during the Obama administration, a bunch of leftists are trying to overthrow the Trump administration. This is all because of Obama. Obama is trying to overthrow Trump.
Wow! And it doesn’t stop there. The judiciary is in on it. The Intelligence Community is in on it. The Media too.
By the way, the four people who maintained contact with a Senior Russian Intelligence official were Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, General Flynn, and Page Carter.
Which is worse? The original crime or the cover up?
The Trump administration and the House & Senate Republicans are doing their best to bury this. AG Sessions will not investigate anything. Congressman Nunes on Intel will not investigate Russian involvement either, but he is all over investigating leaks. Trump denies everything, blames everyone else, and in press conferences will only call on a few conservative outlets that will not ask questions of substance.
The problem is that this approach drags it out. A Select Committee or an Independent Prosecutor could put the issue to rest in two months. Instead, the Trump administration and Republicans will just undermine their own legitimacy more and more, and make the majority of Americans- let me repeat that, the majority of Americans- madder and madder.
Like I said, we are going to see what Americans are made of.
“Obama shadow government?” Why that’s just…..crazy.
Especially when everybody knows that the secret ‘pro Kremlin’ and ‘white supremacist’ governments are now running the country.
Like I said, we are going to see what Americans are made of.
Posted by: phx8 at February 15, 2017 2:15 PM
Most of us already know that phx8. The Libs have their “silly suits” on and are beginning to believe their own hyperbole.
What you have here is wishful thinking. There is something rotten up, and if Trump is innocent of it, he continues to make it worse by not coming clean, and GOPers are making it worse for themselves by not compelling him to come clean.
What an outrageous statement Stephen. The GOP should “compel” Trump to “come clean”.
What is the accusation against President Trump? Please name the accusers.
Warren gets upset when I make fun of your comments so I will restrain myself from making reference to a “dunce hat”.
Outrageous? Quit your posturing. He could have released his tax return, should have. He didn’t. He could have asked that Michael Flynn resign last month, but instead let him stay on. You keep on calling the rest of us stupid, but the evidence is piling up that your people were talking with folks that they shouldn’t have. In your arrogance, you have become the subversives, you have become the people who Russia looks to in order to advance their agenda. In your arrogance, you’ve decided that the defeat of my people in the political arena must be achieved at any cost, including the cost that comes with letting Vladimir Putin help you.
That’s it Stephen, that’s all you got? Put your time to better use, buy a coloring book.
In the past, you folks were willing to ruin lives and careers to root out the communists and their sympathizers. You blasted us repeatedly over being lenient towards Soviet Russia, or not taking a hard enough line against the Terrorists after 2001.
And now this. People hacked our election. You act like it’s not a problem. contacts before and after the election become evident. Not a problem. Your President tells us that the Intelligence agencies are all wrong about Russia. Now Russia’s buzzing our ships and cruising past our ports.
That’s plenty. But Trump is one of yours, so free pass. You’re putting our national security in danger because you’re so damn competitive about winning elections, gaining power.
You got to start asking yourself where your real loyalties lay.
Get over yourself Stephen. I still think the coloring book is suitable.
Flynn was a fat target for the national security state. He has cultivated a reputation as a reformer and a fierce critic of the intelligence community leaders he once served with when he was the director the Defense Intelligence Agency under President Barack Obama.