Thursday, December 21, 2017

White House Counsel Knew in January Flynn Probably Violated the Law

White House Counsel Knew in January Flynn Probably Violated the Law

"McGahn conducted the analysis shortly after learning that Flynn, on Dec. 29, 2016 — while Barack Obama was still president — had counseled the Russian ambassador to the United States at the time, Sergey Kislyak, not to retaliate against U.S. economic sanctions. McGahn believed that Flynn, and possibly anyone who authorized or approved of such contacts, would be in potential violation of the Logan Act."

McGahn also learned later, from Sally Yates that Flynn had lied to investigators about that contact. McGahn's office also researched the laws concerning those lies.

The facts in dispute seem to be the same ones that troubled Nixon during the Watergate hearings: "What did the President know and when did he know it?" If McGahn informed Trump of his concerns immediately, then there is a pretty strong case against Trump for obstruction of justice, because "Trump allowed Flynn to continue in his job and only fired him after the Washington Post reported that Flynn had lied to Vice President Mike Pence and other senior administration officials about his contacts with Kislyak. That was 18 days after then-Acting Attorney General Sally Yates informed McGahn of her own concerns about Flynn’s covert diplomacy with Russia prior to Trump taking office."

That makes Trump seem guilty even if he never asked Comey to give Flynn a break, but the Comey conversation makes Trump seem to be making a major effort to hide something.

Something doesn't add up. One has to wonder why the President was trying to protect Flynn, assuming McGahn kept Trump aware of his concerns. It would have been easy to just fire Flynn and let the general fall on his sword, like a good soldier. Flynn was nobody special to Trump. I don't get it. There has to be more to the story. Was Trump also trying to protect his son-in-law's participation in Flynn's inappropriate outreach to the Russians? If so, the whole thing would start to make sense.

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