John R. Houk
© December 3, 2017
If you pay attention to Mainstream Media (MSM) on television or print (Internet or otherwise), you are probably a foolish fellow for believing the anti-Trump jubilation that Mike Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.
REMEMBER, Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller mandate is to investigate if Donald Trump and campaign colluded with Russia to influence the outcome of the 2016 election to Trump’s favor.
Has ANY of Mueller’s prosecutorial indictments thus far had anything to do with the Trump campaign directly colluding with Russia on the election? NOPE!
Indicted so far:
- Paul Manafort
Manafort is accused of concealing from the United States his work as an agent of the Ukraine, and hiding tens of millions of dollars he received. He allegedly hid the payments and laundered more than $18 million through different U.S. and foreign corporations, partnerships and banks, and failed to report these accounts to his tax preparers. He also allegedly used the money from these off-shore accounts to pay for his personal expenses, including real estate, luxury goods and services for himself and his family. (A Full List of All the Charges Filed in Mueller’s Russia Probe; By EILEEN RESLEN; Esquire; 12/1/17)
Time frame of accused Manafort crimes:
According to the indictment, reviewed by Fox News, between at least 2006 and 2015, Manafort and Gates acted as unregistered agents of the Government of Ukraine, the Party of Regions, a Ukrainian political party whose leader Victor Yanukovych was president from 2010 to 2014, and the Opposition Bloc. (Paul Manafort, Rick Gates indicted by federal grand jury in Russia probe; By Brooke Singman; Fox News; 10/30/17)
- Richard “Rick” Gates
Since Gates was charged with many of the same counts as Manafort, several of the allegations are the same. The indictment states that Gates conspired with Manafort in a multi-million dollar lobbying campaign in the U.S. in favor of the Ukraine government. He also allegedly created a false cover story and did not report foreign bank accounts. Gates was also accused of using this money to fund personal expenses, including real estate properties. (A Full List of All the Charges Filed in Mueller’s Russia Probe; By EILEEN RESLEN; Esquire; 12/1/17)
Time frame of accused Gates crimes:
Similar to Manafort: 2006 – 2015 & 2010 – 2014
- George Papadopoulos
… the special counsel announced the guilty plea of George Papadopoulos — which apparently happened on or about October 5 — to a single count of making false statements to government investigators. … Papadopoulos was a low-level Trump-campaign adviser. He had contacts with Russians who claimed to have close connections to the Putin regime.
As outlined in a 14-page “Statement of the Offense,” Papadopoulos’s principal offense was to lie to the FBI about when these contacts occurred. He told the FBI they happened before he joined the campaign; in fact, they happened not only after he was aboard but only because he was aboard. Upon close examination, the story unfolded in the offense statement is actually exculpatory of Trump and his campaign.
Papadopoulos is a climber who was clearly trying to push his way into Trump World. …
While living in London in early March 2016, he spoke with an unidentified Trump-campaign official and learned he would be designated a foreign-policy adviser to the campaign. These arrangements are very loose. Papadopoulos was a fringe figure, not plugged into Trump’s inner circle.
In London, Papadopoulos met an unidentified Russian academic (referred to as “the Professor”), who claimed to have significant ties to Putin-regime officials and who took an interest in Papadopoulos only because he boasted of having Trump-campaign connections. There appears to be no small amount of puffery on all sides: Papadopoulos suggesting to the Russians that he could make a Trump meeting with Putin happen, and suggesting to the campaign that he could make a Putin meeting with Trump happen; the Professor putting Papadopoulos in touch with a woman who Papadopoulos was led to believe was Putin’s niece (she apparently is not) …
In the most important meeting, in London on April 26, 2016, the Professor told Papadopoulos that he (the Prof) had just learned that top Russian-government officials had obtained “dirt” on then-putative Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. The dirt is said to include “thousands of emails” — “emails of Clinton.” The suggestion, of course, was that the Russians were keen to give this information to the Trump campaign.
Notice that Mueller did not make Papadopoulos plead guilty to collusion with Russia. For a prosecutor, there is nothing better than getting a cooperating accomplice to admit guilt to the scheme the prosecutor is investigating. It goes a long way toward proving that the scheme existed. Once you’ve got that, it’s much easier to prove that the cooperator’s confederates are guilty, too. But even though there’s a great deal of evidence that Papadopoulos colluded with Russia, there’s no charge along those lines. There’s just a single false-statement charge on which, according to the plea agreement, he’s probably looking at no jail time, and certainly no more than six months. Why no collusion charge? Because collusion is not a crime.
First, it underscores that, whatever “collusion” might have happened, at this point there is no criminal-conspiracy case. …
Second, the offense statement supporting the plea also helps Trump politically. There is an interesting footnote on page 8. Here’s the context: On May 21, 2016, Papadopoulos emailed an unidentified top Trump-campaign official, explaining with urgency that Russian officials (presumably including Putin, at least in Papadopoulos’s mind) wanted to meet Trump and “have been reaching out to me to discuss.” Mueller then drops this footnote:
The government notes that the official forwarded defendant PAPADOPOULOS’s email to another Campaign official (without including defendant PAPADOPOULOS) and stated: “Let[’]s discuss. We need someone to communicate that DT is not doing these trips. It should be someone low level in the campaign so as not to send any signal.
… Trump has no intention of meeting with Russians, and if there are going to be meetings at all, it must be at a low level so the Russians do not construe Trump to be making any commitments or accommodations. (The Papadopoulos Case; By ANDREW C. MCCARTHY; National Review; 10/30/17 8:03 PM)
I spent more time laying out Papadopoulos’ guilty plea because the time frame indicates his idiocy was actually during the 2016 campaign. Yet as Andrew McCarthy indicates, Papadopoulos was such a low hanging fruit that the Trump campaign staff REBUFFED his self-initiated Russian contact. Hence, no Trump crime here. As we hear the Dems say about real crimes, Trump can truly say, “Move along – nothing to see here”.
And now the Mike Flynn guilty plea that has the Dems and MSM all a twitter with glee that President Trump is about to be deposed. But first, let’s begin with this ABC News moron getting caught spreading Fake News against President Trump – Brian Ross:
ABC’s Brian Ross suspended over erroneous Flynn report
By Axios News Desk
ABC News investigative reporter Brian Ross was suspended for four weeks without pay tonight over his incorrect report that Michael Flynn was prepared to testify that Donald Trump told him to contact the Russians during his presidential campaign.
Why it matters: It was a huge error that moved markets and damaged the network’s credibility. The report was also passed along by Axios and other news outlets. In a statement, ABC News apologized and said the report “had not been fully vetted through our editorial standards process.”
The network later corrected the report to say that Trump gave him that instruction as president-elect — which is a big difference, since there’s nothing unusual about newly elected presidents contacting foreign governments.
The full text of ABC’s statement:
“We deeply regret and apologize for the serious error we made yesterday. The reporting conveyed by Brian Ross during the special report had not been fully vetted through our editorial standards process. As a result of our continued reporting over the next several hours ultimately we determined the information was wrong and we corrected the mistake on air and online.
“It is vital we get the story right and retain the trust we have built with our audience –- these are our core principles. We fell far short of that yesterday. Effective immediately, Brian Ross will be suspended for four weeks without pay.”
So, take that idiot Left! Still no proven Trump collusion with Russia in the election!
- Mike Flynn:
As previously reported General Michael Flynn will plead guilty to lying to the FBI deep state operatives in the ongoing Trump witch hunt today.
Once again — this verdict has NOTHING TO DO with Trump-Russia collusion.
It’s just a way for the Democrat media and Deep State to erase an election and eliminate Donald Trump.
Flynn’s conversations to the Russian ambassador were not a crime.
Not disclosing this information to the corrupt FBI was his crime.
On Friday ABC News reported that General Michael Flynn will testify against President Donald Trump in the Russian collusion scandal.
President of Judicial Watch Tom Fitton blasted Mueller and the Deep State operatives targeting Trump’s camp simply for the crime of Donald Trump winning the Presidential election.
“Sally Yates, Andrew McCabe, and James Comey improperly targeted General Flynn. And Mueller got him. Deep State victory. @RealDonaldTrump should consider a pardon. The Mueller special counsel continues to be unconstitutional and out of control. Shut it down,” Fitton tweeted. (Tom Fitton Unleashes on Mueller and Deep State For Targeting General Flynn “SHUT IT DOWN”; By Cristina Laila; The Gateway Pundit; 12/2/17)
It is apparent that retired 3-Star General and fire National Security Advisor Mike Flynn has the character flaw of lying to protect himself even when no self-preservation is needed. President Trump the flaw latter than sooner and fired him. Lying to the FBI is what Flynn pled guilty to not for some conspiracy with the Russians to meddle in the elections.
In saying all that, it is Mueller, Comey, Lynch, Crooked Hillary, probably Obama and a host of other Dem/Leftist playing a Deep State role that should be investigated for real crimes that the Dem Alliance tries to pooh-pooh away when actual links to illegalities can be seen by any honest person not corrupted by Fake News propaganda.
There are a few Conservative Commentators that point the ZERO Trump/Russian link that the Left pushes as actual. One is Andrew McCarthy at the National Review writing, “There’s less to the news than meets the eye”. There is also Rowan Scarborough writing for the Washington Times, “Source close to president’s legal advisers say Flynn has nothing to incriminate Trump”. McCarthy and Scarborough are quite erudite journalists with good opinions. But a post at The Last Refuge (aka TheConservativeTreeHouse.com) spells out Mueller going after Flynn in layman terms that all Americans can understand.
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President Trump: “It’s a shame” Michael Flynn Lied “There Was Nothing To Hide”…
December 2, 2017
The Last Refuge
President Trump sends antagonistic media into spastic fits, and pearl-clutching circle-running, with a single tweet about Michael Flynn. Epic:
Trump Tweet Screen Capture
Praetorian professional punditry immediately jump into their “he can’t” routine, filled with protestations about poor judgement and the risk of commenting on an on-going investigation, and such… blah, blah, blah… However, what seemingly never crosses their mind is that: A) Everything asserted is 100% factual; and B) When there’s nothing to hide, there’s no risk. D’oh, dummies.
There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with the President-Elect’s Transition Team talking to any foreign government, or any official within any foreign government. Ever. Period. Actually, that’s exactly what transition teams are supposed to do; they reach out and receive information from foreign government officials as the starting point to communication with a new administration.
Many people have asked the question why would Michael Flynn have lied about talking to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the first place?
It’s a great question.
The Occam’s Razor answer is the toxic political environment that existed in January 2017, where the administration was being hammered by a tsunami of media narratives and political opposition claiming that any scintilla of contact with anything Russian meant that Putin and Trump were “colluding” BFFs,…. and Flynn didn’t want to fuel that nonsense.
That’s really the only reason to mislead about Russian contacts.
And/or once Vice-President Mike Pence made the statement that Flynn had no contact with anyone from Russia etc. any contradictory statement from Flynn would make Pence appear compromised; so Flynn had to stick to it without clarification.
- Sunday January 15th– VP-elect Mike Pence appears on Face The Nation. [Transcript Here]
JOHN DICKERSON: But there’s a distinction between that feeling about the press and legitimate inquiry, as you say, that the Senate Intelligence Committee is doing. Just to button up one question, did any advisor or anybody in the Trump campaign have any contact with the Russians who were trying to meddle in the election?
MIKE PENCE: Of course not. And I think to suggest that is to give credence to some of these bizarre rumors that have swirled around the candidacy. (link)
[*NOTE* Notice the narrative questioning at the time (early Jan) was framed that ‘any contact’ with Russians was evidence of meddling/election-collusion with Russians.]
- Friday January 20th– Inauguration
- Tuesday January 24th– Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn was interviewed at the WH by the FBI. [Either Flynn contradicts Pence, or he tells a lie, those were his options.]
- Wednesday January 25th– The Department of Justice received a detailed readout from the FBI agents who had interviewed Flynn. Yates said she felt “it was important to get this information to the White House as quickly as possible.”
- Thursday January 26th– (morning) Yates called McGahn first thing that morning to tell him she had “a very sensitive matter” that had to be discussed face to face. McGahn agreed to meet with Yates later that afternoon.
- Thursday January 26th– (afternoon) Sally Yatestraveled to the White House along with a senior member of the DOJ’s National Security Division, Bill Priestap, who was overseeing the matter. This was Yates’ first meeting with McGahn in his office, which also acts as a sensitive compartmented information facility (SCIF).
Yates said she began their meeting by laying out the media accounts and media statements made by Vice President Mike Pence and other high-ranking White House officials about General Flynn’s activity “that we knew not to be the truth.”
According to Sally Yates testimony, she and Bill Priestap reportedly presented all the information to McGahn so the White House could take action that they deemed appropriate. When asked by McGahn if Flynn should be fired, Yates answered, “that really wasn’t our call.”
Yates also said her decision to notify the White House counsel had been discussed “at great length.” According to her testimony: “Certainly leading up to our notification on the 26th, it was a topic of a whole lot of discussion in DOJ and with other members of the intel community.”
- Friday January 27th– (morning) White House Counsel Don McGahn called Yates in the morning and asked if she could come back to his office.
- Friday January 27th– (late afternoon) According to her testimony, Sally Yates returned to the White House late that afternoon. One of McGahn’s topics discussed was whether Flynn could be prosecuted for his conduct.
Specifically, according to Yates, one of the questions McGahn asked Yates was, “Why does it matter to DOJ if one White House official lies to another?” She explained that it “was a whole lot more than that,” and reviewed the same issues outlined the prior day.
McGahn expressed his concern that taking action might interfere with the FBI investigation of Flynn, and Yates said it wouldn’t. “It wouldn’t really be fair of us to tell you this and then expect you to sit on your hands,” Yates had told McGahn.
McGahn asked if he could look at the underlying evidence of Flynn’s conduct, and she said they would work with the FBI over the weekend and “get back with him on Monday morning.”
- Friday January 27th– (evening) In what appears to be only a few hours later, President Trump is having dinner with FBI Director James Comey where President Trump asked if he was under investigation.
Now, accepting the politicization of the entire Russian Conspiracy Narrative that was leading the headlines for the two months prior to this dinner; and knowing moments earlier your Chief White House counsel informs you that two political operatives (Yates and Priestap) within the DOJ were providing classified intelligence reports about General Flynn; and knowing the prior months (Nov/Dec/Jan) were fraught with leaks from intelligence reports identical to those discussed; wouldn’t you perhaps think that any action you take could be utilized to add fuel to this Russian narrative? And/Or be used by these same leak facilitators to make something seem like something it is not?
Think about it.
Trump Thinking About It
Special Counsel Robert Mueller has charged Flynn (full pdf below) with falsely telling FBI agents that he did not ask the ambassador “to refrain from escalating the situation” in response to the sanctions.
According to the plea, while being questioned by FBI agents on January 24, 2017, Flynn also lied when he claimed he could not recall a subsequent conversation with Kislyak, in which the ambassador told Flynn that the Putin regime had “chosen to moderate its response to those sanctions as a result of [Flynn’s] request.”
Furthermore, a week before the sanctions were imposed, Flynn had also spoken to Kislyak, asking the ambassador to delay or defeat a vote on a pending United Nations resolution. The criminal information charges that Flynn lied to the FBI by denying both that he’d made this request and that he’d spoken afterward with Kislyak about Russia’s response to it.
There was nothing wrong with the incoming national-security adviser’s having meetings with foreign counterparts or discussing such matters as the sanctions in those meetings. However, lying to the FBI is the process crime that has led to Flynn’s admissions herein:
As we have shared from the beginning – this is all about DC politics, not judicial crimes in the same vein as everyone else would be charged.
You cannot view the current action through the transactional prism of modern judicial proceedings as they relate to you and me. These are political struggles taking place inside the venue of the legal system. The players use the legal system to game out the optics and narrative of political battles for ideological wins and losses.
In essence, this is about leverage for political use.
Nothing about the current dynamic is factually encompassing President Trump; it is all about optics, narratives and political leverage. However, everything about this dynamic is factually encompassing the existential threat that outsider Trump represents to the established way of life in the DC Swamp.
Again, if you drop the legal prism and review everything from the perspective of gaining or losing political leverage it all makes sense.
Dems Celebrate NOT Realizing the Mud on Their Faces
John R. Houk
© December 3, 2017
President Trump: “It’s a shame” Michael Flynn Lied “There Was Nothing To Hide”…
About The Last Refuge
The Conservative Tree House may be called a Last Refuge for each of us for different reasons. Whatever trail through the woods brought us here, we have shared the turmoil of storms as we have been finding our voices as individuals in this growing community
Perhaps you’ve had some truly shockingly cruel things said to you purely because you believe in limited government and fiscal conservatism. Perhaps you not only believe that we should be self-reliant and personally responsible, but also believe that when we are allowed to depend on ourselves, we are stronger, more successful, take greater pride in ourselves and our work, and are more likely to make positive contributions to society. And then we are happier people, or at least more likely to be happier.
Which lends to the following theory: Fear is at the core of liberalism, and love/trust is at the core of conservatism. Liberalism is about control. Conservatism is about self-empowerment.
Control is a reaction to fear. Think in terms or politics and society – the fear behind liberalism is the fear that someone might withhold things (opportunities, money, whatever) from me, fear that if you live your life in a way I dislike that it might affect my life, fear that if you get that job, there will be nothing left for me. Fear that if you make tons of money, it’s means there’s less money out there for me. So people who believe in liberal ideologies seek control as a means of trying to create guarantees and safeguards against those circumstances they fear. Liberals try to control the world and people to enable their comfort and happiness. Which, as we know, is an endless quest. Trying to control others does nothing in the way of making oneself happy. By extension, voting in this mindset so that government can try to control others will also – shocking – not lead to a happier, more comfortable life.
The conservative (and moderate, independent, but for the sake of expediency, the conservative), on the other hand, relies on himself to meet his own needs. And the trade off of being free to live his life as he wishes is also understanding that he has to make peace with … READ THE REST