Why Michael Flynn Was Set Up
If nothing else, Robert Mueller's year-and-a-half-long "investigation" into the Trump campaign will serve as an exposition of what it looks like when a presidential campaign and presidency are on "the wrong side of history."
In case you didn't know, "wrong side of history" is liberal-speak for "unhelpful to the progressive, globalist agenda." To be on the wrong side of history is to be on the wrong side of the army of liberal sycophants who populate the federal government -- especially the intelligence agencies.
Because this shadow government (aka deep state) hates transparency and loathes disruptive forces like Donald J. Trump, many lives associated with him have now been ruined.
If you're on the right side of history, you get to lie to Congress, lie to the FBI, leak like a sieve, and be guilty of campaign finance violations, FARA violations, and Logan Act violations with few, if any, consequences.
If you are on the wrong side, you get the book thrown at you. Suddenly, policy disagreements and gossiping about Hillary Clinton's emails become crimes.
It appears that Robert Mueller's sham investigation "has weaponized" politics, Victor Davis Hanson lamented at National Review Wednesday.
By indicting a number of minor characters on charges that so far have nothing to do with collusion — for purported crimes mostly committed after the special-counsel appointment — Mueller has emphasized the quantity rather than the quality of indictments.
Hanson argued that Mueller has "established the precedent that there is now no real equality under the law, at least as Americans once understood fair play and blind justice."
Indeed, never before in American history has so much unequal treatment under the law been on such clear display.
Michael Flynn is a prime example. He pleaded guilty on Dec. 1, 2017, to lying to the FBI about his phone conversation with Russia's then-ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak in December 2016. As Byron York noted at the Washington Examiner, there was nothing wrong with the incoming national security advisor discussing sanctions with the Russian ambassador.
But some officials in the Obama Justice Department decided that Flynn might have violated the Logan Act, a 218 year-old law under which no one has ever been prosecuted, that prohibits private citizens from acting on behalf of the United States in disputes with foreign governments.
The Obama officials also said they were concerned by reports that Flynn, in a conversation with Vice President Mike Pence, had denied discussing sanctions. This, the officials felt, might somehow expose Flynn to Russian blackmail.
By the way, Flynn didn't violate the Logan Act and the idea that he was "blackmailable" was always a complete joke -- but he was the victim of an illegal leak.
For reasons still unknown, he agreed to help the special counsel "with several investigations" that are still ongoing, according to Mueller's court filing.
In case this worries you, Chuck Ross at The Daily Caller details the "several" investigations that Flynn likely cooperated with, including Turkish lobbying, the Peter Smith email hunt, and Michael Cohen's Ukraine "peace plan," none of which involve Trump or collusion with Russia.
And the New York Post's Paul Sperry threw cold water on the left-wing fever dream that Flynn had sung like a canary.
After waiting for more than a year to be sentenced, Mueller finally recommended "a sentence at the low end of the guideline range — including a sentence that does not impose a period of incarceration."
But the damage had already been done. As PJ Media's own Liz Sheld put it:
Really, the objective of targeting Flynn has been met. There's no need to toss him in the clink because the deep state has severely damaged him. He's bankrupt, he lost his house, he's going to have a problem getting employed. I'm sure his security clearance has been permanently yanked so... what's he going to do to earn a living and take care of his wife and family? Remember, Flynn was the only person Obama told Trump not to bring on board in his administration. Obama and his administrative state thugs did not want Flynn coming in and undoing their globalist achievements.
What was Flynn's real sin?
As the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) from July 2012 until he was forced out in August 2014, he clashed mightily with the Obama administration's policies on ISIS and the Iran nuclear deal, among other things. As a result, the decorated general put himself "on the wrong side of history" and at odds with the Obama-friendly deep state.
The outspoken general continued to rock the boat after he left the administration.
For instance, in November 2015 during an appearance on Fox News, Flynn called for an investigation into the ISIS intel-skewing scandal, recommending that it "start right at the top."
"Where intelligence starts and stops is at the White House," Flynn said. "The president sets the priorities and he's the number one customer. So if he's not getting the intelligence that he needs and he's not paying attention to what else is going on, then something else is going wrong between him and the advisers that he has."
Obama already despised Flynn. But his hate likely turned to fear when his former DIA decided to throw his support behind Donald J. Trump, another boat-rocker who had a real chance of winning.
As Sheld noted, Obama made a point after the 2016 election of advising Trump not to hire Flynn. But Trump didn't listen.
Next thing Flynn knew, government spies were listening in on his innocuous phone conversations with Kislyak, his name was unmasked by someone in the Obama administration, and the contents of the call were leaked to the Washington Post (which remains the only serious crime to have emerged in the Russia investigation).
Former Secret Service agent and author of SpyGate Dan Bongino explained how and why Flynn was set up on his podcast Wednesday morning.
On December 29, 2016, Obama announced sanctions against Russia and expelled 35 Russians from the country, purportedly "in retaliation for Russian efforts to interfere with the U.S. presidential election."
At the time, Flynn, coincidentally, was on vacation in the Dominican Republic, where he did not have access to a secure communication system. Team Obama bet that Russia would call him to discuss the sanctions, and they were ready to listen in.
"They need a transcript of a recorded conversation of Mike Flynn discussing something -- anything -- of diplomatic relevance with the Russian ambassador," Bongino said.
He explained that they needed a transcript so they could use it later on to interview Flynn, "knowing that Flynn wasn't going to remember every detail." Their game was to catch him "in the smallest of lies and charge him with false statements to shut him down," Bongino argued.
On January 12, 2017, a "high-ranking" Obama official leaked Flynn's intercept to David Ignatius at the Washington Post, which is a felony.
Then, without mentioning that they were conducting a criminal interview, FBI special agents Joe Pientka and Peter Strzok showed up at the White House on January 24, 2017, to interrogate Trump's short-lived national security adviser.
In their 302s (the form used by FBI agents to "report or summarize the interviews that they conduct") they noted that there were no indications of deception on Flynn's part.
Why Flynn pleaded guilty to the thin "false statement" charge is still a mystery.
Meanwhile, not only do we not know which Obama officials leaked the Michael Flynn intercept to the Washington Post, we don't even know if the leak has even been investigated.
Even if there was a legitimate non-political national security reason to unmask Flynn's name -- and there doesn't seem to have been -- it was still a federal crime to leak it.
The Wall Street Journal's Kim Strassel said that Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told her that "that was the worst leak he had ever seen in the history of the government in terms of the amount of information it gave to our adversaries about our collection methods."
"What happened to Lt. General Mike Flynn is reminiscent of tin-pot dictatorships. It’s a stain on our 'justice' system & it’s an eternal embarrassment for every single person involved in his PERSECUTION (not prosecution)," Bongino wrote on Twitter. "This disgraceful episode is a sorry chapter in our history."
Flynn's son, Michael Flynn Jr., expressed gratitude on Twitter that his father's ordeal was over, but had disdain for the MSM's role in the past year-and-a-half's events.