The Strange Email of Susan Rice; the Strange Case of Michael Flynn
The road to the truth in what happened in the Russia collusion investigation of Donald Trump has already taken many twists and turns. Yesterday, it stopped in front of a fun house starring two national security advisers.
First, on her way out the door Inauguration Day Susan Rice wrote herself a long email that has Republican Senators scratching their heads.
There’s more head scratching with Rice’s successor Gen. Michael Flynn. Reports confirm Flynn was charged (and pleaded guilty) to lying to the FBI even after the FBI determined he hadn’t lied.
Rice Travels Back in Time to Protect Obama?
If anyone knows how to run interference for President Obama, it’s Susan Rice. It was Rice who went on five national shows the Sunday after the Benghazi terrorist attack to sell the notion that it was a spontaneous protest caused by an internet video. The unfortunate director went to jail. Rice got promoted to National Security Adviser.
Minutes after her gig ended at noon Inauguration Day 2017, Rice decided to write herself an email. In it she describes a January 5 meeting in the Oval Office with Obama, Joe Biden, FBI director James Comey and then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.
President Obama began the conversation by stressing his continued commitment to ensuring that every aspect of this issue is handled by the Intelligence and law enforcement communities ‘by the book.’ The president stressed that he is not asking about, initiating or instructing anything from a law enforcement perspective. He reiterated that our law enforcement team needs to proceed as it normally would by the book.
Rice’s attorney insisted to Fox News there was “nothing ‘unusual'” about Rice “memorializing an important discussion for the record.”
The first obvious question is, “If it was that important, why wait until your office is packed and the car’s running outside?”
However, crucial, in light of what has been revealed in recent weeks, is the extent Rice goes to emphasize how much Obama wanted everything done “by the book.” If true, why would he feel the need to say it? After eight years, wouldn’t that be the modus operandi? Why would she feel the need to record that 15 days after the fact. And repeat it?
The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
Sen. Lindsay Graham, whose Senate Judiciary Committee uncovered the email, is also curious. “I think that’s odd and disturbing because we know the investigation regarding the Trump campaign was anything by the book.”
Graham wants to know if Comey discussed with Obama the discredited Steele-dossier which became the basis for much of the activity against Trump.
Rice’s attorney insisted the dossier didn’t come up. Yet the very next day, January 6, James Comey was briefing President-Elect Trump on that very dossier. Does that sound plausible it hadn’t been discussed in the meeting the day before?
After all, according to a text from FBI lawyer Lisa Page, Obama had wanted to know “everything we are doing.”
Rice’s line, “The president stressed that he is not asking about, initiating or instructing anything from a law enforcement perspective,” is also odd. It sounds like an inoculation against those who may accuse Obama of obstructing justice. “See, the President made clear he wasn’t interfering and wanted things done by the book!”
Yeah, and in A Few Good Men Colonel Jessup ordered Cpr. Santiago not to be touched. (Before secretly ordering the “Code Red” that got Santiago killed.) America, we can handle the truth.
Flynn Didn’t Lie?
Special Counsel Robert Mueller charged Gen. Michael Flynn with lying to the FBI. Flynn pled guilty in November. However, it’s now known that Peter Strzok, who interrogated Flynn, didn’t think he lied about anything. And James Comey also said the FBI concluded Flynn was truthful during the interview. So why plead guilty?
Andrew McCarthy breaks down the Flynn mystery. Either Flynn did lie, didn’t have the money for a legal fight or they were threatening to go after his son.
But that’s not what’s intriguing. Flynn’s judge at the time was Rudolph Contreras.
Mysteriously, just days after taking Flynn’s plea, Judge Contreras recused himself from the case. The press has been remarkably uncurious about this development.
No reason was given for the judge being moved off the case. However, Contreras is a FISA court judge and likely granted one of the warrants against Carter Page that as a practical matter allowed the FBI/DOJ to spy on Trump campaign officials. Officials like Flynn.
What’s more, according to McCarthy, the new judge Emmet G. Sullivan is issuing orders that suggest the guilty plea may not be long for this world. He ordered Mueller to provide Flynn any evidence in his possession favorable to Flynn, whether on the issue of guilt or sentencing. Even if Mueller thinks it’s not material, he has to prove to the judge it shouldn’t be handed over.
What caught McCarthy’s eye is that in his original plea Flynn had to waive “the right to any further discovery or disclosures of information not already provided.”
It certainly appears that Sullivan’s order supersedes the plea agreement and imposes on the special counsel the obligation to reveal any and all evidence suggesting that Flynn is innocent of the charge to which he has admitted guilt.
An important note to remember: Flynn got on the FBI/DOJ radar only because someone in the Obama administration unmasked and illegally leaked his name after a conversation he had with the Russian ambassador was captured by U.S. intelligence.
Susan Rice now admits she unmasked Trump campaign officials, but denies having anything to do with the Flynn leak. Of course, she also initially denied knowing anything about the unmasking of Trump officials.
However, there’s more than unmasking and Russia that tie Flynn and Rice together. It’s former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates.
It was McCabe who, along with Sally Yates, set Flynn up. He’s the one who arranged the meeting that Flynn thought was routine but that turned out to be a criminal interrogation. He’s also the one who reportedly said to FBI colleagues, “First we (expletive) Flynn. Then we (expletive) Trump.”
It was Andrew McCabe who, with Yates … was in the January 5 meeting. For that matter, it was Andrew McCabe who told FBI agents to stand down the night of Benghazi and told another supervisor agent to blame the video, not terrorists even though the agent had already determined al-Qaeda involvement.
As for Yates, she told the dramatic story of how she had marched up to the White House to warn that Flynn was vulnerable to blackmail. Why? Because he had misrepresented his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. They had the transcripts and knew what Flynn had told the FBI. He lied and the Ruskies knew it.
Yet, we now know what she knew: That — according to Peter Strzok, the top counter-terrorism expert who interviewed Flynn and had zero interest in helping Trump — Gen. Michael Flynn had told the truth.
So much for “by the book.”