In a private chat with former members of his administration, Barack Obama, the most scandal-plagued president in history, said that the “rule of law is at risk” because of the “unprecedented” move by the Justice Department to drop charges against former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn.
“The news over the last 24 hours I think has been somewhat downplayed — about the Justice Department dropping charges against Michael Flynn,” Obama said. “And the fact that there is no precedent that anybody can find for someone who has been charged with perjury just getting off scot-free. That’s the kind of stuff where you begin to get worried that basic — not just institutional norms — but our basic understanding of rule of law is at risk. And when you start moving in those directions, it can accelerate pretty quickly as we’ve seen in other places.”
Flynn’s case was dropped after it was revealed that Obama officials in the FBI had set up a perjury trap for him in order to get him fired as a Trump adviser. Obama officials also withheld exculpatory evidence, and launched and carried out an investigation (which included surveillance of Flynn and other Trump associates) over bogus claims of Russian collusion despite having no empirical evidence of that collusion. Declassified documents also showed that Obama was aware of the bogus investigation and efforts to railroad Michael Flynn. As Attorney General Barr noted, the FBI had no justifiable reason for questioning Flynn in the first place, since, as the incoming national security adviser it was well within standard practice for him to be having conversations with foreign ambassadors, such as Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak.
So, why make such an absurd statement to alumni of his administration? Perhaps Obama’s pep talk was really designed to keep the old troops in line, as some are perhaps going to have to start answering questions about their involvement in illicit affairs connected to the scandal? The origins of the bogus Russia investigation by the Obama administration is currently under investigation by U.S. Attorney John Dunham, and many predict that the investigation will result in indictments. Some former officials from the Obama administration may end up seeing justice, and perhaps Obama knows it’s coming.
Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis