New reports continue to suggest the viewpoint that former Obama National Security Chief Susan Rice used unmasking for partisan purposes.
The National Review reported that Rice’s interest was not in national security but to advance the political interests of the Democratic party.
The thing to bear in mind is that the White House does not do investigations. Not criminal investigations, not intelligence investigations.
Why is that so important in the context of explosive revelations that Susan Rice, President Obama’s national-security adviser, confidant, and chief dissembler, called for the “unmasking” of Trump campaign and transition officials whose identities and communications were captured in the collection of U.S. intelligence on foreign targets?
Because we’ve been told for weeks that any unmasking of people in Trump’s circle that may have occurred had two innocent explanations: (1) the FBI’s investigation of Russian meddling in the election and (2) the need to know, for purposes of understanding the communications of foreign intelligence targets, the identities of Americans incidentally intercepted or mentioned. The unmasking, Obama apologists insist, had nothing to do with targeting Trump or his people.
That won’t wash.
Watch the video:
Many wonder, why did General Flynn plead guilty to lying to the FBI, when the FBI claims he did not lie.
Legal Insurrection discussed that very issue:
According to two sources familiar with the meetings, Comey told lawmakers that the FBI agents who interviewed Flynn did not believe that Flynn had lied to them, or that any inaccuracies in his answers were intentional. As a result, some of those in attendance came away with the impression that Flynn would not be charged with a crime pertaining to the Jan. 24 interview.
Nine months later, with Comey gone and special counsel Robert Mueller in charge of the Trump-Russia investigation, Flynn pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements to the FBI in that Jan. 24 questioning.
It’s also important to remember that as incoming national security advisor, it’s not illegal or out of the ordinary that Flynn spoke with Kislyak. Bush’s national security advisor Stephen Hadley even said that he didn’t find it a problem if Flynn spoke to Kislyak about Russian sanctions and a Washington Post report showed that nothing happened:
“I don’t see what would be wrong if [Flynn] simply said, look, don’t retaliate, doesn’t make sense, it hurts my country, it makes it harder for us as an incoming administration to reconsider Russia policy, which is something we said we’d do. So just hold your fire and let us have a shot at this.”
Indeed, it appears the FBI did not think Flynn had done anything wrong in the calls. On Jan. 23, the Washington Post reported that the FBI had reviewed the Flynn-Kislyak calls and “has not found any evidence of wrongdoing or illicit ties to the Russian government.” (The calls had been intercepted by U.S. intelligence because the U.S. monitored the Russian ambassador’s communications — something which Flynn, a former chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency, surely knew.)
Remember when Obama was caught on a hot mic, telling the outgoing Russian President that he’d have more “flexibility” after he won his second term?
Watch the video:
So why did Flynn plead guilty? Many believe it had to do with his son, Michael Flynn Jr.
That’s precisely what Forbes suggested, about a year ago.
The extensive reporting around the involvement of Flynn’s son certainly suggests there is legitimate justification for interpreting the Flynn component of the investigation as a prosecutable family affair. Federal prosecutors leveraging one family member against another is a page directly out of a four-decade old prosecutorial playbook used successfully in Wall Street prosecutions.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller filed a sentencing memorandum Tuesday with the federal court in Washington, D.C. that recommends General Michael Flynn receive no jail time after pleading guilty to the crime of lying to the FBI, citing “substantial” assistance to the government in its investigations.
The mainstream media interpreted that remark as evidence that Flynn gave Mueller key information against President Donald Trump and Russian “collusion.”
More likely, however, Mueller’s request reflects the fact that Flynn did not actually commit the crime to which he pleaded guilty. No less than then-FBI director James Comey told Congress last March that Flynn had not, in fact, lied to the FBI.
If Flynn had demanded a trial on the merits, he could have subpoenaed Comey in his defense. The Special Counsel likely pressured Flynn to cooperate using other accusations — against him, or perhaps his family.
It is not clear exactly what information Flynn provided Mueller. The only other crime referenced in the sentencing document is Flynn’s failure to register as a foreign agent for Turkey.
Again, though, that is rather flimsy. It is rare that anyone in Washington is prosecuted under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), and rarer still that anyone is pursued under the Logan Act, which was the reason Flynn was under surveillance in the first place.
In fact, the most explosive piece of information in the sentencing document is not about collusion with Russians, but about the collusion between the media, the intelligence services, and the outgoing members of the Obama administration.
The document begins its recitation of Flynn’s offenses by citing information that had appeared in the Washington Post from a leaked, classified surveillance transcript in which Flynn’s name had been “unmasked”:
Read more here.