General Flynn vs. The Deep State
Cardinal Richelieu reportedly said, "If you give me six sentences written by the most innocent of men I will find something in them with which to hang him.
Later, Josef Stalin's director of the NKVD Soviet secret police, Lavrentiy Beria, said, “Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.” Harvey Silverglate has written a book, Three Felonies a Day, which suggests that anyone can be convicted of a crime if government officials desire it.
General Michael Flynn has pled guilty to lying to the FBI. Pleading guilty is not unusual behavior when confronting the enormous power of the state. During the Soviet purge trials Grigory Zinoviev, Lev Kamenev and many others pled guilty to ridiculous charges. We believe that things like this should not happen in the United States.
Flynn's problems arose as a result of the Deep State's efforts to take down Donald Trump. Senator Chuck Schumer stated, “Let me tell you: You take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you. For a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this.” Trump's problem was that the intelligence community had decided to destroy him before he had an opportunity to "take them on."
The judge in the Flynn case, Emmmet Sullivan, has experience with corrupt Department of Justice officials. He presided over the conviction of Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska in 2008. Stevens was convicted of lying on financial disclosure documents. A few days later, Stevens lost re-election. Sullivan wrote, "The government's ill-gotten verdict in the case not only cost that public official his bid for re-election, the results of that election tipped the balance of power in the United States Senate." DC Bar claimed that the team of prosecutors failed to hand over key exculpatory evidence and knowingly presenting false evidence to the jury.
Judge Sullivan said, “It’s very troubling that the government would utilize records that the government knows were false. It strikes me that this was probably intentional. I find it unbelievable that this was just an error.” However, Michael E. O’Neill of George Mason University School of Law believed this was all just a giant mistake. “If all of our lives and careers were defined by our mistakes, nobody would have a job, so you hate to think that one mistake would damage someone’s career.”
Judge Sullivan appointed a special prosecutor to investigate prosecutorial misconduct. He did not recommend criminal charges against any of the federal prosecutors despite finding widespread misconduct. The report concluded, "the investigation and prosecution of Sen. Stevens were permeated by the systematic concealment of significant exculpatory evidence which would have independently corroborated (his) defense and his testimony, and seriously damaged the testimony and credibility of the government's key witness." Sen. Lisa Murkowski stated, "I'm pleased that Judge Sullivan has decided that transparency is not merely the best option, but the only option if Americans are to regain the ironclad and fundamental trust in our justice system."
Sullivan ultimately dismissed the Stevens conviction after the Justice Department admitted misconduct in the case. When four attorneys who prosecuted Sen. Stevens requested a damaging report be kept private Sullivan rejected their request. However, he said he would not hold them criminally responsible for their "ill-gotten verdict."
The prosecution team was led by "some of the Justice Department’s finest lawyers" who handled the case. The trial team was part of an elite group of prosecutors in the Public Integrity (PIN) Section, with experience pursuing high-profile and complex cases" according to DC Bar created by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals in 1972. The team included Brenda K. Morris, principal deputy chief of the PIN Section, William M. Welch II the supervisory attorney, James A. Goeke, Joseph W. Bottini and Nicholas A. Marsh. Morris has a knows a great deal about Public Integrity. In 2002 Morris' team misled a U.S. magistrate in order to conduct an unconstitutional search. This resulted in the government settling the case for $1.3 million. While Morris and Welch were exonerated lesser officials were not so lucky. Goeke was suspended without pay for 15 days and Bottini was suspended without pay for 40 days. Marsh escaped punishment by committing suicide.
Flynn was aware that his conversation with the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak was recorded A Washington Post article published one day before Flynn's White House interview with the agents, citing FBI sources, publicly revealed that the FBI had wiretapped Flynn's calls. It would not make sense to lie about something that was recorded. Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett asserted "You know, all along Flynn was set up by Comey and McCabe. He was lied to. They set up a perjury trap that Flynn didn't fall into. The FBI agents who interviewed him said, 'Hey, this guy is telling the truth. How could you possible prosecute a guy for lying when the only witnesses say he didn't lie?' But, Bob Mueller's team of partisans prosecuted him anyway and coerced him under threat to cop a plea. This is one of the worst cases of miscarriage of justice I have ever seen."
It is reassuring that there are public officials outraged by this corrupt behavior. They claim there must be consequences. Forty or 15 days without pay. We are told the wheels of justice grind exceedingly slow. For some reason justice has wings when in comes to people like Roger Stone or Paul Manafort. We are constantly assured that the next investigator will get results. This excuse can only be used for a limited time.
John Dietrich is a freelance writer and the author of The Morgenthau Plan: Soviet Influence on American Postwar Policy (Algora Publishing). He has a Master of Arts Degree in International Relations from St. Mary’s University. He is retired from the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. He is featured on the BBC's program "Things We Forgot to Remember:" Morgenthau Plan and post-war Germany.
Image credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Susan Romano / public domain