Mike Flynn Doesn’t Want the Brazenness of His Lies to become Public

When the WaPo graciously liberated some of the documents pertaining to Mike Flynn’s sentencing, I noted they hadn’t included his original 302. WaPo has now even more graciously submitted a request to Judge Emmet Sullivan (who seems keen to unseal as much of these materials as he can) to get that unsealed as well.

Their request reveals that both the government and Flynn did not consent to the request.

The Post has conferred with the parties in the Flynn Case (who have now appeared in this action as well), and they do not consent to this relief.

Though it sounds like the government is amenable to reviewing the 302 to see what can be released, as it did with the other documents; it just doesn’t want to be ordered to release the whole thing.

At a minimum, the Government should be required to reassess whether it believes continued sealing is necessary in light of changed circumstances, and to seek unsealing as appropriate (as it did with respect to the documents at issue in the Original Motion). At the teleconference among the parties, the Government agreed to initiate that review, with the expectation that any determination will be made by or before the agreed-upon response date of June 7, 2019. The Post appreciates the Government’s efforts on this front to date, but, ultimately, it is the Court that must determine whether compelling interests justify the continued redaction of any material that the Government seeks to keep under seal. See Press-Enter. Co. v. Superior Court of California, Riverside Cty., 464 U.S. 501, 510 (1984).

The motion is silent about whether Flynn is objecting to any further unsealing of the FBI record that he got forced to reveal in the first place by being too cute in his sentencing submission, or just to personal details such as his date of birth coming out. But his date of birth (Christmas Eve in 1958) is one of the only personal details in the 302.

As I laid out when this came out, the other existing redactions probably include:

  • A comment about the fact that Russia did not acknowledge that Flynn’s GRU counterpart — whose death he used as an excuse to reach out to Sergey Kislyak — died in Lebanon rather than Russia
  • Details about how he excused his RT-funded trip to Moscow (and whether he acknowledged a meeting with his son and Sergey Kislyak before the trip) in December 2015
  • Details about the scope of the outreach to Kislyak he had made (possibly including discussions during the election)
  • Kislyak’s request that Flynn set up a conference call with Putin shortly after inauguration*
  • Details on their discussion about sending an American observer to Syrian peace talks hosted by Russia and Turkey in Astana, Kazakhstan (there are probably several references to this, as it is how Flynn excused this call)
  • Details on Israel’s feelings about Egypt’s attempt to condemn Israeli settlers*
  • A fairly extensive discussion about what Flynn claimed happened in the meeting where Jared Kushner asked Kislyak for a back channel to contact Russia*

The three bullets with asterisks are at least partly covered in the Mueller Report, and so should be releasable. Some of the others (such as the reference about the dead GRU counterpart and the mention of Israel and Egypt’s views), DOJ will likely want to keep redacted for foreign policy reasons.

Some of the other details, however, are among the counterintelligence details that I’ve noted don’t appear in the Mueller Report. It’ll be interesting to see whether DOJ continues to keep those details sealed.

In any case, thanks to WaPo’s graciousness, we may soon learn what uncharged lies Flynn told to cover that back channel discussion. They may make it easier for Judge Sullivan to find an excuse to give Flynn prison time.

As I disclosed last July, I provided information to the FBI on issues related to the Mueller investigation, so I’m going to include disclosure statements on Mueller investigation posts from here on out. I will include the disclosure whether or not the stuff I shared with the FBI pertains to the subject of the post. 

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32 replies
  1. P J Evans says:

    I dunno why Flynn thinks his birth date needs to be a secret in this – but I wonder if he’s lied about that, too, somewhere where it’s chargeable when discovered. (There are all kinds of places that want your exact birth date for reasons they won’t tell you – and they’ll terminate your account if you lie about it. Some of them really have no need for more than the year.)

  2. MattyG says:

    The topics likely to be unredacted are pretty circumscribed by close EW report readings. But still I wonder what the chances are of genuine new revelations coming to light. It seems doubtful that the evidence that drove Sullivan into conniptions during the last sentence hearing will be served up, but Flynn had his hands in a lot of shady dealings so it’s possible more working points, more “dots” will be revealed. His activiites with regard exchange of campagin data with the Russians, work with Cambridge Analytica, relationship with Manfaort and Gates for instance..

    • Salt of the Earth says:

      When comparing the Mueller report with the recently-released phone message from the White House attorney, it is important to note the Mueller Dossier left out “without you having to give up any confidential information” which specifically indicates the White House attorney did not want Flynn violating any agreement with Mueller. Exonerating evidence is purposely omitted. I thought we paid $35 million for an honest report. Weissmann should never have been on that team.

      • bmaz says:

        This is the second time you have graced us with a comment. Coming from where you do, it is not surprising that both are batshit Fox News/InfoWars like ginned up conservative conspiracy bullshit. Thanks for playing.

      • Rayne says:

        “Dossier.” Not a legislatively-demanded “report.” I think you’ve exposed your hand; you really do not believe the validity of Special Counsel’s final report. Got it.

        The answer is hauling all of it out in House hearings in public purview so we can all see just what a traitorous POS Flynn was that a conservative judge yelled at him for it.

  3. OmAli says:

    If the “Justice” Dept announced and approved it, I am not optimistic. This could put a stake through the heart of the Republic.

  4. Geoff says:

    Fairly underwhelming so far. But it is looking promising, on the pt2 obstruction explanation. “Would, WOULD not,…” Explicitly saying he could (indict), by inference, if only it were remotely possible, which he just explained, it was not. ;-) Oh snap, gonna have to subpoena him, and when they do, they’re gonna get nothing new. Greeeaaattttt.

  5. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Mueller is refuting Barr’s characterization that DoJ policy – which prohibits charging a sitting president of a federal crime – played any role in his charging decision. By implication he is refuting his and Trump’s characterization that his report exonerated Trump of obstruction. Mueller said, as he did in his report, that there was “insufficient evidence” to charge conspiracy and that DoJ policy prohibited an indictment for obstruction.

    He is saying that any testimony to Congress would not go beyond the text of his report. Doing so is Congress’ job. Mueller is bowing out and will not participate further. But he directly charges Congress with pursuing further action.

    He explicitly says that the Russians directly interfered in the 2018 election, implying that they will do so again.

    Bob Mueller’s defense of Bill Barr’s good faith is inexplicable. Barr has clearly acted in bad faith. But Bob Mueller sticks to the rules and his place in the chain of command. He holds that staying within that role is a hard limit he cannot and will not cross. Once a Marine, always a Marine. He is modeling behavior others should follow. But inside the Beltway and with this GOP, that seems as aspirational as it does wistful and naive.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      As frustrating as his reticence to say more is to those who want to remove a woefully errant president, Bob Mueller stayed within the role and the powers he was given. He as no institutional authority, let alone personal power, to do more. He won’t be baited into trying to do what he cannot do. If the House refuses to find the political will to do more, Bob Mueller is not to blame.

      The House, however, has broader authority to inquire into presidential wrongdoing. It is subject to a much lower standard of proof, because the consequence it can impose is removal from office, not incarceration in a federal prison.

      The House has greater reach and responsibility. Bob Mueller teed up the issues for it. If it refuses to hit the ball onto the fairway, it’s on the House.

      • drbopperthp says:

        Going to use your comment – unedited, unaltered, unredacted – to aid in explaining to peers just what happened this morning.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          To be clearer, the House can only recommend removal from office after a due and thorough inquiry. Conducting that inquiry is fully within the power of the Democratic Party-controlled House. That would create a largely public record that would be essential for passing obviously needed reform legislation. Coincidentally, it would also be politically and thoroughly damning for the president as he seeks re-election.

          Removal from office would require trial in the Senate and a verdict against the president. This GOP-controlled Senate refuses to correct the slightest wrong committed by this president. It would never vote for removal, for the self-interested reason that it puts political power over its constitutional and legal duty.

          The Democrats might want to point that out if they do not want to suffer a major and prolonged defeat for them and the country they claim to serve in 2020.

          • orionATL says:

            i like very much the idea of a deep house inquiry into trump’s candidacy and presidential behavior being tied publicly to “necessary reforms”. if anything is overwhelmingly obvious from trump’s behavior in the last three years it is that congress must but some very strict limits on presidential behavior, beginning with presidential efforts to obstruct investigations of his/her official and political activities.

  6. Jockobadger says:

    Not what I was hoping for, but about what I expected given what I’ve read and heard about RM. He was pointing right at the Dems in Congress – it’s up to you now, folks. Do you have the stomach for it? Political will to do what’s needed and right? Or not? JHC

  7. Peacerme says:

    There is no other way to get to the truth. I don’t believe you can compare Clinton with Trump. Its apples and oranges. Clinton presided in the best economy in the last 40 years. He balanced the budget. It was lying about an affair (sexual harassment) after a very expensive 4 year witch hunt as perceived by the American people. His behavior was bad but to most people even as it occurred irrelevant to his performance as president. Trumps behavior is a betrayal of the American people and substantially relevant to his job. We have to move forward. Morally and ethically and without regard to politics. Principles before personalities. For once Dems need to stand up and be the truth instead trying to win!!! Make no mistake trump will arrest people for his fake investigation. He will do things that no one expects. Move like our country matters!!! Public hearings must begin. It’s the only way to hamstring his power.

  8. Savage Librarian says:

    It’s time for Nancy to come out swinging in this portentous dance!

    Whole

    They say the whole is greater than
    the sum of its own parts,
    If only someone later can
    advocate for broken hearts.

    It takes a bit of confidence,
    and a calm but candid voice.
    It is undermined by dominance,
    but enriched by greater choice.

    Democracy is threatened,
    Time to suspend our disbelief,
    1st amendment or is it second,
    Wiles the autocrat-in-chief.

    Two sides, one coin,
    that’s who we really are.
    We can’t let Barr purloin
    or mint a tarnished Starr.

    We need the word “United”
    for all our varied “States”,
    For if we are divided,
    we relinquish our best traits.

    America means justice
    for each and everyone,
    where people learn to trust us
    by the way we carry on.

    “We hold these truths..self evident,”
    “from sea to shining sea,”
    Even for this President
    who is stymied by Nancy.

    Courage to Pelosi
    in a two-step tempest tossed,
    A nudge, a bump, a do-si-do,
    in a nation almost lost.

    There is a flicker of the flame,
    held high by liberty,
    guiding us along the way
    through all the jeopardy.

    We know the whole is greater than
    the sum of its own parts,
    Constitutional behavior can
    secure our vastly diverse hearts.

    • rip says:

      Thanks for that succinct ABAB, SL. Too much talent on display in these comments for me to feel minimally capable to add my own.
      I must admit I had to take a second look at “Wiles the autocrat-in-chief” to catch the construction. Perfect.

      • Savage Librarian says:

        Thanks, rip. I always appreciate all your comments throughout the posts. Chuckling about the “Wiles” catch. I did go back and forth on that. Then I decided to go all in. What the heck!

  9. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I fault Bob Mueller on the sparsity of language he used to describe the “constitutional” limits on charging a sitting president. He referred to constitutional limits. What he seems to have meant were the OLC’s opinions on that question. That they bound Bob Mueller I accept. But they are not well-regarded descriptions of the constitutional landscape; they are self-serving internal rules for the executive branch. They do not bind the legislature or the judiciary.

    • Savage Librarian says:

      Thanks, EoH. This has been a concern of mine, as well. The OLC opinions seem to me to be living in a no-man’s-land. I wonder if there will be any way to make them more consistent with the Constititution in the future.

  10. drbopperthp says:

    Going to use your comment – 99.99% unedited, unaltered, unredacted – to aid in explaining to peers just what happened this morning.

  11. CD54 says:

    Why doesn’t the Oversight Committee just hire Mueller to conduct an official Impeachment inquiry?

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