The Flynn Conundrum

By now, much of the American public is aware that President Trump’s National Security Advisor (ret) Lt. General Michael Flynn resigned and/or was fired because of conversations held with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak on December 29th  and following Flynn’s admissions had he had “inadvertently briefed” Vice President Mike Pence with “incomplete information.”  

The supposition is that Flynn “discussed” sanctions against Russia with the Ambassador during those conversations and then neglected to inform Pence that the subject had been “discussed”.

One question right off the top is if the President fired Flynn, why did the General submit a letter of resignation on February 13th?

Coincidentally, the Flynn-Kislyak telephone calls occurred on the same day the Obama administration announced new sanctions against Russia and the day after President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a lengthy telephone conversation.

The fact is that reaching out to the international community is standard diplomatic procedure for any incoming administration to initiate and came while Barack Obama was still President with John Brennan and James Clapper still in charge of the administration’s intel programs.

What is not standard procedure, however, is that the ‘leak’ of those intercepted  classified conversations to the Washington Post’s David Ignatius, long believed to be a favored CIA reporter, was  in violation of the US code that protects classified information and its participant (CRS).  Ignatius broke the story on January 12th in the WaPo, and sometime after the Inauguration on January 20th  and before Jeff Sessions was approved as Attorney General, the FBI interviewed Flynn.

On January 26th, Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, a holdover from the Obama Administration, informed WH counsel Donald McGahn that sanctions had been ‘discussed” and that Flynn might be a target of blackmail by the Russians.

However, until the text (or a portion thereof) of the offending conversation is publicly released, we do not have the facts to indicate that Flynn lied or did anything improper or illegal.  It is difficult to believe that Flynn, who had decades worth of intelligence experience  with the routine handling of top secret, highly classified documents was not aware that he was being monitored and that he would not have watched every word he uttered.

As Eli Lake summed up in a Bloomberg article:

One White House official with knowledge of the conversations told me that the Russian Ambassador raised the sanctions to Flynn and that Flynn responded that the Trump team would be taking office in a few weeks and would review Russian policy and sanctions.  That’s neither illegal nor improper.

All of which leads one to wonder about the definition of ‘discussion.”   If the word ‘sanction’ was mentioned as Lake’s source indicates, does that constitute a discussion – or is discussion more of a give-and-take conversation or colloquy that ultimately constitutes a dialogue?

In an act that President Trump may already have come to regret by accepting  Flynn’s resignation, the President signaled, contrary to his publicly brash persona,  what an easy roll he can be, similar to the effete Barack Obama.   With a White House short on dealing with hard-ball, bare-knuckles, big league politics, the President has opened the door for continued illegal “leaks” as he can expect his closest aides to be picked off.

At Thursdays press conference, the President indicated he had been told there was no wrong doing other than not being straight with the Vice President.  We do not yet have enough details to understand who, what, why, when and where that only a reading of the transcript (which would need to be declassified) might satisfy.  Clearly, there is a piece missing; the story still does not quite mesh into a logical unfolding of events.

The fact that Flynn, while a strident opponent of Iran, was the President’s point man on re-engagement with Russia as well as redefining the country’s foreign policy goals makes his dismissal somewhat of a mixed bag.   Nevertheless, whatever baggage Flynn may have brought to the White House was far superior to the assorted corruptions of HRC and, as we know see, the unscrupulous Democratic Party.

According to reports, the confidential conversation was monitored and taped by the NSA which then shared the classified information widely with high level government officials; from there it was illegally ‘leaked’ to the Washington Post and other media outlets for public dissemination; thereby creating a felonious criminal matter.

As details of Flynn’s dismissal continue to evolve, it is not surprising that the corporate and CIA-tainted MSM joined forces with a group of dissident Obama staffers led by Ben Rhodes as well as enfeebled Congressional Democrats in plotting Flynn’s demise even before the Inauguration.   Despite the Democrats on- going hysteria about Russian involvement in the 2016 election and Flynn’s Russian liaison, a main objection to Flynn was to stop him from revealing secret elements of the Obama Administration Iran deal that would embarrass the former President whose thin legacy depends on maintaining the agreement intact.

In response to the public revelation of illegal ‘leaks’ of classified data leading up to Flynn’s resignation, two House Committee Chairs have requested the Department of Justice to conduct a formal investigation including whether the status of  a formal FISA court intercept application.   The question is wheether the Republicans will pursue an inquiry into the source of the leaks with the same fervor they pursued Benghazi.

In citing this was not a time for petty partisanship, former Rep Dennis Kucinich  indicated that “the White House is under attack from rogue elements within the US intel community” and that the President must act forthrightly to identify what may be treasonous sources of repeated leaks within intelligence that have occurred since January 20th.

At Thursday’s press conference, the President indicated he had requested the Department of Justice to conduct a criminal investigation into the leaks and identity of the leakers.

As Flynn’s conversation came to light and pressure began to mount on whether he had assured the Russians that American sanctions would be lifted, it was reported that both White House Senior Advisors Kellyanne Conway and Steven Bannon recommended that Flynn continue as NSA while Republican establishmentarians Chief of Staff Reince Preibus reportedly push for Flynn’s ouster was joined by Vice President Mike Pence who was “very angry’ with Flynn after having  misinformed the Sunday morning news based on Flynn’s earlier assurances..

As the vanquished Democrats, desperate to find an advantage, focus on investigating Flynn’s ties with Russia, there is nary a mention of  Israel’s influence on US foreign policy even though a ‘requirement’ of any new member of Congress is to sign AIPAC’s Loyalty Pledge to Israel as well as to participate in a free trip to Israel.

Despite what expects to be a series of continuous frantic attempts by assorted Deep State players to derail the Trump administration from opening the way for rapprochement with Russia, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met for the first time at the G20 meeting in Germany.  Topics discussed included the wars in Afghanistan, Syria, the Ukraine as both diplomats ‘reaffirmed their common interest against terrorism’ and described their conversation as ‘productive’.

While observing the Trump administration’s first tumultuous month in office, Lavrov (and  his boss) are both shrewd enough to keep their cards close.

As if in response to widespread concerns about the intel community sabotaging a duly democratically President, Wikileaks released a series of CIA Espionage Orders revealing the agency’s efforts to interfere and influence the 2012 French Presidential election.

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Articles by: Renee Parsons

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