Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Saturday, December 02, 2017

Michael Flynn's guilty plea and agreement to cooperate with Bob Mueller's investigation was without doubt terrible news for President Trump and his inner circle: Flynn knows more than anyone about their dealings with Russia. But, but, but: This doesn't necessarily mean Trump is in personal legal jeopardy, much less on the road to impeachment. The atmosphere of hysteria is dangerous. We saw this yesterday when ABC News reported that Flynn planned to testify that he was directed by then-candidate Trump to make contact with the Russians. That sure didn't sound true. Hours later, ABC significantly softened its report, saying one source says Trump asked Flynn to contact the Russians during the transition about fighting ISIS. Huge difference.

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Jeffrey Toobin, writing about Trump's lawyers ("The Russia Portfolio") in the forthcoming issue of The New Yorker, offers a gut check on how hard it will be to go after Trump, even with Flynn's help:

"In several conversations with me, [Trump lawyer Jay] Sekulow emphasized that collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, even if it did take place, wouldn't be illegal."

Sekulow: "For something to be a crime, there has to be a statute that you claim is being violated ... There is not a statute that refers to criminal collusion. There is no crime of collusion." ...

This is why several White House officials worry most about a possible cover-up. Obstruction of justice is easier to prove. Remember: There's a reason Steve Bannon said the firing of James Comey will go down as the dumbest political decision in America history.

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Which is why Trump is saying no laws were broken by flynn.

#1 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2017-12-02 03:44 PM | Reply

Trump doesn't have a Russia problem. The Democrats do. They can't prove collusion outside of legitimate statecraft.

#2 | Posted by Ray at 2017-12-02 04:10 PM | Reply

Flynn had 5 different conversations with Kislyak on one day after Obama announced new US sanctions against Russia for their interference in the election. In normal negotiating parlance, this progression points to a specific offer/counteroffer of agreeable terms for a desired outcome amenable to both parties. This was stated by former intelligence officer Malcolm Nance. US intelligence has these phone calls because of their surveillance of Kislyak and know exactly what was said during them. If indeed there was a negotiation going on during this sequence of calls, Flynn will know who he reported to and who determined the specifics of any deal that was agreed upon that day.

The crime here is a Logan Act violation, and might implicate Trump himself if he indeed was the ultimate decisionmaker. At any rate, such a deal is one of collusion and removes any doubt that the Russian government and Trump campaign/transition team had a working relationship. And since we know that Russia did not announce any counter-sanctions or reprisals against the US in that timeframe, then Trump tweeted his thanks to Putin for not doing so, then immediately tasking his administration with finding ways to lift the Russian sanctions already in place, so a pretty obvious prima facie quid pro quo seems evident.

#3 | Posted by tonyroma at 2017-12-02 04:18 PM | Reply

@$4 ... quid pro quo ...

I think this could be the issue, not collusion.

Especially collusion, from what I've been reading, is not a crime.

#4 | Posted by LampLighter at 2017-12-02 04:34 PM | Reply


Especially collusion s/b Especially since collusion

#5 | Posted by LampLighter at 2017-12-02 04:48 PM | Reply

Trump doesn't have a Russia problem. The Democrats do. They can't prove collusion outside of legitimate statecraft.

#2 | POSTED BY RAY AT 2017-12-02 04:10 PM

Hey Dummy, are you really THAT stupid! Wait..... don't answer, we already know the answer. Lots of criminals from your side are going to jail, all of your denials are not going to change that. Suck on that, loser!

#6 | Posted by aborted_monson at 2017-12-02 05:24 PM | Reply

MAGA!

#7 | Posted by Greatamerican at 2017-12-02 08:10 PM | Reply

Frump Trucktilians

#8 | Posted by truthhurts at 2017-12-02 08:26 PM | Reply

The crime here is a Logan Act violation ...

I'm not so certain. www.justsecurity.org

See also www.lawfareblog.com

#9 | Posted by et_al at 2017-12-02 08:51 PM | Reply

The most terrible violation of the Logan Act was when BushI and North negotiated keeping the Iranian hostages locked up during the Carter/Reagan Presidential contest and promised US missiles for doing so and then got the hostages released and missiles delivered once Reagan won. But, this crime was never prosecuted. Democrats do not play politics as viciously as Republicans, who are always ready and willing to put party before country.

Republicans control the Federal Government and will never permit an impeachment proceeding against Trump. But the rest of his staff is expendable.

#10 | Posted by bayviking at 2017-12-03 06:14 AM | Reply

#9

I am, though I'm nothing but a speculating citizen, not a member of law enforcement. Reread what I wrote. Neither article you posted is based upon the fact that the FBI (allegedly) have the entire conversations between Flynn and Kislyak recorded and if indeed there were proffers and counter proffers I have no doubt the Act was violated. The only reason the Trump transition team would be negotiating with the Russians at that point was to stop them from replying in kind to the Obama-issued sanctions before the Trump team took office which would hamper their desire to "improve relations with Russia" the very country under investigation for illegally interjecting influence into our own electoral process and potentially swinging the election results to Donald Trump, the underlying act which was the basis of the then-new sanctions to begin with.

There is probably a very good reason the Logan Act has never been prosecuted before and that is because prior incoming administrations (sans what we know about Reagan and the Iranians, and Nixon and the North Vietnamese) usually weren't so inextricably tied to a specific foreign adversary in the manner that Trump and Russia already had all manner of contacts (so far 19 different ones confirmed between Trumpers and Russians) before and after taking office. And the others aforementioned were not subject to a Special Counsel investigation like Trump's are either.

Tom Cotton's letter isn't even in the same universe.

#11 | Posted by tonyroma at 2017-12-03 06:16 AM | Reply

Trump has long depended on Russia to finance his empire. It is natural for him to have extensive relationships in Russia under those circumstances. Resistance to improving relations with Russia is strong within the US military Industrial Complex, who need enemies to maximize profits. Flynn's activities which have the stench of violation of the Logan Act primarily involve Turkey, who had him on their payroll when he had failed to register as a foreign agent. Flynn also accepted $67,000 from Russia between 2015 and 2017. Clearly Russia wants sanctions lifted and Trump supports such a policy, which is not illegal.

This will not end well for Manafort, Flynn, or 99% of the American people. But Trump's term is likely to expire before he could suffer any consequences. The unspoken rule which operates in his favor is neither party likes the public to think they live in an Oligarchy, which is the larger truth. Republican vote rigging in its many forms far outweigh any ability of the Russians to impact the outcome, which can only backfire if or when its exposed. More specifically, there is no proof Russia was the source for Wikileaks, only the word of the CIA, who are prolific liars.

#12 | Posted by bayviking at 2017-12-03 07:12 AM | Reply

Do you really think Flynn would lie to the FBI about only talking to the Russians about fighting ISIS?
Would Mueller charge Flynn if Flynn only went to talk about fighting ISIS?

Really?

To believe this, you have to be so incredibly optimistic that you still believe the Giants still have a chance at the Super Bowl this year.

#13 | Posted by Sycophant at 2017-12-03 10:38 AM | Reply

Trump does not have a Russian "problem"!

He colludes with Russians.

They help him win the election.

No problem!

#14 | Posted by donnerboy at 2017-12-03 05:53 PM | Reply

Comments are closed for this entry.

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