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

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
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 November 2018 December 2018 January 2019


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


Friday, November 24, 2017


What's all this about Flynn?

by digby

In case you were wondering what the significance of the Flynn news this week-end, this piece by former federal prosecutor Barbara McQuade will fill you in:

The report by the New York Times that Michael Flynn has withdrawn from a joint defense agreement with President Donald Trump might indicate that he is cooperating with Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III. If so, this could be a significant turning point in the investigation.

First, what is a joint defense agreement? A joint defense agreement is a pact among attorneys for multiple targets or subjects in a criminal case in which they agree to share information. The agreement may be written or unwritten. Any joint defense agreement will be defined by its explicit terms, but generally, under such an agreement, attorneys have a duty to keep the confidences of all of the clients covered by the agreement. The attorneys also have a duty to avoid conflicts of interest as to any of the clients. The attorneys can compare notes, allocate work efficiently by dividing tasks and avoiding duplication, and develop a unified strategy.

The main advantage of joint defense agreements is that the information that they share is protected by a form of the attorney-client privilege, known by some courts as a joint interest privilege. These agreements can help targets or subjects sidestep the so-called “prisoner’s dilemma,” in which they must decide in a vacuum whether to help each other by remaining silent or betray each other by cooperating with authorities. When subjects or targets form a unified defense strategy, it is more difficult for prosecutors to “flip” targets, and use them as cooperators against their co-conspirators.

In the special counsel’s investigation, it has been reported that members of the administration have entered into a joint defense agreement. This makes sense because as they field requests from Mueller and his team for documents and interviews, they can work together to share the work and develop a unified defense strategy.

But what does it mean if Flynn has decided to withdraw from the defense agreement? It could mean that he and his attorney have decided that his interests have diverged from the other members of the agreement. Perhaps Flynn and his attorney have decided to pursue a different strategy. For example, they may decide against voluntarily turning over documents and instead to litigate disclosure issues in court. But such details can usually be worked out within the defense team. For that reason, it seems more likely that Flynn has withdrawn from the agreement because he has decided to cooperate with Mueller to provide truthful information and possibly testimony in exchange for leniency for any crimes of which he is convicted.

Recent reports suggest that Flynn has significant exposure to criminal prosecution. Mueller effectively fired a shot against Flynn’s bow when he charged Paul Manafort with violating the Foreign Agent Registration Act, among other offenses. Similarly, reports say that Flynn belatedly filed notice with the Department of Justice regarding his own lobbying work for the government of Turkey. Even more concerning, other reports indicate that Flynn participated in meetings to discuss the kidnapping and rendition to Turkey of cleric Fethullah Gulen from his refuge in Pennsylvania. Gulen is a rival of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The congressional testimony of former acting Attorney General Sally Yates in May provides further evidence of criminal exposure for Flynn. Her testimony about Flynn’s contacts with Russians suggest that his conversations may have been intercepted by a wiretap authorized by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. This surveillance could yield a great deal of incriminating information about Flynn and his contacts with Russia on behalf of the Trump team. Yates was careful to protect classified information during her testimony, so we do not know all of the details about his conversations, but Yates testified that she was concerned that Flynn was “compromised.” If so, he could be charged with acting as an agent of a foreign government while serving as a U.S. government official.

We don't really know what he's doing. But Flynn is in the crosshairs for some very, very serious crimes including this news that he may have been involved in a kidnapping plot for 15 million dollars. People tried to warn Trump that he was crazy as a loon and he didn't listen. In fact, they seemed to be very much on the same page.

Flynn was very, very close to Trump during the campaign, the transition and the first few weeks in the White House. He knows things.

Update: Paul Waldman at the Washington Post asks the most pertinent question:

Why was President Trump so intensely focused on protecting Michael Flynn?

You’ll recall that Flynn was supposedly fired because he lied to Vice President Pence about his contacts with Russian officials during the campaign and the transition, claiming he had only exchanged pleasantries with them when in fact they had discussed substantive policy matters, something Pence then repeated to the media. This was always an odd explanation for the firing. Even more odd was the fact that immediately, President Trump began telling anyone who would listen what a great guy Michael Flynn is and how unfair the whole mess was to him.

Given that Trump is not known for being loyal to those who work for him, that was rather curious. Donald Trump looks out for Donald Trump, and if you become a liability to him, he’ll very quickly start acting as though he barely knew you. Now consider what Trump proceeded to do with regard to Michael Flynn:

The day after Flynn resigned, Trump asked FBI Director James B. Comey to stop investigating the former national security adviser. “I hope you can let this go,” Comey reported Trump saying in a memo he wrote immediately after their meeting.

Trump asked Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats to intervene with Comey to get him to back off his investigation of Flynn.

Unlike with previous aides who have displeased him, after he fired Flynn, Trump made a very public show of praising him to the media.

Months after Flynn was fired and as the investigation was accelerating, Trump kept in contact with Flynn. “I just got a message from the president to stay strong,” Flynn told friends at a dinner in April.
In May, Trump scolded his staff for criticizing Flynn to the media and had his spokesmen issue statements lavishly praising Flynn.

It’s almost as though Trump wanted to make sure Flynn didn’t turn on him.

I will speculate wildly here that I would be wondering if Trump didn't approve that 15 million dollar kidnapping plot. He is just that dumb and --- he's a man who has shown over and over again that the only attention he ever paid to politics was watching "the shows" on cable news. He had no ethical boundaries in business and he didn't understand that they existed in government either. In fact, he's still making money out of the oval office as we speak and there seems to be little appetite by the congress to do anything about it.

This plot would easily be one that Trump and his crazy pal Flynn would think was very, very clever. Flynn had a vendetta against the Intelligence Community and Trump is a fucking moron. That's exactly the kind of thing they'd believe was a very excellent way to conduct foreign policy.