Former President Barack Obama said last week in a web talk with 3000 ex-members of his administration that the “rule of law is at risk” due to the Trump Justice Department’s decision to drop criminal charges against Trump former national security adviser Michael Flynn. He pled guilty in December 2017 to one count of lying to two FBI agents during an ambush interview at the White House on January 24, 2017, three days after Trump’s inauguration. The Justice Department dropped the charges and published prosecution documents withheld from Flynn’s lawyers which indicate that FBI was trying to entrap Flynn into committing a crime in an effort to justify the continuation of the investigation against him, thereby hobbling the ability of the incoming Trump administration to learn the truth about the Russia-Trump collusion accusations.
According to a tape of the webchat with the Obama Alumni Association last week, which was leaked to Yahoo News, the former president said, “The news over the last 24 hours I think has been somewhat downplayed — about the Justice Department dropping charges against Michael Flynn. And the fact that there is no precedent that anybody can find for someone who has been charged with perjury just getting off scot-free. That’s the kind of stuff where you begin to get worried that basic — not just institutional norms — but our basic understanding of rule of law is at risk. And when you start moving in those directions, it can accelerate pretty quickly as we’ve seen in other places.”
Flynn was not charged with perjury, but rather with making false statements to FBI investigators about his phone conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak on December 29, 2016. Specifically, the agents asked Flynn whether he had discussed the sanctions which President Obama had announced on Russia earlier that day. Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats from the U.S. and ordered the closure of two Russian government owned compounds.
FLYNN DIDN’T LIE AFTER ALL
According to the final report filed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, based upon a transcript of the wiretapped phone conversation with Kislyak, “Flynn requested that Russia not escalate the situation, not get into ‘tit for tat,’ and only respond to the sanctions in a reciprocal manner.” But contrary to sensational media reports at the time, Flynn did not suggest to the Russian ambassador that the incoming Trump administration would be willing to lift the Obama sanctions.
During a January 24 ambush interview at the White House, Flynn responded “not really” when two FBI agents asked him if he had sought to convince Kislyak to ask Moscow to hold off on any retaliation to the December 29 sanctions imposed by the Obama administration. According to the official FD-302 witness report on the interview, at various points during his interrogation, Flynn suggested that the topic of sanctions might have come up in his talk with the Russian ambassador, but he could not recall clearly if it did. Flynn was also apparently aware his phone calls with Russian officials had been monitored, because at several points he thanked the FBI agents for reminding him of some of the things he had said.
Flynn also did not give a clear answer when he was asked if he had asked Russia to veto a U.N. Security Council resolution that condemned Israel’s settlements in the West Bank. The U.S. abstained in that vote, enabling it to pass, in a parting diplomatic shot by President Obama against the policies of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.
Flynn’s defenders argue that, contrary to the former president’s claim, it was Obama’s FBI rather than Trump’s Justice Department that had put the rule of law at risk by conducting an illegitimate investigation and then withholding key exonerating evidence it produced from Flynn and his defense lawyers.
In its filing with federal District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan last week, the Justice Department prosecutor for Washington DC asked that the case brought against Flynn by special counsel Robert Mueller be dismissed, and that Flynn’s guilty plea for lying to the FBI be thrown out. The filing explained that the FBI agents did not have a legally justifiable reason to question Flynn about his conversations with Kislyak, since no crime had been committed and the FBI already knew what the two had said to each other because the conversation was wiretapped.
THE INTERVIEW THAT SHOULDN’T HAVE HAPPENED
As is now known from newly released documents that had been withheld for two years from Flynn’s defense lawyers, the only reason the FBI questioned Flynn was in an effort to catch him in a lie so that he could be prosecuted. Since there was no legitimate reason for the interview, as a matter of law, any factual discrepancies in what Flynn told the FBI agents were immaterial. There, even if Flynn had lied, doing so would not have violate the federal statute (Title 18 U.S. Code § 1001) against lying to FBI investigators.
The newly released prosecution documents also reveal that the official FD-302 reports documenting the January 24, 2016 interrogation of Flynn were improperly handled. They were extensively edited and rewritten by Peter Strzok, one of the two FBI agents who questioned Flynn, as well as Strzok’s associate, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who was not even present when Flynn was interviewed. According to veterans of the FBI, any tampering with FD-302 reports, which are treated as raw evidence in any legal proceedings resulting from an investigation, is a serious breach of FBI procedures.
James Gagliano worked for the FBI for 25 years, and now appears frequently on CNN as a law enforcement analyst. He usually gives the FBI the benefit of the doubt when mistakes are made, but not in Flynn’s case. In an op-ed piece published by the Washington Examiner, Gagliano wrote, “A steady stream of unflattering revelations, beginning with a report by the Justice Department’s inspector general into egregious FISA abuses last December, has relentlessly pounded the reputation of my former agency. Now, further irrefutable proof emerges that a small cabal of FBI headquarters decision-makers was hellbent on undoing a presidency. . .
“Michael Flynn got railroaded” by the FBI and Mueller’s prosecutors who led him into a perjury trap and then forced him to plead guilty to a crime he did not commit, Gagliano concludes.
He also laments the fact that Comey and the same team of FBI agents who “railroaded” Flynn gave a pass to Hillary Clinton, who was clearly guilty of criminally mishandling classified documents on her private email server, because of political bias in the FBI’s decision-making.
Flynn was targeted, first by FBI agents led by then-Director James Comey, on orders which many are now saying apparently originated from President Obama’s Oval Office, in an effort to cripple Trump’s presidency from the outset, and later by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, in desperate search for evidence that was never found to justify Trump’s impeachment.
FLYNN WAS THE VICTIM, NOT THE CRIMINAL
Flynn was clearly the victim in this case, not the perpetrator. The FBI conspiracy to entrap and incriminate him caused him to lose his White House job and destroyed his professional reputation as an intelligence consultant. He had to sell his house to pay his crushing legal bills, he was forced to plead guilty to a crime he didn’t commit in order to save his adult son from criminal prosecution, and he then waited for his sentence for more than two years before the Justice Department dropped the charges against him last week.
But Obama clearly has no sympathy for Flynn, who he despised and warned Trump not to hire. In his web talk with his former administration officials last week, the former president cited the dropping of criminal case against Flynn as a prime example of why he feels it is so vital to make sure that former Vice President Joe Biden beats President Trump in the November election.
Former House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy reacted to Obama’ “amazing statement” claiming that the “rule of law is at risk” by asking, “Where is [Obama’s] respect for the rule of law for the crime that Michael Flynn was the victim of?”
“Remember, he was unmasked by somebody in Obama’s administration and then it was leaked… that is a 10-year felony, to disseminate classified information,” Gowdy continued during an interview on Fox News. “Michael Flynn was a victim of that crime.”
OBAMA IS IMPLICATED IN THE PLOT
Obama’s harsh comments were no doubt prompted by the documents which were released by the Justice Department last week which exonerated Flynn. They mentioned a January 5, 2017 meeting by Obama in the Oval Office at which Obama instructed his officials who would continue as holdovers in the Trump administrations on how to withhold the embarrassing truth about the lack of evidence to support the Russia collusion investigation from the incoming president, and prevent Flynn from uncovering that fact.
“So I am hoping that all of you feel the same sense of urgency that I do,” Obama told his followers last week. “Whenever I campaign, I’ve always said, ‘Ah, this is the most important election.’ Especially obviously when I was on the ballot, that always feels like it’s the most important election. This one — I’m not on the ballot — but I am pretty invested. We got to make this happen. . .
“This election that’s coming up on every level is so important because what we’re going to be battling is not just a particular individual or a political party,” Obama emphasized. “What we’re fighting against is these long-term trends in which being selfish, being tribal, being divided, and seeing others as an enemy — that has become a stronger impulse in American life. And by the way, we’re seeing that internationally as well. It’s part of the reason why the response to this global crisis has been so anemic and spotty. It would have been bad even with the best of governments. It has been an absolute chaotic disaster when that mindset — of ‘what’s in it for me’ and ‘to heck with everybody else’ — when that mindset is operationalized in our government.
“That’s why, I, by the way, am going to be spending as much time as necessary and campaigning as hard as I can for Joe Biden,” the former president added.
While Obama’s presentation was described as private, his comments were clearly intended for widespread media distribution for the benefit of the Biden campaign. The initial report on Obama’s web talk was written by Michael Isikoff, the Chief Investigative Correspondent for Yahoo News. In September 2016, Isikoff published on Yahoo News the first media report of the unproven allegations against then-candidate Donald Trump in the notorious Christopher Steele dossier, which was secretly paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democrat National Committee, for use as political opposition research.
WHY IS OBAMA SPEAKING OUT NOW?
The timing of Obama’s dramatic re-emergence into the headlines to become Flynn’s most prominent accuser after three years of self-imposed media silence is very telling. Obama said he was speaking out now protect the rule of law against the threat from Trump. The former president also falsely claimed that Flynn was the first person to publicly admitted to lying to a federal agent of the law who was ever allowed to get off scott-free. Presumably, Bill Clinton, who admitted to lying under oath to a federal judge and then survived impeachment unscathed, doesn’t count.
The question that more people should be asking is why the overturning of the case against Michael Flynn is so alarming to Obama. Why is the former president speaking out only now, primarily against Flynn, after maintaining his silence throughout the Russian collusion investigation and the Ukraine-related impeachment hearings. Why does Obama see the dropping of federal charges against Flynn as more dangerous to the rule of law than Trump’s two appointments which have altered the ideological balance of the Supreme Court, and the packing of the federal judiciary’s benches by Mitch McConnell and Trump with 158 young conservatives so far?
What is so special to Obama about Flynn? He was a highly decorated, but relatively obscure, senior military intelligence officer whom Obama fired in 2014 as the head of the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) because of their disagreements over counter-terrorism policy.
Two days after the 2016 election, when Obama invited Trump to the White House to begin the transition, he warned the president-elect to distrust two things, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Michael Flynn. Flynn fundamentally disagreed with Obama’s globalist world view. He was opposed to Obama’s desire to cut a nuclear deal with Iran and his indifference to the growing threat of radical Islamic terrorism as the Syrian civil war progressed, eventually giving rise to ISIS.
Flynn embarrassed Obama by refusing to go along with his 2012 re-election claim that the assassination of Osama bin Ladin had eliminated the main threat from organized Islamic terrorism.
After Obama fired him as head of the DIA, Flynn candidly told the New York Times, “Frankly, at the White House, [I] didn’t meet the narrative.” In sharp contrast to Obama’s outreach efforts towards the Muslim world, Flynn described Islam as “a political ideology [that] definitely hides behind this notion of being a religion.” He also argued that “fear of Muslims is rational.” After he was fired, Flynn told the media that Obama was exposing the U.S. to a more serious terrorist threat than the 9/11 attack.
WHY WAS FLYNN TARGETED?
Speaking at Trump rallies during the latter half of the 2016 presidential campaign, Flynn frequently castigated Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other Democrats for refusing to publicly utter the words “radical Islamic terrorism.” Flynn also led the pro-Trump audiences in chants of “lock her up” in reference to the criminal investigation into Clinton for her email abuses.
Flynn was the Trump campaign’s most respected military and foreign affairs expert. As Trump’s most likely choice as White House National Security Advisor, Flynn could be expected to try to reverse Obama’s globalist policies in favor of Trump’s “America-First” agenda. But their national security policy differences alone do not suffice to explain why Obama has singled out Flynn’s exoneration for special treatment as such a danger to the nation.
The most illuminating answer to that question so far has been offered by Mollie Hemingway, writing in The Federalist. She presents a persuasive argument that Flynn was targeted for personal destruction by Obama and Clinton supporters to prevent him, as Trump’s National Security Advisor, from uncovering their pre-election efforts to bolster the false accusation that Trump and his campaign had colluded with the Russians to defeat Hillary Clinton, as described in lurid detail by the Clinton and DNC-funded Steele dossier.
A CRUCIAL MEETING IN THE OVAL OFFICE
As we now know, there was more than ample evidence that the Clinton campaign, the Democrat National Committee, top FBI and Justice Department officials, and senior U.S. intelligence agency officials all cooperated in a massive effort to protect Hillary Clinton from criminal prosecution, while going to great lengths to try to discredit Donald Trump as a presidential candidate. And now we also know that the effort was orchestrated at a January 5, 2016 meeting in the Oval Office of the Obama White House, in the presence of the president and his inner circle of advisors including, National Security Advisor Susan Rice, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, FBI Director James Comey, and last, but not least, then-Vice President Joe Biden.
The proceedings were recorded in a carefully drafted e-mail which Rice wrote and sent to herself on her last day in the White House in an effort to put the best possible official face on the initiatives they set in motion to discredit the incoming Trump administration by keeping alive, despite the lack of any evidence, the bogus accusation that the president-elect had been involved in a treasonous plot to collude with Russia.
The Oval Office meeting took place just one day after top FBI agent Peter Strzok personally intervened to block an effort by the Washington Field Office of the FBI to formally close its exhaustive investigation of Flynn because it had failed to find any wrongdoing in his suspicious but ultimately innocent business connections with various Russian companies, a state-owned Russian cable TV channel, and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Strzok had been collaborating since early 2016 with Comey, Assistant FBI Director Andrew McCabe, CIA Director John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to find sufficient evidence of collusion to open a formal FBI counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign. They managed to find some real or imagined contacts, between alleged Russian operatives and various low-ranking members of the Trump campaign, including Carter Page and George Papadopolous.
By the summer of 2016, Strzok had scraped together enough circumstantial evidence to justify opening a formal FBI investigation, but it was unable to find any substantial ties between the Trump campaign and the Russians. The FBI eventually hired Steele and vouched for the unverified allegations in his dossier, which, according to McCabe’s later testimony, was the only way it could obtain a secret FISA court surveillance warrant on the Trump campaign.
By the end of 2016, the FBI had exhausted all of its leads against Flynn and was ready to close his case until Peter Strzok intervened on January 4, the day before a new strategy for keeping the bogus Trump-Russia investigation alive emerged from Obama’s Oval Office.
OBAMA’S CODED MESSAGE TO HIS FOLLOWERS
Rice’s email cautiously attributed that strategy to Obama without directly incriminating him. It read: “President Obama said he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia.”
Obama’s instructions to those attending that Oval Office meeting had a carefully crafted dual meaning. On one level, according to Rice’s email account, Obama told his loyal subordinates gathered to do everything “by the book.” But in fact, the substance of the discussion dealt with the ways in which they could withhold crucial national security information, and specifically the details of the failed FBI investigation into Trump himself, from the new president’s national security team, led by Michael Flynn.
The pro-Obama and pro-Clinton operatives who would stay on as holdovers in the first days of the Trump administration understood that their mission would be to keep Trump’s people as much in the dark as possible about the bogus Russian collusion investigation. In the meantime, they would sabotage Trump’s policy agenda by using leaks of classified information to the anti-Trump mainstream media to damage the credibility of the president and his administration in the eyes of the American public. To facilitate that process, Obama ordered a relaxation of normal administration security safeguards to make classified materials accessible to many more pro-Obama holdovers, who could then leak them at the most opportune times.
The resulting avalanche of anti-Trump leaks in the media led to a relentless atmosphere of crisis and chaos during the first weeks in the Trump White House. The new administration found itself constantly on the defensive, making it much more difficult to organize itself, as deliberate sabotage by the Obama holdovers interfered with the efforts to implement the president’s new agenda.
OBAMA KNEW ALL ABOUT FLYNN’S PHONE CALL
Obama told the participants at that meeting all about the wiretapped phone call between Flynn and the Russian ambassador. The content of that phone call came as news to Sally Yates, even though, as acting Attorney General, she was nominally in charge of the wiretaps which were in the FBI’s possession. Obama had probably been briefed about the call by his National Security Advisor, Susan Rice. She at first denied but later admitted under oath that during the last days of the Obama administration, she had made extensive use of her power to “unmask” American citizens in wiretapped conversations with foreign officials.
During the Oval Office discussion of Flynn’s phone call, FBI Director Comey mentioned that it could be used as the basis for a public accusation that Flynn had violated the Logan Act in a treasonous conversation with the Russian ambassador. However, everyone in the room knew that the 1799 law against private parties interfering in American foreign policy was obsolete and unenforceable.
On the White House calendar, the January 5 Oval Office meeting was formally described as a routine intelligence briefing for President Obama with the heads of the country’s intelligence agencies.
HOW COMEY GAVE THE STEELE DOSSIER CREDIBILITY
On January 6, a similar presidential intelligence briefing had been scheduled for Trump, his first since winning the election. But the content and agenda of Trump’s intelligence briefing was very different. There was no mention at all of Flynn’s phone call with the Russians, nor the Obama order relaxing secrecy procedures ordered that would lead to a cascade of damaging media leaks. At the end of the meeting, Comey took Trump aside and told him about some of the most salacious and absurd allegations in the Steele dossier. But Comey did not tell Trump that the dossier was unverified and had been paid for by the DNC and the Clinton campaign for use as opposition research against him during the presidential campaign.
At that time, Christopher Steele and his employers at Fusion GPS had been circulating the dossier to major media outlets for the past several months, but the unverified allegations it contained against Trump were so fantastic that nobody wanted to publish them. But Trump didn’t know that, enabling Comey to “warn” him that CNN was about to reveal them.
A few days later, on January 10, an unidentified Obama administration source told three CNN reporters that Comey had told Trump about the dossier at the presidential security briefing, giving the dubious document a thin veneer of the legitimacy it had always lacked. Sensing a sensational scoop, CNN ran with the story, and suggested that the Russians could be using the allegations in the dossier to blackmail the president-elect. The fact that the dossier was used as in the new president’s first security briefing turned it into a legitimate news story, even though it remained unverified. Within a few hours, the Buzzfeed new web site ran to publish the sensational allegations for the first time, creating a nationwide sensation and a new cloud of suspicion over Trump’s credibility.
FLYNN PHONE CALLED LEAKED TO THE WASHINGTON POST
With Trump temporarily put on the defensive, on January 12 his enemies next attacked Flynn by revealing his December 29 phone call with the Russian ambassador to Washington Post reporter David Ignatius, along with the suggestion that Flynn could be prosecuted for violating the Logan Act during their conversation. The story which Ignatius wrote about the Flynn-Kislyak phone call would later be used by Comey and Assistant Attorney General Mary McCord to justify the plot to entrap Flynn and threaten to put him on trial on a manufactured criminal charge of lying. McCord would later tell investigators that the idea of exhuming the long-dead Logan Act to intimidate Flynn was originated by Bob Litt, who was the general counsel (main lawyer) for James Clapper, Obama’s Director of National Intelligence.
Flynn and Clapper had longstanding professional disagreements over the proper interpretation of intelligence about the threat from Islamic terrorism. In 2017 congressional testimony, Echoing Obama’s policies, Clapper strongly criticized Flynn’s “strident views about ISIS,” his “erratic management style” at the DIA and Flynn’s belief that the Iranians were behind the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
The Washington Post article by Ignatius put Flynn on notice that he had become the next target of the anti-Trump conspiracy, but the conspirators also realized that they would need something much more potent than the Logan Act to put Flynn permanently out of action. They came up with the idea of trying to put Flynn’s fears to rest by planting another article in the Washington Post, which was published on January 23, 2 days after Trump’s inauguration, and had been intended to give Flynn a false sense of security. The article falsely claimed that, “Although Flynn’s contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak were listened to, Flynn himself is not the active target of an investigation, U.S. officials said.”
HOW FLYNN WAS AMBUSHED
In fact, Flynn had been the FBI’s prime target all along. As intended, the second Washington Post article falsely convinced Flynn that the FBI had cleared him, and that he had nothing to fear by agreeing to a suggestion by Assistant FBI Director Andrew McCabe that he talk to a pair of FBI agents, with no need for a White House lawyer to be present.
During a 2019 book tour conversation with MSNBC reporter Nicole Wallace, Comey admitted that sending FBI agents to catch the unsuspecting Flynn in a lie without warning him that he was a target of the investigation or notifying the White House counsel’s office violated long established FBI protocols and procedures. Nevertheless, Comey bragged that he could “get away” with the ambush interview because the brand new Trump White House operation was not yet fully organized.
Bill Priestap, one of the senior FBI officials who met with Comey and McCabe to help then plan the interview of Flynn, was obviously troubled by the motives behind the operation. In handwritten notes on their meeting, Priestap expressed fears that the FBI was “playing games” with Flynn in an effort to get the national security adviser to lie so “we can prosecute him or get him fired.”
The two agents who interviewed Flynn at his White House office on January 24 were Strzok, who has since been thoroughly discredited for his anti-Trump bias, and Joe Pientka, whose current whereabouts the FBI refuses to reveal. Even though the interview was designed to trick Flynn into telling them a lie, according to the Mueller report, Strzok and Pientka initially reported that they failed to detect any “tells” from Flynn that would indicate that he was trying to deceive them. But because the vague answers Flynn gave the FBI investigators did not exactly match the FBI’s wiretap transcript of the phone conversations with Kislyak, Strzok was able to re-edit the 302 reports sufficiently, with the help of Lisa Page, to make Flynn look like he had lied.
YATES TRIES TO GET FLYNN FIRED
The differences between Flynn’s somewhat fuzzy recollections of what he said to Kislyak and the transcript were enough to prompt Obama holdover Sally Yates to march into the White House counsel’s office the next day and warn him that the Russians might try to blackmail Flynn by threatening to expose the discrepancies, turning Trump’s new National Security Advisor into a potential security risk and that Flynn should immediately be fired. It didn’t work, but Flynn’s position at the White House was no longer secure.
Flynn’s credibility inside the White House was damaged because he had given Vice President Mike Pence the same vague version of his phone call with the Russian ambassador that he had given the FBI, and when Pence repeated it to reporters, they checked it against the wiretap transcript. Flynn was now vulnerable, and the pro-Obama agents who were out to get Flynn removed tried to finish the job with another leak to the Washington Post.
The newspaper story which was published on February 9 claimed that Flynn’s discussion of the Obama’s sanctions on the Russian with Kislyak, violating the Logan Act, really was a serious problem. In fact, such conversations with foreign leaders are both routine and perfectly appropriate for a national security advisor during a presidential transition period.
Four days later, on February 13, Trump asked Flynn for his resignation, primarily because of his damaged credibility with Vice President Pence, rather than the stories in the Washington Post. Trump still considered Flynn to be a personal friend, because later that same day he privately asked FBI Director Comey if he could treat Flynn leniently in his ongoing FBI investigation. That request from Trump for leniency from Comey would later boomerang against Trump when Comey leaked it to the New York Times which then published a story suggesting that it amounted to obstruction of justice, an impeachable offense.
AG JEFF SESSIONS WAS THE NEXT TARGET
Flynn was no longer a threat to the anti-Trump conspirators, but Trump ally Attorney General Jeff Sessions was still in a position to demand that the FBI disclose its embarrassing lack of evidence to justify the continuation of its Russian collusion investigation.
The comparatively timid Sessions posed much less of a threat to the anti-Trump conspirators than Flynn did. The former senator from Alabama would have been content to serve a full four-year term as attorney general, realizing a lifelong ambition, without rocking any political boats. Many expected him to voluntarily recuse himself from supervision of the FBI’s Russia collusion probe, simply because had been too closely identified with Trump’s campaign to be seen as objective. In fact, Comey used that expectation to justify his early efforts to withhold information on the investigation from Sessions, by arguing, “it made little sense to report it to Attorney General Sessions, who we expected would likely recuse himself from involvement in Russia-related investigations.”
Nevertheless, Sessions was in a position to make trouble for the anti-Trump conspirators if he wanted to, so they fired a political warning shot across his bow in order to encourage him to get out of harm’s way. The warning was another leak-based article in the Washington Post accusing Sessions of having misled his fellow senators because he had denied at his Senate confirmation hearing that he had met with any Russian official to discuss the 2016 presidential campaign. The March 1 article cited two occasions in which Sessions was seen meeting with Russian Ambassador Kislyak during the campaign. One time, in public, was at a Heritage Foundation event at the 2016 GOP National Convention, when Kislyak was one of many foreign diplomats who briefly greeted Sessions there. Their second meeting was at Sessions’ Washington office, with at least one other witness present, who confirmed that Sessions and the Russian ambassador discussed only the situation in Ukraine and terrorism.
SESSIONS FELT FORCED TO RECUSE HIMSELF
It was clear that during those meetings Sessions had done nothing improper, but he was quick to take the hint and recused himself from the FBI’s Russia probe the next day, March 2. That got him out of the line of political fire from the anti-Trump conspirators, but earned him the deep resentment of President Trump, who had been counting on Sessions to keep the FBI’s Russia collusion investigation on a tight leash.
Sessions’ recusal had fulfilled the agenda set by Obama at the January 5 meeting in the Oval Office. It put the Russia collusion probe under the control of Deputy Attorney General Rob Rosenstein. He let the investigation continue and run its course by appointing Robert Mueller as Special Counsel after Trump fired Comey as FBI Director, while ignoring the growing evidence that there never had been any credible legal basis for the politically driven investigation.
Mueller and his team of Trump-hating investigators pursued the bogus Russian conspiracy theory for another two years. They found no credible evidence of such a conspiracy, but in the process, they destroyed the lives of several innocent Trump’s supporters, such as Michael Flynn, and others who weren’t so innocent, such as political operator Paul Manafort and former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.
ROSENSTEIN’S COMPLEX ROLE
Rod Rosenstein’s performance will probably be getting a second look by Barr and his team. Rosenstein’s role was much more ambiguous than people like Comey who were at the forefront of the anti-Trump conspiracy. Rosenstein, for example, was one of the Justice Department officials who signed off on one of the applications for a FISA court search warrant on Trump advisor Carter Page which relied upon the notorious Steele dossier. But Rosenstein also wrote a memo at President Trump’s request which justified the firing of Comey as FBI director. Rosenstein then turned around and appointed Mueller to serve as Special Counsel, allowing his investigation to drag on with little to show for it. But when Mueller did submit an ambiguous final report of his investigations to Barr, Rosenstein worked closely with the Attorney General to quickly produce a summary of Mueller’s findings that cleared the president and definitively exposed the Russia-Trump collusion theory as a hoax.
Three years later, none of those who attended the January 5, 2017 meeting in the Oval Office, or the others who conspired to misuse the FBI and the criminal justice system to defeat Trump and undermine his presidency, have been brought to justice, but that day may soon be coming. Sessions’ replacement as attorney general, Bill Barr, has proven to be relentless and fearless in his determination to expose and root out the political bias and corruption in the leadership of the FBI and the Justice Department. Barr has also tasked U.S. Attorney John Durham to prosecute any criminal wrongdoing by the anti-Trump conspirators that he uncovers.
Durham is reportedly hot on the trail of the Obama loyalists who carried out the plan to cripple the incoming Trump administration that was launched in Obama’s Oval Office that day, with indictments expected by September, but conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh laments the fact that the person who directed the conspiracy will go unpunished. “The walls are not closing in on Obama. We wish they were, but they’re not. . . There isn’t going be an investigation of Barack Obama. It will never happen. I don’t care what they turn up, I don’t care what Durham has, there will never be an investigation of Barack Obama. It just won’t happen.”
EVERYONE KNEW THERE WAS NO PROOF OF COLLUSION WITH RUSSIA
We also have recently learned that those who plotted in Obama’s Oval Office to bring Trump down did so knowing that Trump did not really collude with the Russians. They admitted as much in testimony under oath that they gave to the House Intelligence Committee in 2017. Clapper, Rice, Yates, U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Yates agreed that they knew of “no evidence linking the Trump campaign to Russia.” Yet their testimony was kept secret from the American people until last week, because the committee’s Democrat chairman, Congressman Adam Schiff, was determined to continue with the witch hunt making false accusations against Trump to the bitter end. His subsequent effort to remove Trump through impeachment failed, and now Schiff’s lies about a Russian conspiracy are exposed for all to see.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnaney said that the decision by the Justice Department to drop the criminal charges against Flynn was necessary “in order for Americans to have faith in our justice system. If the top leadership of the FBI can target a three-star general who served this country for three decades, make no mistake, they can target you.”
President Trump sees these developments as a vindication of the legitimacy of his presidency, and the fact that it was unfairly attacked from the beginning by Obama’s minions. In response to a tweet by conservative talk show host Buck Sexton that Obama “used his last weeks in office to target incoming officials and sabotage the new administration,” Trump declared that it was “The biggest political crime in American history, by far!”
BARR DETERMINED TO REVEAL THE TRUTH
Barr made it clear that he would not accept a politically driven conclusion to the Mueller investigation, nor violate Justice Department policy by allowing a sitting president to be indicted for a crime. Once he assumed control of Mueller’s investigation, Barr insisted that the Special Counsel either produce clear evidence of Trump’s guilt that he had gathered over the past two years, or withdraw the charges. When Mueller tried to evade that demand, Barr took the situation into his own hands and issued his own definitive conclusions about the results of Mueller’s investigation.
Barr announced his determination to uncover the true story behind the 2016 election plot. His decision to throw out the tainted case against Michael Flynn and allow him to withdraw his involuntary guilty plea was a clear signal that Barr is determined, as attorney general, to restore the high standards of political impartiality and integrity for which the FBI and the Justice Department had long been renowned.
In an interview with CBS News last week, Barr stated that Flynn had said “nothing wrong” in his December 29 2016 conversation with the Russian ambassador, and that, “in fact, it was laudable.”
He dismissed Flynn’s guilty plea to lying to the FBI agents because no underlying crime had been committed. “The Department of Justice is not persuaded that [the lie] material to any legitimate counterintelligence investigation. So it was not a crime.”
Barr denied that he withdrew the charges against Flynn to do President Trump’s “bidding,” and insisted that he was only “doing my duty under the law, as I see it.”
Barr added that in his opinion, current “partisan feelings are so strong that people have lost any sense of justice. The groups that usually worry about civil liberties and making sure that there’s proper procedures followed and standards seem to be ignoring it and willing to destroy people’s lives and see great injustices done.”
President Trump had his own public differences with Barr in February over Trump’s public criticism of sitting judges. To his credit, Barr stood his ground, and Trump stopped publicly criticizing But Trump has also made it clear that he could not be more pleased with Barr’s performance in the Flynn case.
MORE REVELATIONS COMING
“There’s more to come,” President Trump said in a Fox News interview the day after the Justice Department dismissed its case against Flynn. “I believe [Obama] and Biden … Sleepy Joe was involved in this also, very much,” the president added.