According to the The New York Times, there is still no evidence that proves the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians to sway the outcome of the election. But according to new reports, Trump’s team did contact foreign dignitaries before he took office:
The court documents associated with Flynn’s plea agreement with Special Counsel Robert Mueller say an unnamed “very senior member of the Presidential Transition Team” “directed” Flynn to reach out to Russia and other foreign governments. https://t.co/qUINxGFaz9
— NPR (@NPR) December 1, 2017
This source tells NPR’s @johnson_carrie that “the U.N. effort was well-known and a collaborative effort by Reince Priebus, Steve Bannon, General Flynn and Jared Kushner. None of them ‘ordered’ or ‘directed’ the others and all were working towards the same goal.”
— NPR (@NPR) December 1, 2017
“Flynn wanted to fight ISIS and support Israel,” wrote national security reporter Jordan Schachtel in a post defending Michael Flynn in Conservative Review. “Prosecutors say Flynn was not forthcoming about two discussions he had with the Russian ambassador,” he explained. “The first involved sanctions on Russia, while the second was about an anti-Israel resolution that the Obama administration abstained from.”
It’s not clear why Flynn, Trump’s short-lived national security adviser, felt the need to lie about the discussions, but as Schachtel says, he should be “applauded for trying to save Israel from Obama and the U.N. goons.”
What exactly is the illegality here?
It looks like Mueller may be building a case for possible Logan Act violations — which would be a sad joke if true.
There is also speculation that the special counsel thinks Flynn has information about the Trump campaign colluding with the Russians and he’s getting ready to tell the Grand Jury all about it. That seems like a stretch.
Flynn claimed in his statement Friday that he’s had to endure “many months of false accusations of treason and other outrageous acts.” If anything, he may just have some embarrassing revelations from the transition for the Grand Jury. Trump has repeatedly and consistently denied that he had any knowledge of talks with the Russians, but it appears that multiple members of his transition team were involved in Flynn’s discussions with the Russians.
Here is the definition of the Logan Act, under which no one has ever been successfully prosecuted.
Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply, himself or his agent, to any foreign government or the agents thereof for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.
If this whole thing is about possible Logan Act violations, were are witnessing some amazing hypocrisy and chutzpah, to put it mildly. Barack Hussein Obama actually created a back channel to Iran back in 2008 to undermine then-President Bush, according to our own Michael Ledeen who reported it here at PJ Media back in 2014:
“During his first presidential campaign in 2008, Mr. Obama used a secret back channel to Tehran to assure the mullahs that he was a friend of the Islamic Republic, and that they would be very happy with his policies,” Ledeen wrote. [Emphasis added]
The secret channel was Ambassador William G. Miller, who served in Iran during the shah’s rule as chief of staff for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence as ambassador to Ukraine. Ambassador Miller has confirmed to PJM his conversations with Iranian leaders during 2008.
Foreign Policy reported about Obama’s calls to world leaders in 2012 after both candidates Romney and Obama had “hopped on phone calls with Benjamin Netanyahu a day after the Israeli prime minister delivered a fiery U.N. address on red lines for Iran in New York.”
Did candidate Obama call world leaders in 2008? https://t.co/AmmwpjqGSU
— Kerry Picket (@KerryPicket) December 1, 2017
Obama, like Romney, embarked on a foreign trip as a candidate, meeting face-to-face with leaders such as Afghan President Hamid Karzai, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (headline: “Obama Talks Tough About Iran During Visit to Israel”). But he also placed several phone calls.
In January 2008, for example, Obama reached out to the two leaders at the center of a bitterly disputed election in Kenya, his father’s homeland. “What I urged was that all the leaders there, regardless of their position on the election, tell their supporters to stand down,” Obama explained at the time. The Bush-era State Department, which coordinated the calls with Obama, praised the effort. “Any time you have a person of stature … who is pushing for a peaceful, political resolution, that’s a positive thing,” State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.
Then, after hostilities erupted between Georgia and Russia in August 2008, both Obama and Republican challenger John McCain phoned Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, while condemning Russia for violating Georgia’s sovereignty. In fact, the candidates called Saakashvili so frequently — the Georgian leader said he heard from them “pretty often” — that it became a bit of a contest; when pressed by Fox News, Saakashvili conceded that McCain had called first but that Obama was “very supportive.” In September, the prime minister requested a call with Obama to thank him for mentioning Georgia in his convention speech.
Then there’s Obama’s controversial Hamas-supporting foreign policy adviser Robert Malley.
Fearful of losing Jewish voters, Obama severed ties with Malley in May of 2008 when it was disclosed that he had held meetings with Hamas. The campaign had been telling pro-Israel audiences that Obama would not talk with Hamas unless and until it had renounced terror, recognized Israel, and abided by previous agreements the Palestinians had signed with Israel.
One day after the election, Malley was dispatched to the Middle East to work on Obama’s promise to “improve ties with Egypt and Syria.”
I don’t remember anyone in our Justice Department giving a hoot about any of that at the time.
Fast forward to the present as Obama continues to “shadow President Trump” all over the world.
Last July Lou Dobbs delivered the following diatribe on Fox Business after Obama met with the former prime ministers of both Italy and Britain:
“He talked with Germany’s Angela Merkel in May, before the president — just hours before her meeting with President Trump,” Dobbs said. “Mr. Obama had dinner with Canada’s Justin Trudeau last month, and Obama met with South Korea’s new president Moon Jae-In just this past Monday, only three days after President Trump met with the Korean leader at the White House. Three days.”
He added, “the former president’s shadowing of President Trump is appalling, and so is the silence of the national left-wing media who have supported Obama in his egregiously awful behavior since he left office, and of course, throughout his eight years as president.”