It certainly seems an unscrupulous attempt to take out a political enemy with state power.
How would President Obama respond to the collapse of the case against Michael Flynn if Flynn was a black teenager?
Imagine a racist white FBI agent who hates a black student and became enraged when that teenager publicly insulted one of the agent’s close friends. Suppose the FBI sends two boys to the teen’s house claiming he suspects he is involved in the drug trade and starts asking the child questions in the hope that the child will lie.
Let’s say the FBI doesn’t read the child’s rights before questioning him. Let’s say the FBI discourages the child from hiring a lawyer and tells the child that his investigation is friendly and not an attempt to impeach him. Further, suppose the FBI, after grilling the child, still doesn’t think he lied (but only forgot the details of things he was asked to do). Suppose the FBI then dragged the case so long that the child paid $ 5 million in legal bills and then threatened to arrest the child’s mother. Suppose the FBI withheld exculpatory evidence from the boy’s lawyers and agreed to leave the boy’s mother alone if he pleaded guilty, but he did not tell the judge about this side issue.
If the teenager were ultimately guilty of a single count of making false statements, Obama would say, “Ah! Justice is being served! The boy admits to being guilty!”? child, Obama would say, “You’re starting to worry that fundamental – not just institutional standards – but our basic understanding of the rule of law is compromised” because he thought the child deserved everything that had happened to him?
All of the above is pretty much exactly what happened to Michael Flynn. Except for the team that went after Michael Flynn, he didn’t hate him for racial differences; they hated him because of political differences. The personal insult that Flynn uttered was when he publicly went after Hillary Clinton, which led to cries of incarceration at the Republican National Convention. Indeed, the FBI did not tell Flynn that they were targeting him, rather than seeking information about calls to the Russian ambassador they had already listened to. They discouraged him from having a lawyer on hand and read nothing like the Miranda warning. They did make Flynn so much trouble that he did amassed about $ 5 million in legal bills (and had to put his house up for sale). They did not initially think he had lied, but only had a faulty memory. Instead of threatening his mother, the FBI threatened to sue his son and someone leaked this to the media so that the reputation of Flynn’s son is at least damaged. And the FBI did indeed withhold exculpatory evidence from Flynn’s lawyers.
The attempt to catch Flynn fell under the heading of counter-espionage rather than a criminal case, but in any case, the state must have a legitimate suspicion of underlying wrongdoing before it can harass anyone. The Obama administration had no legitimate basis to go after Flynn, and clearly they didn’t because of two words that are the political equivalent of “That’s what she said ”- an old punchline called the Logan Act.
No one has ever been convicted under Logan law because Logan law is pure bushwa. Everyone in politics knows this. Anyone who only follows outside politics knows this. I know this and I never attended law school for a day. Do you really think lawyer and former FBI director James Comey didn’t know this, or did former constitutional teacher and President Barack Obama not know? The discussion between the two at the White House on January 5, 2017 about Flynn going after the Logan Act because he spoke to the Russian ambassador is unsuccessful. If someone says, “Let’s sue someone under Logan law,” he might as well say, “Let’s sue someone under Abracadabra law.” If the Logan Law were a functioning law, someone would have been convicted at some point in the 200 years since its adoption. And Jane Fonda, Dennis Rodman, Jimmy Carter and John Kerry would all have been caught under it. Moreover, unlike Michael Flynn, all these people were not the incoming national security adviser whose job it is to do things like talk to the Russian ambassador. Constitutional Professor Jonathan Turley notes, “Using the Logan Act against the incoming national security adviser would not only have been clearly unconstitutional, but also ridiculous”
A country that respects “the rule of law” must respect the rule of good reason to go after someone. If there is no legitimate reason to suspect the target of something, the state may be chasing someone for any reason – because an investigator is racist, sexist, hates Latinos, hates gays, or just has a personal vendetta. The “rule of law” makes no sense if the state tries to catch someone on a false pretext, hoping that the investigation process will cause some crime such as perjury or obstruction. It is a terrible insult to “the rule of law” when the law is abused to attack an innocent black teenager. But the insult is far worse when a high-ranking official becomes the target. The attack on Flynn was an attempt to delegitimize and undermine the lawfully elected Trump administration to help the Democratic Party’s prospects. This attempt was extremely successful; The Democratic media branch, otherwise known as the media, spent nearly three years promoting the fake theory that the government and / or Trump himself had committed illegal covert acts with the Russians.
Our political press is remarkably outraged at finding out the series of motives when it comes to questionable acts of Democrats, but it’s quite easy to suspect Obama behind the prosecution of Michael Flynn if you remember the backstory of these two men’s relationship. Flynn, a registered Democrat, had worked for President Obama for two years as the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Obama fired him and then publicly shamed Flynn Obama by destroying his ISIS strategy and saying his Iran deal was terrible. Recall that Obama piloted the tightest ship of a president in modern history, demanding and receiving the highest level of loyalty: essentially, no major speakers have damaged his presidency. No one close to him has ever published a comprehensive memoir that undermines him. Then Flynn came along. Obama must have been outraged when his former official ripped him apart on Fox News, then went with his histrionics to the Republican convention full of MAGA, where Flynn was the only major Obama government overcoat to speak on Trump’s behalf, perhaps giving the nastiest speech of the whole affair.
It annoyed Obama that Flynn might end up at the top, with a plum position in the Trump administration. But Obama could not undermine Flynn by launching a PR campaign against him because the position of national security adviser does not require cabinet confirmation. So Obama tried to talk Trump did not hire Flynn. It must have been painful for Obama to beg a favor from his worst enemy to sabotage another enemy, so he came up with the request as friendly advice, as if Obama had any friendly feelings towards Trump. When this failed, Obama may have turned to finding a back door to take out Flynn.
Did Obama break any laws? Maybe not. Was he part of an unscrupulous attempt to arm the state police force against a political enemy? It sure looks like that. How else can you explain that Comey and Obama just spoke casually using the obviously fake pretext of the Logan Act to go after Flynn in the January 5, 2017 meeting, while Sally Yates, the Deputy Attorney General, was amazed that her own alleged subordinate Comey would come up with something as clear and politically explosive as this case without telling her?
In other words, is it plausible that the FBI, without being aware of Obama’s interests in these matters, acted as he did? If the media were a tenth as interested in Obama scandals as those related to Trump, it would be shouting from the rooftops that the real collusion scandal in Russia was the attempt to spark a fake scandal to turn Trump politically or him out. As it is, most of the media response to the Flynn-Obama debacle is boredom, shrugs, and wat boutoutism: as Brian Stelter grinned at CNN, right winger treats Michael Flynn’s story as if it were a bigger deal than death of 2,000 Americans a day. You would think that someone who works for a 24/7 media company would understand that more than one story can be hugely important.