WHY WOULD FLYNN LIE?
My esteemed TTP colleague Michael Ledeen offered his explanation to this puzzle today: Nothing About Collusion. I have a conjecture that might serve as an alternative.
For ‘tis a puzzle. Why would LTG Michael Flynn lie to the FBI about telephone conversations he had with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak that were not illegal, improper, or unusual?
As a career intelligence officer, Flynn had to know we were listening in on Kislyak’s phone calls. He ought to have assumed the FBI would listen to the intercepts, or read transcripts of them.
As in fact the FBI did, the Washington Post reported the day before Flynn’s interview.
Since the FBI already knew what Flynn said to Kislyak, determined he’d done nothing wrong, why was the FBI interviewing him?
We may get answers to those questions – and much more – very soon.
We learned Sunday (12/3) that for the last 11 months, Michael Horowitz, IG (inspector general) for the Justice Department, has been investigating senior FBI officials for (1) their actions with regard to the decision not to charge Hillary Clinton with a crime in the email scandal; (2) improperly disclosing nonpublic information to the Clinton campaign, and (3) failure to recuse themselves from “participating in certain investigative matters.”
The DOJ’s decision Sunday to permit the House Intelligence Committee to interview Peter Strzok suggests the IG investigation is nearly complete. So does a barrage of Trump tweets over the weekend.
Strzok, Deputy Director for Counterintelligence, was one of the FBI agents who interviewed Hillary about her private email server. Apparently it was Strzok who changed the description of Hillary’s conduct from “grossly negligent” (a felony) to “extremely careless” (no indictable crime).
It was also Strzok who, after receiving the Steele dossier, ordered a counterintelligence investigation into Russian meddling in the election.
The lead FBI investigator for Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Strzok was dismissed in July. He’d been exchanging pro-Hillary/anti-Trump emails with FBI lawyer Lisa Page, with whom he was having an extramarital affair, the Washington Post reported Saturday (12/2).
Strzok also was one of the two FBI agents who interviewed Mike Flynn Jan. 24, Sara Carter reports.
Other senior FBI officials rumored to be subjects of the IG investigation are former Director James Comey, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, Office of Congressional Affairs Director Gregory Brower, and legal counsel James Baker.
Lisa Page, Strzok’s paramour, also was detailed to the Special Counsel’s team for a time. She’s a member of McCabe’s staff.
Of the known knowns, the most interesting to me is the IG investigation began three days before President Trump was inaugurated. Apparently there was at least one honest man in the Obama DOJ. You can read Michael Horowitz’s bio here.
How was the texting/sexting between Strzok and Page was discovered, by whom, and why would Mueller regard it as a firing offense (if indeed that was the reason for Strzok’s dismissal), since so many of the lawyers on Mueller’s team have strong ties to Hillary?
The IG investigation provides a clue as to why Mike Flynn may have lied to the FBI. Here are some more clues:
Flynn called Kislyak Dec. 29, the day after President Obama imposed sanctions on Russia as punishment for “meddling” in the U.S. election. Flynn told Kislyak he hoped Russia wouldn’t “overreact.”
On Jan. 12, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius reported their conversation, naming Flynn. Flynn knows the leak could have come only from someone who had access to the SIGINT intercept, or a transcript or summary of it.
On Jan. 17, “Face the Nation” host John Dickerson asked Vice President-elect Mike Pence: “Did any advisor or anybody in the Trump campaign have any contact with the Russians who were trying to meddle in the election?”
Dickerson makes no distinction between contacts before the election (which would have been improper, but not illegal), and contacts after it, or between Russian government officials generally, and Russians who were trying to meddle in the election.
“Of course not,” Pence responded. “To suggest that is to give credence to some of these bizarre rumors that have swirled around the candidacy.”
To a fair-minded person, it’s clear Pence meant no “collusion” with Russia during the campaign, not no routine and appropriate contact between the president-elect’s national security advisor and foreign government officials. But there are damn few fair-minded people in among the Lying Swine.
If Flynn told the truth, Trump’s enemies could accuse Pence of lying.
So Flynn lied…even though he knew the FBI knew he was lying.
Why did Flynn agree to be interviewed? He didn’t have to.
Flynn knew by Jan. 12, if not sooner, Obama aides and corrupt FBI officials were trying to strangle the Trump administration in its infancy, some great minds think.
In response, those minds conclude, Flynn and Trump concocted the most consequential sting in American political history.
Last Friday (12/01), about 10 hours after Flynn pled guilty, a “senior official” at the White House said Flynn had permission from the Obama administration to talk to Kislyak.
Would a “senior official” say that without proof?
Strzok is “the key that opens a Pandora’s box of treasonous activity,” notes blogger Rising Serpent. If he’s been flipped, many Obamunists and corrupt FBI officials soon may be wearing orange jumpsuits. Rising Serpent has more, here, on the “Circle of Filth” blog.
Is it coincidence dirt on Strzok came out within 24 hours of Flynn’s plea bargain?
Flynn’s plea deal requires him to turn over “any and all evidence of crimes about which (he) is aware.” This provision frees him from non-disclosure agreements he may have signed, as holders of security clearances customarily are required to do.
Flynn was National Security Adviser in the Trump administration for less than a month. He was DIA director for two years under Obama. On whom do you think he has more dirt?
Consider these facts:
The only intelligence chief Trump retained was the head of the NSA, Admiral Mike Rogers.
Shortly after the election, Admiral Rogers had a private meeting with the president-elect. This so peeved DNI Clapper and CIA Director Brennan they demanded Obama fire Rogers.
Rogers is the only intel chieftain who can authorize spooks from other agencies to view/listen to raw signals intercepts.
Flynn brought with him to the NSC staff other top DIA spooks. H.R. McMaster “fired” them, but they retained their TS/SCI security clearances (which they’d have to have to listen to raw signals intercepts) they got when they joined the NSC staff.
What are Dave Cattler and Ezra Cohen-Watnick doing these days? Cattler now works directly under Trump-appointed Dan Coats, Director of National Intelligence. Cohen-Watnick now works for Safra Catz, CEO of Oracle, a Trump-supporter once considered for Coats’ job.
Could one of them have told the DOJ IG/Mueller about Strzok’s texting and sexting? It pretty much had to be someone with access to signals intel. There’s an interesting timeline by blogger “Galactic Red Pill” about Cattler, suggesting that Flynn brought in his team of spooks to stop leaks (there’ve been none from the IC since mid-February), and they still be a’spookin’.
For now, this is just conjecture. But if it’s mostly correct – as I think it is – then Trump’s enemies are doomed, many conservatives will owe apologies to Michael Flynn and “Stealth Jeff” Sessions.
Jack Kelly is a former Marine and Green Beret, and was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force during the Reagan Administration. Until his retirement in January 2017, he was the national security writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette