Mike Flynn Doesn’t Want Drug-Testing to Interrupt His Return to Influence-Peddling

Last night, while I was blowing a wad of cash at Zingermans in Ann Arbor, MI, Mike Flynn submitted his sentencing memo. As a number of people have noted — especially the frothy right wing — Flynn makes a back-handed attack on the FBI’s treatment of his original questioning.

General Flynn does not take issue with the description of the nature and circumstances of the offense contained in the Government’s sentencing memorandum and the Presentence Investigation Report. See Government’s Memorandum in Aid of Sentencing (“Gov. Sent. Mem.”) at 2-5, United States v. Flynn, 17 CR 232 (D.D.C. Dec. 4, 2018) (Doc. 46); PSR ¶¶ 15- 22. As General Flynn has frankly acknowledged in his own words, he recognizes that his actions were wrong and he accepts full responsibility for them.19 There are, at the same time, some additional facts regarding the circumstances of the FBI interview of General Flynn on January 24, 2017, that are relevant to the Court’s consideration of a just punishment.

At 12:35 p.m. on January 24, 2017, the first Tuesday after the presidential inauguration, General Flynn received a phone call from then-Deputy Director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, on a secure phone in his office in the West Wing.20 General Flynn had for many years been accustomed to working in cooperation with the FBI on matters of national security. He and Mr. McCabe briefly discussed a security training session the FBI had recently conducted at the White House before Mr. McCabe, by his own account, stated that he “felt that we needed to have two of our agents sit down” with General Flynn to talk about his communications with Russian representatives.21

Mr. McCabe’s account states: “I explained that I thought the quickest way to get this done was to have a conversation between [General Flynn] and the agents only. I further stated that if LTG Flynn wished to include anyone else in the meeting, like the White House Counsel for instance, that I would need to involve the Department of Justice. [General Flynn] stated that this would not be necessary and agreed to meet with the agents without any additional participants.”22

Less than two hours later, at 2:15 p.m., FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok and a second FBI agent arrived at the White House to interview General Flynn.23 By the agents’ account, General Flynn was “relaxed and jocular” and offered to give the agents “a little tour” of the area around his West Wing office. 24 The agents did not provide General Flynn with a warning of the penalties for making a false statement under 18 U.S.C. § 1001 before, during, or after the interview. Prior to the FBI’s interview of General Flynn, Mr. McCabe and other FBI officials “decided the agents would not warn Flynn that it was a crime to lie during an FBI interview because they wanted Flynn to be relaxed, and they were concerned that giving the warnings might adversely affect the rapport,” one of the agents reported.25 Before the interview, FBI officials had also decided that, if “Flynn said he did not remember something they knew he said, they would use the exact words Flynn used, . . . to try to refresh his recollection. If Flynn still would not confirm what he said, . . . they would not confront him or talk him through it.”26 One of the agents reported that General Flynn was “unguarded” during the interview and “clearly saw the FBI agents as allies.”27

20 Certain information summarized or quoted in this Memorandum derives from documents furnished to Defendant’s counsel pursuant to the Protective Order, United States v. Flynn, 17 CR 232 (D.D.C. Feb. 21, 2018) (Doc. 22). Undersigned counsel conferred with the Government, which represented that disclosing the selected information does not constitute a violation of the Protective Order.

21 Memorandum dated Jan. 24, 2017.

22 Id.

23 FD-302 dated Aug. 22, 2017, at 3. 24 Id.

25 Id.

26 Id.

27 Id.

Flynn is right that it was a dickish move for the FBI not to warn him against lying. You won’t find me denying that the FBI can be dickish. But just as many of these details seem to suggest that the FBI guys were his allies going in and that Flynn honestly believed there was no way someone like him could be held accountable for lying as anything else. Maybe he lied because he has gotten away with lying and other misconduct in the past, and assumed he would continue to do so in the future?

Still, I am wondering why the FBI didn’t write up his 302 until August. This is a point the frothy right used to harp on. I wonder if they’ve discovered that the FBI wasn’t going to write it up until it became clear how material his lies were?

The focus on the circumstances of his FBI interview, however, should shift attention on what he doesn’t mention: His lies to DOJ about influence-peddling for Turkey. Having admitted his guilt, there’s no reason to address either of his lies. But since he did present a quasi excuse for his lies about Russia, his silence about Turkey is notable.

As always, I think the details of his cooperation are just as interesting. He doesn’t describe the topics of his cooperation — we’re stuck with that heavily redacted memo. But in addition to describing his 62 hours and 45 minutes of meetings with the government (but who’s counting?), he describes that he had five pre-plea proffer sessions, all apparently with Mueller’s office.

He participated in five pre-plea proffer sessions with the Special Counsel’s Office and fourteen additional meetings with the Government pursuant to the Plea Agreement entered on December 1, 2017. In total, he participated in nineteen meetings with the Special Counsel’s Office and other components of the Government, totaling approximately sixty-two hours and forty-five minutes.

That may pose some risks for Jared Kushner, given that Mueller first met with Jared in the weeks before Flynn flipped, and Jared seems to have stopped short of exonerating Flynn.

Mueller’s team specifically asked Kushner about former national security advisor Michael Flynn, who is under investigation by the special counsel, two sources said. Flynn was the dominant topic of the conversation, one of the sources said.


The conversation lasted less than 90 minutes, one person familiar with the meeting said, adding that Mueller’s team asked Kushner to clear up some questions he was asked by lawmakers and details that emerged through media reports. One source said the nature of this conversation was principally to make sure Kushner doesn’t have information that exonerates Flynn.

In addition to that detail, the memo also describes meeting with other government components, plural, suggesting his cooperation went beyond just a Turkish investigation in one US Attorney’s office.

Flynn’s lawyer, Rob Kelner, is equally specific when he asks that Flynn be excused from several normal conditions of probation.

We ask the Court to exercise its discretion by deleting conditions 2, 3, 6, and 7 of the standard conditions recommended under U.S.S.G. § 5B1.3(c). We also request that the Court conclude based on the Presentence Investigation Report that drug testing is not necessary, in accordance with U.S.S.G. § 5B1.3(a)(5) and 18 U.S.C. § 3563(a)(5). As noted above, we submit that a condition requiring community service would be appropriate under U.S.S.G. § 5B1.3(a)(2) and 18 U.S.C. §§ 3563(a)(2) and (b)(12).

Effectively, this request asks twice that Flynn be excused from drug testing, as the clauses he’s asking to be exempted from include those:

(2) For a felony, the defendant shall (A) make restitution, (B) work in community service, or (C) both, unless the court has imposed a fine, or unless the court finds on the record that extraordinary circumstances exist that would make such a condition plainly unreasonable, in which event the court shall impose one or more of the discretionary conditions set forth under 18 U.S.C. § 3563(b) (see 18 U.S.C. § 3563(a)(2)).

(3) For any offense, the defendant shall not unlawfully possess a controlled substance (see 18 U.S.C. § 3563(a)).


(6) The defendant shall (A) make restitution in accordance with 18 U.S.C. §§ 2248, 2259, 2264, 2327, 3663, 3663A, and 3664; and (B) pay the assessment imposed in accordance with 18 U.S.C. § 3013. If there is a court-established payment schedule for making restitution or paying the assessment (see 18 U.S.C. § 3572(d)), the defendant shall adhere to the schedule.

(7) The defendant shall notify the court of any material change in the defendant’s economic circumstances that might affect the defendant’s ability to pay restitution, fines, or special assessments (see 18 U.S.C. § 3563(a)).

Frankly, I don’t blame the General for wanting to avoid drug testing, and there are several legitimate explanations for wanting to avoid it (such as taking prescription pain killers, or living in state where marijuana has been decriminalized). Moreover, our criminal justice system imposes conditions like that largely to humiliate people (though if that’s the reason, it’s not clear why Flynn should be able to dodge the humiliation other felons undergo).

It’s the request that Flynn not be asked to make restitution and especially his request not to have to notify the court of any change in his economic circumstances that I find particularly notable.

Back in July, you’ll recall, influence peddling firm Stonington Strategies announced that Flynn would be its new Director of Global Strategy. But then his lawyers intervened, presumably hoping to avoid the appearance that their client was returning to influence peddling even before being sentenced for breaking the law while influence peddling.

Hours after a new lobbying firm aimed at domestic and global clients announced it was partnering with former national security adviser Mike Flynn, attorneys for the embattled Mr. Flynn said the deal was off and the notice had been released as a result of a “misunderstanding” among the participants in Stonington Global LLC.

“General Flynn has not joined Stonington and did not personally issue any public statement,” Mr. Flynn’s attorneys Robert Kelner and Stephen Anthony said in a statement Tuesday. “He was aware that a statement was being drafted, but he did not intend that it be issued at this time.”

Mr. Flynn is awaiting sentencing for lying to federal investigators. His December guilty plea grew out of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. He agreed to cooperate with prosecutors and faces up to six months in jail.

Nick Muzin and Joey Allaham told The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday that they had started their firm with Mr. Flynn. They also launched a Stonington website and promotional video Tuesday.

“We cannot comment on General Flynn’s considerations about the timing of the announcement, but we have faith in his patriotism and long history of service to our country,” Messrs. Muzin and Allaham said after Mr. Flynn’s lawyers issued their statement. “We look forward to working together.”


Muzin and Allaham previously worked together helping a failed political candidate in Albania and on an influence campaign for the embattled Persian Gulf nation Qatar, according to foreign lobbying records. The pair ended their work with Qatar last month, after helping its royal family connect with U.S. Jewish leaders and associates of President Donald Trump to repair the country’s image, according to interviews with Messrs. Muzin and Allaham and foreign lobbying reports filed with the Justice Department.

Mind you, the corrections to the announcement generally said that the announcement was premature, not that it was inaccurate. So it seems that Flynn, like David Petraeus before him, will go from lying to the Feds to making lots of money selling access to them.

Can you blame him? The guy has to pay the bills for his very competent defense attorneys, after all.

Most of all, though, that very specific request — asking to have those clauses excised rather than asking for a community service only probation — seems to be as much about hiding his impending influence peddling riches as anything else.

85 replies
  1. P J Evans says:

    Whether or not he’s going to be working as a lobbyist/influence-peddler, they should require him to come clean about all that stuff, seeing as he is a felon.

    • bmaz says:

      Seriously, that is just wrong. He has entered a plea. He becomes a convicted felon when that plea is reduced to a formal conviction at sentencing. And, yes, the distinction matters if you want to be accurate.

    • oldoilfieldhand says:

      It all makes sense to me, especially if the Trump-Pence Transition Team submitted a character reference for Mr. Flynn, along with Stonington Global, the US Army, the Government of Turkey, Vladimir Putin, RT in America and the DIA; hell, it’s a wonder the submissions for leniency for an American patriot weren’t more numerous. And why would any decorated former United States Army General Officer, simultaneously being paid for and serving as the National Security Advisor to the President of the United States while working as a paid agent for an authoritarian foreign government, without declaring it, secretly conspiring with the same despotic regime to kidnap a resident of the United States for rendition and torture, have to make restitution to the United States or its citizens, report to a probation officer or submit to drug testing, just for lying to the FBI? It almost looks like lying to the FBI is a right of passage for the Trump Administration. Surely a great man is sufficiently punished by being publicly embarrassed, forced to resign a plum position, required to appear in to court and plead guilty to lying. Since when is promising to be good and volunteering to perform community service no longer adequate contrition for a military hero?

      Mike Flynn was the American ideal, a “good guy”, and should certainly not be subjected to the laws of the country and constitution he formerly served and defended, simply because he became a despicable fucking traitor for hire in his middle age. While we’re at it, heap shame on the FBI for being too corrupt to realize that General Flynn was not subject to the US laws for “ordinary” people, Trump and Orrin Hatch are right, the FBI is out to the get the president because MAGA!

      If Flynn doesn’t get busted in rank, lose most or all of his pension, serve hard time, and be forever branded as the pariah he freely chose to become, what will stop him from taking another gig as a military and intelligence expert-for-hire to the next global intelligence consultancy representing a despot with a bag of money seeking favors from the US government? Maybe he’ll team up with another former American hero, David Petraeus and start General Influence LLC.

  2. Trip says:

    “justice”…just us. How nice that he can go on and take over Manafort’s career.

    What are the chances he gets all of his asks?

    IMO, he better be bringing Mercer-level conspirators to the table.

    • Eureka says:

      IMO, he better be bringing Mercer-level conspirators to the table.

      I’m concerned lately that they are going to leave this echelon untouched (as opposed to getting to those layers later on).  But watch me hem and haw… on the one hand, Bannon keeps on keepin’ on (Data Propria, etc.); on the other, one would think they could not ignore our own oligarchs’ roles in this global conspiracy because of all of the RU ties.  Sigh.

      • BobCon says:

        Remember that Mueller’s focus is limited, and he has boundaries he really can’t cross. And a lot of the dark money is unethical but not illegal.

        Which is why the House flipping to the Democrats is potentially important. They have the ability to dig really deeply into campaign finance issues, and follow a lot of the money to its sources — if they make it a priority.

        The incentives, unfortunately, are mixed. A bunch of Democrats are in the nearly the same boat as the Republicans, and afraid of upsetting big donors who funnel money via fake interest groups. The anti-Pelosi move in the Democratic caucus funded by the oligarchs behind the Third Way types is a prime example.

        Personally I think the logic behind opening up the blinds and letting in sunlight is obvious. Republicans must get three times as much dark money as Democrats, and the overall strength of the Democrats will grow if the GOP is starved of cash. But it’s hard for individual Democrats to cut the cord, and there will be some who fight exposure and limits tooth and nail. Fortunately, I think there’s a strong growth in the past election of Democrats who don’t accept the old logic, and there is a lot of opportunity to expose some really awful things the GOP has done.

        • Eureka says:

          These are great perspectival remarks, and, I think, draw an accurate picture of many of the long-haul elements.


          But with regard to the Mueller investigation, I did think some strands might be appropriately pulled.  Here I am thinking of e.g. Marcy’s posts on the Bannon/Mercer initiated GAI-report Joule attacks on Podesta, starting in March 2016.  Those may tie to foreknowledge of RU assistance.  Plus (and these lines get more nebulous, but still in the park) the RU psychologist tied to Cambridge Analytica, and CA later re-enmeshed with FB and the campaign (and Brexit).


          I had another example-and-a-half in mind and just lost it, lol, but agree certainly that the bigger questions will have to await the appropriate House Committees.  I- of luxuriating in election porn habits- had somehow lost sight of the House options, and appreciate the reminder.

          • Eureka says:

            *plus the Peter Smith HRC email hunters cabal (with four unknown donors), but that was not part of the 1.5 examples I had forgotten.  There are all of these Mueller-appropriate small parts here and there that seemingly link to bigger things…

  3. calvin says:

    Hold on.  Since when is it naturally assumed that, prior to a conversation, the FBI will warn you about the consequences of  lying to them?!  Flynn looses all credibility by even suggesting that, absent such warning, he was not aware it is a crime to lie to the FBI.

    • Frank Probst says:

      That was my thought, too.  It’s not like he’s some random Joe from off the street.  He’s a former lieutenant general from the military who’s held several high-level positions in the intelligence community.  He had to know that lying to the feds is a felony, and he did it anyway.

      • P J Evans says:

        Hell, most of us “little people” know that – even if all the crime shows on TV are wrong about most stuff, they’re not wrong about that one. (I grew up watching ‘Perry Mason’ and “San Francisco Beat’: the cops may or may not be good guys, but you lie at your own peril.)

    • Troutwaxer says:

      I think the issue (non -lawyer here) is more along the lines of “Did they read him his rights?” That is, was he aware that he was being questioned about a crime and not, for example, an intelligence matter which he had strayed into, and was he informed that he might wish to have an attorney present? ( Just for the record, I agree the he’s scum.)

      Maybe one of the actual attorneys can comment.

        • Troutwaxer says:

          I do understand that Flynn was not in custody, which is why I put “read him his rights” in quotes, but did Flynn have a right to have an attorney present, or was it merely “advisable,” and should someone had told him that – either as a matter of law or of basic fairness? Or is that something which anyone with a decent layman’s knowledge of law should have considered?

          • Alan says:

            The FBI/police/etc have no obligation (as a matter of law or basic fairness) to advise you of anything until they arrest you or take you into custody.  That is the whole point of Miranda, and it is exactly what bmaz said above.

            Anyone with a decent layman’s knowledge of law should have considered that it is not a good idea to lie to the FBI.  Should they also know to consult with an attorney before they lie?  I’ll let you be the judge of that.

            • Troutwaxer says:

              Here’s the problem as I see it. I’m not remotely a member or employee of any government. If the FBI called me and said, “we’d like to have a couple guys come by your house to clear up some issues,” I’d call a lawyer immediately, even if no-one remotely implied that this was a criminal matter. Let’s get real: why else would the FBI contact me?

              However, if I worked with the FBI daily – and had done so for years on intelligence, counter-terrorism, maybe joint exercises, etc., and someone from the FBI called me and said, “We’d like to have a couple guys come and clear something up with you… that’s not necessarily a “call your lawyer” moment. Maybe they’re unclear on plans for the joint anti-terror exercises next week or something. Even if they said, “we’d like to discuss your meeting with your Russian friend,” I wouldn’t necessarily worry – maybe they want to know if my Russian friend said anything about ISIS – and if I did call a lawyer while meeting with the same guys I normally do counter-terror work with, they might be offended and give me trouble next time I need them to address a criminal or intelligence issue for me. So while I don’t like Flynn at all and certainly agree that he shouldn’t have lied, I’ve got to wonder how he’s supposed to know that the guys he had a working lunch with last week are now wearing their “criminal investigator” hats and that suddenly the rules of talking to his allies have changed in a fashion which utterly disadvantages him?

              I disagree utterly with everything Trump/Flynn/Manafort etc. are trying to do, but I also completely understand why Flynn feels there has been some unfairness.

              • bmaz says:

                Um, no. I too deal with the FBI regularly, but if they called me up for a chat, I would not even remotely think about doing so. It is one thing when you leave a message wanting to talk to them and they call you back, and quite another if and when they call you up out of the blue. Nobody in the world should have any sympathy for Flynn, his positing of this argument is beyond asinine.

                • Troutwaxer says:

                  I guess we’ll have to wait and see what the judge says. Meanwhile thanks for your ongoing legal expertise. I always learn from your posts, even when you’re telling me I’m wrong. :)

                  • bmaz says:

                    I fully admit I am somewhat jaundiced in my opinion, because I know the law in this area and have seen it applied so much. But if the average guy on the street doesn’t get this assumption, as being argued by the Flynn fans, and the average guy most certainly does not, then a sophisticated person like Flynn does not get it. He was the sitting National Security Advisor, but a couple of FeeBees took total advantage of him and coerced him to lie to them? Heh, I just cannot see that.

                    • Troutwaxer says:

                      I suppose the essence of what I’m saying is that what happened to Flynn is perfectly acceptable under the rules of a counter-intelligence operation, but not, in my mind, acceptable according to the rules of a criminal prosecution (where we expect that a suspect should have access to a lawyer when s/he needs one.) Perhaps the problem comes conflating the counter-intelligence rules with the criminal prosecution rules, and assuming that anything done for counter-intelligence reasons can be covered under the rules of a criminal prosecution.

                      I guess we’ll see whether the judge agrees.

                      For the record, I’m very glad that Flynn got caught, but if the way he got caught wasn’t strictly legal then we may need to accept that while the whole thing met a counter-intelligence objective, it wasn’t a legal way to behave in a criminal prosecution. This would still be a win in my book.

                    • Troutwaxer says:

                      Just to be perfectly clear, I do agree with you about the lying.

                      If the agents took advantage of Flynn, it wasn’t “permission to lie” – that’s just silly. They took advantage of Flynn’s assumption that the agents and Flynn were on the same side; not Trump and Putin’s side particularly, but that both Flynn and the FBI are members of the executive branch, both working together on counter-terrorism or counter-intelligence, etc., plus I think Flynn can be forgiven for assuming that the FBI should be supportive of the President’s foreign policy initiatives.* Those assumptions are what the FBI took advantage of.

                      * Correct me if I’m wrong, but the problem with Trump’s policies towards Russia is the quid-pro-quo, not the policy itself. Legally, the President is allowed to make poor foreign-policy decisions, but he can’t take a bribe for doing so, right?

  4. cwradio says:

    “..it’s not clear why Flynn should be able to dodge the humiliation other felons undergo.”

    It seems pretty obvious to me – he’s a high-ranking representative of the Greatest, Bravest, Most Moral Organization in the entire History of Humanity – whom we are expected to shower our undying gratitude and wealth on, and constantly thank for their “service” (to Wall Street?) even though they haven’t succeeded in accomplishing anything positive for over 70 years.

    Jingoism rules!


  5. Judas Peckerwood says:

    …even though they haven’t succeeded in accomplishing anything positive for over 70 years.


    What about neutralizing the existential threat that was Grenada?

    • oldoilfieldhand says:

      Don’t forget Cuba, Haiti, The Dominican Republic, Panama, Nicaragua and Chiquita! The US Military isn’t just half time heroes for the NFL, and the band that plays hail to the chief, they have been the most lethal and destructive force for capitalism in history.

      Remember what General Smedley Darlington Butler, a United States Marine Corps major general, the highest rank authorized while he served, and at the time of his death the most decorated Marine in U.S. history said:

      “I wouldn’t go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

      There isn’t a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its “finger men” to point out enemies, its “muscle men” to destroy enemies, its “brain men” to plan war preparations, and a “Big Boss” Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.

      It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty- three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. “

  6. arbusto says:

    Are there any restrictions on Federal felons dealing with foreign interests and/or Federal Agencies or does it just add color to advertising brochures?

  7. Jenny says:

    Thanks Marcy.  More material to meld together.

    Fear attracts fear.  Flynn attached himself to Fear-Monger in Chief, then got caught.  Pleaded guilty.  He really is getting a sweet deal just like Petraeus.  Must be the water these two generals drank to get away with deceiving ones country.

      • Jenny says:

        Flynn said about Hillary at the Republican National Convention.  “”We do not need a reckless president who believes she is above the law,”  Then he chants “Lock her up, lock her up.”

        Flynn should go to jail!  Lock him up!  He is not above the law.  Petraeus should have gone to jail.  He is not above the law.  The “get out of jail free card” seems to be working for Flynn and Petraeus.  Repulsive!

  8. marksb says:

    The complaint that the FBI didn’t warn Flynn that he shouldn’t lie to them stood out for me when I heard/read it. Here’s a Army general, thinking he needs to be warned not to lie in official matters?

    Uniform Code of Military Justice contains specific provisions that address false statements. A flag officer has probably sat in judgement of such in his career, and these rules are taught from boot camp on. That he isn’t guilty of lying to FBI agents because they didn’t warn him is bullshit.

    I was just an enlisted electronics guy in the Coast Guard and I knew you could get busted all the way down for lying to officials or in an official capacity. We all knew, and there’s no way we were giving up the comfort of the electronics shack for chipping decks under some nasty Chief Boatswain’s mate.

  9. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I agree that the drug testing requirement is a systemic effort to humiliate.  On not requiring Flynn to fully disclose his sources of funds for some interim period in the future, it would seem crazy for the government to agree to that.

    Flynn needs money.  A lot of it.  He’s missed out on a lot because of his legal troubles.  He wants to play catch up.  Given his notoriety, fewer clients would be willing to have him.  Those that are are playing off his notoriety. That would include standard wingnut welfare gigs as well as more legally-challenged clients.  And wingnut welfare gigs, even concurrently, probably wouldn’t pay enough for Flynn’s ambitions.

    Flynn seems unwilling to change his spots.  He has incentive to do more of what he already knows to make a lot of money now.  Having a requirement that Flynn disclose new or substantial sources of income would be critical in pro-actively reducing the odds that he commit further crimes or aid and abet their commission by others.

  10. Naomi says:

    way back when…   Flynn, was Nat Sec,  and that was moderately surprising…   then Steve Bannon was appointed to (something I’m not able to understand) but that didn’t last…

    Why are there no references “today” about Turkey and Bannon?

  11. new-radical says:

    Flynn pleaded guilty to one count, because he was only charged with one count. Fine, recommendation 0-6 months.

    But anyone who watches the news and then tries to process the information gleaned through the lenses of whatever the biases of their individual spectacles might be, could think that there is considerable evidence available to anyone with investigative powers, to process many more charges.

    Do we know anything about Turkey? Do we know anything about the nuclear power scheme?

    He went to Moscow – was he not a top US military intelligence officer? – he sat next to Putin.

    Do none of these elements warrant more discussion?

    He is possibly rich and wants to stay rich.

  12. Frank Probst says:

    My thought was no so much that he would try to hide the fact that he was getting rich off of his notoriety (which is legal).  I was thinking more along the lines of him hiding large sums of money that would cause him to do a whole lot of forgetting.

  13. milton wiltmellow says:

    Part I

    Flynn is an interesting character, more a Douglas MacArthur than a Dwight Eisenhower general.  That is to say, he considers himself more astute, dedicated, knowledgeable and committed than those stupid civilian pols — like Barack Obama.

    In this context, his devotion — er, leech-like attachment — to Trump makes perfect sense.  He finally gets a civvie pol to take him seriously.   With Trump as his patron (and his “student”) he anticipates settling old scores while gaining the ability to go over the heads of those who previously frustrated him.

    Now it gets difficult to explain what happened.  It isn’t difficult because it is so complicated but rather because of the newsy presentations of significant global issues.  US media automatically personalize complicated issues.  Like People magazine or the National Enquirer, American audiences follow personalities rather than policies — thus mass media present issues in terms of people.  For instance we the public needn’t address the issues of systemic racism, when we have Roseanne Barr representing a cartoon version of red-neck racism.

    Back to Flynn.  As a gonzo general gone consultant, he is more concerned about his image than the propriety of his actions.  (By self definition, he is a dedicated patriot).  Donald Trump fed an image-making aspiration for Flynn.  They established a sort of a quid pro quo — in exchange for his military/intelligence expertise and credibility, Flynn could learn the secrets of successful personality marketing while finally putting right all that Obama and those idiots in Washington got wrong. He would take the high ground.

    This is going longer than I expected.  I’ll end here and finish in a subsequent post.


    • milton wiltmellow says:

      Part II

      I think there’s a fundamental misunderstanding of Trump and Mueller’s investigation.  (See personalizing issues.)  Mueller’s investigation isn’t about Trump: it’s about the Russians.  I suspect it was ongoing long before Trump rode the escalator down in June of 2015.

      At this point the very crucial distinction between personality and institution emerges.  FBI counterintelligence isn’t going to change its goals and objectives because of a campaign and election.  In the US, individuals pass through but the institutions remain.

      Trump became a subject because the FBI counter-intelligence people could study the Russians through their interactions with Trump.  Sort of an interesting plot development rather than a main story.  “Let’s see how they handle Trump?”

      Meanwhile the Russians are seeking to embed themselves in local computerized voting systems.  (This is why for instance the document Reality Winner leaked was secret in the first place or the rumors/stories of electric grid intrusion or direct line to Alphabank(?) by the Trump campaign were quickly repudiated.)  The FBI is watching but if they revealed their scrutiny, they’d lose their advantage.  (See Enigma/Coventry dilemma.)

      Wikileaks participation in the Russian “cyber-war”, brought a huge and unwelcome spotlight.  But the FBI’s lips were sealed.  They couldn’t speak until they could.  (It occurs to me that Comey’s Clinton interference might have been a secondary effect of this policy.)  I suspect a lot of this clandestine stuff is underneath the redactions recently filed.

      Back to Flynn.  I suspect he had concocted a brilliant (in his mind) way to end ISIS and the war in Syria by making an alliance of convenience with the Russians.  This “idea” became Trump campaign policy.  After the election, the FBI — knowing Flynn’s plan — hit the panic button.  His cowboy personality threatened the institution of the FBI — an more importantly, their ongoing Russian operation.  As usual for Trump, he had no plan B regarding Flynn.

      Meanwhile, at some point, the FBI visited Flynn after he left the WH.  They told him the facts.  He flipped out.  They were accusing him of treason,  He had to prove his loyalty; thus he because the defendant described by Mueller.

      Mostly unrelated to Mueller, SDNY was prosecuting Trump for being a scumbag “businessman”.  They viewed Flynn as part of that Trump scumbaggery cabal.  They didn’t care what Mueller says because they were never part of the FBI counter-intelligence operation.

      Finally  (hurrying to the conclusion), once Flynn’s patriotism — his loyalty to the US — is validated by Mueller, he reverts to his maverick personality and politics.

  14. AGoodEsq says:

    I hate giving him the benefit of the doubt, put perhaps it is just as simple as he takes a stimulant (controlled substance) for ADHD or something similar and knows he will never pass a drug screen.

    • bmaz says:

      Well….maybe. I think is it’s more of a general request as to terms and conditions. But even if not, it is fairly standard to have certain prescribed drugs excluded from urinalysis screening. That happens every day, so I  do not think it is that.

      • Willis Warren says:

        wouldn’t surprise me if he likes to trip the light fantastic…. given his conspiracy penchant

        or it could just be painkillers

        Life insurance policies are never mentioned in these things, but you can get a lot more life insurance if you don’t have prescriptions getting in the way.  Rich guys know that.

        • Trip says:

          Use of medical marijuana or pain pills, etc. would be counter to the get tough on drug use stance pushed by the Sessions’ DOJ and the Trump administration. On the other hand, he may simply be arguing against inconveniences.

    • David says:

      Is there any other than the original? Although I may be a bit of an apostate to say that I think the whole Zinergmans thing is a bit overblown. That may just be the six years of grad school in Ann Arbor speaking though…

  15. Jockobadger says:

    While I understand the ref to MacArthur, it appears to me that Flynn was simply an opportunist. The President liked having a decorated soldier at his beck and call. Flynn liked the $ and the prestige for him and his son. They got caught.

  16. bmaz says:

    Frothy or no, it was not a custodial interrogation (under either the old DOJ guidelines or the new and completely effectively useless “new” guidelines) so, no, no Miranda nor other warning was necessary. Sorry Mr. Flynn.

    We will see how the court feels, but I am not sure the request for not applying the full terms and conditions of regular probation is all that notable. It doesn’t hurt to ask.

    • BobCon says:

      Is there much chance Mueller was prepared to charge Flynn for more crimes if he didn’t cooperate? Or is the most frequent path that they would charge a lot up front but then drop all but a token once cooperation was done?

        • BobCon says:

          Sorry, by “almost certainly” are you referring to the first possibility or the second? I assume there are ways prosecutors operate as far as how they use the leverage of further charges, but I’m not well informed as to how they usually proceed.

          To me the implication might be that Flynn’s side is trying to focus attention on the lying to the FBI piece in order to distract from other charges he could have faced. But if he was only looking at the false statements crime, and there really wasn’t a case on anything else, then that implies something different. That’s what I’m trying to sort through here, if that makes sense.

        • Trip says:

          Hey bmaz, by challenging the behavior of the FBI agents, are Flynn’s lawyers maneuvering to get the judge to toss the plea, as in the charge was somehow not valid? I’m having a really difficult time with his intent here. Or is he looking to spur more investigations into the agents? Is he signalling the rightwing nut machine?

          • Alan says:

            His lawyers are trying to get him a minimal sentence for his guilty plea, so they are using the “Degree of Lying” defense.

            Lowest Degree of Lying = Your wife makes you dinner and it’s horrible. You lie and say, “This is really good, dear”.

            Flynn’s attorney’s are saying his lies to the FBI are about like that, because they put him at ease, didn’t warn him lying would be a crime, and didn’t ask if he wanted an attorney present. And because he committed a very low degree of lying, he should get a minimal sentence.

            • Trip says:

              Thanks Alan. But then there’s this:

              Judge Andrew Napolitano, on Fox, via Rawstory

              “The general is very familiar with interrogating people,” Napolitano explained to Fox News host Bill Hemmer. “The general, at the time, was the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency — the chief spy in the Defense Department. He knows phone calls are recorded and he knows when you talk to federal investigators, you’re entitled to have a lawyer…Nevertheless he lied even though he should have known that they already had a transcript of that call,” Napolitano continued.”

              How could he assert this with a straight face and have the judge take it seriously? It wasn’t a white lie. He was hiding something deeper, rather than defending against hurting FBI agents’ feelings. Napolitano goes on to speculate that Flynn wants to sue the gov’t to get his “good name” back. (Although I don’t think Flynn had a good name, being dumped from his last position).

              • Alan says:

                This is a tactical decision–there’s no right or wrong answer.  Flynn’s lawyers believe it will help, so they put it in. Maybe they are right, maybe they are wrong, but thing is certain–they will be sending Flynn a bill for every word they wrote.

                Flynn can’t sue after pleading guilty.  Look up “collateral estoppel” and “unclean hands”.

                • Trip says:

                  Yeah, I kinda thought it was all rambling speculation as to the lawsuit. Thanks again, Alan. You’ve been a great help.

      • Trip says:

        This is why I don’t get his fixation on the FBI agents. It’s likely that Mueller boiled down all of his crimes to the count of lying to Feds. In his memo he says he takes full responsibility for the crime, has contrition, but then caveats it with, “Well I would have never lied if I knew I would be charged with this crime, so it’s the FBI agents’ fault, really”. This does not make any sense to me.

    • Rusharuse says:

      Diagnosis: Angry man (I’m not a doctor)! Could be pills, could be just low level of agreeableness(?). Or, like some predisposed individuals, set off by simple words – RICO, TRAITOR, TREASON, DOSSIER, COLLUSION. Even mention of a tiny REPLY BUTTON can send some off the deep end. We should have sympathy for those so afflicted . . but not for Flynn, he’s just too fucked-up!

  17. Thomas says:

    Something that has not been explored by the MSM w/re to LTG Flynn, is that, as a retired officer, he is still subject to the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice), and that there is NO double jeopardy exception. He can be tried by court martial for conspiring with a foreign adversary, and if he did that by trading on his influence due to his military rank, the penalties can be quite severe.

    At a minimum, he could be stripped of his rank or busted down in rank and lose all or part of his pension and benefits.
    He could even be sent to prison.
    It doesn’t even matter if a federal court gave him probation for the same crime.
    What matters is whether or not he dishonored the military by committing crimes that gave a foreign adversary a military advantage.
    Flynn promised relief from sanctions imposed in reply to a massive cyberattack. He attempted to give aid to a foreign adversary that attacked our country. Since we are not formally at war with Russia, Flynn wouldn’t face a firing squad, but probation is hardly a just punishment for such disgraceful treachery.
    He’s not done facing justice.

    Drug testing? Sure! Have him piss in a cup every month. How do we know that his crazy conduct isn’t connected to a heroin addiction?

    • I Never Lie and Am Always Right says:

      Interesting point about Flynn still being subject to possible action against him under the UCMJ.  Do you know whether Petraeus was subject to any action under the UCMJ after he pled guilty?  If not, is it too late for action to be taken against Petraeus under the UCMJ?  Would it be normal to reach some sort of informal understanding to the effect that there would be no potential future action under the UCMJ during the course of plea negotiations with federal prosecutors?

  18. Eureka says:

    Jose Canseco on Twitter: “Hey little buddy @realDonaldTrump u need a bash brother for Chief if Staff. Got a secret reorg plan already. Also worried about you looking more like a Twinkie everyday. I will buff you up daily workouts. DM me. #yeswecanseco”

    Art Or Not Art on Twitter: “Art.… ”
    By a few technicalities this might not even be off-topic, lol. And hey, why not hear out Jose’s pitch- FedSoc/Koch-types are running the place anyway. We would get *tremendous* entertainment value out of this partnership.

    (PS: I love the Art Decider. Can’t say I’ve seen any bad calls there so far.)

    • Eureka says:

      Sounds now like it will just be Jared for CoS (or as EoH notes below, the Newt was recently floated- lol on what the word “recently” now means).


      But Canseco had- has?- a ~’clean energy and cure cancer, etc.’ plan, if he can get someone to freeze him up a neutrino trap (he is not a prolific tweeter; scroll down to ca. July for these Big Ideas).  Oh, well.  The notion of this partnership had so much promise.

  19. d4v1d says:

    The tidbits in here explain Individual-1’s animus with McCabe and Strzok, and I gather the Giuliani branch office of the FBI fed him those names. Mueller’s redoubtable silence is no doubt designed principally for keeping the Giuliani branch office from gaining any insight whatsoever

  20. oldoilfieldhand says:

    Jose Canseco on Twitter: “Hey little buddy @realDonaldTrump u need a bash brother for Chief if Staff. Got a secret reorg plan already. Also worried about you looking more like a Twinkie everyday. I will buff you up daily workouts. DM me. #yeswecanseco”Jose,
    He and the A’s were fun to watch on the diamond back in the day!

    Marcy’s tenacious investigatory powers and invaluable, super-human insight provide stimulation unavailable from any other web location (or bottle). And the commenters…hard to describe the pleasure of sharing some of their reactions. Participants eagerly look forward to, and recommend, a daily dose of emptywheel. (Habit forming… maybe, but I have no intention of giving it up) Someone do the juice giant a favor and send him a link on the little birdie told me so site. A physical workout is essential to longevity but one should’t overlook the most powerful “muscle” in the human body.

  21. Jockobadger says:

    Absolutely Habit-Forming.  Should be a warning label somewhere.  I need my Tincture of EW first thing in the a.m.


  22. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Rumor has it Trump has sunk so low that he is considering the execrable Newt Gingrich for Chief of Staff.  Hillary better put her affairs in order, because the Don will spend two years trying to “Locker Up” for non-crimes in order to distract from own his real ones.

  23. Eureka says:

    Kurt Andersen on Twitter: “In Spy magazine in 1992 we reported on his speed habit, documented by a copy of his 1980s medical records: “Have you ever wondered why Donald Trump has acted so erratically at times, full of manic energy, paranoid, garrulous?” …”

    Anderson links to the original Spy article, a Gawker piece, and an new article about the Noel Casler (Celeb Apprentice and ’90s teen pageants staffer) stand-up revelations about Trump.  (I had posted a direct link to Casler’s youtube clip and twitter earlier but it vanished; if it shows up, this is a reply to that.  If not, the links through here should get you there.)

Comments are closed.