Members of the Trump Resistance are turning handsprings over the guilty plea of President Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn for lying to the FBI about pre-inauguration conversations with the Russian ambassador.
But, this case and its ramifications should trouble anyone who believes in the rule of law.
“What is arguably most disturbing about this case is that then-National Security Adviser Flynn was pushed into a perjury trap by Obama administration holdovers at the Justice Department who concocted an unorthodox legal rationale for subjecting Flynn to an FBI interrogation four days after he took office, testing Flynn’s recollection of the conversations while the FBI agents had transcripts of the calls intercepted by the National Security Agency,” says long time investigative reporter Robert Parry.
“While Flynn’s humiliation has brought some palpable joy to the anti-Trump “Resistance” – one more Trump aide being taken down amid renewed hope that this investigation will somehow lead to Trump’s resignation or impeachment – many of the same people would be howling about trampled civil liberties if a Republican bureaucracy were playing this game on a Democratic president and his staff.
But the inclusion of this Israeli element shows how far afield the criminal Russia-gate investigation, headed by former FBI Director Robert Mueller, has gone. Though the original point of the inquiry was whether the Trump team colluded with Russians to use “hacked” emails to defeat Hillary Clinton’s campaign, the criminal charge against Flynn has nothing to do with election “collusion” but rather President-elect Trump’s aides weighing in on foreign policy controversies during the transition. And, the first initiative was undertaken at the request of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, not Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The second item, cited by Mueller’s prosecutors, referenced a Dec. 29 Flynn-Kislyak conversation, which received public attention at the time of Flynn’s Feb. 13 resignation after only 24 days on the job. That phone call touched on Russia’s response to President Obama’s decision to issue new sanctions against the Kremlin for the alleged election interference.
The complaint alleges that Flynn didn’t mention to the FBI that he had urged Kislyak “to refrain from escalating the situation” and that Kislyak had subsequently told him that “Russia had chosen to moderate its response to those sanctions as a result of his request.”
The Dec. 29 phone call occurred while Flynn was vacationing in the Dominican Republic and thus he would have been without the usual support staff for memorializing or transcribing official conversations. So, the FBI agents, with the NSA’s transcripts, would have had a clearer account of what was said than Flynn likely had from memory. The content of Flynn’s request to Kislyak also appears rather uncontroversial, asking the Russians not to overreact to a punitive policy from the outgoing Obama administration.
In other words, both of the Flynn-Kislyak conversations appear rather unsurprising, if not inconsequential. One was taken at the behest of Israel (which proved ineffective) and the other urged the Kremlin to show restraint in its response to a last-minute slap from President Obama (which simply delayed Russian retaliation by several months).”
What I have heard from many liberals in recent months is that they don’t care about the unfairness of the Russia-gate process or the dangerous precedents that such politicized prosecutions might set. They simply view Trump as such a danger that he must be destroyed at whatever the cost.
Not only that but lately I’m noticing more and more liberals jumping on the Russia-gate bandwagon as a result of the non-stop corporate media coverage. Every time a new bombshell report, like the Flynn guilty plea, is released liberals go crazy, pointing excitedly to the new evidence and screaming–we told you so. Join us and help us impeach the orange menace.
Sorry. That’s not how I roll.
I’ll never tell my readers what they need to believe, but I will strongly encourage you to think for yourselves.
For me, it’s become clear that the Russia-gate scandal was planned by Democratic Party insiders from the moment Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton as a way to avoid examining the rot in the Democratic Party.
According to the book ‘Shattered’, which describes the Clinton campaign, the decision to blame Russia for her loss was made a day after Trump’s victory: “That strategy had been set within twenty-four hours of her concession speech. Mook and Podesta assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument.”
Actions have consequences. While liberals and Hillary supporters in the Democratic Party focus relentlessly on Russia-gate, the Republicans in congress took another step towards outright plutocracy.
Late last night, the US Senate passed the most drastic rewrite of America’s tax system since the Reagan administration, which is expected to mostly benefit the wealthiest Americans while further crippling the nation’s already broken healthcare system. It even includes a late addendum to allow oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
This horrible tax bill passed while everyone was distracted by the bogus Russia-gate story. Indeed, this morning, “Trump and Flynn” is still trending on Twitter in the US.
The Republicans are handing the Democrats one of those golden opportunities to actually run on an issue that benefits them in every way. The Republicans passed an enormously unpopular tax bill that hurts the vast majority of Americans while benefiting the Republican donor class. The Democrats, while posing as an opposition party, have refused to take the gift, instead amplifying the Russia-gate story and in the process empowering the deep state intelligence agencies and Military/Industrial/Complex that is salivating over a new Cold-War with Russia.
The Democratic response to Donald Trump is not surprising.
American political system, since at least 1968, has been operating like a ratchet, and both parties — Republicans and Democrats — play crucial, mutually reinforcing roles in its operation. The electoral ratchet permits movement only in the rightward direction. The Republican role is fairly clear; the Republicans apply the torque that rotates the thing rightward. The Democrats’ role is a little less obvious. The Democrats are the pawl. They don’t resist the rightward movement — they let it happen — but whenever the rightward force slackens momentarily, for whatever reason, the Democrats click into place and keep the machine from rotating back to the left.”
This is why what now passes for the liberal in the United States is considered right-wing in most first world countries.