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Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Friday, May 08, 2020

Randall D. Eliason: The government's motion to dismiss the case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn is like nothing I've ever seen. It's a political screed dressed up as legal analysis, promoting the "deep state" conspiracy fantasies of President Trump. It epitomizes the politicization of the Justice Department under Attorney General William P. Barr. It is, in the truest sense of the word, lawless.

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Let's be clear about what the Justice Department is saying here: If you're investigating the Trump campaign's Russia contacts, and learn new information about a former campaign official (and now member of the administration) who recently had Russia contacts, there's no good reason to talk to him. That claim is absurd on its face.

The government repeats the conservative canard that there was no need to interview Flynn because the FBI already had a transcript of his conversation with the ambassador. But the issue was never the exact words they exchanged " it was why the conversation took place and who directed Flynn to have the discussion. Was the incoming Trump administration potentially promising to ease sanctions on Russia as a quid pro quo for Russian assistance during the election? The Russia investigation was in its infancy, and agents didn't know what they would learn, but they had an obligation to follow that lead. The fact that Flynn then chose to lie about his Russia contacts only heightens the suspicions that still surround them.

The FBI had every right to question Flynn due to the national security implications of his conversation with Ambassador Kislyak on top of the fact that he lied about the substance of the conversation to both the Vice President and Press Secretary - with each of them restating Flynn's lie to the public.

#1 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-05-08 05:36 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

But the most remarkable thing about the government's new claim that Flynn's lies were not material is that the judge in this case has already ruled that they were. In an earlier motion to dismiss, Flynn's attorneys made essentially this same argument: that his lies were not material because the FBI had no good reason to interview him. Agreeing with the prosecutors at the time and rejecting this argument, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled that Flynn "has a fundamental misunderstanding of the law of materiality."

So to sum up: The government claims it cannot prove materiality when the judge has already ruled the lies were material, and the government says it cannot prove Flynn lied when he has already admitted twice that he lied. Such a bizarre argument could be put forward only in a Trumpian world where facts truly don't matter.

What's more, the government pleading does not even address all of Flynn's misconduct. As part of his guilty plea, Flynn also admitted to lying to the Justice Department in 2017 about his work on behalf of Turkey. Those lies had nothing to do with any FBI interview. But the government's exoneration of Flynn ignores those lies " which, absent a pardon, a future Justice Department presumably would now be free to prosecute.

Anyone claiming that the FBI had no material reason for investigating Michael Flynn is either obtuse or intentionally ignoring the judge's own prior ruling on the subject. The DOJ's argument has already been rejected by Judge Sullivan (hat tip to Sycophant) when it was presented as the defendant's argument.

The fact that the prosecution is now remaking law for the benefit of a defendant who'd already pleaded guilty multiple times tells anyone who doesn't know all that they need to know about the DOJ's motivations.

#2 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-05-08 05:51 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

There is no law or equal justice as long as Trump and Barr continue to interfere in and obstruct justice.

There is only what pleases the teapublicans Dear Leader.

#3 | Posted by donnerboy at 2020-05-08 10:00 PM | Reply

Not a lawyer but it would seem to me that a Biden DOJ could undo Barr's action. If so, Flynn's goose could still get cooked.

#4 | Posted by FedUpWithPols at 2020-05-09 04:45 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

FEDUP

"Not a lawyer but it would seem to me that a Biden DOJ could undo Barr's action. If so, Flynn's goose could still get cooked."

It could depend on how long Judge Sullivan takes to make his decision. Of course, the Judge always has the last word. The Judge could just ignore A.G. Barr and proceed with the case.

#5 | Posted by Twinpac at 2020-05-09 07:08 AM | Reply

"Nazi theory indeed specifically denies that such a thing as the truth' exists. There is, for instance, no such thing as Science' ... If the Leader says of such and such an event, It never happened'"well, it never happened. If he says that two and two are five"well, two and two are five. This prospect frightens me much more than bombs."

George Orwell

#6 | Posted by SomebodyElse at 2020-05-09 09:20 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

America knows Flynn committed treason but Trump's lackey gave him a pass on it. Tells us everything we need to know about Trump and Barr. These people are beyond any law, they exist only because the Republican controlled Senate is complicit in their crimes. McConnell is probably the most evil member of the SEnate in my lifetime and some of you actually support him and what he does. Shame is not an emotion you are even capable of.

#7 | Posted by danni at 2020-05-09 11:36 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Putin's grip on the current maladministration cannot be more obvious.

#8 | Posted by getoffmedz at 2020-05-09 11:47 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

And did you see where the paperwork to the court was incorrectly prepared? The person who signed the document asking the court to set aside the charges in the case, used somebody else's Justice Department ID when they filled out the document, making it invalid. They've now got to start all over again, which I suspect is not going to endear the judge to the people bringing the argument to his courtroom. If they can't take the time to do the paperwork properly, why should the judge assume that they did their homework when putting their argument together for no longer wishing to charge Flynn for crimes that he's already plead guilty to, TWICE. And remember, this was part of a plea-bargain which means that there were other charges that were set aside in order to get the TWO guilty pleas. What about those crimes? If they weren't real, why were they able to use them as leverage to get the TWO guilty pleas? The judge should reinstate ALL the charges and start over from there.

OCU

#9 | Posted by OCUser at 2020-05-10 12:52 AM | Reply

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