Friday, December 22, 2017

White House Counsel Knew in January Flynn Broke Law

The White House turned over records this fall to special counsel Robert Mueller revealing that in the very first days of the Trump presidency, Don McGahn researched federal law dealing both with lying to federal investigators and with violations of the Logan Act, a centuries-old federal law that prohibits private citizens from negotiating with foreign governments, according to three people with direct knowledge of the confidential government documents. The records reflected concerns that McGahn, the White House counsel, had that Michael Flynn, then the president's national security advisor, had possibly violated either one or both laws at the time, according to two of the sources. The disclosure that these records exist and that they are in the possession of the special counsel could bolster any potential obstruction of justice case against President Donald Trump.

More

The records that McGahn turned over to the special counsel, portions of which were read to this reporter, indicate he researched both statutes and warned Trump about Flynn's possible violations.

McGahn conducted the analysis shortly after learning that Flynn, on Dec. 29, 2016 -- while Barack Obama was still president -- had counseled the Russian ambassador to the United States at the time, Sergey Kislyak, not to retaliate against U.S. economic sanctions imposed against Russia by the outgoing administration.

McGahn believed that Flynn, and possibly anyone who authorized or approved of such contacts, would be in potential violation of the Logan Act, according to two of the sources, both of whom work in the administration.

Comments

Most interesting part of the article to me:

McGahn felt like Trump and others in administration were throwing him under the bus:

A senior administration official close to McGahn said that the White House counsel felt like the president and others in the administration at times were using him and his office as scapegoats for Trump keeping Flynn, even as serious questions arose regarding his conduct. Trump and others in the administration suggested that McGahn had not done his due diligence

Reince Priebus, then the president's chief of staff, for example, said on Feb. 19 on "Meet the Press" that Trump did not take sooner action regarding Flynn because "the legal department came back and said that they didn't see anything wrong."

The records turned over to the special counsel would appear to contradict such a narrative, according to the two sources. They show that McGahn researched both statutes, clearly raised issues as to whether Flynn possibly violated federal law related to making false statements and also whether he violated the Logan Act, and that McGahn voiced these concerns to Trump after meeting with Yates.

#1 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-12-20 11:39 PM

There is talk of bigly staff turnover at the White House next month, in celebration (haha) of the Dotard's first year in office. People will be running for the exits and many will be running to the Special Counsel, seeing such action as (1) the work of true patriots, and (2) the only way to get a ---- smear off of their resumes.

Mueller will deliver the goods on many in this administration. The only questions left are (1) will Trump replace Rod Rosenstein with someone who will fire Mueller, and (2) if Mueller is fired, will the Repubs have the stones to stand up to a criminal with despotic tendencies?

#2 | Posted by catdog at 2017-12-22 08:42 AM


If this is what reporters are digging up, I can only imagine the information that Mr Mueller and his team have now and will get via subpoena and under-oath interviews.

No wonder so many Republicans seem to be in panic mode, I have to wonder how many of them may be implicit?

#3 | Posted by LampLighter at 2017-12-22 10:34 AM

The coming fistfights and elbowing to GTFO at the cusp of the New Year by employees of the Trump Presidency promise to be entertaining and likely hilarious! Let's get some side bets out there. Who's escaping next? Mezzy Queeznuz!

#4 | Posted by john47 at 2017-12-22 11:11 AM

When the press asked Drumph when he knew Flynn lied, Drumph refused to answer and walked away. Just like an innocent man would do.

#5 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2017-12-22 11:47 AM

The funny part about that law is anyone who posts on social media about what Russia should do has automatically broken that law, if a Russian politician reads the comment. Any blogger or anyone else who is a private citizen can post on the Internet and be in violation of the law if a politician in another country reads it.

#6 | Posted by humtake at 2017-12-22 12:17 PM

"When the press asked Drumph when he knew Flynn lied, Drumph refused to answer and walked away."

What? He didn't say "We'll see?"

Rut Roh!

#7 | Posted by donnerboy at 2017-12-22 04:38 PM

Interesting!

#8 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2017-12-22 11:50 PM

If this is true, then two things, from a legal standpoint, stand out:

1. This is work product and as such is protected as attorney client confidential- if this was, in fact, produced, then someone either f'd up and/or waived the privilege or did this intentionally without permission to do so.

2. If it was the latter, it is inadmissible, and Mueller should return it to the WH. If it was the former, then the question is, did the Trump administration knowingly waive the privilege, because McGahn cannot waive his client's privilege and must "protect it at all peril to himself." Only if it was a knowing waiver would this be admissible, so it will be interesting what Mueller and his team can do with this.

That being said, closing the barn door after the animals have escaped doesn't do much good, so this could be a major event for Mueller's investigation.

#9 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2017-12-23 12:09 AM

If McGahn knew his client (Trump) was obstructing justice, wouldn't he have an obligation to divulge? Lawyers cant help their client commit crimes can they?

Asking for a friend.

#10 | Posted by truthhurts at 2017-12-23 12:56 AM

Drudge Retort Headlines

The Humiliation of Aziz Ansari (96 comments)

Man Brought to U.S. at Age 10 Deported at 39 (93 comments)

Cotton, Perdue Keep Lying About Trump's S---hole (82 comments)

White House Doctor Says He's Not Nuts (50 comments)

Uninsured Rate Rising Under Trumpcare (46 comments)

Meet the Liberal CEO of Sonic Drive-In (42 comments)

Bannon Subpoenaed in Mueller's Russia Investigation (35 comments)

California Bullet Train Cost $2.8 Billion (24 comments)

Vet Sues VA over Scalpel Left in Body After Surgery (24 comments)