At the end of his term, President Obama boasted, “We didn’t have a scandal that embarrassed us.” As we are finding out this week, that comment holds the same veracity as when Obama proclaimed, “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.”
He lied about keeping your doctor and he’s lied about scandals, too. Attorney General William Barr’s courageous and bold move to drop the charges against Lt. General Michael Flynn has unearthed for public consumption a host of interesting and sordid revelations about his case. Let’s get a quick overview of what happened.
The Department of Justice, about a week ago, dismissed the prosecution of Michael Flynn, who briefly served as President Trump’s first national security adviser. Andrew McCarthy explains why, “In all the heated commentary over this decision, scant attention has been paid to the most compelling reason for vacating Flynn’s 2017 guilty plea to one count of making false statements to FBI agents: The government wouldn’t have a prayer of convicting Flynn at trial.”
He goes on to add that an initial investigation into Flynn which began in August of 2016 was closed in January 4, 2017, a full twenty days before his infamous FBI interview. There was nothing found in that initial six-month investigation. Nothing.
Simply put, Comey’s FBI interviewed (or entrapped) Flynn based on a false premise. McCarthy notes, “agents went out of their way to deceive Flynn about the purpose of the interview, at which they hoped to trip him up.”
Aside from correcting the injustice to Lt. Gen. Flynn and reiterating that President Trump was right, why does this matter? It matters because of where this all leads.
Joe Concha notes, “The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board is asking why former President Obama commented on the Justice Department’s decision to drop the case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn, asking ‘what he’s really worried about.’”
Is it possible, as the Wall Street Journal editorial board ponders, that Obama is “eager to distort the truth” ahead of an investigation being conducted by U.S. Attorney John Durham into the origins of the Russia investigation?
There are lots of questions that need to be addressed.
Who was behind the drive to get rid of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, even though there was nothing wrong with his recorded conversation with the Russian ambassador? Who knew what was going on? Who unmasked Flynn in the first place and leaked it to Washington Post reporters? Why were they so determined to get Flynn out of the administration?
Here’s some of what’s known. There was a January 5, 2017 meeting at the White House in which President Obama talked with then-FBI Director Jim Comey and then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.
It’s been shown, from her testimony to the Mueller team, that Yates was surprised Obama was aware of the details of then-incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn’s intercepted December 2016 phone calls with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
Did Obama have it in for Flynn? Fox News reports, “Obama personally had warned the Trump administration against hiring Flynn, and made clear he was ‘not a fan,’ according to multiple officials. Obama had fired Flynn as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014.”
That might be it, but it does leave questions. If Obama was aware of the baseless attack against Flynn, what else did he know about? Is there more to it? Was Obama aware of what Comey, Clapper, Brennan, Strzok, and Page were doing? Did he authorize it?
FBI texts seem to indicate something. Remember the Strzok/Page text that read, “Obama wants to know everything we’re doing?”
What does seem clear is Obama’s FBI, CIA, Department of Justice, director of national intelligence, and White House national security team were all involved in extensive, illegal surveillance of the Trump campaign and presidential transition. It continued after Trump took office, thanks to holdover officials and anti-Trump bureaucrats.
We’ll have to wait and see where all of this goes. Of course, it is important to note that Joe Biden was asked about all of this on Good Morning America on May 12, 2020. Initially, he denied knowing about any of it saying to George Stephanopoulos, “I know nothing about those moves to investigate Michael Flynn.”
Later in the same interview, when Stephanopoulos reminded Biden he’d been at a January 5, 2017 meeting in the Oval Office, Biden suddenly remembered, “I was aware that there was, that they asked for an investigation, but that’s all I know about.” He claimed to have misunderstood the question. Maybe he did. I can believe that.
Attorney General William Barr and Special Prosecutor John Durham may have much more to say in the coming days. For now, it does seem as if all roads lead to Obama.