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May 08, 2020

Are the Walls Closing In... For Obama?

Larry O'Connor: "Reckoning."

President Barack Obama is at the center of all of this. Indeed, Obama oversaw it all, from the start.

...

For now, let's just focus on the Flynn portion. Here's what we now know about Obama's involvement in the Flynn episode:

Sally Yates, as Acting Attorney General, authorized FBI agents (including disgraced Peter Strzok) to interview then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn in the early days of the Trump Administration....


In the trove of documents released yesterday, a stunning revelation was discovered.

"Yates first learned of the December 2016 calls between [LTG Michael] Flynn and [Russian Ambassador to the United States, Sergey] Kislyak on January 5, 2017, while in the Oval Office. Yates, along with then FBI-Director James Comey, then-CIA Director John Brennan, and then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, were at the White House to brief members of the Obama Administration on the classified Intelligence Community Assessment on Russian Activities in Recent U.S Elections. President Obama was joined by his National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, and others from the National Security Council," the document states.

"After the briefing, Obama dismissed the group but asked Yates and Comey to stay behind. Obama started by saying he had 'learned of the information about Flynn' and his conversation with Kislyak about sanctions. Obama specified he did not want any additional information on the matter, but was seeking information on whether the White House should be treating Flynn any differently, given the information. At that point, Yates had no idea what the President was talking about, but figured it out based on the conversation. Yates recalled Comey mentioning the Logan Act, but can't recall if he specified there was an 'investigation,'" it continues.

Remember, on January 12, a critical (and illegal) leak was issued to David Ignatius of the Washington Post -- telling him to put out the word that Michael Flynn was under investigation for violation of the Logan Act.

Hmm, do we know of anyone who uses criminal leaks to manipulate the press into doing his bidding, and who talked up the Logan Act as a predicate for a fake investigtion?


Yates learned of the Flynn/Kislyak phone call from the president himself. Clearly, the president informing the top official at the Justice Department about this information triggered a criminal investigation. A criminal investigation that we now know, for certain, was inappropriate at best, criminal and corrupt at worst (and more likely.)


This appears to be the first major and direct link we have between the improper behavior of the Justice Department and President Obama.

...

Let the reckoning, finally, begin.

Mollie Hemingway:

Information released in the Justice Department's motion to dismiss the case it brought against Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn confirms the significance of a January 5, 2017, meeting at the Obama White House. It was at this meeting that Obama gave guidance to key officials who would be tasked with protecting his administration’s utilization of secretly funded Clinton campaign research, which alleged Trump was involved in a treasonous plot to collude with Russia, from being discovered or stopped by the incoming administration.

"President Obama said he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia," National Security Advisor Susan Rice wrote in an unusual email to herself about the meeting that was also attended by Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, FBI Director James Comey, and Vice President Joe Biden.


A clearer picture is emerging of the drastic steps that were taken to accomplish Obama's goal in the following weeks and months. Shortly thereafter, high-level operatives began intensely leaking selective information supporting a supposed Russia-Trump conspiracy theory, the incoming National Security Advisor was ambushed, and the incoming Attorney General was forced to recuse himself from oversight of investigations of President Trump. At each major point in the operation, explosive media leaks were a key strategy in the operation to take down Trump.

Not only was information on Russia not fully shared with the incoming Trump team, as Obama directs, the leaks and ambushes made the transition chaotic, scared quality individuals away from working in the administration, made effective governance almost impossible, and materially damaged national security. When Comey was finally fired on May 9, in part for his duplicitousness regarding his handling of the Russia collusion theory, he orchestrated the launch of a Special Counsel probe that continued his efforts for another two years. That probe ended with Mueller finding no evidence of any American colluding with Russia to steal the 2016 election, much less Trump or anyone connected to him.

An analysis of the timeline from early 2017 shows a clear pattern of behavior from the federal officials running the collusion operation against the Trump campaign. It also shows how essential media leaks were to their strategy to sideline key law enforcement and intelligence officials and cripple the ability of the incoming Trump administration to run the country.

After this, she lays out the timeline of Obama Loyalists working hand-in-glove with #Resistance bureaucrats and #Resistance media to engineer the forced departure of two Trump loyalists that Obama needed to take out: First Michael Flynn, then Jeff Sessions.

It's all worth reading and I urge you to read it all.

She concludes:

This stunning operation was not just a typical battle between political foes, nor merely an example of media bias against political enemies. Instead, this entire operation was a deliberate and direct attack on the foundation of American governance. In light of the newly declassified documents released in recent days, it is clear that understanding what happened in that January 5 Oval Office meeting is essential to understanding the full scope and breadth of the corrupt operation against the Trump administration. It is long past time for lawmakers in Congress who are actually interested in oversight of the federal government and the media to demand answers about what really happened in that meeting from every single participant, including Obama and Biden.

No slouch himself, Mark Hemingway has written a very detailed -- and very damning -- account of the 302 interview form extensively rewritten (against all protocols) by Coup Organizer Peter Strzok.

Interestingly, of course, the original has vanished. We now only have Strzok's heavily rewritten version (Strzok said he was rewriting it so much that he had to fight not to lose the actual 302 author Pietka's "voice").

Also, FBI rules say that 302s are to be written and submitted within five days.

And how long did it take Peter Strzok to illegally (or at least: irregularly) rewrite Pietka's notes?

Three weeks.

Why so long, Strzok? Why did such a short document require such heavy editing and rewriting?

Here's an excerpt from Mark Hemingway:

The new irregularities concern what happened after Flynn was interviewed by FBI agents Peter Strzok and Joe Pientka on January 24, 2017 – the interview in which Flynn was alleged to have lied about a December phone call with the Russian ambassador. FBI procedure is that one agent asks questions while another takes notes. Here, lead agent Strzok was the questioner and Pientka was responsible for memorializing the interview. After completing an interview, those notes are required to be organized and written up on an FD-302 form, which then becomes an official document used as evidence in an investigation.


Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page was involved with drafting the form memorializing the FBI's interview with Flynn -- a break with procedure since she wasn't present. She texted Peter Strzok: "Is Andy good with the 302?" – presumably referring to FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe.

FBI policy requires 302 forms to be submitted within five working days of an interview. The FBI took three weeks to deliberate on and compose Flynn's 302 form, and it was mislabeled a "DRAFT DOCUMENT," requiring a resubmission of the form three months later. A prosecutor working in the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, which eventually charged Flynn, was required to submit a separate document to a federal judge to explain that irregularity.

The new Flynn documents shed light on what happened during the unusual three weeks composing the 302. They include texts between Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who were communicating extensively during an extramarital affair in interchanges revealing anti-Trump bias and resulting in their later dismissal from Mueller’s investigation.

In one text, dated February 10, Strzok tells Page he is heavily editing Pientka's 302 form to the point he's "trying not to completely re-write" it. Other messages reveal that Page, who did not attend the interview, reviewed the 302 form and made editing suggestions. On February 14, Page texts Strzok, "Is Andy good with the 302?" – presumably referring to FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe. The next day, February 15, the Flynn 302 was officially submitted and filed with the FBI.

FBI supervisors, however, are not supposed to rewrite other agents' 302 forms. Nor are 302 forms supposed to be edited by FBI personnel who were not present at the interview, and both of these things happened in the Flynn case. "I've probably written in the close to the low thousands of 302s. I've probably supervised or overseen thousands upon thousands of more of those," James Gagliano, retired 25-year veteran of the FBI and current CNN analyst, told RealClearInvestigations. "This is not how we do business as an FBI supervisor. I never, ever materially altered a 302."


Former Special Agent Thomas J. Baker agreed: "We never changed an agent's 302. An agent would fight a supervisor who wanted him to change the 302, because it's what that agent observed and heard and in his interview. So for us to read, what's documented in this new material, that coming back from that interview with Flynn, which is a key event, that Peter Strzok said he virtually rewrote the whole thing – it damned them with their own words."

Both former agents also expressed concern that Page, who was not present at the interview, was editing the 302 form against FBI protocol. "For [Strzok] to send that 302 to Lisa Page, a non-badge wearing, non-credential-having FBI agent, is unconscionable," says Gagliano.

Baker said it was "not normal and suspicious" that it took three weeks for Pientka’s 302 form chronicling the Flynn interview to be filed. Gagliano also found the time delay concerning. "If the interview is on Monday, you better have that 302 uploaded on Friday. That's a requirement. Now if you go outside of that, does that mean that there's some skullduggery afoot? No, but you're going to explain that in court," Gagliano said....

Even after the Flynn 302 was collectively written during the weeks-long delay in submission, the original wasn't initially used in the case. Instead, Baker said, Mueller's team submitted their own interview with Strzok "about his recollection of the interview with Flynn five or six months ago. Now that’s just bizarre."

Three years from now, Rich Lowry will congratulate Chris Stirewalt for having been right on this story so early.


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posted by Ace at 04:17 PM

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