With Latest Stunt, Mike Flynn May Save Bijan Kian from Prison Time But Double His Own

When Mike Flynn hired new counsel, it became clear he was … up to something. Now that something might get him — and possibly even his son (concerns about whom motivated Flynn to cooperate in the first place) — sent to prison. Or, it might spectacularly fuck over the government. We’ll find out next week, when Flynn’s former partner Bijan Kian goes on trial … or maybe sooner, given that Emmet Sullivan has demanded details on the backstory before the end of the week.

Filings unsealed in Kian’s case make it clear that, since the time Flynn replaced the very good Rob Kelner with Fox News firebreather Sidney Powell and Jesse Binnall, he reneged on a key part of his guilty plea. He newly claimed to prosecutors that that he had not knowingly lied about working for Turkey in the March 7, 2017 FARA filing that admitted Turkey might benefit — but denied they were paying for — his services. In response, the government has informed Kian they will not have Flynn testify at trial, and instead tried to name him a co-conspirator and submit one of his statements as the statements of a co-conspirator. That led to the unsealing of these documents, with Kian trying to prevent the government from upending their defense strategy, which has consisted of portraying Flynn as a liar, and Flynn trying to prevent the government from designating him a co-conspirator. Last night, Judge Anthony Trenga ruled largely for Kian on a  bunch of other matters (which may have interesting effects for FARA and 951 prosecutions in EDVA); along the way Trenga ruled that the government has not sufficiently shown a conspiracy to violate 951 such that they can enter Akim Alptekin’s statements as a co-conspirator. That will also prevent them–at least as of now–from entering one exhibit involving Flynn as the statement of a co-conspirator, unless and until they submit enough evidence at trial to lay out such a conspiracy (though that exhibit will be admissible under other standards). Naming Flynn a co-conspirator might make it easier to prove a conspiracy, but they’re not there yet.

To be sure, Kian (who like Flynn hired really good lawyers but unlike Flynn did what they told him and also didn’t fire them) already stood a good chance of prevailing at trial, because Trenga is really skeptical of the way the government charged this, including their initial decision not to treat Flynn himself as a co-conspirator. But the chaos Flynn has caused by reneging on his testimony may be the final straw that sinks the government’s case.

All that said, Flynn’s decision to renege on his testimony may have short-circuited a plan to challenge his guilty plea down the road. That’s because Emmet Sullivan has ordered the parties to immediately explain how the government’s decision not to have Flynn testify will affect his sentencing, which had been delayed exclusively for that purpose.

Flynn’s motion objecting to being named a co-conspirator is what you’d expect from a firebreather. It makes a lot of allegations about Flynn being pressured to plead the way he did and invokes David Laufman, whom the frothy right has inserted into some of their hoaxes, to suggest that it was improper for DOJ to insist that the National Security Advisor disclose that he had been on Turkey’s payroll while ostensibly serving as Trump’s top national security advisor during  the campaign.

A key part of this strategy appears to be to review Kelner’s prior work, and blame him for the decisions already made.

This really fucks over Kelner, who in December was on the verge of getting his client no prison time before Flynn decided to use his sentencing as an opportunity to discredit the prosecution of him for acting as an unregistered foreign agent while getting Top Secret briefings, and who might still have saved him from prison time had he simply testified in the Kian trial as planned. Kelner will be unable to rebut some of the claims Powell is making, because Flynn gets to decide what privilege to waive, not Kelner. Flynn has probably not even paid Kelner due recompense for that work! Note, too, how Kelner is exposed by Flynn’s own lies.

All that said, the case Flynn’s lawyers are making is — typical of the frothy right — better suited for seeding more conspiracies than winning a legal argument. First, they overstate the assurances the government made that Flynn had no danger of being described as a co-conspirator in this case.

The transcript all sides are relying on — the June 13 statement the government tried to correct — does not deny that Flynn was part of the conspiracy, just states that the government won’t label him as such.

THE COURT: Let me ask you this. It’s not in the indictment. Is the government alleging that Mr. Flynn was part of this conspiracy?

MR. GILLIS: We are not, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Right. So you’re not presenting any statements by him, any testimony – there would be no evidence from him as to the existence of the conspiracy?

MR. GILLIS: Well, Your Honor – no. Your Honor, as to that. There will certainly be testimony from General Flynn. And from that testimony, the jury could draw a reasonable inference that there was a conspiracy, but we are not – we do not contend that General Flynn was a part of that conspiracy.

They make it quite clear his testimony would describe actions he was involved in that amount to a conspiracy. The government just wasn’t labeling the guy who was then going to be a friendly witness a co-conspirator. Flynn points to assurances that Gillis told them the government would not charge Flynn in the conspiracy.

Not only did the prosecutors advise the Court on the record that Mr. Flynn is not a coconspirator, AUSA Gillis has stated repeatedly in interviews of Mr. Flynn and representations to counsel that Mr. Flynn was not implicated in the charged conspiracy.4

4 Mr. Gillis informed undersigned counsel and Mr. Flynn twice on June 6 alone that Mr. Flynn was not charged in this conspiracy, and they did not intend to charge him. This is one reason new counsel for Mr. Flynn understood that the government was only interested in and satisfied with Mr. Flynn’s factual testimony as given repeatedly to date–which, as Mr. Gillis put it, “would allow the jury to infer supervision and control” of the project by the Government of Turkey.

These are different things: not alleging Flynn is part of the conspiracy, not contending that he is, not charging him for it, but nevertheless being implicated in it.

Plus, the record before Judge Sullivan is quite clear: absent his cooperation agreement, Flynn could have been charged with both conspiracy and 18 USC 951 (being an Agent of a foreign power).

THE COURT: I think that’s fair. I think that’s fair. Your answer is he could have been charged in that indictment.

MR. VAN GRACK: Yes, Your Honor.

THE COURT: And that would have been — what’s the exposure in that indictment if someone is found guilty? MR. VAN GRACK: Your Honor, I believe, if you’ll give me a moment, I believe it was a conspiracy, 18 U.S.C. 371, which I believe is a five-year offense. It was a violation of 18 U.S.C. 951, which is either a five- or ten-year offense, and false statements — under those false statements, now that I think about it, Your Honor, pertain to Ekim Alptekin, and I don’t believe the defendant had exposure to the false statements of that individual.

THE COURT: Could the sentences have been run consecutive to one another?

MR. VAN GRACK: I believe so.

THE COURT: So the exposure would have been grave, then, would have been — it would have been — exposure to Mr. Flynn would have been significant had he been indicted?

In other words, as far as Sullivan is concerned, given Flynn’s changed testimony the government now reaffirms that he was part of that conspiracy, as they did in December.

Moreover, Flynn’s lawyers doesn’t seem to understand the purpose of Flynn’s FARA in March 2017, which was to fix a reliance on a commercial exception and admit Flynn that had actually been influence peddling. The March 2017 FARA filing did that. What it didn’t do is admit that Flynn was aware the Turkish government was paying for the work, not just that it might benefit from it (which is what the filing said). What the FARA filing did not do is admit Flynn knew the Turkish government was his actual client, not Inovo.

Thus, showing (as they do) that Kelner learned and expressed concern about Turkey’s role in January 2017 doesn’t prove he knew that the FARA filing was a lie in March. Nor does pointing out that Alpetkin’s lawyers lied. At one point they point to Kelner, in a recent interview with prosecutors, stating that they did not go through all of Flynn Intelligence Group emails, without realizing that that would mean any lies Flynn told to Kelner would be more significant.

In another, they make a big deal that notes of significant legal issues don’t include something — the evolution of the project from one focused on business to one focused on influence-peddling — that was already well established by that point.

Handwritten notes of 2/22/2017 meeting with Mr. Flynn were transcribed a year later and omit the crucial fact that Mr. Flynn told counsel the “business activities” reason that originated the project quickly “crystalized” down to “Gulen” which the raw notes show with a V diagram. The later transcription also omits or misinterprets the fact that the op-ed was pushed at the time for campaign reasons (in addition to for the Inovo project). Compare Ex. 8 with Ex. 9See Ex. 8-A, transcription of handwritten notes.

But there’s abundant reason to believe Flynn’s claim here — that the op-ed in question, which was done for Turkey, was in fact really meant to benefit the campaign — was utter horseshit. And the accurate transcription of these notes reflecting that conversation …

… instead strongly suggests that in the latest document Flynn produced yesterday, his lawyers caught him lying to them about the central purpose of the op-ed, which was to help Turkey.

In other words, the documents released yesterday show that Kelner didn’t read through every FIG document, and that up until the end Flynn continued to lie to him about what the purpose of the November 8, 2016 op-ed was (as clearly shown by other records released in advance of this trial). They support the government’s claim that Flynn knowingly lied in March 2017.

Don’t get me wrong. This strategy, bolstered by months of riling of the frothy right, might well have worked like a charm. It even still may!

But Emmet Sullivan — and the government — are under no obligation to give Flynn’s Fox firebreathers time to sow these new conspiracies.

Plus, Sullivan seems to have expected something like this might ultimately happen, because the last time Flynn tried to sow conspiracies, only to walk them back, Sullivan made sure to put Flynn under oath before he stated that he was satisfied with Kelner’s representation.

THE COURT: All right. I want to focus on the plea first because I think I need to. And there are some questions that I’m going to ask Mr. Flynn, and because this is an extension, in my opinion, of the plea colloquy, I’m going to ask the courtroom deputy at that time to administer the oath, because normally when we have plea colloquies, we always require a defendant to be under oath, and that’s what I’m going to do this morning, unless there are objections.

MR. KELNER: No objection, Your Honor.


So I’m going to invite Mr. Flynn and his attorney or attorneys to come to the podium, and I’m going to ask the courtroom deputy to administer the oath to Mr. Flynn.


THE COURT: All right. And I will inform you, sir, that any false answers will get you in more trouble. Do you understand that?



THE COURT: All right. Are you satisfied with the services provided by your attorneys?


THE COURT: In certain special circumstances, I have over the years appointed an independent attorney to speak with a defendant, review the defendant’s file, and conduct necessary research to render a second opinion for a defendant. Do you want the Court to consider appointing an independent attorney for you in this case to give you a second opinion?

THE DEFENDANT: I do not, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Do you feel that you were competent and capable of entering into a guilty plea when you pled guilty on December 1st, 2017?

THE DEFENDANT: I do, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Do you understand the nature of the charges against you and the consequences of pleading guilty?

THE DEFENDANT: I do understand, Your Honor.

THE COURT: And that was covered extensively by Judge Contreras. I’ve read the transcript. Are you continuing to accept responsibility for your false statements?

THE DEFENDANT: I am, Your Honor

As bmaz presciently wrote at the time, Sullivan was anticipating he might need to lay the groundwork for a fraud on the court.

All of which is to say, it was always going to be hard for Flynn to pull off backing out of his plea deal, even with the three months Powell asked to prepare.

But Sullivan was already fairly pissed that Flynn was getting off easy for having served the interests of Turkey while also serving as Trump’s top national security advisor. He probably had cooled off in the interim 7 months. Except now Flynn has basically taken steps to suggest he perjured himself in front of Judge Sullivan.

Which at least gives Sullivan the opportunity to sentence him immediately, and harshly.

Update: The government says that Flynn’s change of testimony does raise significant issues for Flynn’s sentencing, but they won’t be sure how until after the Kian trial.

At this time the government cannot speculate on how specifically the aforementioned records will impact the government’s sentencing position in the proceedings before this Court. Although the records raise numerous issues, the Rafiekian trial may still impact the government’s position. For example, Rafiekian could call the defendant to testify at trial. As a result, the government intends to reassess its sentencing position at the conclusion of that trial.

It sounds like they’ll want to move to sentencing shortly after trial, but they do want to wait until after it.

Update: The government just updated its witness list to add Flynn’s spawn. That should make things interesting next week, as the spawn can verify some of the things pops might otherwise do.


June 27: Flynn reneges on part of his guilty plea

July 2: Prosecutors tell Kian’s lawyers that Flynn now claims he didn’t know about the lies being submitted in his FARA filing

July 3: Government files a correction to the record, notifying Kian that they will not call Flynn as a witness, will treat him as a co-conspirator, and in so doing, submit one of his statements as evidence

July 5: Kian asks for a hearing to force the disclosure of the correction; asks for hearing to see whether indictment was based of coerced testimony from Flynn

July 6: The government rebuts Kian’s claim that his indictment relied on false Flynn testimony, also noting that it was the defense that assumed Flynn would testify

July 8: Kian complains that his comments in November 2016 about dissolving the Flynn Intelligence Group changed when Flynn was filing fraudulent statements on FARA; Flynn tries to prevent the government from calling Flynn a co-conspirator

93 replies
  1. tinao says:

    Go Judge Sullivan.
    Also, trying to make good on my support for this helpful, honest community with integrity, but am having trouble making a sustaining contribution without using paypal. I just want to make my contribution without paypal. Is this possible?It keeps sending me to paypal when I click on the other option. Also need to update my email

  2. Americana says:

    My understanding of why Trump hired Gen. Flynn has so far not really been explored in Gen. Flynn’s trial. As shocking as the current evidence is, it doesn’t really explain why Trump would go against the Obama administration’s advice not to hire Flynn and hire him.

    Even stranger, the fact Flynn’s lawyer called the Trump transition team in order to ask the Trump team whether Flynn should register as a foreign agent makes it clear Flynn was upfront w/the Trump team. So for Sean Spicer to say in a WH press conference it’s “not the role of the Trump team to tell a private citizen whether to enroll as an agent lobbying on behalf of a foreign country or not” only for Trump to then fire Flynn because of foreign lobbying is duplicitous at best.

    The government may be attempting to try the Flynn case without resolving all the issues implicit in the evidence, i.e., that Trump’s foreign policy was compromised viz Turkey and the Kurds because of Russian influence which was reflected in Trump’s willingness to flout Obama recommendations not to hire Flynn. By hiring Flynn, the Trump team was thereby indirectly endorsing Flynn’s foreign policy concepts about the region’s protagonists. These events weren’t allowed to progress to the point where Flynn’s plans were able to play themselves out. Still, Trump’s hiring of Flynn given Flynn’s actions on behalf of Turkey indicates Trump was facilitating a regional strategic plan.


    From the above link:

    How much Trump knew about Flynn’s paid foreign-agent work is uncertain. When Flynn’s firm filed the Justice Department paperwork in March, the White House said Trump was unaware that Flynn had been paid to lobby on Turkey’s behalf. But Flynn’s lawyer has said he called Trump’s transition team before the inauguration, asking whether Flynn should register as a foreign agent.

    Met w/General Flynn,who will assume the position of National Security Advisor, and other officials at a working breakfast in Washington D.C.

    — Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu (@MevlutCavusoglu) January 18, 2017

    When asked why the call had not been an obvious indication to act quickly, the White House tried to smooth it over by saying their legal counsel had considered it a private decision the transition team should not get involved in.

    “No, it’s not a question of raising a red flag,” Spicer said at a news briefing. “It is not up to – nor is it appropriate, nor is it legal – for the government to start going into private citizens seeking advice and telling them what they have to register or not.”

    Flynn’s lobbying work also involved a meeting on Oct. 27 with a representative of the House Homeland Security Committee, according to the filing.

    Despite Alptekin’s denials that he had hired Flynn to lobby on behalf of the Turkish government, in an interview published in Hurriyet newspaper on Nov. 14 he said he had conversations with Trump officials about Syria.

    “We have spoken with his advisers and security team to understand what their vision is for the Middle East and Syria,” Alptekin was quoted as saying. He said he was optimistic that the Trump administration would be more sympathetic to Turkish interests.

    “It is not just that we were in disagreement with some Obama policies like Syria . . . (but) on the Trump side, we saw a willingness to look at these things differently,” he said.

    Read more here: https://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/white-house/article151149647.html#storylink=cpy

      • P J Evans says:

        He agreed to that plea bargain he’s now trying to get out of, so yeah, there was no need for a trial.

        • Americana says:

          Yes, my mistake. Please CX previous post. No trial, plea bargain. There was no trial because Flynn opted for the plea bargain. Flynn opted for the plea bargain because the evidence was overwhelming and he knew he would lose at trial.

          Flynn’s legal troubles thus far though don’t even begin to address what it is I’m pointing out which is that Flynn’s arrangement w/Turkey for the sake of the geopolitical moves involved made him interesting to Russia which may have also made him valuable to Trump.


            • PSWebster says:

              Eggzacklee… Trombone could not take the word of a POC. He thought he was being played. Moron.

              • Americana says:

                Yeah, pretty ridiculous Trump wouldn’t take Obama’s word on Flynn which is what makes it even more obvious there was more to Trump’s choice of Flynn for his NSA than meets the eye. That also might be why Trump would have taken the risk that he did trying to kill the Flynn investigation.

                Flynn hit some of the high points Trump needed for a seemingly big personnel score for his admin: he was a high-enough ranking general who’d held specific jobs to make him seem like a good catch. But Trump had been warned off by Obama and staff. I haven’t yet read anywhere about what the warning covered and how explicit it was but Trump chose to ignore all of that. That’s a moron w/a method at work and a mandate from ?? After all, by the time the Flynn firing rolled around, Trump had sent him off to how many Russian meetings and had already backed the nuclear plant plan for the Middle East that Flynn did?


    • horses says:

      You’re overthinking it. Trump is a transgressive personality. He gets off on doing what he’s not supposed to do and getting away with it.

      Obama told Trump Flynn was a problem. Trump’s shop was a madhouse. Of course he hired Flynn. Then, somehow, they won and it became real.

      “These are not smart guys, and things got out of hand.”

      • Americana says:

        Yes, I get what you’re saying about Trump seizing on the first person w/any titles to add to his staff in an attempt to gain credibility. But it’s still very strange to me Trump hired Rex Tillerson, Russian Medal of Friendship recipient, and Gen. Flynn, proactive lobbyist for Turkey, believer in anti-Islamist strategy. I think Trump hoped these individuals could be used in delivering things Russia wanted. Unfortunately for him, Tillerson is more dedicated to a certain variant of the ‘America First’ concept than Trump is!

    • Roger Thornhill says:

      What’s missing from this post and comments is the fact that when David Laufman was pressuring Flynn to sign the FARA, Flynn didn’t know the Turkish government was behind his client, but Laufman did know so he was trying to entrap Flynn. Yes, by the way, the same Laufman that assisted the Kavannaugh accuser Ford. What a nice coincidence!

  3. Rugger9 says:

    Perhaps the lawyers here will have more on this, but it seems to me that as mercurial as Judge Sullivan can be he is also not afraid to throw the book at someone who is trying to play him for a fool. Kelner knew that but Flynn’s new team doesn’t care because they’re grandstanding and preening (wasn’t Larry Klayman available?) and my read of Sullivan is that Flynn is going to get hammered. Otherwise, why bother doing the swearing in to talk about representation?

    The next question is what the DoD will do with Flynn. Like Petraeus he engaged in conduct way outside the boundaries of the UCMJ, but unlike Petraeus (as far as we know) Flynn’s conduct was to intentionally profit from and engage in activities that directly violated his oath to protect and defend the US Constitution, the same oath I took. Typically the DoD waits until the civilian stuff is done before leaping in, but they can bring their own charges as well. They also have more severe penalties (i.e. hard labor making little rocks at Leavenworth comes to mind) in addition to a “Dismissal Notice” which functions as a Dishonorable Discharge does for enlisted troops. These take a general court-martial to prosecute.

    While the DoD for now has allowed Petraeus to merely be shamed (to its discredit) I cannot see them letting Flynn off the hook for engaging in conduct beyond that which got life sentences for others (like Pollard, etc.).

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I think Sullivan is likely to be more pissed that Flynn tried to play the United States as a fool. Unlike Flynn, he does understand the unique authority, power, and purpose that comes with being the US National Security Adviser. Flynn acted as if it made him an aluminum siding salesman.

    • Areader2019 says:

      I think so.

      None of it makes any sense as a strategy, unless you thought there might be a pardon in your future as a reward for being defiant.

      • Blueride27 says:

        I may not be able to figure out what the hell Manafort was trying to do. Waste the courts time, while sharing information gleaned with Trump’s lawyers? But to me it was successful for Trump’s interests. His non-cooperation might have been a huge roadblock in allowing the investigation to move forward.
        So through that lense I’m trying to look at this mess involving Flynn.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Other than corrupting his own defense by refusing promised cooperation in order to parlay a pardon from Trump?

      Whether it works depends on Trump’s whimsy, how much he is distracted by other things, and how much he likes Faux Noise whenever issuing the pardon comes up. Those are not odds I would want to take to Vegas.

      • Vicks says:

        If that is the case it may be more important for them to play up the conspiracy angle. With the help of the MAGA channel Team Trump will make sure the masses quickly forget the actual evidence presented for the charges these people will be found guilty of, it will be replaced with whatever deep state crap they have cooked up.
        If there are pardons on the table for these folks they need to do their part of laying the groundwork for whatever god-awful f-ing over of America they have in store for us.

      • Drew says:

        After all this performance today about the executive order over the census citizenship question–which in the end run was a complete abandonment of the administration’s (Trump’s!) position and trying to cover it up with bellicose rhetoric and a fig leaf–I really wonder whether Trump will ever pull the trigger on any of these quid pro quo corrupt pardons. I mean the Joe Arpaio and Scooter Libby pardons were inappropriate, but didn’t really go to obstruction of justice & quid pro quo as Manafort, Flynn or Stone would be.

        Trump has no courage and once consequences & pushback rear their ugly head, he only looks to save face, not any of his allies. He would probably rather run and hide and hope not to get indicted in the end run than face charges tantamount to bribery/obstruction of justice with determined pushback. [Like many others, I’m very frustrated that Congress isn’t being more forceful in standing up to him. Now’s the time.]

        I could be wrong, Trump might pardon them all. If I were in their shoes, I wouldn’t count on it.

        • bmaz says:

          Ahem, the Arpaio pardon certainly was obstruction of justice as it sought to prevent him from being sentenced on his conviction, and his conviction finalized. For a conviction on criminal contempt of court. That is the epitome of obstruction.

          • Drew says:

            You are undoubtedly correct, and I defer to your judgement on that. However, I still think Trump won’t have the fortitude to act on these pardons that are specifically about protecting himself. Esp. if anyone in congress grows a backbone & starts the impeachment process.

  4. orionATL says:

    this is all very complicated, like a novel way too densely written :)

    my impression (and it is merely that), however, is that with flynn as with manafort, certain doj prosecutors (not the entire “government”) were much too inclined to be somewhat trusting and “friendly” with these two characters and thus ended up handing them a hacksaw by not simply charging them as maximally as possible and then negotiating back from that. maybe that’s the risk of using the grouper to get to the tarpon. :)

    what say ye, esquires?

  5. Vicks says:

    Or they have all been driven insane by greed and corruption and are hearing voices coming out of their hannity holes telling them as long as Trump is in power, they too, could shoot a man on 5th avenue (or betray their country) and it will be as if it never happened.

  6. Jenny says:

    Thank you Marcy. More in-depth material to digest from lying Flynn. May Judge Sullivan see through his lies. I am going for door number one: Flynn and his son go to prison.

  7. CD54 says:

    Can these actors on the criminal side, Manafort, Flynn, Stone, be part of a criminal conspiracy to obstruct justice with Trump (via pardon power) and prosecutable with Trump post-Presidency? Can actions taken through a JDA be elements for conspiracy to obstruct?

    Otherwise, this is just an organized crime carve out to prosecution.

  8. Eureka says:

    I thought of bmaz’s December insights re Sullivan putting Flynn under oath (that post also has a great illustration) when reading Sullivan’s current order.

    All of this stuff with Flynn and the rest of the ratfucker pack does nothing to quell an unease I’m feeling over the fate of Mueller investigation strands, Mueller’s upcoming testimony, and related issues. That the Attorney General of the United States of America and Jay Sekulow were recently parroting the same talking points as to Mueller’s testimony (~”as long as he sticks to what’s in the report” etc.) both suggests there’s lots of “there” there beyond the report, and that “A Banana (Republic) Grows in DC” might be the novel for our times.

    • Savage Librarian says:

      Speaking of bananas, with all due respect to Frank Silver and Irving Cohn for the classic song, “Yes! We Have No Bananas” (July 19, 1923):

      Yes! They Have No Collusion

      There’s a nut case on that street
      Who has a friend that’s a sheik,
      And he keeps junky things to eat
      But you should hear him speak!
      When you ask him anything, he never answers “no”.
      He just “yes”es you to death,
      and as he takes your dough
      He tells you,
      “Yes, they have no collusion.
      They have no collusion today.”

      Business got so good for him
      that he telephoned today,
      “Send me Lindsey, Mitch and Jim;
      I need help right away.”
      When he got them through the door,
      there was fun, you bet.
      When asked by agitprop reporters
      the whole damn quartet
      All answered,
      “Yes, they have no collusion,
      They have no collusion today.”

      Just listen to those cuckoo nuts,
      Those wing nuts and who-knew nuts,
      There ain’t many nuts like they.
      They’ll sell you two kinds of red herring,
      Slippery and ball-bearing.
      But, yes, they have no collusion,
      They have no collusion today.

      • Democritus says:

        You rock!

        My brain needed a chuckle.

        I too think there is so much sleaze and corruption just out of sight, which makes it extremely frustrating that the Dems won’t go out and start trying to drive opinion and uncover the facts.

      • Eureka says:

        This led to a satisfying learning tour, first to hear (then remember!) the tune. Also learned there was a response song, “I’ve Got The Yes! We Have No Bananas Blues” (thinking face…lol).

  9. CD54 says:

    Hey Eureka at 1:16 am:

    Maybe take solace in the fact that the NEXT Executive is not bound by nor owes this Administration any consideration/deference whatsoever. After the election/inauguration all bets are off, “we” get to go on S & D for any and all malactors, their bad faith, crimes, and corruptions with no apologies or deferential entitlements.

    “. . . the big get even” doesn’t even start to describe the coming purge/criminal excoriation.

    P.S. Find 1 new voter for the start.

    • Vicks says:

      Banking on our next election is a fools solution.
      Among other things It appears the president is about to defy the Supreme Court and carry out a plan to stifle votes AND trying to supress the dollar and bully the reserve into lower interest rates so he can shore up the house of cards he call his economy.
      Mitch is laughing his ass off at at lawmakers who want to make sure this next election won’t be turned on it’s head by hacks. Russia and Italy got caught on tape working out a deal to funnel money into the campaign of the “Italian trump” there is a network of politicians pulling together to build power using their nationalist platform and team trump is all in.
      Look at the freaking sneaking around and filthy deals that have happened that are NOT in the best interest of our country that are being done in broad daylight. What do you imagine is going on in secret?
      For too long we have been smugly proclaiming the stupidity of Trump’s followers but take a good look around. We are waiting to be saved, the good guys are paralyzed
      Things are moving fast.
      We have right here. Right now to change the trajectory of our country.

      • Democritus says:

        We got lazy as a country while waiting for Mueller. We need to be taking to the streets.


        They have added hundreds of new protest sites over the last few weeks, check for which one you can attend tomorrow after work.



        Note, if in wheelchair take your ass to the protest in your chair (if possible)

        (Sorry OT But GOOOOOO!)

        Also hahahahaha at Flynn Jr being called. Fuck the traitors, my heart does not bleed.

  10. Willis Warren says:

    LOL, Flynn has been getting advice through some channel of stupid from the mouth breathers at Fox who think the gov’t doesn’t view him as a criminal. This is awesome.

    • PSWebster says:

      Of course he is and he’s gotta be freaking now that they just added junior to the list of witnesses.. Looking forward to Sullivan addressing Flynn at his sentencing after the trial. Remember: he was fired by Obama for erratic behavior among other things.

    • Njrun says:

      Problem is that however dumb their strategies might be, it’s working to a large extent.

      I would have thought that Trump and his minions would be facing some sanction for all the games, but it appears not. They can string the legal system along for years, and then get a pardon.

      If we had a functioning system and an opposition willing to fight, then maybe it would backfire. But Trump ignores judicial rulings and thumbs his nose at Democrats and …. nothing happens. I thought for 18-20 months after the election that all of this stuff would get to them, but it’s deflating to see the bad guys keep winning over and over.

      • Vicks says:

        “If we had a functioning system and an opposition willing to fight”
        I will admit to sitting back confident that our constitution was written by by men far more clever than Trump that set multi layered traps for scumbags like Trump. Every day I swore that THIS was the scandal that was going to get the entire country on the same page.
        Because team Trump are masters at messaging, time spent trying to change the minds of anyone already engaged in this fight is time wasted.
        It is those who have never been politically active before that Dems have to go after with everything they have.

      • Peacerme says:

        Totally agree. Bottom line is that it’s working. We, in America, cannot stop our president from abusing human beings at the border. We cannot make this president answer questions. And Saudi, Putin, and China see how weak we really are. We cannot stop one of our own. We are being brought down by propaganda and ideology. The majority of Americans are not in charge. The majority of Americans are against him. And yet we act like we are helpless. He is controlling us through fear. We have to be willing to face our fears and stand up for this very fragile democracy. They killed Jesus, Martin Luther King Jr, and jailed Mandela, because once we stop being afraid we cannot be controlled. Pelosi May be afraid of Pence. Pelosi May be afraid of what trump will do in a counter punch, but in these situations the truth must lead. Pelosi cannot out maneuver him. She needs to put her head down and follow the letter of our laws and let the chips fall.

  11. earlofhuntingdon says:

    If Jeffrey Epstein were a career pimp with a sideline business “investing” his wealthy client’s money for 2% of the gross, would that mean he was also a money launderer? If so, that would suggest some portion of his purported wealth was not his, but was passing through his hands for a fee, just like his alleged teenage friends.

    If any of that is true, SDNY has a can of worms a lot of people will want reburied. Pity that neither Roy Cohn nor Alex Acosta is available to do the burying. Bill Barr is, though. The story is worth following for many reasons.

    • viget says:

      And Barr’s father Donald is directly implicated in it.

      He was the former headmaster of the Dalton school who hired Epstein on as a teacher despite no college degree. Why?

      Epstein’s career took off once he had access to the rich and powerful at that school.

      My guess is that this is just the tip of the iceberg we are seeing here. This has far reaching implications and likely involves a lot of powerful folks in both the private sector and both political parties.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Among the questions it leaves us is which came first: the clients, the teens, or the money? Or are they inseparable?

    • Democritus says:

      I’ve been reading about it for a couple days. It’s disgusting, possible unground rooms under fake temples (written up by jk trotter I remember) dental chairs, carpet and cement extractors sent to his private island. Epstein used same private section of Duetsche as Trump until this year. The one Justice Kennedy’s son worked at when he loaned a billion to trump on bad financials.

      Epstein said he wanted to model his modeling agency on a Trump’s. He had juniors numbers, ivankas, Melanie’s.

      Two of trump state chairmen have been charged with child sex trafficking.

      The whole thing stinks to high heaven, and the need to root out everyone and thrown them in jail pending a trial. Rule of Law has to stand for everyone.

      I just have no idea how likely that is. Which says a lot about how fucked and corrupt our society’s have become.

      I hope journalists need to keep shining a light, and Julie Brown’s a god damn hero along with every victim courageous enough to stand up.

    • Eureka says:

      Two other interesting points re factions to plumb in this re-look (given that he and Trump are ‘at odds’ of late, among other parts of the broader picture):

      Rupert’s NYPost has covered Epstein negatively in recent years. It would make an informative study to see when those headlines (possibly re-emerged and) turned.

      Michael Wolff had recently sought to “‘rehabilitate’ Epstein’s image:”

      A few years ago the journalist Michael Wolff wrote a profile of him for New York magazine that was meant to “rehabilitate” Epstein’s image and would tell of all the billionaires who still, secretly, hung out with Epstein. The piece had “fact-checking” issues and never ran. Even so, the notion that it was considered is mind-boggling.


  12. MelissaN says:

    Any idea why Mueller’s team moved forward with sentencing Flynn back in December rather than wait until these related cases were completed?

    • bmaz says:

      Sure, because they were ready. But even the government was alarmed at Sullivan that day, it was a no brainer to not object to a continuance, Sullivan signaled that he was going to continue it if Flynn wanted anyway.

  13. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I thought Bill Barr had a day job. He seems to be permanently moonlighting as Donald Trump’s hatchet man.

    Today, he’s “participating” in Trump’s 5.00 pm presser on the Census. That suggests Trump needs somebody to hold his towel while he does another extra-legal dive into the deep end of the FedSoc pool.

    Even in the corporate world CEOs and their general counsels keep a discreet distance from each other to maintain the fiction that the lawyer is a professional and not just the big guy’s tool.

    • harpie says:

      11:16 AM – 11 Jul 2019

      Huge backflip from what senior officials reportedly told the press just this morning.

      …links to:
      11:08 AM – 11 Jul 2019

      EXCLUSIVE: Pres. Trump is expected to announce he is backing down from his effort to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census, and will instead instruct the Commerce Department to get the data through other means, sources tell @ABC News.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Alternative means are smaller sticks, without the penalties, and statistically driven rather than based on actual counts. Blunter instruments, they are not likely to depress the count as well as if the questions were on the census.

        They would still help the GOP voter suppression and gerrymandering project. If Trump loses in 2020, their access to the data will not be as full or as quick as if they ran the joint.

        Suggests someone got through to the Trump whisperers that Roberts still had the votes to support his earlier decision. With other big votes expected by the Supremes between now and January 2021, perhaps it was unwise to piss him off for no purpose.

        • P J Evans says:

          It’s my understanding that the Census Bureau won’t release anything *but* statistical information for 72 years after the census was taken. (Which means that around 2023, we should get access to the 1950 census.)

        • Vicks says:

          Pompeo’s “Commission on Unalienable Rights” will come in handy i’ll bet.
          Among other things that creepy Mary Ann Glendon will provide is a (long) list of when one can apply “justifiable” discrimination to hand out to the righteous.
          I know I am repeating myself but I am sensing a theme/strategy. Cuccinelli was on Fox Sunday telling the folks getting out of church that because those with fake asylum claims were drowning out those who were truly the “meek” the “what would Jesus do?” method of evaluating the situation did not apply.
          Anyone who is not worried about this is a fool

          • P J Evans says:

            Cuccinelli’s pastor needs to do a month of sermons on “For we were strangers in the land of Egypt” and why you are supposed treat people as well as you want them to treat you.

    • harpie says:

      NPR’s Hansi Lo Wang with an informative thread about Trump’s Executive Order:
      6:51 PM – 11 Jul 2019

      JUST IN: The White House has released President Trump’s executive order on collecting information about citizenship status in connection with the decennial census (not on White House website yet, but emailed to reporters) […]
      9. Trump’s executive order says citizenship information is “important for multiple reasons,” but read it & you’ll find no mention of the Voting Rights Act — the administration’s [harpie: ONLY] stated reason for wanting to add a #CitizenshipQuestion to the #2020Census […]
      13. 4th reason for citizenship info Trump’s EO cites is to allow states to draw voting districts based on number of eligible voters instead of total number of residents, which GOP strategist Thomas Hofeller concluded would be “advantageous to Republicans & Non-Hispanic Whites” […]

    • harpie says:

      Leonard Leo and his pals are feeling sad and angry:
      4:34 AM – 12 Jul 2019

      Sources familiar with the situation say the president’s Supreme Court adviser Leonard Leo and other Federalist Society stalwarts were shocked and floored by how “weak” the decision was.

      …from the article, this is from a “senior administration official” summing up “the internal frustration at the opposition to the fight from key Justice Department lawyers“:

      “What’s sad is the President has been right on this since Day 1, but he’s being told it’s too hard and too long a road legally. Washington lawyers too often bow to the courts and treat them like a higher branch, when this is ripe for a fight, with American people in full support.”

  14. M Smith says:

    If I had to provide some reason to ‘legitimatize’ a pardon, getting an angry judge to give a harsh sentence would probably help somewhat.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I suspect senior federal judges are used to defendants (or their sponsors) trying to manipulate them into exposing bias. The odd retort to egregious behavior in court is insufficient.

      An experienced federal judge is most likely to couch any response or sentence in language drawn directly from the defendant’s behavior and to point out the legal foundation for it.

      • M Smith says:

        I agree. Unfortunately, law, facts, and the Judges carefully worded sentencing is of no concern to Trump or his pardoning ability.

    • bmaz says:

      Seriously M Smith, you think that should be a ground?? And you think that is a viable strategy???

      • M Smith says:

        Absolutely not that’s why I put legitimatize in brackets. I do however think that’s what Trump will put forward as his excuse. As to ‘viable strategy’, unfortunately Trump’s base will eat it up and it will be a republican talking point. As to legal justification I don’t think Presidential pardons require one.

  15. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Why is Trump so het up about sabotaging the Census? I think the reasons are broader than to obtain medium-term electoral advantage. That’s because the seemingly dry and modestly intrusive Census is central to both the constitutional order and the ability of the administrative state to function.

    The Constitution requires that Congress conduct a Census – counting the actual number of “persons,” not citizens – every ten years. The count is to be actual, not a statistical estimate. That’s because of the many critical uses for Census data.

    Census data is used, of course, to apportion seats in the House. It is also used to determine the budgets and to allocate resources among a plethora of federal agencies. Many of those directly affect their state counterparts. The old rhyme about what happens for want of a nail, a hammer, a horse, and so on fully applies.

    Whether Congress can conduct a Census – through budgeting and overseeing tasks delegated to the executive branch – is a simple test of its and the government’s competence and trustworthiness. Without those things, non-dictatorial government cannot function. Upsetting the Census is taking out a Jenga block: You never know what will follow. None of it promotes good government.

    For a president and wannabe authoritarian who abhors tax, financial, environmental, and criminal laws and the agencies that enforce them, that is an unalloyed good. Vladimir Putin, never a fan of an effective American state, would wholeheartedly agree.

    • P J Evans says:

      And Article I says that representation is based on the “whole number of persons”. If they’d meant only citizens for that, I think they’d have said so.
      I’d really like to go back to government officials who care about the entire country, not just their rich buddies (with or without criminal activities).

  16. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I wish the MSM would acquire a positive learning curve. Trump has not “abandoned” the citizenship question. He has abandoned only his immediate quest for it.

    As Spock would say of Khan, Trump is two-dimensional. He has no grace. He does not know how to accept defeat as a fact of the terrain and reorient his forces accordingly. If he cannot take a second and third bite at the apple until he swallows it all, he will chop down the tree. He brags about what a great strategy that is in his ghost-written memoirs.

    That is as true of the citizenship question as it is of any other aspect of Trump’s regime. His illegitimate quest for the information will not disappear, only the way he seeks it will change. Bill Barr will help him all the way.

    Much of the damage Trump intends has already been done: people will trust government less, as they self-censor more. Authoritarians do not want citizens, they want followers.

    • P J Evans says:

      The way he’s trying to move things is a path that tends to later result in pitchforks and torches. (It’s pretty obvious that he never really learned anything about US history and government. It’s also pretty obvious that he really isn’t smart.)

    • Rugger9 says:

      It’s not abandoned until it is printed and we can see it.

      Do not underestimate how sleazy this Palace is. As it is, Barr was concocting another work-around by using the departments’ data, but let’s all remember “Crosscheck” shall we and know that Kobach will be running it again. Just like we saw all over the place (the latest in TX) the government databases have a lag time that create problems with accuracy.

  17. Rugger9 says:

    The other purpose is to distract from the Epstein story which is looking like it has more to it by the day. Acosta’s comment that JE was some kind of “intel” asset probably surprised the community, and warrants some investigation by the HPSCI.

    Why was I not surprised to see DB bankrolling this? Because they bankrolled Kaiser Quisling when literally no one else would.

    • harpie says:

      At the end of a good thread by Susan Simpson:
      1:02 PM – 11 Jul 2019

      […] And Acosta wouldn’t give an answer yesterday when he was asked about whether Epstein was an “intelligence asset,” but the docs in the public record already confirm it: as part of his Non-Prosecution Agreement with Acosta’s office, Epstein agreed to give information to the FBI. […] about the Bear Stearns subprime fund [which] ended up in an indictment against two fund managers. […] but he never even testified at the trial… and DOJ ended up losing the case. Both the managers were acquitted.

      The Bear Stearns hedge fund managers were indicted on June 18, 2008, and twelve days later Epstein’s plea deal was entered in Florida.

      That would seem to explain why, after months and months of indecision and stalling, the plea deal could suddenly come together on all sides. […]

  18. Eureka says:

    With apologies to our Michigander hosts for the upcoming gag, Kate Briquelet @ Daily Beast has a new piece tonight on the “Jeffrey Epstein Scholarship Lodge” in your backyard:

    Jeffrey Epstein Had His Own Lodge at Interlochen’s Prestigious Arts Camp for Kids in Michigan


    Epstein was a big donor at Interlochen, where his cabin was located near the junior girls camp. The mother of a former student once accused him of trying to groom her 13-year-old.


    • harpie says:

      This is about his New Mexico Ranch:
      Jeffrey Epstein Registered as a Sex Offender in 2 States. In New Mexico, He Didn’t Have To.
      July 11, 2019
      Read it, but long story short…he didn’t have to register in NM because they have a lower age of consent… and NM’s

      relatively cursory investigation took into account only a police report which indicated, the authorities said, that the underage victim in the case to which Mr. Epstein pleaded guilty in 2010 was 17 — the age of consent in New Mexico — though the girl whose report launched the investigation against him was just 14. [harpie: THANKS TO ACOSTA]

      Cheryl Rofer, who lives in New Mexico, has aerial photos [google]

  19. Roger Thornhill says:

    What’s missing from this post and comments is the fact that when David Laufman was pressuring Flynn to sign the FARA, Flynn didn’t know the Turkish government was behind his client, but Laufman did know so it was in essence entrapment. Yes, by the way, the same Laufman that assisted the Kavannaugh accuser Ford. What a nice coincidence!

    • P J Evans says:

      Got citations for that cr*p? Because Flynn would certainly have known about the Turkish government being his client: they were discussing kidnapping Gulen (who has a green card).

Comments are closed.