Advertisement

Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Monday, May 11, 2020

Two former Justice Department officials who were directly involved in the Russia investigation have now spoken out publicly against Attorney General Bill Barr's decision to drop the Michael Flynn case. Mary McCord, who served as acting assistant attorney general for national security at the start of the probe, accused Barr of "twist[ing]" her words in the legal motions the Department filed to ask that Flynn's case be dismissed. Jonathan Kravis -- a DOJ prosecutor who resigned after Barr meddled in the Roger Stone case -- called last week's Flynn maneuver "equally appalling."

More

Comments

Admin's note: Participants in this discussion must follow the site's moderation policy. Profanity will be filtered. Abusive conduct is not allowed.

Here's a link to Ms McCord's op-ed...

Bill Barr Twisted My Words in Dropping the Flynn Case. Here's the Truth.
www.nytimes.com

...At the direction of Attorney General Bill Barr, the Justice Department last week moved to dismiss a false-statements charge against Michael Flynn, President Trump's former national security adviser. The reason stated was that the continued prosecution "would not serve the interests of justice."

The motion was signed by Timothy Shea, a longtime trusted adviser of Mr. Barr and, since January, the acting U.S. attorney in Washington. In attempting to support its argument, the motion cites more than 25 times the F.B.I.'s report of an interview with me in July 2017, two months after I left a decades-long career at the department (under administrations of both parties) that culminated in my role as the acting assistant attorney general for national security.

That report, commonly referred to as a "302," is an interesting read. It vividly describes disagreements between leadership of the Justice Department and the F.B.I. about how to handle the information we had learned about Mr. Flynn's calls with the Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak and, more specifically, Mr. Flynn's apparent lies about those calls to incoming Vice President Mike Pence.

But the report of my interview is no support for Mr. Barr's dismissal of the Flynn case. It does not suggest that the F.B.I. had no counterintelligence reason for investigating Mr. Flynn. It does not suggest that the F.B.I.'s interview of Mr. Flynn -- which led to the false-statements charge -- was unlawful or unjustified. It does not support that Mr. Flynn's false statements were not material. And it does not support the Justice Department's assertion that the continued prosecution of the case against Mr. Flynn, who pleaded guilty to knowingly making material false statements to the FBI, "would not serve the interests of justice."
...


#1 | Posted by LampLighter at 2020-05-11 11:16 AM | Reply

"The account of my interview in 2017 doesn't help the Department support this conclusion," McCord wrote, referring to the Justice Department's claim in its Flynn filings last week that the continued investigation into Flynn was not justified. "[A]nd it is disingenuous for the Department to twist my words to suggest that it does."

As McCord's Sunday op-ed highlighted, the disagreement was not over whether to continue the investigation, but whether to notify the White House of the potential blackmail risk Flynn posed by lying to top Trump administration officials about his conversations with the Russian ambassador. The FBI went ahead with the interview without notifying the White House, angering DOJ leaders. (T)he DOJ-FBI tension over that decision had "no bearing on whether Mr. Flynn's lies to the FBI were material to the clear counterintelligence threat" posed by the potential for him to be blackmailed.

Kravis meanwhile bashed Barr not just for the Department's legal reversal in the Flynn case, but for how Barr "disparaged" career DOJ prosecutors in media interviews after the Stone and Flynn moves. Kravis noted that DOJ policy and ethical obligations prevent these prosecutors from responding publicly without getting high-level permission.

"Barr's decision to excuse himself from these obligations and attack his own silenced employees is alarming," Kravis wrote. "It sends an unmistakable message to prosecutors and agents " if the president demands, we will throw you under the bus."

#2 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-05-11 11:18 AM | Reply

Similar article:

The Justice Department's Faulty Arguments in the Flynn Case
www.lawfareblog.com

...The gist of the Department of Justice's seemingly unprecedented motion to dismiss charges against Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn is that Flynn's admitted lies to FBI agents could not have been "material[,]" because there was no predication for an investigation at the time of his interview by the FBI. (The department also apparently feels it necessary to half-heartedly argue that Flynn's statements might not have been false, a tellingly silly argument in light of Flynn's multiple admissions that they were.) As the motion says, "the evidence shows his statements were not material' to any viable counterintelligence investigation"or any investigation for that matter"initiated by the FBI." The department notes that agents had recommended that an existing counterintelligence investigation into Flynn be closed for lack of evidence, and opines that Flynn's conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, and his false statements about them, provided no basis for continuing or reopening the investigation.

To understand why this is wrong, imagine the following: Someone who holds a grudge against you calls an FBI office and says that you are a Russian agent, providing fictitious details of invented meetings you have had with agents from Russia's Federal Security Service. Before that call, the FBI had no information at all about you"let alone an open predicated investigation"but follows up with a public records search and an interview of you, and determines that there is no basis to the claim.

The logic of the department's position in the Flynn case is that the person who maliciously reported you to the FBI could not be prosecuted for making a false statement, because at the time the statements were made, those statements "were not material' to any viable counterintelligence investigation ... initiated by the FBI." Or, to put it differently, [AG Barr asserted] the FBI can't investigate whether someone is a Russian agent unless it already has evidence that the person is a Russian agent.

That isn't the way either counterintelligence investigations or 18 U.S.C. 1001 work. To begin with, the language of 1001 does not support the department's position. Section 1001 makes it a crime to make a materially false statement "in any matter within the jurisdiction of" a federal agency. This language does not require that there be an open investigation, but simply that the matter be "within the jurisdiction" of the FBI....

[emphasis mine]

#3 | Posted by LampLighter at 2020-05-11 11:35 AM | Reply

McCord is a hyper-partisan hack.

#4 | Posted by JeffJ at 2020-05-11 11:49 AM | Reply | Funny: 1

McCord is a hyper-partisan hack.

#4 | Posted by JeffJ at

You can relate.

#5 | Posted by Zed at 2020-05-11 12:01 PM | Reply

@#4 ... McCord is a hyper-partisan hack. ...

Your comment attempts, and fails, to use politics to disprove a rational legal argument.


#6 | Posted by LampLighter at 2020-05-11 12:12 PM | Reply

#4 that's the only response you guys have left.

And yet again, it's hilariously self-unaware.

#7 | Posted by jpw at 2020-05-11 02:46 PM | Reply

And yet again, it's hilariously self-unaware.

POSTED BY JPW AT 2020-05-11 02:46 PM

Not touching it -- way too easy.

#8 | Posted by goatman at 2020-05-11 02:52 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

McCord is a hyper-partisan hack.

#4 | POSTED BY JEFFJ

She's got company:

More than 1,900 former Justice Dept. employees again call for Barr's resignation

The letter, organized by the nonprofit group Protect Democracy, was signed by Justice Department staffers serving in Republican and Democratic administrations dating back to President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The vast majority were former career staffers - rather than political appointees - who worked as federal prosecutors or supervisors at U.S. Attorney's Offices across the country or the Justice Department in downtown Washington.

"Our democracy depends on a Department of Justice that acts as an independent arbiter of equal justice, not as an arm of the president's political apparatus," the group wrote.

Among the signers were several high-profile Republican appointees, including Donald Ayer, a deputy attorney general under President George H.W. Bush; Charles Fried, solicitor general under President Ronald Reagan; and Stuart Gerson, who led the Justice Department's civil division under Bush and served as acting attorney general briefly in the Clinton administration. Justin Vail, a policy advocate with Protect Democracy, said the group was "inundated with calls from former Department of Justice attorneys who wanted to speak out" after the action in the Flynn case.

Who knew all these Republican appointees were partisan hacks?

#9 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-05-11 04:12 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Who knew all these Republican appointees were partisan hacks?
#9 | POSTED BY TONYROMA

That's why they invented the term RINO.
Like America, they believe their own party is ripe for a cull.

The GOP is a death cult.

#10 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-05-11 04:19 PM | Reply

"Jeff is a hyper-partisan hack."

FTFY

Barr is a fixer not an AG. He doesn't work in the interests of the nation, no, he's a partisan hack who personally represents Trump and his associates. I have never seen such a hack as AG in my entire life except for AG Mitchell under Nixon. Great company Barr keeps.

#11 | Posted by danni at 2020-05-12 08:28 AM | Reply

As Trump's prospects for being re-elected diminish further, we should look forward to attempted 'show' trials of various characters in the Russia probe, starting in about a month and going forward until the New Year. Nearly all will be batted down by clear-thinking judges but one or two could move as far as preliminary hearings. The writing is on the wall, and as that writing appears on more walls, Trump's cabal will wreak its vengeance where it can...

#12 | Posted by catdog at 2020-05-12 09:22 AM | Reply

McCord is a hyper-partisan hack.

#4 | POSTED BY JEFFJ

The ad hominems are strong in this one.

Typical conservative playbook. When you can't win an argument, resort to logical fallacies.

Which is why they are ALWAYS using logical fallacies.

#13 | Posted by gtbritishskull at 2020-05-12 09:31 AM | Reply

#9 Tony, you're own article says they are non-appointees, you mirroring Joe Scarborough?

#14 | Posted by fishpaw at 2020-05-12 12:21 PM | Reply

#9 Tony, you're own article says they are non-appointees,

You don't read very well do you?

Among the signers were several high-profile Republican appointees, including Donald Ayer, a deputy attorney general under President George H.W. Bush; Charles Fried, solicitor general under President Ronald Reagan; and Stuart Gerson, who led the Justice Department's civil division under Bush and served as acting attorney general briefly in the Clinton administration. Justin Vail, a policy advocate with Protect Democracy, said the group was "inundated with calls from former Department of Justice attorneys who wanted to speak out" after the action in the Flynn case.
Who knew all these Republican appointees were partisan hacks?

Obviously I was referring to those named in the last paragraph.

#15 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-05-12 12:39 PM | Reply

McCord is a hyper-partisan hack.

#4 | POSTED BY JEFFJ

Weak.

Coming from another hyper partisan hack that really doesn't mean much.

#16 | Posted by donnerboy at 2020-05-12 01:37 PM | Reply

McCord is a hyper-partisan hack.

#4 | POSTED BY JEFFJ

Speaking of...tell us again about all those fabulous new documents in the case...that are really only new to you and were viewed by the Court on camera before dismissing the exact same motion in December...

#17 | Posted by Sycophant at 2020-05-12 03:13 PM | Reply

Comments are closed for this entry.

Home | Breaking News | Comments | User Blogs | Stats | Back Page | RSS Feed | RSS Spec | DMCA Compliance | Privacy | Copyright 2020 World Readable

Drudge Retort