Why not say it? I mean, if The Donald can get away with making stuff up by saying it’s a popular thought, why can’t I?
Speaking of making stuff up, the hair-on-fire response to the 13 pages of former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s sentencing memorandum filed yesterday is a sight to behold. Tasty tidbits of information are being treated as if they were the main course of the Mueller investigation.
Come on, gang. I’m sick and tired of the “this will be the one that brings him down” bullshit. Having lived in DC through Watergate, let me assure you there is no one thing other than critical mass.
At the right end of the political spectrum, we have Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani responding to the memo by telling NBC News “There’s a Yiddish word that fits, they don’t have bubkes…If he had information to share with Mueller that hurt the president, you would know it by now.”
And then there are the humans existing in the alt-reality known as QAnon, who believe today, December 5, is the day their Fearless Leader Trump will round up the globalist conspirators holding thousands of children in pedophilic servitude and end all these deep state-sponsored investigations.
Say what? Yup, it’s that crazy out there in the Twitterverse this week.
Lets start out by remembering how retired United States Army Lieutenant General came to be the National Security Advisor in the trump administration.
He was forced out as Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency during the Obama administration because officials felt he’d become too paranoid about the role of Al Qaeda in Syria. The New York Times reported that the DIA Director was exhibiting a loose relationship with the truth, leading his subordinates to refer to Flynn’s repeated dubious assertions as “Flynn facts”. It’s no wonder he was an obvious choice for a role in the Trump administration.
First up, here’s what we know about what the sentencing memo actually says:
- Flynn began cooperating early, that his early cooperation was important in encouraging other witnesses to be candid, and that he has provided substantial assistance to the probe in a number of areas.
- The document says he has met 19 times with the Special Counsel’s Office and attorneys from other Department of Justice [“DOJ”] offices.
- His cooperation has been an element in at least three ongoing investigations: a criminal investigation (completely dedacted details); the special counsel’s investigation into “any links or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald J. Trump”; and one additional investigation about which all the information is redacted.
- Mueller recommended that Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, receive no prison time, citing the former Trump advisor’s “substantial assistance” in the Russia investigation.
Perhaps the most media excitement comes from one phrase (“participating in covert law enforcement activities”) in one sentence in the document. The supposition being made here is that Flynn at some point recorded something without the other party’s knowledge.
Mark Sumner at Daily Kos gave his interpretation of what this means:
As Raw Story reports, that realization earned gasps on MSNBC’s Morning Joe and it’s generated a flurry of dropped jaws and rubbed hands across the social media landscape.
…If Flynn really did record Trump, or others in the White House, it seems more likely that it occurred before it became widespread knowledge that Flynn had agreed to cooperate with the special counsel. While this doesn’t rule out the involvement of the FBI or other law enforcement agency, it brings up the possibility that Flynn might have done it on his own.
In other words, part of the reason for the fantastically good plea agreement between the special counsel’s office and Michael Flynn, may be that Flynn came with a stack of recordings in hand, ready to hand over his former pals and provide everything Mueller needed to get his investigation into high gear.
While there are tons of potentially new names being mentioned as the next indictee, remember Mueller has already charged five former Trump advisers, 26 Russian nationals, three Russian companies, one California man, and one London-based lawyer. Seven of these people (including now all five former Trump aides) have pleaded guilty.
Ryan Reilly at the Huffington Post gives a rundown of recent events:
The new filing follows a whirlwind week for Mueller’s team. After receiving heavily vetted written answers from President Donald Trump on a wide variety of topics, Mueller’s team last week accused former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort of breaking his plea deal by lying and extracted another guilty plea from former Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty to a fresh charge of lying to Congress about talks between the Trump Organization and Russia about a potential Trump Tower in Moscow.
Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos also reported to federal prison last Monday to serve a two-week sentence after a judge shut down his last-minute attempt to back out of a plea deal, while conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi ― who was in plea negotiations with Mueller’s team ― made public a document that outlined Mueller’s theory of contacts between Corsi, Trump associate Roger Stone and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
It would be a mistake to overlook the potential for revelations coming out of the suits filed by attorneys general of the District of Columbia and Maryland.
They’ve passed some important legal hurtles and are now issuing subpoenas in a quest to prove that foreign and domestic government spending at Trump’s Washington, D.C., hotel amount to gifts to the president in violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clause.
The subpoenas target more than 30 Trump-linked private entities and the federal agency that oversees the lease for Trump’s D.C. hotel. Subpoenas were also being sent to the Department of Defense, General Services Administration, Department of Commerce, Department of Agriculture and the IRS, all of which have spent taxpayer dollars at the hotel.
Other Trump entities that officials plan to subpoena include those related to his D.C. hotel and its management.
Countdown to The End. Friday, December 14, will mark the end of this version of the San Diego Free Press, along with this column.
I have been asked about my future plans, and the answer is: I’m still figuring it out. So if you have a niche for my talents, this would be a good time for us to talk. firstname.lastname@example.org