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March 27, 2018

Jonathan Turley: If Michael Flynn Was Charged For Perjury, Why Is Andrew McCabe Not Being Charged?

He says McCabe's Clinton-like, Comey-approved defense -- he didn't have the intent to lie because he was "confused and distracted" -- applies equally to Flynn, who was also quite a busy man at the time he made his disputed statement.

Are our straight-arrow non-partisan without-fear-or-favor Defenders of Law showing favoritism for their own and antagonism to outsiders?

Spoiler alert: Yes. Yes they are.

I have been writing (here and here and here) on the contrast between the treatment of McCabe and former national security adviser Michael Flynn. McCabe has been erroneously portrayed as "losing his pension" but has not been charged.

Erroneously, as the link will tell you, because while Andrew McCabe lost his early retirement benefits, he did not lose most of his retirement benefits which had alread vested and cannot be undone by a firing.

Flynn was charged and accepted a plea deal under 18 U.S.C. 1001 for making a false statement to investigators. Now McCabe is raising virtually the same defense that did not work for Flynn: that there was a lot going on and he was "confused and distracted."

Given his willingness to hold forth publicly on his actions, McCabe does not appear to expect to be charged even though the Inspector General could refer a criminal allegation to prosecutors.

He lashes about at President Donald Trump and critics to assert "I did not knowingly mislead or lie to investigators." He then added this familiar defense: "At worst, I was not clear in my responses, and because of what was going on around me may well have been confused and distracted -- and for that I take full responsibility."

That is reportedly the same defense raised by Flynn who admitted to meeting with Russian diplomats during the busy transition period but did not disclose or confirm that they spoke about sanctions. He reportedly also did not make such a disclosure to Vice President Pence. There was nothing unlawful in the meeting with the Russians or even unprecedented for an incoming national security adviser to discuss such points of tension between the countries. Flynn did not seek legal assistance before the interview and was reportedly not told that the investigators were there as part of a possible criminal inquiry.

Turley notes that the worst aspect of the making-a-false-charge law isn't that it's overly broad -- it's that its over-broadness permits the FBI to selectively and arbitrarily apply it, or selectively and arbitrarily decide that its FaceBook Friends List is immune.


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posted by Ace of Spades at 06:21 PM

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