HOME



Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405



Facebook: Digby Parton

Twitter:
@digby56
@Gaius_Publius
@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)
@spockosbrain



emails:
Digby:
thedigbyblog at gmail
Dennis:
satniteflix at gmail
Gaius:
publius.gaius at gmail
Tom:
tpostsully at gmail
Spocko:
Spockosbrain at gmail
tristero:
Richardein at me.com








Infomania

Salon
Buzzflash
Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Slate
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic


Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018 August 2018 September 2018 October 2018


 

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Hullabaloo


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

 

Flynn knows things

by digby





I wrote about the latest in the Mueller investigation for Salon this morning:

So we're off to the races this week. President Trump has hit a new low, perhaps, by slurring a Native American heroine in a speech to Native American war heroes while standing under a portrait of Andrew Jackson. Meanwhile, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finds itself at war with the White House, with two different people serving as its chief and lawsuits flying in all directions.

James O'Keefe apparently tried to sting top investigative journalists of The Washington Post and failed spectacularly. Trump called CNN International fake news right after Russian President Vladimir Putin officially declared it a propaganda network. There's also a massive tax cut bill that Trump and his wealthy buddies yearn to put in their heirs' Christmas stockings this year, grinding its way through the Senate. And it's only Tuesday.

But one story buzzing over the weekend may end up being a watershed moment in this crazy Trump era and that is the news that Michael Flynn's lawyers sent notice to the White House that they were withdrawing from an agreement to share information. Such an arrangement is not uncommon between lawyers for people involved in an investigation, but when one of their clients decides to cooperate with prosecutors it is unethical to continue to share or receive information from others who may be targets of those prosecutors.

So the assumption is that Flynn is cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller and may be negotiating a plea agreement. On Monday, ABC News reported that Flynn's attorney Robert Kelner met with members of Mueller’s team, which suggests that speculation may very well be correct.

Flynn was fired as Trump's national security adviser (a post he held for barely three weeks), ostensibly because he lied to Vice President Mike Pence, a story that never really made sense. It's not as if the Trump White House has some kind of zero tolerance for lying. What we know happened at the time was that the FBI had already questioned Flynn about his discussions with the Russian ambassador. We also know that Acting Attorney General Sally Yates (fired shortly thereafter for her refusal to carry out the unlawful Muslim ban) told White House counsel Don McGahn that Flynn might be compromised, and that McGahn told the president -- but they kept him around for another two weeks.

It's unclear what went on during that period, but Mueller and company are surely very curious as to what Trump and others were thinking. After all, the conversation Flynn allegedly had with the Russian ambassador involved Flynn saying the Russians shouldn't worry about the Obama administration's sanctions over interference in the election. We just don't know if that was payment for delivery or just a gesture of goodwill between close friends.

Flynn is exposed on a number of fronts that make him very vulnerable to prosecution. He failed to file as a foreign agent, one of the charges the special counsel's office filed against former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort. He's also possibly being investigated for his lobbying work on behalf of foreign countries, money laundering and lying to federal agents about his overseas contacts. And then there is that little matter that Flynn and his son may have been involved in a plot to kidnap exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen, a rival of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and render him to Turkey in exchange for millions of dollars -- while Flynn was working for Trump.


On Monday, The Washington Post reported that Mueller was also looking into Flynn's consulting deal with a company called ACU to build nuclear reactors all over the Middle East, a project that continued through the end of 2016 and that Flynn failed to reveal on his initial disclosure forms. The Post described the project this way:
The idea: to build several dozen “proliferation-proof” nuclear power plants across Persian Gulf states. The plan relied heavily on Russian interests, which would help build the plants, as well as possibly take possession of spent fuel that could be used to build a nuclear weapon, according to people familiar with the project. ACU’s managing director, Alex Copson, had been promoting variations of building nuclear facilities with Russian help for more than two decades, according to news reports.

Oddly, Flynn was warning publicly, including in testimony to Congress in 2015, that the U.S. would be at risk if Russia were to build these nuclear reactors. One imagines that the special counsel would be quite interested in knowing just what he was up to, since he was simultaneously consulting with a company that was working with the Russians to do just that.


These are just some of the possible areas of interest that are public knowledge. There could be be more. People tend to forget what Gen. Michael Flynn did before he became Trump's closest national security adviser. He's not like the rest of Trump's motley entourage of family, has-beens and obscure misfits. Up until 2014, when he was finally fired by President Obama, Michael Flynn was one of the most important intelligence officers in the U.S. military.


After 9/11 Flynn held progressively higher levels of intelligence posts until he finally became director of the Defense Intelligence Agency and commander of the Joint Functional Component Command for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, and then chair of the Military Intelligence Board in 2012. He lasted until 2014, when he was forced out for bad management and personality issues.


This is not your usual campaign operative or government bureaucrat. Flynn knows things. Until three years ago, he was privy to the most tightly held secrets America has, and was right back in it earlier this year as national security adviser to the president. He had a lot to offer to a foreign government if he was of a mind to share it, whether for money, revenge or something else.


Michael Flynn could be in very big trouble. The question now is whether his boss knew what he was up to or promised to protect him once he was caught. That's what Mueller is looking to find out.

.