One of the biggest deflections we’ve seen used against the fact that Michael Flynn was railroaded by the FBI and Obama administration is that he “lied” to VP Mike Pence. The logic goes that even if the FBI was trying to set up Flynn improperly, he’s still not a victim because he didn’t tell Pence the truth, which ultimately led to his firing.
But new information may show even that weak attempt to obfuscate from proven corruption doesn’t add up.
Given a reading of the unmasking records after the call with the Russian Amb. Kislyak, there were no new unmasking requests on Flynn past that point. Because of the central placement of that call in the entire timeline, you’d think everyone would have been unmasking Flynn, just as they’d done prior to the call. Remember, that phone call was supposed to be the biggest single factor to be used against the incoming NSA.
It looks like @GenFlynn's Dec. 29, 2016, call transcripts were distributed by the #FBI to Obama admin officials in raw form without any "masking." On top of that, there were dozens of #Flynn-related unmasking requests. https://t.co/cpXuG9b6QZ #Unmasking #UnmaskingFlynn
— Petr Svab (@PetrSvab) May 14, 2020
What’s this mean? It means the FBI never presented any actual transcript to the White House, instead giving them a “summary” of the call.
As Flynn’s name wasn’t masked, and there was no FISA on Flynn (according to IG), this strongly suggests there was a FISA on Kislyak, with raw NSA take summarized by FBI
Also: likely means Pence wasn’t shown a literal transcript of the call by McCabe, but a summary of it
— Undercover Huber (@JohnWHuber) May 14, 2020
There are a lot of directions for this to travel, all of which are important.
The first is to note that then-President Obama apparently pressured the DOJ to resurrect the Flynn case without even seeing a transcript of what he said. Forgetting the impropriety of that act alone, why would Obama push to have someone prosecuted when he didn’t have any real evidence in front of him? It’s also possible the FBI did present him the actual transcript with Flynn’s name already unmasked sans a request, which would also be a breach of protocol and possibly illegal.
Secondly, there’s the FBI’s part in this.
The staffer quoted from the prior Comey testimony, “We did not disseminate this take in any finished intelligence” and added that Comey “was referring to those specific tech cuts.”
“So no transcript or summary of conversations with Kislyak that were ever masked, and therefore, there were no unmasking requests that could have been made for these nonexistent reports,” the staffer said, while describing the issue.
“I think your description is accurate,” McCabe ultimately responded.
What’s amazing about the above quote is that it is was Comey attempting to sidestep the unmasking issue. If there were no unmaskings, then there’s no problem right? But this latest information says that’s not correct at all. In fact, the lack of unmaskings after the Kislyak call is yet more proof of corruption surrounding the case. It shows that raw intel summaries were being used instead of actual transcripts, which would have given the only fully correct understanding of the call.
But the real question is whether the “summary” that’s formed the basis of everything, including Flynn’s prosecution, was even truthful. It’s hard to believe, but there has never been an actual transcript of the call released. The fact that Robert Mueller pushed ahead with the case while having no transcript is pretty nuts, though that’s a larger legal issue, as the FBI is given the benefit of the doubt on handwritten 302s.
That brings us full circle to VP Pence. If he was never shown a transcript, and that seems nearly certain now, did he make a decision that Flynn had “lied” based on bad information? That’s something he’s going to have to address. To this point, he’s indicated that he’d welcome Flynn back into the administration, but I think the issue needs to be talked about head-on.
All of this adds up to yet more malfeasance in the Flynn case. This is a big, big scandal and should be treated as such.