While all the world was focussed on the Schiff Show, or the IG Report, or pretty nearly ANYTHING we else we could turn to for a break in the tedium… a man’s future hangs in the balance.
Or have we all forgotten that General Flynn — who’s been hit with the blunt end of the DOJ’s pool cue since the time Trump first took office — stands awaiting a ruling on his future.
Is he headed for the Big House, or will he be exonerated as a free man?
If anyone would be free to quote the line by Reagan’s Labor Secretary Ray Donovan after he was found not guilty of corruption charges — “Where do I go to get my reputation back?” — it might be General Flynn.
He lost his home over legal fees. He has suffered the public humiliation of being called a criminal in the national press. And increasingly, it’s looking like he was set up to be destroyed by the very government he swore an oath to defend.
How’s that for gratitude?
Evidence that could have exonerated him was hidden. And at least some of the evidence against him was untrue. As a for-instance:
Further, besides the general take-away from the IG report—that DOJ and FBI misconduct was widespread—one specific aspect of Horowitz’s report proves especially relevant to Flynn’s case, namely the fact that the FBI had assigned “SSA 1” to provide a security briefing to then-candidate Donald Trump after learning that Flynn would be present at the briefing. SSA 1 was a lead agent in the Crossfire Hurricane investigation and participated in the briefing as part of the FBI’s investigation.
While the IG report criticized the FBI for using a presidential-candidate briefing as an investigative tool, it is not that fact that proves significant. Rather, it is what SSA 1 told Horowitz’s team about his presence at this meeting. The purpose was, according to SSA 1, to take “the opportunity to gain assessment and possibly have some level of familiarity with [Flynn],” such as learning “Flynn’s overall mannerisms.”
…This revelation is significant because former FBI Director James Comey testified to the House Intelligence Committee that the agents who interviewed Flynn “discerned no physical indications of deception. They didn’t see any change in posture, in tone, in infection, in eye contact. They saw nothing that indicated to them that he knew he was lying to them.” Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe also confirmed that agents didn’t detect any deception in their interview with Flynn.
So now we know that not only did the agents not detect any signs of deception when they interviewed Flynn, but that one of the agents who interviewed Flynn had a prior baseline meeting with the retired general to assess his “norms.” That same FBI agent compared Flynn’s conduct during the January 2017 interview to Flynn’s “norms,” and at the time concluded Flynn was not lying. Source: Federalist
Why might this spell good news for Flynn’s legal future? Elsewhere in the same article, Hemmingway points out:
Soon after taking over Flynn’s case, Powell had evoked the Stevens’ prosecution as a comparator, but the IG report adds gravitas to her comparison. When asked about the effect of Horowitz’s report, Powell told The Federalist, “given the stunning lies and conduct by the FBI painfully documented in the report, I would expect Judge Sullivan—at a minimum—to order the production of everything we requested. Yet again, we see the DOJ learned nothing from the Ted Stevens case. Stronger action is required to impress upon the government a rejection of its reprehensible conduct.” Powell added that “far too many in the FBI and DOJ are willing to hide evidence, falsify documents and make up crimes to achieve their objectives—regardless of their motives.”
Before the IG report, Judge Sullivan might have put Powell’s claim of egregious prosecutorial misconduct down to “zealous advocacy.” But it is impossible to contemplate the Sullivan who tossed the Stevens’ case reacting with anything less than outrage to the recent revelations of misconduct. And while the IG report may seem only tangentially related to Flynn, most of the same bad actors were involved in both the Page and Flynn investigations.
One can only hope that enough heads will roll once Dunham gets finished that the public servants will be have the fear of prison and a ruined reputation — if not the fear of God himself — watching over their actions and preventing future repetitions of the sorts of governmental abuses of the rights of innocent citizens we have been hearing about in these Hearings.