Flynn May Already Be Cooperating With Investigators

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Is Michael Flynn is cooperating with investigators?

The question may be speculative, but it’s not idle speculation.

Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, and Carter Page have all said they want to testify before the House Committee on Intelligence about the growing Russia-White House scandal. “Nothing from Flynn yet,” John Schindler, formerly of NSA counter-intelligence, tweets, ”Fill in the blanks.”

Bill Palmer of the Palmer Report draws a similar conlcusion:

I’ve strongly suspected Flynn had already cut a deal with the FBI from the minute the story broke about him registering as a foreign agent. It was probably fairly easy for the FBI to convince him to go along with it, as they already have him nailed on the felony of lying to them about Russia several months ago (source: Washington Post). Now that he’s the only one of the four known campaign targets who’s not running to the Congressional committee show-trials, it seems all the more obvious.

There’s no question that Flynn is in legal trouble. He’s violated the Foreign Agent Registration Act and probably the Logan Act, though that law may not be prosecutable. In addition to these offenses, Flynn may have violated the emoluments clause of the Constitution when he spoke at the Russia Today 10th Anniversary gala. Add conspiracy to kidnapping to the list and Flynn has serious trouble. There’s no evidence to suggest that Flynn had lied to investigators at any point, but that would also be a legal concern for the general who’s been fired from two presidential administrations.

This week the Wall Street Journal reported that Former CIA Director James Woolsley was present at a meeting where Flynn, some other Americans, and some Turkish officials discussed kidnapping exiled Turkish cleric Fetullah Gulen. The meeting took place at… one of Trump’s hotels. The Journal is paywalled, but the Palmer Report has a subscription and offers its summary on the events:

Long-retired former CIA Director James Woolsey was an adviser to Donald Trump’s campaign. He eventually quit during the transition period, diplomatically suggesting that his role had run its course. But he’s now publicly disclosing something which may have been a factor. Last summer Michael Flynn brought Woolsey along to a meeting with representatives from the Turkish government, where they discussed theoretical plans for abducting Turkish dissident Fethullah Gulen from his home in Pennsylvania and shipping him back to Turkey. During the same meeting, Flynn tried to hire Woolsey as a consultant to his firm, in the name of furthering this plot against Gulen.

Woolsey now says he was taken aback by what he overheard at the meeting, and he suspected that even the discussion about abducting Gulen was a crime. So he refused Flynn’s money, and instead he reported the meeting to the federal government.

Flynn has been on the U.S. intelligence radar since 2015 when he took money from the Russians for delivering a speech at which included a well-publicized, well-compensated speech at Russia Today’s 10th Anniversary Gala. Last summer, Flynn was reported by Woolsley for discussing the kidnap of Gulen with Turkish officials. That would be enough for a FISA warrant for the NSA and the FBI and allowed the transcription and analysis of Flynn’s discussions with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Although not quite incriminating, Flynn’s ability to lie certainly raises questions about his guilt. At first, Flynn flatly denied discussing sanctions with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak; he subsequently changed his story and claimed that he couldn’t remember whether he discussed sanctions.

Aspiring liars should note that people who use the “I don’t recall” strategy usually begin, not end, with it. Even then, it stretches credibility when a liar has five conversations with someone in one day and claims not to remember what they talked about.

It’s no surprise then that Sally Yates was scheduled to testify at the House Intelligence Committee’s now cancelled hearing on Tuesday. Yates was the acting Attorney General who informed the Trump Administration that Flynn had not been truthful about his contacts with Russia related to sanctions and that he was vulnerable to blackmail by Russian intelligence Flynn may have lied to Congress.

Like much coming out of the White House these days, the White House came up with a cover story. that covered less than a nightie from Victoria’s secret: Flynn lied to Vice President Mike Pence.

Elijah Cummings the top Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform told then Vice President-elect Mike Pence in a November letter that the man Donald Trump had tapped to be his national security adviser was lobbying on behalf of a foreign government.

The cancellation of the House Intelligence Committee open hearing on Tuesday–it may only be the “open” that was cancelled–is a speed bump. Carrying water for Trump, Devin Nunes has likely destroyed not only his committee’s credibility but his career. Nunes is one of the less affluent members of Congress. He has a $50,000 stake in a winery. Guess which country buys a lot of its wine?



Discuss

27 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Great stuff

    I was shocked at how quickly Flynn was fired, since I assumed they would’ve kept him on so he wouldn’t turn. And they definitely stabbed him on his way out the door in typical Trump fashion. They are doing the same thing to Manafort. Nixon commanded incredible levels of personal loyalty from his staffers-many of whom had known him for decades. The problem with guns for hire is that as soon as the money runs out they’ll turn on you. Flynn, followed by Manafort, will be witnesses for the prosecution in no time.

  2. For the Massachusetts angle...

    …former gubernatorial candidate Juliette Kayyem, in her capacity as a CNN national security analyst, says she has sources indicating Flynn has indeed flipped. I hope, however, that he and others are held accountable as well.

    • Per one source, she walked this back

      I don’t know how good the source is.

      • Is Pajama's Media

        a good source?

        Everything I’ve seen says Kayyem said sources told her he may be under investigation. I’m confident enough in the circumstantial evidence, however. We’re hanging ten here. In front of a wave of stories yet to break. It’s up the media to dig up direct evidence.

        The Turkey thing is a bombshell. I just read that Nunes was at the same meeting, again reservations with sourcing, but his behavior has been erratic.

        • Nunes was also part of a CODEC visiting Israel in 2015

          and has been very much against the agreement with Iran, since.

          • that should be CODEL

            n/t

          • Very interesting.

            The most recent thing I’ve read is that one of the people at the Trump hotel meeting with the Turks was none other than Devin Nunes. Some Silicon Valley guy posted it on his Twitter and someone posted it on DailyKos. We’ll find out in the next week, I expect.

        • The source is accurate

          Her Twitter feed links to a Facebook post, which they have quoted accurately.

          And I stated that it raises a question about whether [Flynn} may have a deal with the FBI. Moreover, sources I have talked to in the field also are increasingly wondering the same thing. But, to be clear, I did not say on this segment that I have any confirmation that he is actually cooperating or that I have talked to anyone who does. My informed analysis of this case is based on my years of experience in the national security arena.

          My uninformed analysis of this statement says she’s walking it back.

  3. Eh?

    I’m trying to wrap my head around this –

    Nunes is one of the less affluent members of Congress. He has Nune has a $50,000 stake in a winery. Guess which country buys a lot of its wine?

    If I had a 50 grand stake in anything, I’d consider myself pretty affluent.

  4. Front page of grocery store tabloid National Enquirer

    which is run by Trump ally David Pecker (yes, really), throws Flynn under the bus. Specifically: “Trump catches White House Spy!”

    Seems very improbable that POTUS disapproves.

  5. I think we should go slow on the Nunes/Russia "connection"

    I very much want to see Mr. Trump — and his entire cabal of collaborators — impeached, prosecuted, and convicted of things like treason and bribery.

    Still, I just spent a little bit of time digging into the reported connection from Russia to Mr. Nunes. Right now, it frankly looks like very weak tea. Here’s what I see:

    1. Mr. Nunes has a $50,000 stake in “Alpha Omega Winery”. That is apparently a significant part of the net worth of Mr. Nunes. It is very small piece of the company.

    2. Alpha Omega Winery appears to have gross annual sales of about $1.9M, and has 10 employees (according to sources like this. Whatever influence Mr. Nunes has is derived from his position in Washington, not the size of his investment in the company.

    3. Alpha Omega Winery has a business relationship with “Luding”, Russia’s largest distributor.

    4. Vladimir Putin may have an interest in Luding.

    I grant you this is a connection. Still, there are hundreds or thousands of suppliers who have a similar relationship to Luding. Not every one of those is part of a vast conspiracy of world domination orchestrated by Mr. Putin.

    It looks to me as though a LOT more evidence is needed before we conclude from this connection that Mr. Nunes is being unduly influenced by Mr. Putin or by Russia.

    I suspect we are seeing an illustration of Six Degrees of Separation, rather than another link in a nefarious conspiracy. Oh, and in a deliciously recursive application of “six degrees”, Lazlo Barabasi — a world-class theorist in such matters — is on the faculty right here at Northeastern. I’ve actually met him and shaken his hand at a lecture.

    It appears to me that Mr. Nunes is clearly, as Ms. Pelosi so accurately observed, a stooge of Mr. Trump. I’m not ready to go further than that, at least based on these reports.

    • You're right, Tom.

      It’s nothing for now. Maybe never. That’s why I saved it for the end when most people stop reading. I probably should have left it out. The thing is, this is one way money gets filtered from Russia.

      As for Nunes, here’s the next possible bombshell:

      Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu met with designated U.S. National Security adviser Rt. Gen. Mike Flynn on Wednesday at Trump Hotel in Washington.

      “Met with General Flynn, who will assume the position of National Security Advisor, and other officials at a working breakfast in Washington D.C.,” Çavuşoğlu tweeted.

      The meeting marks a first direct reachout between the President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan administration and the incoming Donald Trump administration, other than a phone call between two leaders last November.

      House Intelligence Committee Congressman Devin Nunes, a Republican heavyweight, also attended the breakfast.

      An aide of the foreign minister didn’t provide additional details on the meeting, but said that Çavuşoğlu was the only foreign leader at the breakfast and the topics on the U.S.-Turkish agenda were discussed by the attendees.

      I’m having a hard time figuring out when exactly the breakfast occurred or when Flynn had the kidnap conversation with Turkish representatives, but this article puts Flynn in the room with Nunes and the Turks. This may explain why Nunes freaked out this week with leaving his late-night Uber ride the night before giving a weird press conference and cancelling House Intelligence Committee’s open hearing that was scheduled for Tuesday.

      I’m trying to give each piece of info the weight it deserves. That’s why I’m posting this in the comments. Maybe I’ll do a diary this week if more information pops up. I expect it will, and we’ll be ahead of the game.

    • Just as...

      I grant you this is a connection. Still, there are hundreds or thousands of suppliers who have a similar relationship to Luding. Not every one of those is part of a vast conspiracy of world domination orchestrated by Mr. Putin.

      It looks to me as though a LOT more evidence is needed before we conclude from this connection that Mr. Nunes is being unduly influenced by Mr. Putin or by Russia.

      .., in many cases, a deliberate lie is told to an honest man — who wishes it to be true: such a dynamic is necessary for the lie to “succeed….”

      In an analogous manner, any undercurrent of money-laundering requires a far more vast and encompassing array of legitimate (honest) enterprises to succeed. I tend to think that the aforementioned investment of Representative Nunes, who also strikes me as dumber than a bag of hammers, falls into the latter category. As a straight up investment, a winery doesn’t seem, particularly, either here or there… but as a front for money laundering — which is, I believe, the reason Putin, who’s personal worth is ‘offically’ negligible but ‘unofficially’ in the billions of dollars, would be involved — it’s not a solid investment. The last thing the launderer wants is ‘investors’ cottoning on to the notion that the business exists for cleaning someone else’s, illegally gained, profit.

      • However ..

        (hit ‘send’ accidentally… so let’s pretend this is just part of the previous comment, to which I am replying…)

        However complicit Nunes is, or is not, in the actual criminality, it’s entirely possible in his craven toadying up to Trump — in his all too hasty run to Papa Don to possibly ‘confirm’ his tweet that there WAS surveillance at Trump Tower — he has spilled the proverbial beans.

        Woolsely, let us recall, dropped a dime on Flynn last summer. So the FBI investigation into Flynn, we can assume, started there. Without dating to the beginning of the investigation, we can assume that at some point, the FBI began listening in on certain of Gen Flynn’s phone, email and other data communications… all as a likely normal part of their investigations into his criminality (and possibly treasonous behaviour). Obviously, too, the CIA, NSA and others, are likely constantly monitoring foreign nationals.

        Somewhere in all that listening, it seems to me, the CIA, the NSA and the FBI must’ve bumped into each other and, collectively, began to paint a larger portrait of the election, the Russians and the transition.

        Now, Nunes has confirmed, there is someone who presently works in the White House who was (and perhaps still is) under surveillance by the FBI.

        So, who wants to dispute the notion that the investigation into Flynn led to the surveillance of somebody who now works in the White House? To answer the initial question: if Flynn didn’t cover his tracks all that well, he may not have to cooperate with investigators; they may have all they need, or can get, from him, already…

  6. The Palmer Report...

    …so far the reporting I’ve seen from the Palmer Report has never panned out. From my limited experience reading their stories, it seems as reliable as InfoWars / Alex Jones. Can people provide links to any exclusives they’ve had that have turn out to be true?

    • The link I put up

      are sourced with the Palmer Report because I didn’t have access to the WSJ. I included it with John Schindler’s tweet as corroboration, which Juliet Kayyem, despite her walkback, also supports. They also confirmed what I was thinking. I’m not relying on them for their originality.

      To directly answer your question, No, I can’t point to any exclusives they’ve had that turned out to be true. I have tried to differentiate what I consider solid and backed by other people and speculation. One media evaluation site describes The Palmer Report here.

      As Tom pointed out, I’ve failed in this regard. The Nunes-Wine-Russia connection is speculation that came from the Palmer Report. That speculation could conceivably be valid, but there’s really not enough to warrant repeating it at this time.

      My process has been to check these things with multiple sources. These include John Schindler, Louse Mensch, Adam Khan, and the Palmer Report. If the issue touches on law, I look at LawFare and Just Security. It’s preferable to have a mainstream media source report it, but up until now, they’ve been behind the eight ball.

      It also depends on what whether I’m writing about an inference or a fact. There are valid inferences to be had from circumstantial evidence, but with the Nunes-wine-Russia connection, Tom correctly pointed out that there wasn’t enough evidence. I don’t think I should have included it in my post for the reasons Tom pointed out.

    • I get the Palmer Report emails...

      …I would not go as far as comparing them to InfoWars, but he does seem to put the worst/most sensational possible spin on many of his stories, and they are often linked to more mainstream sources.

      • Media Bias/Fact Check

        I’m not familiar with the people running the above site, but I checked its ratings of various news outlets and found they were pretty reasonable. This is what they said about the Palmer Report:

        These media sources are moderately to strongly biased toward liberal causes through story selection and/or political affiliation. They may utilize strong loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes), publish misleading reports and omit reporting of information that may damage liberal causes. Some sources in this category may be untrustworthy.

        he Palmer Report is a news and opinion website created by Bill Palmer a current writer and owner of Daily News Bin. The Palmer Report is typically well sourced and usually points to credible sources. However, there is a very strong liberal bias in reporting and story content. The Palmer Report uses loaded words and sensational headlines that don’t always reflect the content of the article. An example headline is as follows: Donald Trump’s demented “Happy New Year” tweet is the worst thing you’ll read all year. The Palmer Report has been criticized by the Slate for publishing misinformation.

        I think this is fairly accurate.

  7. FIRST RAT JUMPS SINKING SHIP

    Flynn wants immunity to rat out Putin’s Puppets.

    The ‘ Circular Firing Squad ‘ is formed, bunker mentality has set in and the cover up has begun !

    Get your popcorn ready !

    Fred Rich LaRiccia

  8. Today's news

    Senate not yet ready to offer Flynn immunity.

  9. Trump welcoming the immunity was a tactical error

    That’ll go down with Nixon taping himself and Clinton appointing Kenneth Statt.

    • I assume you mean Kenneth Starr...

      …in which case per the independent counsel statute of the time, AG Janet Reno was the one who said one should be appointed and a three-judge panel (very GOP as I recall) named the specific individual.

      • Thanks for the correction to my autocorrection

        “Her people have all agreed to immunity which you only do when you’re guilty”-Gen. Flynn discussing Hillary Clinton’s subordinates brought in for questioning.

        “Anyone who agrees to immunity is guilty”-President Trump.

        These two quotes lead me to think Trump will regret defending this move.

        • Watch what happens when Mr. Flynn starts singing

          I predict that Mr. Flynn is going to reveal seriously damaging information, information that strikes at the heart of the Donald Trump and his close associates. I don’t think immunity would be under discussion if staffers didn’t think he had some bombshells.

          So my prediction is that when Mr. Flynn starts singing, Donald Trump will say “Flynn is lying to protect himself, don’t believe a word he says.”

          I think the question now is what the GOP collaborators in the House and Senate will do as the evidence of treason mounts.

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