Will Flynn bring back Yellowcake to WH Menu after 1-21-17?

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Re: Will Flynn bring back Yellowcake to WH Menu after 1-21-1

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Dec 13, 2018 12:37 pm

Did Michael Flynn Try to Strike a Grand Bargain With Moscow as it Attacked the 2016 Election?

His associates say he claimed he was in contact with the Russian ambassador during the campaign.

David Corn and Dan FriedmanDecember 13, 2018 10:12 AM

Michael Flynn leaves a federal courthouse following a status hearing in his case.Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

In early December, special counsel Robert Mueller, in preparation for the upcoming sentencing of Michael Flynn, submitted two memos outlining his recommended punishment for President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser. The documents noted that Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, deserved no prison time for his felony because he had provided “substantial assistance” to Mueller’s investigation and several other ongoing criminal probes. And one of the memos tantalizingly noted that Flynn had aided Mueller’s “investigation concerning any links or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald J Trump.” The memo does not specify what information Flynn provided on this topic, but perhaps he told Mueller about the Russian contacts of a key Trump campaign official: himself.

In February 2017, the Washington Post reported that Flynn had “a series of contacts” with Russia’s then-ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, in 2016 that “began before the Nov. 8 election and continued during the transition.” Kislyak confirmed to the Post that he had communicated with Flynn by text, phone, and in person. But that article—and much of the Flynn coverage—focused on Flynn’s post-election contacts with Kislyak, conversations that he lied about to the FBI and that led to his indictment. There has been no public information, via the Mueller investigation or other sources, regarding Flynn’s interactions with Kislyak during the 2016 campaign when he was Trump’s top adviser on national security matters.

Yet two Flynn associates tell Mother Jones that Flynn has informed friends and colleagues that prior to Election Day he spoke with Kislyak about how Trump could work productively with Russia if he won the presidency.

One of these Flynn associates, who each asked not to be identified, notes that Flynn said he discussed with Kislyak a grand bargain in which Moscow would cooperate with the Trump administration to resolve the Syrian conflict and Washington would end or ease up on the sanctions imposed on Russia for its annexation of Crimea and military intervention in Ukraine. The other Flynn associate says Flynn said he had been talking to Kislyak about Syria, Iran, and other foreign policy matters that Russia and the United States could tackle together were Trump to be elected. A third Flynn associate recalls that shortly after the election, Flynn told him he had been in contact with Kislyak about Syria—but without stating whether that was before or after Election Day.

The nature and the timing of Flynn’s pre-election communications with Kislyak could be a significant element of the Trump-Russia story.

Throughout the 2016 campaign, Trump and his campaign surrogates continuously denied Russia was behind the hacks of Democratic targets and the public dissemination of the stolen material. Their statements echoed Moscow’s false claims that it had nothing to do with these attacks on the US presidential campaign. Trump and his team continued to bolster this Russian disinformation campaign by insisting there was no evidence of Kremlin culpability, even after Trump and Flynn received a secret intelligence briefing in mid-August 2016 that noted the intelligence community had reached the preliminary conclusion that Moscow was orchestrating this assault—and after the Obama administration, in early October 2016, publicly declared that Russia was responsible for these hacks.

Had Flynn privately met or communicated with Kislyak during the summer or fall, it would mean Trump’s chief national security aide was secretly interacting with the representative of a foreign power as that government was mounting information and cyber warfare against the United States. Such an interaction could signal to the Vladimir Putin regime that Trump didn’t mind the Kremlin’s interference in the election and would be willing to work with Moscow despite its efforts to subvert the US election. And if Flynn held such conversations with the Russian ambassador, this could have bolstered the Kremlin’s preference for Trump over Hillary Clinton and provided Moscow with further incentive for intervening in the 2016 campaign to assist Trump—especially if there was any talk of a sanctions-for-Syria deal or other policy aims desired by Putin. (Then-Sen. Jeff Sessions, a top Republican supporting Trump, met with Kislyak at least twice in 2016, including in September in his Senate office.)

A lawyer for Flynn did not respond to a request for comment.

Months before he joined the Trump campaign, Flynn held at least one meeting with Kislyak. Prior to traveling to Moscow in December 2015 to attend a 10th anniversary gala dinner for RT, Russia’s English-language, government-backed television network—where Flynn sat at a table with Putin—he visited Kislyak’s home for a private chat. According to the House Intelligence Committee, this “meeting was later described by General Flynn’s son in an email to the Russian embassy as ‘very productive.'” (Flynn was paid $45,000 by RT for attending its gala and speaking at an associated conference.)

Parts of one of the pre-sentencing Flynn memos Mueller filed have been redacted. This includes paragraphs related to a criminal investigation apparently separate from Mueller’s probe. That’s one mystery that remains in the Flynn case. Another major question yet to be resolved is whether Flynn indeed was gabbing privately with Kislyak while the Kremlin was attacking the United States—and whether such communications might have encouraged the Russians to carry on with this assault. Mueller—or Flynn—would provide a great service if he could supply an answer to that.
https://www.motherjones.com/politics/20 ... t-mueller/





Flynn associates claim he was in contact with Russian ambassador about a 'grand bargain' during 2016 campaign


When Michael Flynn, former national security advisor in the Trump Administration, agreed to cooperate in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, he admitted to lying to the FBI about his communications with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the late 2016 lame duck session. But according to a new David Corn/Dan Friedman article for Mother Jones, Flynn was in touch with Kislyak not only after the 2016 presidential election, but during the election as well.

For the article, published December 13, Mother Jones’ reporters interviewed two Flynn associates who asked for anonymity—and both of them discussed their conversations with Flynn. One of them, according to Corn and Friedman, alleges that Flynn and Kislyak discussed “a grand bargain in which Moscow would cooperate with the Trump Administration to resolve the Syrian conflict and Washington would end or ease up on the sanctions imposed on Russia for its annexation of Crimea and military intervention in Ukraine.”

According to Corn and Friedman, the other Flynn associate alleges that Flynn and Kislyak discussed “Syria, Iran and other foreign policy matters that Russia and the United States could tackle together were Trump to be elected.”

A third anonymous source is mentioned in the Mother Jones article as well. That source, Corn and Friedman write, alleges that “Flynn told him he had been in contact with Kislyak about Syria—but without stating whether that was before or after Election Day.”

In their article, Corn and Friedman outline the reasons why these allegations from anonymous Flynn associates are important. The fact that Flynn spoke to the Russian ambassador during the late 2016 lame duck session is not new information; in December 2017, Flynn pled guilty to lying to the FBI about his post-election contact with Kislyak.

But Corn and Friedman stress that “had Flynn privately met or communicated with Kislyak during the summer or fall” in 2016, “it would mean Trump’s chief national security aide was secretly interacting with the representative of a foreign power as that government was mounting information and cyber warfare against the United States.”

Corn notes that if Flynn “had such conversations with the Russian ambassador, this could have bolstered the Kremlin’s preference for Trump over Hillary Clinton and provided Moscow with further incentive for intervening in the 2016 campaign to assist Trump—especially if there was any talk of a sanctions-for-Syria deal or other policy aims desired by (Russian President Vladimir) Putin.”

Mueller’s team has been investigating, among many other things, a hacker who went by “Guccifer 2.0” and stole the e-mails of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign manager. Mueller believes that “Guccifer 2.0” is a representative of the Russian government—although Trump ally Roger Stone (who Mueller’s team has been keeping a close eye on) has maintained that Guccifer 2.0 is not Russian.
https://www.alternet.org/flynn-associat ... 6-campaign
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Re: Will Flynn bring back Yellowcake to WH Menu after 1-21-1

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon Dec 17, 2018 1:14 pm

The language DOJ used in Kian indictment makes it clear they believe Flynn was also acting as foreign agent: so Trump had 2 foreign agents working his transition team.

emptywheel



Interesting timing of this, given that 1) govt must have had this evidence for a year 2) Trump was moving towards extraditing Gulen in recent days.



Michael Flynn’s Iranian businesses partner, Bijan Kian, is being charged with acting as an agent of a foreign government and conspiracy for attempting to get Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen extradited from the U.S. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/le ... story.html
7:29 AM - 17 Dec 2018

Ex-Michael Flynn Associate Indicted in Turkey Lobbying Case

21 minutes ago
An associate of former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn was charged Monday with acting as an unregistered foreign agent in an alleged attempt to get Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen extradited from the United States. The Washington Post reports that Bijan Kian appeared in Alexandria federal court for the first time Monday morning. This isn’t the first time investigators have probed this case: Last year, Robert Mueller examined an alleged plan by Flynn and his son to extradite Gulen in exchange for up to $15 million from Turkey, after Flynn published an op-ed calling Gulen a “radical Islamist” and a “shady Islamic mullah.” Investigators eventually learned that Flynn’s company had been paid $530,000 to investigate Gulen by a Turkish businessman with ties to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Turkish government has repeatedly sought to extradite the exiled cleric, who they blame for a failed coup in 2016.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/michael-f ... ered-agent



Note that like Butina, Kian is charged with 951 rather than FARA.

I've argued DOJ may need to create a new category for influence operations. For now they're going 951.



Agents of foreign powers sure seemed to think Mike Flynn -- a 30-years intel officer -- was an easy mark.




How the DOJ’s Indictment of Michael Flynn’s Business Partners Fits Into the Larger Russia Collusion Story

Ben Mathis-LilleyDec 17, 20181:28 PM
The Slatest

Flynn smiles against a backdrop of photographers.
Michael Flynn leaving a federal courthouse on July 10.
Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images
Two business partners of former national security adviser Michael Flynn have been indicted for failing to register as agents of the Turkish government while carrying out an influence campaign that Flynn took part in just before the 2016 election, an unsealed filing from federal court in Virginia revealed Monday.

The two men, Bijan Kian and Ekim Alptekin, worked with Flynn on a campaign to secure the extradition of Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish spiritual and political leader who has lived in the U.S. since 1999, to Turkey. (Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan considers Gülen an enemy and blames him for a 2016 coup attempt.) Flynn and his associates, at a time that Flynn was advising then-candidate Donald Trump on national security issues, lobbied U.S. officials and legislators and placed an anti-Gülen op-ed under Flynn’s name in the D.C. publication The Hill on Election Day without disclosing that they were being indirectly paid for their work by Turkey. In his initial plea agreement with Robert Mueller’s special counsel office, Flynn admitted to having failed to properly register as a Turkish agent and to having subsequently submitted false information to the government while it was investigating the matter. (The indictment against Kian and Alptekin was filed by a U.S. attorney in Virginia, not by Mueller.)

Kian was the vice-chairman of the Flynn Intel Group, Flynn’s company; Alptekin helped broker the Turkey contract and paid the Flynn Group through a Dutch intermediary. The Wall Street Journal has reported that Flynn at one point in 2016 went so far as to raise the possibility of essentially kidnapping Gülen—who lives on a compound in rural Pennsylvania—on behalf of his Turkish clients, but no charges related to that alleged plot have been filed.

While Flynn’s work for Turkey appears to have been unrelated to his more newsworthy contact with Russia, the new indictment deepens the picture presented of him in government filings as someone who was willing to undermine U.S. interests for selfish reasons. Flynn is scheduled to be sentenced on Tuesday on an charge of lying to the FBI about a conversation he had with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. during the presidential transition period about relaxing economic sanctions, a conversation which could speak to a quid pro quo agreement related to Russia’s hacking and propaganda attacks against Hillary Clinton. And while Mueller has not yet answered the million-dollar question of whether he believes such a quid pro quo—i.e. explicit collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence—did in fact take place, he and the DOJ have potentially set the groundwork for it by showing that figures like Flynn, ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen brazenly broke laws related to election integrity and foreign influence on other occasions. Engaging in a criminal conspiracy with Russia to win a presidential election would have been a pretty audacious thing to do; while we don’t have the full story yet about what happened in 2016, what we’ve seen laid out by the DOJ over the past year-plus is that, at the least, there were a lot of pretty audacious criminals hanging around the Trump campaign at the time.
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/201 ... lusion.amp
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Re: Will Flynn bring back Yellowcake to WH Menu after 1-21-1

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:33 pm

seemslikeadream » Sat Mar 11, 2017 12:57 pm wrote:
We already know DOJ is investigating - pressure from the DOJ is only reason given so far to explain why Flynn made a retroactive FARA filing

And the content of those filings signal that that this wasn't just an error in paperwork. The problem here isn't that the filing was late.

His lawyers' inability to coherently explain the Inovo contract -- despite what was, clearly, a noble attempt -- hints at a deeper problem.

Let's start with the disclosures Flynn Intel Group did file, under Lobbying Disclosure Act. The kind you file for non-foreign power clients.

Let's start with the disclosures Flynn Intel Group did file, under Lobbying Disc
losure Act. The kind you file for non-foreign power clients.
Back in Sept., FIG's Bob Kelley registered under
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LDA for the Inovo contract. Kelley is named as the only lobbyist who will be working on it.

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But that wasn't true. FIG's contract with Inovo names Flynn as the lead on the project.
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And Flynn's FARA filings identify Flynn himself and partner Bijan Kian (or Rafiekian) as the *only* employees who worked on it. No Kelley.

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FIG's LDA filing from December has a bigger problem: it declares that income from lobbying for Inovo for that quarter was "less than $5000."

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And the filing from FIG's subcontractor, SGR, also asserted that that income from lobbying for Inovo was "less than $5,000."

But FIG and SGR's filings are factually untrue. Both received in excess of $5K. Both knew this fact. Yet both stated otherwise in filings.

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Kelley, who signed the form, had to have known FIG had been paid more than $5K -- because he personally had been paid $10K as of that date.


nd SGR likewise had already been paid $40,000 at the time of its filing (although strangely, its contact with FIG was only for $30K).
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To make things worse, Inovo's owner, Alptekin, went on the record in November with his own factually untrue claims

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Like how the work was for a possibly mythical Israeli gas exporter, for only 'tens of thousands' of dollars.

But Alptekin has, contradicting himself, also claimed he commissioned the lobbying for his own business interests.
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And Alptekin seems to have also acknowledged, at least to Turkish media, that "of course" there was some interaction with the Turkish gov't.
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Alptekin also claimed that Flynn himself had no personal engagement with the work his firm was doing, and he never interacted with Flynn.
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That's not true. Alptekin personally introduced Turkey's Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Energy to "FIG officials," a.k.a., Flynn.

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The FARA filings studiously avoid ever naming Flynn as the "FIG official," but in the Nov. interview, he mentioned he'd met Flynn in NY.
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And as for that claim that Flynn's op-ed was unconnected to Flynn's lobbying? Come the fuck on.

On *election day 2016*, Flynn was hit with a personal inspiration to publish an op-ed about a FP issue that was irrelevant to the campaign?
Alptekin's spinning himself in circles on this story. He also told the press that he'd had no idea Flynn was going to publish that op-ed.

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But Flynn sent "Inovo" a draft of the op-ed to review, and Inovo provided "technical edits" prior to publishing. And "Inovo" is Alptekin.
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Either Alptekin is lying here -- or there's some undisclosed third party that was sent Flynn's op-ed for review.

Ekim Alptekin Retweeted Chuck Ross
The meeting wasn't in the context of my commercial relationship with FIG. This FARA filing is flawed. Also, I was not consulted on the oped

And then there's another sticky question: what, exactly, did Inovo hire FIG to do? The filings, and the contracts, are all over the place.

The only concrete deliverable ever produced was the op-ed -- which Flynn adamantly claims wasn't done as part of the Inovo contract at all.

Flynn tries to excuse this by saying that, because the project "was terminated early," the full scope of the contract was not performed.
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Except it didn't end early. The contract ended on Nov 15, just specified by the contract, as Flynn's acknowledges elsewhere in his filings.
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These things can both be true -- but necessarily mean that FIG's contract with Inovo did not require FIG to produce anything at all.

But forget what Flynn is saying now. Let's look at the contract itself. What did FIG contractually agree to do for Inovo? Two things:

(1) Produce research in an "easy to disseminate format"; and (2) if it's supported by FIG's investigative findings, make criminal referrals.

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This is either boilerplate that FIG forgot to edit (which seems likely), or Inovo retained FIG to try and have Gülen criminally charged.

Explanation 1: FIG was hired to help the aforementioned possibly mythical Israeli gas exporter 'understand the tumultuous political climate'
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Explanation 2: FIG was hired to lobby the US gov't to adopt pro-Turkey positions, and also to solicit favorable media coverage for Turkey.
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Explanation 3: Flynn, a ret. general with no film experience, was hired to make an anti-Gulen propaganda film with a half-million $ budget.
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Now let's set aside what FIG was *supposed* to do for Inovo, and look at another question. What did FIG *actually* do for Inovo?
FIG itself did almost nothing. It also hired subcontractors who began to do some minimal work for Inovo, but failed to complete any of it.
(1) FIG hired another company, White Canvas, to do some "open source" research on Gülen (and for the bargain price of only $15K!).
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(2) FIG hired SGR. SGR's work consisted of 4 emails, 1 phone call, 1 meeting, and "a Gülen-themed monopoly graphic" that was never released.
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(3) FIG "informally engaged" a bunch of randos to "form a film and production crew" for a movie. But they never actually made the movie.
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The only work done by FIG? (a) Flynn met once in NY with members of the Turkish cabinet; and (b) Kian met once with a Congressional staffer.
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(Oh, yeah, FIG also hired two full-time administrative support personnel for the project: Flynn's son & Kian's long-term special assistant.)
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(And a bunch of Flynn's buddies got non-specific "consultancy fees," but the filings give no hint of what work, if any, they might've done.)
To recap: A "not active" company connected to a foreign gov't paid Flynn $500K+ to do nothing, and then POTUS made Flynn his Nat Sec Advisor

Flynn did not disclose that he worked on this contract, and his firm claimed in a filing they were paid < $5K, when really it was > $500K.

Flynn and the client have given all kinds of contradictory stories about what Flynn was being paid to do. But that's kind of a red herring,

because whatever work Flynn was being paid to do, Flynn never actually did any work that had any use or value to the client.

Okay, a subcontractor sent 4 e-mails, and Flynn's partner attended a meeting with a congressional staffer. And it cost the client $530,000.
And now the White House is spinning out a new story every day to explain why they made this guy the National Security Advisor anyway.
And that's why the DOJ is circling around. This time, there's blood in the water. /end


https://twitter.com/TheViewFromLL2



New Details Show Trump’s Pick For Top Security Adviser May Have Broken Foreign Agent Law
The Turkish owner of the Dutch-registered firm that hired Flynn Intel Group, run by Donald Trump’s pick for national security adviser, tells BuzzFeed News he hoped to use the company’s services after the firm was hired by an energy company in an undisclosed country.

posted on Nov. 23, 2016, at 10:43 a.m.
Borzou Daragahi
BuzzFeed News Reporter
UTRECHT, Netherlands — The lobbying firm run by Donald Trump’s pick for national security advisor made a deal with a Turkish-owned Dutch company that was acting on behalf of an undisclosed Middle East energy company — an arrangement experts say could violate US government filing rules.
Ekim Alptekin, the Istanbul-based aviation industry executive who owns the Dutch consulting company Inovo Limited Partnership, told BuzzFeed News in an extensive telephone interview that he had hired retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn’s firm for a fee “well below six figures” after being retained by a large Middle Eastern energy company eager for research on Turkey ahead of a possible large-scale investment in the country’s gas sector. Alptekin declined to publicly disclose the name of the energy firm or the country in which it is located.
The registration papers — for Inovo, and for the deal with Flynn’s consulting firm, Flynn Intel Group (FIG) — do not mention an energy firm in a third country, or any third party. Disclosure forms filed with the Senate by Flynn’s firm say Inovo hired it in September to advise on matters pertaining to a proposed US law on embassy security. Another filing in October said Flynn’s firm would advise Inovo on “US domestic and foreign policy.” Flynn’s company did not file under the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA).
“I hired FIG for business intelligence and they provided it, and to the best of my knowledge Mr. Flynn has never been engaged in the work directly,” Alptekin told BuzzFeed News from Istanbul. “If he has been part of the work, I will be honored, but I never enjoyed any direct commercial interaction with him.”
Alptekin said he worked mostly with Flynn’s partner and legal counsel Robert Kelley, who knew about Inovo’s relationship to the Middle East energy company. “Bob Kelley of course knew I had clients who valued Turkey’s investment environment and in particular a regional energy company that asked me to include professional advice which I subsequently secured through FIG,” he said.
Kelley did not respond to several phone calls and text messages seeking comment. He told The Intercept last week he was only allowed to read a statement saying the company “registered pursuant to law for our company to represent the interests of a private company.” According to the statement, Flynn vowed to sever ties with the firm if he returned to government.
The arrangement has raised concerns of ethics watchdogs who say it is in possible violation of federal FARA rules designed to make transparent the influence of foreign players and money in US policy.
“It should be reported under FARA, which requires lobbyists for foreign interests to lay out an almost a biographical story about where the money is from, who the client is and include whether it’s on behalf of any third-party interest,” said Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen, which advocates reform of Washington lobbying rules. “It would be a violation of FARA reporting rules to conceal where the original money is coming from. Foreign interests cannot simply hire a third party and then evade disclosure.”
During his presidential campaign, Trump vowed to crack down on foreign lobbying in Washington, arguing that not only his opponent, Hillary Clinton, but the entire political establishment had been hopelessly corrupted by moneyed international players. Allegedly failing to disclose the involvement of a third party in a lobbying deal is what prompted federal investigators to examine Paul Manafort, a Trump campaign adviser who resigned before the election.
Flynn’s deal with Inovo raised flags after it was revealed that the company was owned by Alptekin, who is reportedly close to Ankara’s political and economic establishment. Flynn’s own pronouncements on the Turkish government appear to have flipped as Trump’s victory drew nearer. He has been critical in the past — applauding the failed July 15 coup attempt against Ankara’s Islamist-rooted government, then later, on Election Day, writing a piece supporting Turkey’s demand for the extradition of Fethullah Gulen, the US-based nemesis of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and alleged mastermind behind the failed coup attempt.
Alptekin founded Inovo 11 years ago. Dutch registration documents link the company to two addresses in the central Dutch city of Utrecht, yet BuzzFeed News found no trace of the firm during a recent visit.


Michael Flynn was paying FBI official who tried to sabotage Hillary Clinton during campaign

By Bill Palmer | March 11, 2017 | 0

Much of the focus this week has been on the half a million dollars which Turkey paid to Michael Flynn to act as a foreign agent while he was working for the Donald Trump campaign and administration – a revelation which Flynn is now belatedly admitting to. But that’s just the beginning of the scandal as it relates to the 2016 campaign. It turns out Flynn was paying an FBI official who tried to sabotage Hillary Clinton during the campaign.

The story comes by way of Daily Caller, typically a conservative mouthpiece, but its facts and sourcing appear to be solid in this particular instance. During the election, (now former) FBI deputy assistant director Brian McCauley called up the State Department and offered to retroactively declassify information that was thought to have been in Hillary Clinton’s emails, ostensibly trying to help her in the process, if the State Department was willing to grant other favors in return.

That offer was rebuked by the State Department, but then someone (possibly McCauley or Flynn) leaked it to the media in an effort to make it appear that Hillary Clinton’s former agency was considering quid pro quo deals to try to get her off the legal hook. And now it turns out Brian McCauley, the FBI guy who made the offer in the first place, was paid $28,000 in subcontracting fees by Michael Flynn. In fact the money came out of the $530,000 which Turkey paid to Flynn.

So the FBI deputy assistant director who tried to sabotage Hillary Clinton during the election was on the payroll of Donald Trump adviser Michael Flynn, who in turn was on the payroll of Turkey. Daily Caller has more details. Additionally, Mike Pence has been caught lying about Flynn’s payments, and Turkey has reportedly asked Flynn for its money back.
https://www.palmerreport.com/news/micha ... aign/1881/



Flynn Paid Ex-FBI Agents, Behavior Analysts In Lobbying Work For Turkish Government

Reporter
9:45 PM 03/09/2017

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s lobbying work for the Turkish government involved payments to several former FBI officials and a retired admiral who served in a top intelligence role for the joint chiefs of staff.

Flynn’s consulting firm, Flynn Intel Group, also paid a behavior analysis firm operated by two former FBI agents.

Flynn disclosed that information to the Justice Department earlier this week when registering as a foreign agent for the Turkish government.

It is unclear what services Flynn, a retired lieutenant general, sought from the retired intelligence officials. But the firm’s $530,000 lobbying contract with its client, a Turkey-connected shell company called Inovo BV, centered on Fethullah Gulen, a cleric living in exile from Turkey in Pennsylvania.

Flynn Intel’s filing, made under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, is notable for its detail and timing. Flynn was fired from the Trump White House last month in a row over phone calls he had with Russia’s ambassador in December.

Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday that the revelation that Flynn was lobbying for the Turkish government is “affirmation of the President’s decision to ask General Flynn to resign.” (RELATED: New Disclosures Reveal The Next Scandal That Would Have Hit Michael Flynn)

Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, wants the U.S. government to extradite Gulen, who he blames for terrorist attacks in his country and a failed coup attempt in July.

Flynn Intel’s foreign agent disclosure reports show that it waged a public relations and congressional outreach campaign as part of its work for Inovo BV, which is owned and operated by Ekim Alptekin, the head of the Turkey-U.S. Business Council (TAIK) with ties to the Turkish government.
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Fethullah Gulen at his residence in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania September 26, 2013. REUTERS

Alptekin also coordinated a meeting between Flynn and two high-ranking Turkish government officials in New York City on Sept. 19. On that same day, Flynn, Trump, and then-Sen. Jeff Sessions met with Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

The White House said Thursday that Trump was not aware of Flynn’s lobbying work prior to the election.

Flynn Intel disclosed very little about the lobbying arrangement in filings with the U.S. Senate in September. Nor was the information disclosed in December, when Flynn Intel terminated the relationship with Inovo after Flynn was chosen as Trump’s national security adviser.

That final filing listed that Flynn Intel received less than $5,000 for its work for Inovo BV, far less than the $530,000 reported this week.

Part of Flynn Intel’s work involved conducting and gathering research on Gulen, an ally-turned-enemy of Erdogan’s.

The firm, which was based in Alexandria, Va., paid $28,000 to Brian McCauley, the former deputy assistant director for international operations at the FBI. Another $7,500 was paid to retired Rear Admiral Paul Becker for consulting work.

Becker is a former director of intelligence for the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and now runs Becker T3 Group, an intelligence consulting firm. He also served as intelligence community lead for the Trump transition team. (RELATED: Trump’s National Security Adviser Is Lobbying For Obscure Dutch Company With Ties To Turkish Government)

Flynn Intel also paid $20,000 to Operational Behavioral Services, a Virginia-based company that lists retired FBI agents Thomas Neer and Gina Orton as executives. Neer was assigned to the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit, and Orton was a psychiatrist at the bureau.

White Canvas Group, an open source research firm, received $15,000 from Flynn Intel.

None of the former government officials or firms responded to emails and phone calls placed directly or through intermediaries. Flynn’s lawyer forwarded questions to a press relations specialist. He was unable to answer questions about the details of Flynn’s or the ex-officials’ work.

McCauley has several connections to Flynn. The pair are personal friends, according to the book “Twilight Warriors,” published last year. They also served on the board of directors for Brainwave Science, a company that claims to have developed a “ground-breaking” brain fingerprinting technology that gauges truthfulness during interrogation.

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Flynn Intel Group executives (Archived FlynnIntelGroup.com website)

One of Brainwave Science’s co-founder’s, Sabu Kota, pleaded guilty in 1996 to selling stolen biotech material to an undercover FBI agent posing as a KGB spy, Bloomberg News reported in December.

McCauley made national news in the aftermath of the Clinton email investigation and during the presidential campaign, while he was contracted with Flynn Intel Group.

Witnesses interviewed by the FBI in the case alleged that McCauley and now-retired State Department official Patrick Kennedy discussed a quid pro quo arrangement involving classification markings on a Clinton email. McCauley acknowledged that he suggested a quid pro quo with Kennedy but quickly scuttled the idea when he learned that the email involved “Secret” information related to the Sept. 11, 2012 Benghazi attacks.

As part of the lobbying contract, Flynn Intel’s researchers presented information they had on Gulen to House Homeland Security Committee staffers during a meeting in October, the new disclosures show.

It is unclear if McCauley or any of Flynn’s other subcontractors were part of that presentation.

A person familiar with the meetings was unable to recall any names of meeting participants other than that of Bijan Kian, a Flynn Intel partner and former board member of the Export-Import Bank.

TheDC’s source said that Kian used a pitch for a defense technology product as cover to discuss the Gulen extradition issue with the House committee.

After discussing the technology product, the source said that Kian introduced several men who said they had research on Gulen and network of charter schools his followers operate in the U.S.

Other lobbyists for the Turkish government have harped on the charter school network, claiming that Gulenists flout the H-1B system to hire teachers.

The House staffers in the meeting were turned off by Flynn Intel’s bait-and-switch, TheDC’s source said. They felt it was surreptitious, as well as pointless, given that the Homeland Security Committee would have no input on Gulen’s extradition. The federal court system would determine whether Gulen should be extradited. The Turkish government has presented evidence to the Justice Department that they say shows he is behind the July coup attempt.

Kian did not respond to an emailed request for comment on the meeting.

Flynn himself is not answering questions about the lobbying work, his research on Gulen, or the retired officials’ duties. His PR consultant told TheDC that he is not conducting interviews.

TheDC was able to reach Robert Kelley, the Flynn Intel lobbyist listed on the company’s lobbying disclosures with the Senate. He answered TheDC’s phone call but did not respond to after an initial greeting.



Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2017/03/09/flynn ... z4b3I5FVV4



Trump Aide Partnered With Firm Run by Man With Alleged KGB Ties
by David Kocieniewski and Peter Robison
December 23, 2016, 4:00 AM CST
Michael Flynn worked with ‘brain fingerprinting’ company
Its co-director convicted of selling stolen biotech material

Michael Flynn’s Business Partner Allegedly Tied to KGB
Donald Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, partnered this year with a controversial technology company co-run by a man once convicted of trying to sell stolen biotech material to the Russian KGB espionage agency.

Subu Kota, who pleaded guilty in 1996 to selling the material to an FBI agent posing as a Russian spy, is one of two board directors at the company, Boston-based Brainwave Science. During years of federal court proceedings, prosecutors presented evidence they said showed that between 1985 and 1990 Kota met repeatedly with a KGB agent and was part of a spy ring that made hundreds of thousands of dollars selling U.S. missile defense technology to Russian spies. Kota denied being part of a spy ring, reached a plea agreement in the biotech case and admitted to selling a sketch of a military helicopter to his co-defendant, who was later convicted of being a KGB operative.

Flynn served more than three decades in the military and rose to become director of the Defense Intelligence Agency before he was fired by President Barack Obama in 2014 over policy disagreements. He formed a private consulting firm, Flynn Intel Group, which has sought business with an array of cyber security firms and defense contractors. He began collaborating with Brainwave Science last spring.

Flynn, who has been widely criticized for close associations with Russia, has declined repeated requests during the past month to be interviewed about his company’s business ties. A spokesman for the Trump transition team, Jason Miller, said in an email that Flynn has never met or spoken with Kota and that he has ended his association with Brainwave Science.

In a phone interview on Thursday, Kota described his criminal charges and dealings with the KGB as misunderstandings. He acknowledged selling biotech material to a federal agent posing as a Russian spy, but said the incident was a patent dispute, not espionage.

‘Brain Fingerprinting’

Brainwave is seeking to develop a market for its innovative -– but broadly disputed -- technology called “brain fingerprinting” which tries to assess an interrogation subject’s honesty through a brain scan. Flynn was brought onto the company’s board of advisers to help sell the product to defense and law enforcement agencies, Brainwave President Krishna Ika said in an interview.

Ika said the company has not sold anything to U.S. federal agencies yet and is looking for investors. He runs the day-to-day operations while Kota brings business and technological expertise and helps make strategic decisions.

Although undercover federal agents testified that Kota bragged of his involvement in a KGB spy ring, Kota says he has never been a spy. He acknowledges meeting with Vladimir Galkin, a KGB agent, on at least four occasions and receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in exchange for information about technology related to U.S. missile defense systems. But Kota said he thought Galkin was a businessman and that the information he provided was from public sources. Galkin was arrested at Kennedy Airport in 1996. Prosecutors were unable to build a case in the military spy ring they said he ran involving Kota and others after the U.S. State Department allowed him to leave the country.

Since pleading guilty to the biotech and tax evasion charges, Kota said he has steered clear of anything remotely illegal.

“Not even a parking ticket,” he said.

Kota also runs a consulting company called The Boston Group. Federal court records show that after pleading guilty in the biotech case, he testified against his co-defendant and received a reduced sentence of four years’ probation and a $50,000 fine.

Flynn has met with Brainwave officials at least 10 times, according to Ika, and signed a collaboration agreement to help drum up new business with U.S. agencies. Flynn also agreed to train any national security or law enforcement agency that purchased Brainwave products at Flynn Intel Group headquarters, Ika said. Flynn’s company, based in the Washington suburb of Fairfax, Virginia, promised to provide “world-class training services led by qualified security professionals with experience in intelligence and investigation,” Brainwave’s website says.

Headpiece With Sensors

Flynn tested the product himself, Ika said. He put on the helmet-like headpiece fitted with sensors, which is said to read a subject’s brainwaves in an attempt to detect information.

“He found it very convincing,” Ika said.

Flynn’s activities with the company continued after he began receiving classified intelligence briefings in mid-August as part of Trump’s campaign. In late September, Ika said, he and Flynn pitched Brainwave to officials from the Bangladeshi defense forces during a meeting at Flynn’s offices.

After Trump won the election in November and named Flynn his national security adviser, the collaboration stalled, Ika said. Lawyers are now negotiating how to continue Brainwave’s collaboration with other partners from Flynn Intel Group.

Russia Today

Flynn has been criticized for making a paid speech at Russia Today, a state-run news agency, and sitting with President Vladimir Putin at a dinner in Moscow in 2015 to celebrate RT’s anniversary. Flynn and his son also helped spread internet conspiracies on social media, and last February the elder Flynn tweeted, “Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL.”

For defense employees and private-sector military contractors such as Flynn who want to check on potential business partners, the Department of Defense publishes a periodic report entitled “Espionage and Other Compromises of National Security.” The 2009 edition, available online, includes a description of Kota’s conviction.

Brainwave’s product line is built on a technique developed by inventor Lawrence Farwell in the 1990s. The process received so much attention as a potential breakthrough for law enforcement that Congress ordered the General Accounting Office to study it. In a report released in 2001, the GAO found that its claims of effectiveness could not be validated and were not worth trying.

Ika said that after the 9/11 terror attacks, which inspired him to use his background to help fight terrorism, he heard about the technique and eventually collaborated with Farwell. Ika said he was convinced that skepticism about brain fingerprinting had been fomented by the “polygraph lobby” which did not want to lose business to a more effective technology. Brainwave now markets its product as an enhancement to polygraphs.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... d-kgb-ties
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Re: Will Flynn bring back Yellowcake to WH Menu after 1-21-1

Postby JackRiddler » Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:38 pm

Fascinating look back at page 1, 160+ posts and more than two years ago, at least for the first five or six posts from November 15 until January 2017:

Everything here was about Flynn being a monster in the Bushian warmaker-neocon mode. He was someone who co-authored a book with the notorious Ledeen. Who worked with the architects of the war of aggression on Iraq, who wanted like them to literally destroy Iran, who demonized and defamed Islam and Muslims (without any petty distinctions about Shia or Sunni, or Arab or Persian, bomb them all), who spoke of the world in apocalyptist-Christianist terms (including stories of Washington liberals drinking blood), who wanted to tear up the Iran agreement and understood that would necessarily mean Russia, who therefore had also demonized Russia in the cold-warrior mode.

Of course we know now that the crime he copped to was to lie to the FBI, about something that probably wasn't a crime in itself (unless we revive the Hatch Act which hasn't applied to incoming administrations in more than 120 years). And what did he lie about? The fact that he had, at Kushner's request, lobbied on behalf of Israel in January 2017, calling the Russian ambassador to the UN and asking him to delay the UNSC vote condemning new Israeli settlements. It didn't work. The U.S. and Russia ended up both voting for the resolution (unprecedented in the U.S. case).

So he may have made that speech as an RT contributor in Moscow, but otherwise he was an enemy of Russia, a master of the same old imperialist war as the rest of his ilk.

And then, soon as the #Russiagate madness got going, we have another 12 pages, 160+ posts, almost exclusively devoted to inflating that.

It had been such a good start.

One of those posts included an article from The Nation, one of the publications that has not since descended into #Russiagate promotion, but on the contrary is publishing Aaron Maté and going after the real scandals of Trump.

seemslikeadream » Fri Nov 18, 2016 1:50 pm wrote:So here we have

President-Elect Donald Trump Taps Michael Flynn for National Security Adviser

who wrote a lovely book with Michael LEDEEN!

Run, Run for Your Lives!


Image


ByJOSH MARSHALL
JULY 11, 2016, 7:53 PM EDT

In recent editions of the Trump for President Dumpster Fire reality show, we've been seeing the name of retired Gen. Michael Flynn, former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency who was forced out in 2014 over policy clashes with Obama administration officials and went on to become a top Obama critic since leaving the military. He has reportedly been an informal campaign foreign policy advisor to Donald Trump for some time now. Now he's rapidly emerged as a leading vice presidential contender. It seems so serious that after yesterday saying that he was pro-choice and creating a instant firestorm on the right, he today 'clarified' that he's actually pro-life.

But enough of all that, stop the presses: I've just uncovered information that almost certainly proves that Flynn is completely nuts.

You may have seen mention that Flynn is the author of a book called Field of Fight about ISIS and the war on terror. So far, so good. But wait. Look at the highlighted portion of the cover here!


He cowrote this book with Michael Ledeen!

If you know who Michael Ledeen is, I probably don't have to say anymore.

If you don't, Michael Ledeen he is a PhD in history and philosophy who's been kicking around DC for decades, playing a minor but significant role in the Iran-Contra scandal but generally remaining on the fringes of the neoconservative foreign policy movement because his ideas are too dark, too cynical and too fascistic.

In case you think I'm using the word loosely, not at all. Ledeen is genuinely a man of ideas and letters. It's just that the ideas tend to be a bit evil or post-moral in a functionally equivalent way. Ledeen's key intellectual influence was the Italian fascism or neo-fascism he came into contact with during his time in Italy during the 1970s. Without getting too deep into the story, Ledeen was part of a movement to distinguish 'fascism' as a set of ideas, an intellectual movement from the fascist dictatorship of Benito Mussolini. A bit further afield this was an effort to distinguish between Mussolini's fascist movement from the national socialist movement of Adolf Hitler to the north - an argument that is not without some true merit.

Ledeen's mission was to salvage what he took to be the revolutionary and liberationist core of fascism from the historiographical and ideological disgrace to which it has largely been consigned for decades. If you're interested in more you can look up names like Giovanni Gentile, Gabriele D'Annunzio and a whole list of others, some genuine thinkers, others craven lickspittles. In any case, without putting too fine a point on it or being too arch, much of Ledeen's life's work has been dedicated to creating what lefty historians sometimes call a 'usable past' for fascism.

Of course, people are interested in a lot of things and there are some interesting poets and philosophers on the fringes of the early fascist movement. Mussolini himself is a fascinating figure - brilliant in many ways though I think fundamentally an opportunist and frequently a charlatan. If these were mere intellectual pursuits it would be one thing. But Ledeen's signature qualities during almost four decades in Washington have been the profoundest cynicism, arcane conspiracy theory creation and a generalized desire to embroil the US in foreign wars. Through much of the aughts he was most memorably known as the author of a wild conspiracy theory that held that basically all terrorism, across all sectarian, national and ideological divides was run by a series of interconnected 'terrorism families' on the model of the 1950s era La Cosa Nostra.

He was, as I mentioned, a key player in the Iraq-Contra scandal, a major advocate of the Iraq War who managed to end up arranging secret meetings in Rome in late 2001 between Iran-Contra figure Manucher Ghorbanifar and Bush administration officials looking for evidence against Saddam Hussein. That whole latter episode is still too little explained or understood.

In a fascinating touch, back in May Ledeen was attacking critics like Robert Kagan who were calling Trump 'fascist' but, in a notable and predictable twist, on the theory that Trump wasn't really good enough for the fascist label. "For Mr. Kagan (surprisingly and disappointingly praised by Bret Stephens)," writes Ledeen, "fascism is little more than any political movement led by a charismatic strong man ... Mr. Kagan doesn’t discuss the revolutionary aspect of fascism. Italian fascists claimed to be able to unleash the creative powers of a “new fascist man,” while the Nazis advocated the superiority of the Aryan race. Neither concept is to be found anywhere in Trumpism either in theory or practice."

Basically, if you see an idea and it looks sensible but find out Ledeen is involved, it's definitely not sensible and is in fact probably some harebrained plan half crazy, half evil that you want nothing to do with. When Ledeen's involved, there's always trouble.

I haven't read Flynn's book. But the fact that he co-wrote the book with Ledeen - and since Flynn is a retired general and Ledeen an accomplished writer I figure it's largely Ledeen's work - he must either be in the thrall of various wild and dangerous ideas or under the malign influence of someone who is the generator of various wild and dangerous ideas.

Seriously, if Flynn's in with Ledeen, he's trouble.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/run ... your-lives


Yes that Michael Ledeen


The report names four men as the likely forgers of the documents (Michael Ledeen, Dewey Clarridge, Ahmed Chalabi and Francis Brookes) and suggests that the forgeries may have been planned at December 2001 gathering in Rome involving Ledeen and SISMI chief Nicolò Pollari. Also in attendance at that meeting: Larry Franklin, Harold Rhode, Manucher Ghorbanifar, Antonio Martino and others including a former senior official of the Revolutionary Guard in Iran. Here is a true rogues' gallery.

Michael Ledeen: neocon columnist, National Review Online contributing editor, specialist on the thought of Machiavelli and on Italian fascism, former employee of the Pentagon, the State Department and the National Security Council, was involved in the transfer of arms to Iran during the Iran-Contra affair. Active in the American Enterprise Institute, Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), and Center for Democracy in Iran (CDI). Advocates regime change by force in Iran and Syria.

Nicolò Pollari: Author of many publications on legal and economic matters, investigation techniques and intelligence. Tax law Professor at the Mediterranean University of Reggio Calabria. SISMI head since October 2001.

Dewey Clarridge: former CIA operative, famous in mid-1980s for his role in the Iran-Contra Affair. Head of CIA's Latin America division 1981-84, directed the mining of Nicaragua's harbors and helped organize the Contras. Indicted in November 1991 on seven counts of perjury and false statements, pardoned by first president Bush Christmas Eve 1992.

Ahmad Chalabi: convicted swindler, leader of U.S.-funded Iraqi National Congress, neocon ally, presently one of two deputy prime ministers in Iraqi government.

Francis Brookes: member of the "Rendon Group," a "public relations" body formed by the Pentagon engaged to promote Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress.

Larry Franklin: colonel in USAF reserve, subordinate to Douglas Feith in Defense Department, Middle East specialist, under arrest for espionage for Israel.

Harold Rhode: Pentagon official, Middle East specialist, Ledeen protégé, American Enterprise Institute, heavy neocon.

Manucher Ghorbanifar: Iranian exile, arms dealer, one-time CIA operative distrusted by CIA since 1980s. Key figure in the Iran-Contra scandal.

Antonio Martino: Founding member of Forza Italiano (Berlusconi's political party), Professor of Economics, adjunct scholar with the Heritage Foundation, Italian Defense Minister.


best buds with Ghorbanifar

passion for a campaign of serial "regime-change"

A veteran of the Iran-Contra "arms for hostages" scandal

Michael Ledeen, proclaimed "the rightness of the fascist cause" in 1972.

that's correct one of the Niger uranium forgerers has one of his best buds back in the White House ....

Ledeens main obsession seemed to be the overthrow of Iran.

a neo-conservative who has close ties to one of America’s leading “Christian” Dominionists

April 7, 2005
This nation is in grave danger. Ledeen belongs to a group of men, including Harry Jaffa, Pat Robertson, Willmoore Kendall to Allan Bloom, who, according to Shadia Drury, scholar and author of Leo Strauss and the American Right, share “the view that America is too liberal and pluralistic and that what it needs is a single orthodoxy that governs the public and private lives of its citizens


he's was never been called to account for the Niger uranium forgeries....so now are we to look forward to some faked docs leading us to war with Iran?

Karl Rove’s only full-time foreign-policy advisor was Michael Ledeen, a rabid anti-Arab, pro-Israel activist.

Will anyone stand up this time and make sure they know what they are voting on before they decide to start a war with Iran?


Will Congress even get a chance to this time?
We meet at the borders of our being, we dream something of each others reality. - Harvey of R.I.

To Justice my maker from on high did incline:
I am by virtue of its might divine,
The highest Wisdom and the first Love.

TopSecret WallSt. Iraq & more
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Re: Will Flynn bring back Yellowcake to WH Menu after 1-21-1

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:38 am

Bijan Kian, now charged with not disclosing his work for another country, worked on the WH transition team.

An article by @kenklippenstein described a source who said Bijan Kian introduced Michael Flynn to Joel Zamel, head of Wikistrat & Psy-Group, the social media company that met with Don Jr, Erik Prince & George Nader Aug 2016 and Nader later paid $2 million

Zamel apparently wanted former national security adviser Michael Flynn to be a member of Wikistrat’s advisory board; Zamel spoke with him about it on multiple occasions around the time Flynn was forming his ill-fated Flynn Intel Group
Image




Erik Prince and Bijan Kian were both attendees at Rep. Rohrabacher's "Liberty Ball" Inauguration party. Other attendees included London Breitbart/Brexiteer Raheem Kassam, and noted Russian adoption advocates/Trump Tower meeting besties Rinat Akhmetshin and Natalia Vesselnitskaya.

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Inside the Mysterious Intelligence Firm Now in Mueller’s Sights

Wikistrat bills itself as a ‘crowdsourced’ analysis agency based in Washington. But interviews with current and former employees and documents tell a very different story.

06.04.18 7:55 PM ET
HUSH HUSH

55677597
Kendall McMinimy/Getty


In the fall of 2016, Donald Trump Jr. and other key aides to the future president reportedly met in Trump Tower with Joel Zamel, the founder of a company called Wikistrat.

Wikistrat bills itself as a “crowdsourced” geopolitical analysis firm based in Washington, D.C. But interviews with current and former employees and documents reviewed by The Daily Beast tell a different story: that the vast majority of Wikistrat’s clients were foreign governments; that Wikistrat is, for all intents and purposes, an Israeli firm; and that the company’s work was not just limited to analysis. It also engaged in intelligence collection.

Robert Mueller’s office is investigating Wikistrat and Zamel, according to The Wall Street Journal, as the special counsel’s probe expands into Middle Eastern governments’ attempts to influence American politics.

Publicly, Wikistrat touts its crowdsourcing interface it has described as “Wikipedia meets Facebook” to develop reports for clients. The documents also highlight Wikistrat’s heavy reliance on “gamification”—applying game design features to encourage user engagement—to solicit information from sources. Former Wikistrat employees say its founder viewed himself as the Mark Zuckerberg of the national-security world.

But despite the firm’s purported commitment to “transparent, open-source methodologies,” the documents provided to The Daily Beast show something different: that the company exploits “in country… informants” as sources.

Wikistrat’s “About” page includes mention of “on-the-ground collection.”

And according to internal Wikistrat documents marked “highly confidential and sensitive material,” 74 percent of the firm’s revenue came from clients that were foreign governments.

Although Wikistrat’s clients were overwhelmingly foreign governments, the company boasted incredible access to top U.S. military and intelligence officials. The firm’s advisory council lists former CIA and National Security Agency director Michael Hayden, former national security adviser James L. Jones, former deputy director of the National Security Council Elliott Abrams, and former acting director of the Defense Intelligence Agency David Shedd, among others.

Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that the company’s website is adorned with the insignias of U.S. military agencies and that it claims D.C. as its headquarters.

But exactly how much of a connection these advisers have with the company isn’t totally clear. “I have always been informal… but I support the concept of their work (as my quote [on Wikistrat’s website] points out),” Hayden told The Daily Beast in an email. “There is no paperwork between us and I have never been to a board meeting.”

A former senior analyst for Wikistrat, James Kadtke, described his experience with the company to The Daily Beast. A physicist by training, Kadtke worked as a defense and technology adviser to Sen. John Warner from 2002-05 and as a senior fellow at the National Defense University before joining Wikistrat in 2016.

When Kadtke first interviewed with a couple of Wikistrat executives to discuss working for them, he said it became obvious to him that there was more to this company than meets the eye.

“It was clear to me that both of these guys had intelligence backgrounds, intelligence professionals, not academics or analysts,” Kadtke told The Daily Beast. “They were using their experts for tacit information going on in various parts of the world. I got the impression they were doing things outside of Wikistrat. It seemed mysterious.”

Working for Wikistrat didn’t seem to clear up Kadtke’s questions. Kadtke said that, in retrospect, Wikistrat appeared to be more about intelligence collection than anything else.

Elad Schaffer, the Wikistrat CEO who succeeded Zamel this year, did not respond to a request for comment.

Asked about Kadtke’s remarks about intelligence collection, one former high-ranking employee said, “Could he [Wikistrat’s founder] have done this? Yes, by all means,” adding that Wikistrat’s work “was not limited to geopolitics.”

The documents provide rare insight into a company that Wikistrat employees repeatedly described as extraordinarily secretive.

“Joel ran a very compartmentalized organization,” one former high-ranking staffer said.

“I felt like I had no real visibility into what the company was really doing,” another former senior employee said.

“He was very secretive, everything was highly compartmentalized… It was clear that he kept the entire company in the dark. Even [company executives] didn’t have the whole picture,” a former employee said, adding that if someone took a photo at a company gathering, Zamel would leave the room.

“He never allowed anyone to get near his phone, his laptop, stuff like that.”

Even in the internal company documents, which include a page about the company’s leadership, photos of each of the executives are included—except Zamel’s.

“I suspected he was involved in other stuff simply because a man without secrets doesn’t need to be secretive. If he had nothing to hide, he would’ve been much more open. I thought he was involved in other operations.”

If Wikistrat was engaged in intelligence collection, an obvious question arises: For whom?

Much of the reporting so far has focused on Wikistrat’s relationship with the United Arab Emirates. For instance, The New York Times recently reported a secretive Trump Tower meeting three months before the 2016 presidential election, between Donald Trump Jr., Zamel, and George Nader, an emissary for the UAE. The meeting drew comparison to the infamous Trump Tower meeting between Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, and a Russian lawyer with ties to the Kremlin.

Zamel is reported to have pitched Trump Jr. on a social-media manipulation strategy to help his father win the election. After Trump was elected, Nader is said to have paid Zamel a large sum of money—as much as $2 million.

In light of the scrutiny of Zamel’s ties to the UAE, it’s natural that news coverage would focus on that country. But Wikistrat may, in fact, have stronger ties to Israel.

Zamel is a citizen of Israel and master’s graduate of IDC Herzliya—a small, elite college that’s often compared to U.S. Ivy League schools—where he studied government, diplomacy, and strategy, specializing in counterterrorism and homeland security.

(The internal documents reviewed by The Daily Beast confirm that Zamel also owned the lion’s share—86 percent—of Wikistrat, with the next biggest shareholder possessing less than 6 percent of the company.)

Though Wikistrat’s website lists its location as Washington, Kadtke said the company was run out of Israel the entire time he worked there.

A former Wikistrat employee confirmed the company was run out of Tel Aviv, with the D.C. office only handling sales and business development, he said.

“He knew a whole lot of people there [in Israel]. One of his connections was the former head of the [Israeli] intelligence directorate, Amos Yadlin.”

In fact, each of Wikistrat’s principals listed Tel Aviv as their address in a 2015 copy of Wikistrat’s Virginia business license.

Former employees say that at the core of Wikistrat’s leadership were three Israelis: Daniel Green, the CTO, Elad Schaffer, formerly the COO and now the CEO, and Zamel, the founder and, until this year, its CEO.

“Those people were very close, and it wasn’t just professional,” one former employee said.

That former employee added, “I had an initial conversation with Joel where I said, ‘One of the issues you’re going to run into, if you want to be focused on [U.S.] government work, you’re going to run into problems every day because of the Israeli connection.’ He said, ‘Well, why is that? They’re amazing allies?’”

“There were many conversations internally [about this]... Israel is one of the top counterintelligence concerns for the U.S.”

One of the internal documents reviewed by The Daily Beast lists a former “major in [an] elite Israeli intelligence-analysis unit,” Shay Hershkovitz, as its chief security officer and director of analytic community. That document also describes Schaffer as a former “counterterrorism officer for Israeli intelligence.”

“Elad was involved in a very elite, select group of individuals performing a very important mission… dealing with the height of the global war on terrorism,” one former employee said. “He did some collaborative work with U.S. special-operations counterparts who were working in the Middle East to deal with threats coming from al Qaeda.”

“Elad kept a very low profile.”

Schaffer did not respond to a request for comment.

‘FLYNN TOOK A REAL SHINING TO JOEL’

Zamel apparently wanted former national security adviser Michael Flynn to be a member of the firm’s advisory board; Zamel spoke with him about it on multiple occasions around the time Flynn was forming his ill-fated Flynn Intel Group, a former high-ranking Wikistrat employee told The Daily Beast.

“Flynn took a real shining to Joel,” the source said.

Another former Wikistrat employee appeared to confirm Zamel’s links to Flynn, saying a mutual contact, Adam Lovinger, helped introduce Zamel to numerous Pentagon officials. Lovinger, a Pentagon strategist and former Trump NSC analyst, had been named to the National Security Council by Flynn and was reportedly associated with Flynn Intel Group.

Flynn Intel Group would later be investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller in connection to a $530,000 payment it received from a company owned by a Turkish businessman close to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Lovinger told The Daily Beast that he had introduced Zamel to Pentagon officials after a Navy commander brought him to the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment.

“I know both Joel and Mike Flynn, but I don’t know the extent of their relationship,” Lovinger added.

Zamel had apparently been introduced to Flynn by Bijan Kian, Flynn Intel Group’s former vice chairman of its board of directors, according to one source. Kian had been a partner at Flynn Intel Group and served as point man on Flynn’s discussions with Zamel.

Neither Flynn nor Kian responded to requests for comment.

“Joel Zamel has never met Michael Flynn,” Zamel’s attorney, Marc Mukasey, told The Daily Beast via telephone. Asked about Zamel’s relationship with Kian, Mukasey hung up.

However, shortly after this report’s publication, Mukasey confirmed via email that Zamel had indeed communicated with Flynn. In an email to The Daily Beast, Mukasey wrote: “Regarding Joel and Wikistrat, your information and your statistics and your numbers and your descriptions are flat-out wrong. You’ve been fed misinformation (likely by a disgruntled ex-employee) or you’re simply making things up. By way of example, there was one—and only one—conversation with Flynn.”

The appeal of working with a high-profile intelligence officer like Flynn is easy to see. What’s more opaque is why Zamel moved away from harvesting “crowdsourced” intel to making foreign deals.

The allure of quick and easy money from extravagantly wealthy Middle East leadership figures, coupled with an increasingly personal relationship with them, represented a “shiny object” that lured Zamel away from Wikistrat’s original mission, a former senior Wikistrat employee said.

And although Zamel was rich, he might not have been wealthy enough to float Wikistrat on his own.

“It was never clear to me how much Joel was actually paying out of pocket to subsidize the company vs. what was brought in,” another former employee said. “Clients paid decently but not enough to sustain the company. So Joel was either substantially funding the company or we were getting money from somewhere else. That naturally leads you to focus on non-U.S. sources of income.”

The documents appear to corroborate this, showing that Wikistrat had been losing large amounts of money. For example, an income statement summary shows Wikistrat’s income as -$603,000 in 2013, -$110,000 in 2014, and a projected -$773,000 for 2016.

Kadtke said that, toward the end of 2017, Wikistrat’s ordinary operations (i.e., war games and analysis) went “way down.”

“Around the beginning of 2017, the three people I knew there left very abruptly… The last study on the website was January 2017 (they used to do a lot). They seemed to have ceased operations,” Kadtke said. “It was very strange to me that they just sort of collapsed. It was probably a three-month period after which everyone I knew there left.”

https://www.thedailybeast.com/inside-th ... ers-sights





Document: Michael Flynn Associates Charged in Gulen Extradition Effort

By Quinta Jurecic Monday, December 17, 2018, 10:45 AM

A grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia has indicted Bijan Rafiekian and Kamil Ekim Alptekin, both associates of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, for efforts to secure the extradition of cleric Fethullah Gulen from the United States to Turkey. The document is available here and below.
https://www.lawfareblog.com/document-mi ... ion-effort



MIKE FLYNN STEPS IN IT: IN A BID TO FEED THE FROTHY RIGHT, HE LEADS TO RELEASE OF DAMNING NEW DETAILS SHOWING HE LIED TO PROTECT TRUMP

December 17, 2018/32 Comments/in 2016 Presidential Election, Mueller Probe /by empty wheel

Last week, I suggested that Mike Flynn’s cute trick of publicly releasing information from Andy McCabe’s memo and Peter Strzok’s 302 might backfire.

He cited a memo that fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe wrote the day of Flynn’s interview and the interview report (called a “302”) that fired FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok had a hand in writing up in August 2017, some seven months after the interview.

In response, the judge in his case, Emmet Sullivan, issued an order asking not just for those two documents, but any documents related to the matters Flynn writes up, to be filed by tomorrow, along with the government’s reply to his memorandum.

Image

And so it is that on the one year anniversary of the order Sullivan issued to ensure that Flynn got any exculpatory information relating to his plea, that the hopes among the frothy right that Flynn’s prosecution (including for lying about his sleazy influence peddling with Turkey) will be delegitimized and with it everything that happened subsequent to Flynn’s plea might be answered.

Or maybe not.

[snip]

DOJ has never had the opportunity to write its own explanation for what happened with Flynn’s interview. By inviting a reply specifically in the context of this Flynn claim, Sullivan has given DOJ the opportunity to do just that, finally.

[snip]

Sullivan’s order may result in documentation that reveals just how shoddy all the claims irregularity surrounding Flynn’s interview have been all this time.


Boy oh boy was I right.

In response to Judge Sullivan’s order, the government filed Flynn’s 302 under seal. After Sullivan reviewed it, he deemed it pertinent to Flynn’s sentencing, and had the government release a redacted version.

And it is unbelievably damning, in part because it shows the degree to which Flynn’s lies served to protect Trump.

The 302 shows how the FBI Agents first let Flynn offer up his explanation for his conversation with Kislyak. He lied about the purpose for his call to Kislyak on December 29 (he said he had called to offer condolences about the assassination of Russia’s Ambassador to Turkey) and he lied about the purpose of his call about Israel (he claimed he was, in part, doing a battle drill “to see who the administration could reach in a crisis” and in the process tried to find out how countries were voting on the Israeli motion; Flynn denied he had asked for any specific action).

Then, after the Agents specifically asked whether he recalled any conversation about the Obama actions, Flynn doubled down and claimed he did not know about those actions because he was in Dominican Republic.

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He was hiding two things with this claim: first, I believe Susan Rice had given the Trump Administration a heads up on what Obama was going to do (at the very least the Obama Admin had asked the transition not to send mixed messages, and at least one person on the transition says they agreed not to). More importantly, he was hiding that he had already talked about the actions with KT McFarland, who was at Mar-a-Lago relaying orders from Trump.

And Flynn again denied having had a heads up from Susan Rice when he claimed he didn’t know that Russia’s diplomats were being expelled.

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Finally, Flynn offered an excuse that is at least partly bullshit for why he called Kislyak multiple times.

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The reason he kept calling Kislyak was, at least in part, because he was coordinating with Trump at Mar-a-Lago. His earlier claim that he didn’t respond to Kislyak is also probably a lie; he delayed his response to contact Mar-a-Lago first.

Sullivan said this 302 is relevant to Flynn’ sentencing, so he may actually use it to justify ignoring the joint requests of Flynn and Mueller for no jail time (though I’m not betting on it).

But by giving DOJ the opportunity to present this 302 for publication, Flynn provided proof of what has been hidden all this time — why Trump responded to the way he did about this investigation.

Flynn lied to hide Trump’s involvement in all this (and, to an extent, the degree to which it involved specifically ignoring a heads up from Obama).

Flynn lied to hide Trump’s personal involvement in telling the Russians to hold off on responding to Obama’s sanctions. And when the FBI investigated those lies, Trump fired the FBI Director to try to end that investigation.

Update: Jeebus. This 302 also reveals that he was quoting directly from the instructions KT McFarland had given him, relaying Trump’s orders. Here’s what McFarland said she had told Flynn, in an email shared with multiple transition officials.

She also wrote that the sanctions over Russian election meddling were intended to “lure Trump in trap of saying something” in defense of Russia, and were aimed at “discrediting Trump’s victory by saying it was due to Russian interference.”

“If there is a tit-for-tat escalation Trump will have difficulty improving relations with Russia, which has just thrown U.S.A. election to him,” she wrote.


And here’s what — quoting from the transcript of his calls with Kislyak — the Agents asked him if he said.

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https://www.emptywheel.net/2018/12/17/m ... ect-trump/
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Re: Will Flynn bring back Yellowcake to WH Menu after 1-21-1

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:26 am

Adam Klasfeld


BREAKING: Former Michael Flynn Business Associates Indicted in Turkey Lobbying Case via @NYTimes

Former Michael Flynn Business Associates Indicted in Turkey Lobbying Case

Dec. 17, 2018
Bijan Kian was charged as part of a conspiracy to violate federal lobbying rules and faces up to 15 years in prison.Daniel Acker/Bloomberg


Bijan Kian was charged as part of a conspiracy to violate federal lobbying rules and faces up to 15 years in prison.Daniel Acker/Bloomberg
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Two former business associates of Michael T. Flynn, President Trump’s first national security adviser, have been indicted as part of a federal investigation into Turkey’s secret 2016 lobbying campaign to pressure the United States to expel a rival of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Charges against the two former associates, Bijan Kian and Ekim Alptekin, were unsealed on Monday in an Alexandria, Va., courtroom. The two men were indicted last week as part of a conspiracy to violate federal lobbying rules, and Mr. Alptekin was also charged with making false statements to F.B.I. investigators.

The indictment is further evidence of a broad crackdown on unregistered foreign lobbying growing from the inquiry by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel who has investigated foreign flows of money from Ukraine, Turkey and other countries devised to manipulate decision-making in Washington. Mr. Mueller referred the Turkey case back to prosecutors in Northern Virginia.

The indictment said that the two men sought to conceal that Turkey was directing the work, and that high-level Turkish officials approved the budget for the project and were given regular updates by Mr. Alptekin about the campaign’s progress. Mr. Flynn’s firm — Flynn Intel Group — received a total of $530,000 for its work.

“The defendants sought to discredit and delegitimize the Turkish citizen in the eyes of politicians and the public,” the indictment said.

Mr. Flynn is scheduled to be sentenced on Tuesday in federal court in Washington on charges of lying to investigators about his conversations with the Russian ambassador during the transition after the 2016 election.

When he pleaded guilty last December to lying to F.B.I. agents working on the Russia investigation, Mr. Flynn also admitted to prosecutors that he had repeatedly violated laws requiring firms to register their work on behalf of foreign clients.

This month, Mr. Mueller’s prosecutors issued a sentencing memorandum saying that Mr. Flynn had provided “substantial help” in several unspecified but continuing investigations. It is believed that the Turkey inquiry is one of these investigations because he had direct knowledge of different aspects of the case.

Prosecutors cited Mr. Flynn’s assistance as grounds for leniency in his sentencing.

Mr. Kian, dressed in a blue suit, stood silently in court on Monday as the charges were announced. He was released after the hearing, and his lawyer declined to comment. Prosecutors said that he faces up to 15 years in prison and Mr. Alptekin up to 35 years.

Mr. Alptekin’s current location is unknown. Through a spokeswoman, he denied the charges, claiming that he never lied to the F.B.I., and that Turkey did not participate in the project.

The investigation into Turkish lobbying began in 2016 after Mr. Flynn — a former general and businessman who was advising Mr. Trump’s political campaign — wrote an op-ed article for The Hill newspaper on Election Day attacking Fethullah Gulen, a cleric living in Pennsylvania whom the Turkish government has accused of helping instigate a failed coup.

The article called Mr. Gulen a “radical Islamist” and a “shady Islamic mullah.” The Justice Department began examining whether Mr. Flynn and his company were working as paid lobbyists for Turkey. Mr. Kian helped engineer the lobbying project, which involved trying to persuade members of Congress that Mr. Gulen ought to be extradited.


Everyone Who’s Been Charged in Investigations Related to the 2016 Election

Thirty-seven people have been charged in investigations related to Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Aug. 21, 2018
Mr. Flynn and Mr. Kian also commissioned a lengthy dossier titled, “Fethullah Gulen: A Primer for Investigators,” which was written by Thomas Neer, a former F.B.I. agent.

Mr. Alptekin is a Turkish businessman close to Mr. Erdogan and helped finance the project. The indictment said that as part of the scheme, Mr. Alptekin used his company — a Dutch firm called Inovo BV — to conceal that Turkey’s government was behind the payments.

According to the indictment, Turkey’s government asked the United States in July 2016 to arrest and extradite Mr. Gulen, whom Turkish officials have accused of trying to overthrow Mr. Erdogan in the military coup that month.

The Justice Department rejected Turkey’s request, the indictment said, because it had not met “the legal standards for extradition.”

The secret lobbying effort appears to have begun shortly afterward. Prosecutors said that on July 29, 2016, Mr. Alptekin sent an email to Mr. Kian saying that he had met with a Turkish government minister who was interested in exploring a lobbying campaign against Mr. Gulen.

They called the effort the “Truth Campaign” and later “Operation Confidence.”

In another email to Mr. Kian and Mr. Flynn, Mr. Alptekin said he had several meetings with a pair of Turkish ministers in Ankara. “I have a green light to discuss confidentiality, budget, and the scope of the contract,” the email said, according to the indictment.

One month later, the three men met in New York with a pair of Turkish ministers to discuss the campaign against Mr. Gulen, the indictment said.

Days before the 2016 election, Mr. Alptekin complained to Mr. Kian that the project had not “publicized enough negative information” about Mr. Gulen. Six days later, Mr. Flynn published his op-ed article.

In 2017, after the lobbying effort was exposed, Mr. Flynn and Mr. Kian filed additional disclosures acknowledging that the Gulen project “could be construed to have principally benefited the Republic of Turkey.” They detailed payments to other people and firms associated with the Gulen project.

The F.B.I. accused Mr. Alptekin of lying to agents repeatedly during an interview on May 24, 2017. Prosecutors said Mr. Alptekin falsely said that Turkey had abandoned the project and that he had decided to retain Mr. Flynn’s company himself.

There has been a surge of criminal investigations into foreign lobbying, some of them initiated by Mr. Mueller’s investigators. The special counsel secured guilty pleas from Paul Manafort and Rick Gates — two former Trump campaign advisers — both on financial crimes and their lobbying activities on behalf of Ukraine. Sam Patten, another lobbyist, pleaded guilty this year to steering Ukranian funds to Mr. Trump’s inaugural committee.

Mr. Mueller’s team has also referred three other Ukraine lobbying investigations to New York prosecutors.

The cases involve Gregory B. Craig, who served as the White House counsel under President Barack Obama before leaving to work for the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom; Tony Podesta, an influential Washington lobbyist whose brother, John D. Podesta, was the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign; and former Representative Vin Weber, Republican of Minnesota, who joined the lobbying firm Mercury Public Affairs after leaving Congress. None have been charged with any crimes.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/17/us/p ... -kian.html






Note: The two Flynn associates indicted today -- Bijan Kian and @EkimAlptekin -- were reported by the Wall Street Journal to be part of a plot to "whisk" Fethullah Gulen from the United States outside the extradition process and deliver him to Erdogan.


Ex-CIA Director: Mike Flynn and Turkish Officials Discussed Removal of Erdogan Foe From U.S.

The cleric has been accused by Turkey of orchestrating last summer’s failed military coup

Margaret Coker Updated March 24, 2017 2:35 p.m. ET


Flynn Discussed Plan to Remove Erdogan Foe from U.S.

Mike Flynn met with top Turkish government ministers and discussed removing a Muslim cleric from the U.S. and, according to former CIA Director James Woolsey, planned to “whisk this guy away” in the dead of night. Here’s what happened, and the timeline. Photo: Reuters

Retired Army Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, while serving as an adviser to the Trump campaign, met with top Turkish government ministers and discussed removing a Muslim cleric from the U.S. and taking him to Turkey, according to former Central Intelligence Agency Director James Woolsey, who attended, and others who were briefed on the meeting.

The discussion late last summer involved ideas about how to get Fethullah Gulen, a cleric whom Turkey has accused of orchestrating last summer’s failed military coup, to Turkey without going through the U.S. extradition legal process, according to Mr. Woolsey and those who were briefed.

Mr. Woolsey told The Wall Street Journal he arrived at the meeting in New York on Sept. 19 in the middle of the discussion and found the topic startling and the actions being discussed possibly illegal.

The Turkish ministers were interested in open-ended thinking on the subject, and the ideas were raised hypothetically, said the people who were briefed. The ministers in attendance included the son-in-law of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the country’s foreign minister, foreign-lobbying disclosure documents show.

Mr. Woolsey said the idea was “a covert step in the dead of night to whisk this guy away.” The discussion, he said, didn’t include actual tactics for removing Mr. Gulen from his U.S. home. If specific plans had been discussed, Mr. Woolsey said, he would have spoken up and questioned their legality.

It isn’t known who raised the idea or what Mr. Flynn concluded about it.

Price Floyd, a spokesman for Mr. Flynn, who was advising the Trump campaign on national security at the time of the meeting, disputed the account, saying “at no time did Gen. Flynn discuss any illegal actions, nonjudicial physical removal or any other such activities.”

Mr. Flynn served as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser for 24 days and resigned after he misled Vice President Mike Pence and others about his contact with a Russian diplomat. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into whether Trump campaign officials collaborated with the Russian government to influence the presidential election.


WSJ Exclusive: Ex-CIA Head Woolsey on Flynn, Covert Plan

In an exclusive WSJ interview, former CIA Director James Woolsey describes a meeting where Mike Flynn and others discussed a covert plan to move Fethullah Gulen back to Turkey and avoid the U.S. extradition process. Photo: David Hume Kenner/Getty Images

On March 2, weeks after Mr. Flynn’s departure from the Trump administration, the Flynn Intel Group, his consulting firm, filed with the Justice Department as a foreign agent for the government of Turkey. Mr. Trump was unaware Mr. Flynn had been consulting on behalf of the Turkish government when he named him national security adviser, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said this month.

In its filing, Mr. Flynn’s firm said its work from August to November “could be construed to have principally benefited the Republic of Turkey.” The filing said his firm’s fee, $530,000, wasn’t paid by the government but by Inovo BV, a Dutch firm owned by a Turkish businessman, Ekim Alptekin.

U.S.-Turkish relations deteriorated in the final year of the Obama administration over disagreements about extraditing Mr. Gulen and U.S. support for Syrian Kurdish forces battling Islamic State. The Turkish government has been demanding Mr. Gulen’s extradition to face charges that he was the architect of an unsuccessful military coup last summer to overthrow Mr. Erdogan.

Mr. Gulen, who since 1999 has lived in the Pocono Mountains north of Philadelphia and has a green card giving him permission to live in the U.S., denies involvement. Mr. Erdogan has been trying for years to undermine Mr. Gulen, a onetime ally whom Turkey has now branded as a terrorist leader.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Tuesday he had given the White House and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions new evidence linking Mr. Gulen to the coup.

Mr. Woolsey said he attended the Sept. 19 meeting at the urging of the Flynn Intel Group’s chairman and president, Bijan Kian. Mr. Woolsey said he had agreed to be on the group’s advisory board and was offered a consulting fee for his work, but turned it down because of what he heard at the meeting. He held no stake in the firm.

“It seemed to be naive,” Mr. Woolsey said about the discussion. “I didn’t put a lot of credibility in it. This is a country of legal process and a Constitution, and you don’t send out folks to haul somebody overseas.”

The meeting, held at the Essex House hotel in Manhattan, included Mr. Cavusoglu and Berat Albayrak, Mr. Erdogan’s son-in-law and the country’s energy minister, according to the disclosure documents. Also present were Messrs. Alptekin and Mr. Kian.

Cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey has accused of orchestrating last summer’s failed coup, at his home in Pennsylvania last year.
Cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey has accused of orchestrating last summer’s failed coup, at his home in Pennsylvania last year. Photo: Charles Mostoller/Reuters
Mr. Woolsey said he didn’t say anything during the discussion, but later cautioned some attendees that trying to remove Mr. Gulen was a bad idea that might violate U.S. law. Mr. Woolsey said he also informed the U.S. government by notifying Vice President Joe Biden through a mutual friend.

The mutual friend confirmed to the Journal he told Mr. Biden about the meeting. Mr. Biden’s spokeswoman declined to comment on the matter, other than to say Mr. Biden felt the Gulen matter should be handled through the courts.

Mr. Flynn’s spokesman, Mr. Floyd, said that at the meeting “Gen. Flynn did discuss the Flynn Intel Group’s work for Inovo that included gathering information that could lead to a legal case against Mr. Gulen.”

Messrs. Kian and Alptekin didn’t respond to calls and emails seeking comment, nor did a spokesman for Mr. Albayrak. Mr. Cavusoglu’s spokesman referred the Journal to the Turkish Embassy in Washington.

In a written statement, the Turkish Embassy acknowledged that Turkish officials met with Mr. Flynn but declined to discuss the conversation. Referencing the Flynn Intel Group’s client, Inovo, the embassy said: “We are not in a position to comment on any engagement between a U.S. consultancy firm and a private company owned by a Turkish businessman.”

The disclosure Mr. Flynn’s firm filed with the U.S. government this month said the meeting was “for the purpose of understanding better the political climate in Turkey at the time.”

Inovo hired Mr. Flynn on behalf of an Israeli company seeking to export natural gas to Turkey, the filing said, and Mr. Alptekin wanted information on the U.S.-Turkey political climate to advise the gas company about its Turkish investments.

Mr. Woolsey, who served as CIA director under President Bill Clinton, offered in September to advise the Trump campaign and opposed Hillary Clinton for president. He briefly served as a senior adviser to the transition team.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/ex-cia-dir ... 1490380426


Digging through the 21-page indictment right now. The charges themselves do not appear to relate to any alleged kidnapping.

Here is the caption.

The indictment, however, is filled with references to Gulen, and has some explosive information. Thread ahead.


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After Michael Flynn wrote this anti-Gulen op-ed on Election Day, this was the reaction of his Turkish associates.

"The arrow has left the bow!" Kian allegedly told Alptekin. "This is a very high profile exposure one day before the election."


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The op-ed:
https://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/ ... ur-support



In fact, prosecutors allege, Flynn cribbed the op-ed directly from his Turkish associates.

Check out how their drafts allegedly became Flynn's final text in this handy chart.


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Flynn's published op-ed appears to contain plagiarized material from Kian's Nov. 2 draft.

His editorial in @TheHill currently ends with this lengthy editor's note.

The full indictment is here
: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents ... tment.html

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The WSJ reported that the meeting to "whisk" Gulen took place on Sept. 19.

Here is the passage on that meeting about Gulen. No reference to a kidnapping plot, at least in the charges, but this corroborates the meeting and its participants.


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WSJ's report states the Turkish ministers that attended were Erdogan's son-in-law Berat Albayrak and Turkish foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, who said on **Sunday** that Trump is working to extradite Gulen.



Trump working on extraditing Erdogan foe Gulen, Turkish foreign minister claims

Dec. 16, 2018 / 5:37 AM CST
By Max Burman

President Donald Trump is working on extraditing exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, a longtime target of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the country's foreign minister claimed on Sunday.

"In Argentina, Trump told Erdogan they were working on extraditing Gulen and other people," Mevlut Cavusoglu said Sunday at a conference in Doha, referring to the G20 summit where the leaders met two weeks ago.

NBC News reported last month that the White House was looking for ways to remove Gulen from the U.S. in order to placate Turkey over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, according to two senior U.S. officials and two other people briefed on the requests.

Trump administration officials asked federal law enforcement agencies to examine legal ways of removing the exiled cleric in an attempt to persuade Erdogan to ease pressure on the Saudi government, the four sources said.

Gulen, 77, has become a contentious figure in Turkey after Erdogan accused him of orchestrating an attempted military coup in 2016 from his Pennsylvania compound. Gulen denies having any role in the putsch.

Special counsel Robert Mueller disclosed more details earlier this month of former national security adviser Michael Flynn's efforts to cover up the extent of his ties to the government of Turkey while he was a top official on Trump’s campaign and transition.

The documents specifically state that a key component of Flynn’s work for Turkey involved the government’s efforts to remove Gulen from the U.S. Flynn began working for Turkey about a month after the failed July 2016 coup.

NBC News previously reported that Mueller’s team was looking into whether Flynn met with senior Turkish officials in December 2016 about a possible deal under which Flynn would be paid to orchestrate the return of Gulen to Turkey once in the White House.

Flynn’s false statements about his connections to Turkey were included in his plea agreement with Mueller announced in December 2017. He faces up to six months in prison when he is sentenced on Dec. 18.

U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson — who was released in October after spending nearly two years in detention in Turkish detention — was initially charged with, among other things, helping supporters of Gulen.

Brunson's detention prompted a prolonged diplomatic spat between the two countries.
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/trum ... d_nn_tw_ma


The "senior Turkish leader" in this passage appears to be Erdogan, who was prime minister when the corruption investigation came to a head in 2013.

Erdogan called the probe an attempted "judicial coup" by Gulen, and here we have a connection to the case of Reza Zarrab.

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Background: Zarrab spearheaded a multibillion-dollar money laundering scheme to Iran that corrupted high-ranking leaders in Erdogan's ruling AK Party, allegedly including Erdogan and his family.

Prosecutors explain here a major fissure in former Gulen-AKP alliance.

Zarrab's trial showed one high-ranking minister was bribed 45 to 50 million euros. Leaked tapes in Turkey showed Erdogan instructing his son to hide large amounts of cash.

In the indictment, this is a prelude for the Turkish government's PR blitz that brought in Flynn.



Roughly two weeks after the failed July 15, 2016, coup attempt, prosecutors say, Kian told Alptekin that he met with Flynn to discuss the "Truth Campaign."

"We are ready to engage in what needs to be done," Kian allegedly told Alptekin, referring to Flynn.


Image

Aug. 11, 2016: Alptekin tells Rafiekian in an email that he had the green light from "Turkish Minister #1" and "Turkish Minister #2" on the propaganda campaign.

Again: We learn later in the indictment this refers to Erdogan's son-in-law Berat Albayrak and FM Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.



Image

The same day, the "Truth Campaign" morphs "for the first time" into "Operation Confidence," and the source of funding turns to the Dutch firm Inovo BV -- "wholly owned and controlled by Alptekin," prosecutors say.

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Extremely intriguing passage.

"I think im [sic] meeting [Turkish Minister #1]'s boss... not the direct boss but u know how," Alptekin told Kian on Aug. 26, 2016.

If TM#1 is Berat Albayrak, which seems highly likely, the "boss" would seem to be Erdogan.


Image


Remember: Albayrak at the time was Turkey's minister of energy; his "direct boss" would have been Turkey's prime minister.

The "boss" - reis, in Turkish - is Erdogan's nickname from his supporters.




Since this indictment is out of the Eastern District of Virginia, my colleague there @BBuchman_CNS will provide on-the-ground coverage for @CourthouseNews. I'll keep tweeting out thoughts and insights that relate my research on the Turkey investigation.



Remember: Bijan Kian had been a member of the Trump transition team, and Trump's Turkish ties have been largely eclipsed by the Russia probe.

From the Flynn case, it should be clear by now that the Russia investigation largely runs through Turkey.


https://twitter.com/KlasfeldReports/sta ... 9447015424
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Re: Will Flynn bring back Yellowcake to WH Menu after 1-21-1

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Dec 18, 2018 9:05 am

as he was conspiring against the United States.......


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tx94428MYcc


I have been waiting for this day for two years and one month ...I knew it would happen

Trumpublicons: Foreign Influence/Grifting in '16 US Election
by seemslikeadream » Wed Nov 16, 2016 5:46 pm



WHY ALL THE LIES GENERAL YELLOWKERK?????


Zoe Tillman

On the eve of Michael Flynn's sentencing hearing tomorrow, the judge has ordered Mueller's office to publicly file a redacted version of the 302 (interview notes) that an FBI agent prepared after Flynn's Jan. 24, 2017 interview — the one he later admitted lying at

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The government previously filed a redacted version of a 302 about a July 2017 interview of one of the FBI agents involved in interviewing Flynn, Peter Strzok, who talked about the Flynn interview: https://assets.documentcloud.org/docume ... -Reply.pdf

Per judge's order tonight, prosecutors have now filed the redacted 302 (FBI interview notes) prepared after agents sat down with Michael Flynn on 1/24/17. Here it is: https://assets.documentcloud.org/docume ... ew-302.pdf

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Flynn began by talking about his first trip to Russia in 2013 when he was director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Flynn then describes several contacts in 2016 with now-former Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak — post-election convos + condolence calls

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Here's a description of one of the lies Flynn admitted to — in the 302, the agents describe Flynn saying he didn't ask Kislyak to have Russia vote a certain way on a UN resolution. That was a lie (302 on the left, statement of offense on the right)


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Here's the other lie Flynn admitted: In the 302, the agents describe asking Flynn if he asked Kislyak not to escalate things in response to US sanctions. Flynn says not really, he doesn't remember, but if it came up, it wasn't "don't do anything." That was a lie, per guilty plea

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You'll notice that the later half of this filing is the same 302, but with a different date at the top — the intro page of the filing explains that the first version was wrongly labeled as a "draft," so the latter version just fixed that

So what does all this mean? This is making public documents that lawyers in Flynn's case quoted from in their sentencing memos — the judge determined that they were something the public had a right to see, since they'll be a factor at sentencing
https://twitter.com/ZoeTillman/status/1 ... 3753960449



Flynn's Turkey Ties Connect to Russia


The Department of Justice today announced the indictment of two men connected to Michael Flynn who carried out a covert influence campaign to extradite a Turkish citizen living in the United States on behalf of the Turkish government. One of the two men does business with the Russian government. The other worked on the Trump transition team.

From the Associated Press in June 2017:

For [Bijan] Kian, who led most of Flynn Intel Group’s research and lobbying for a Turkish businessman, the Trump transition role offered influence in the selection of intelligence agency candidates and access to internal discussions of U.S. national security policy.

Flynn is "Person A' in the indictment.

From the DOJ:

An indictment was unsealed today charging Bijan Rafiekian, aka Bijan Kian, 66, of San Juan Capistrano, California, and Kamil Ekim Alptekin, 41, of Istanbul, and a Turkish national, with conspiracy, acting in the United States as illegal agents of the government of Turkey, and making false statements to the FBI.

(...)

According to allegations in the indictment, the two men were involved in a conspiracy to covertly influence U.S. politicians and public opinion against a Turkish citizen living in the United States whose extradition had been requested by the Government of Turkey. The plot included using a company founded by Rafiekian and a person referred to as “Person A” in the indictment. The company, referred to as “Company A” in the indictment, provided services based upon Person A’s national security expertise.

The indictment charges that the purpose of the conspiracy was to use Company A to delegitimize the Turkish citizen in the eyes of the American public and United States politicians, with the goal of obtaining his extradition, which was meeting resistance at the U.S. Department of Justice. At the same time, the conspirators sought to conceal that the Government of Turkey was directing the work. However, not only did Turkish cabinet-level officials approve the budget for the project, but Alptekin provided the Turkish officials updates on the work, and relayed their directions on the work to Rafiekian, Person A, and others at Company A.

According to allegations in the indictment, the scheme included using a Dutch company owned by Alptekin to appear to be the “client” of Company A and to pay the company’s fee of $600,000, which was to be paid in three installments. Alptekin made the payments from an account in Turkey. The indictment alleges that after Alptekin made the payments to Company A, it was to kick back 20 percent of the payments to Alptekin’s company in the Netherlands, and two such kickbacks were made.

CNN:

Kian made an appearance in federal court in Virginia Monday morning. He was released on bail.

The 66-year-old Californian, whom authorities say worked closely with Flynn on the lobbying effort throughout 2016, will appear in court again Tuesday. There is still a warrant out for the arrest of Alptekin, who lives in Istanbul.

The two men were indicted by a federal grand jury last week.

US authorities said the goal of the lobbying project was to press for the extradition of the Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999. The Turkish government and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blame Gulen for a failed attempted coup against him in 2016, which Gulen has denied, and has been aggressively pushing for the US government to extradite him.

President Donald Trump said last month that he is not considering extraditing Gulen.

(...)

Throughout the Turkish lobbying case made public Monday, Flynn is referred to as "Person A." The indictment describes Kian discussing with Flynn meeting with Turkish leaders and accepting payments through Flynn's company throughout 2016 for the lobbying work. They worked on the lobbying project as late as October 2016, a month before Trump won the election and Flynn helped with the presidential transition.

Politico reports Alptekin "has business ties to Russia, including a 2009 aviation financing deal negotiated with Vladimir Putin."

... Ekim Alptekin ... has in recent years helped to coordinate Turkish lobbying in Washington with Dmitri “David” Zaikin, a Soviet-born former executive in Russian energy and mining companies who also has had dealings with Putin’s government ...

(...)

Although Turkey is a NATO ally, its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has grown increasingly authoritarian and friendly with Putin. And the hiring of Flynn by Alptekin came at a time when Flynn was working for Trump’s campaign and Putin’s government was under investigation for interfering with the U.S. election.

(...)

The revelation of Russian business ties to the man who hired Flynn threatens to complicate the White House’s struggle to escape the shadow of the FBI investigation into whether members of the Trump campaign coordinated with Russian agents.

(...)

Zaikin, 49, was born in Ukraine and grew up as a citizen of the Soviet Union. He said in emails that doctors excused him from the Soviet military draft because of an injury, and that his family left the Soviet Union in 1990. He subsequently became a Canadian citizen and now lives in London.

In the 2000s, Zaikin was an executive in Russia’s oil industry at a time when Putin was consolidating control over the country’s mineral wealth to the financial benefit of himself and the circle of oligarchs who are his key supporters and associates.

As chairman and CEO of a company called Siberian Energy Group, Zaikin obtained mineral interests and exploration licenses in Russia’s Kurgan province, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Siberian Energy Group’s dealings under Zaikin were characteristic of the equity trades, offshore financing schemes and consulting agreements that Putin’s allies have used to protect and hide assets.

In 2008, Zaikin made a deal with an ex-KGB oligarch involved in the giant state oil company Gazprom. Zaikin’s company sold the oligarch a 2.5 percent stake in a subsidiary, known as KNG, for shares worth $10, equivalent to valuing the entire subsidiary at $400, according to SEC disclosures. That came less than two years after Zaikin’s company bought KNG for the equivalent of $2.7 million.

The same month as the deal with the oligarch, Zaikin’s company issued shares to a limited liability company in Moscow called Business Standard. In 2007, Zaikin’s company agreed to pay the firm thousands more shares in exchange for what the contract called “certain consulting services,” including help in obtaining oil and gas drilling licenses from the Russian government.

Zaikin was also a director of a subsidiary called Zauralneftegaz that explored for oil and gas in West Siberia. The company was in part controlled by shell companies set up by a London law firm involved in the Panama Papers, the massive leak of records from an offshore finance law firm that showed how Putin associates secretly moved around $2 billion in assets.

Alptekin has had his own business dealings in Russia.

As a partner in an investment group called ETIRC as early as 2006, Alptekin bought a stake in a New Mexico jet manufacturer called Eclipse Aviation. In September 2008, Eclipse announced plans to build a $205 million factory in Russia financed by Russian state bank Vnesheconombank, whose board was chaired by Putin, then prime minister. A photo in the trade press showed Putin personally inspecting one of Eclipse’s jets.

But a month later, Eclipse filed for bankruptcy protection. Alptekin and his partners planned to buy out the company with financing from the Putin-chaired bank. Putin was personally involved in approving a loan from the bank to Eclipse, according to court records.

“The Eclipse project is one of the top priority to be funded and has been approved by Prime Minister Putin,” the minutes of an Eclipse board meeting Feb. 16, 2009, said, referring to ETIRC’s planned purchase of Eclipse.

But the funding apparently never materialized, and the sale didn’t go through. Instead, Alptekin and partners bought the old company’s assets for $40 million and formed a company called Eclipse Aerospace. When the company sought bankruptcy protection, it had declared assets valued at almost $1.1 billion.

“I think it was a good deal,” Alptekin said in his interview with POLITICO.

Alptekin acknowledged ETIRC’s negotiations with the bank chaired by Putin, but said he never interacted with any Russian officials. There are no Russians involved in the new company, he said.

Today, that company, known as EA Group, markets Eclipse jets in Turkey, Russia and the Middle East, according to its website. But Alptekin, in his POLITICO interview, said he lost the license to market the jets in Russia because he failed to sell any.

The company also has an arms-dealing division, focusing on Turkey and the Middle East. Alptekin said he sold video surveillance equipment for Turkish police helicopters and declined to discuss his other deals. He said the arms division isn’t active currently.
https://investigaterussia.org/media/201 ... ect-russia
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Re: Will Flynn bring back Yellowcake to WH Menu after 1-21-1

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:38 am

Zoe Tillman

Hello on this brisk Tuesday morning from the federal courthouse in DC, where former national security advisor Michael Flynn is due for sentencing at 11 a.m. He's asking for no prison time. The special counsel's office says they're okay with that. Will the judge agree?


As for Flynn's lawyers noting he wasn't warned about not lying before his interview: "A sitting National Security Advisor, former head of an intelligence agency, retired Lieutenant General, and 33 year veteran of the armed forces knows he should not lie to federal agents."
https://twitter.com/ZoeTillman


empty wheel


The most likely outcome from today's sentencing is that Emmet Sullivan rips Flynn a new asshole for the cute trick he tried with dodging responsibility. BOTH Defense and Prosecution have backed no prison time.


Judge says to Flynn
Arguably you sold out you country

"You were an unregistered agent of a foreign country will serving as the National Security Adviser to the president of the United States!"

"Arguably this undermines everything this flag over here stands for!"


Judge Sullivan even asked the government whether Flynn could have been charged with treason for interfering in Russian sanctions imposed by Obama administration. Government didn’t want to go there.

udge Sullivan:

“This crime is very serious.”

“In the White House! In the West Wing!”

“It’s a very serious offense.”

“You can’t minimize that


Judge Sullivan: So Flynn could’ve also been charged in that indictment unsealed in Virginia yesterday, right? Gov: Yes.

Judge Sullivan: “Exposure to Mr. Flynn would have been significant?” Gov: Yes.

The judge has given him three chances

He's beating the crap out of him.
Right after the president* defended him.


They’re now taking a recess until 12:30, at Flynn’s request. :D


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Re: Will Flynn bring back Yellowcake to WH Menu after 1-21-1

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:47 pm

The hearing was not going well for Flynn.......sentencing delayed





Judge Rips Flynn, Asks About Treason Ahead Of Sentencing For Lying To FBI


The former national security adviser to President Donald Trump admitted to lying about his contacts with the Russians.
By Ryan J. Reilly
12/18/2018 12:22 PM ET

Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn will be sentenced Tuesday for lying to the FBI. (Bloomberg via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON ― A judge tore into Michael Flynn Tuesday ahead of imposing a sentence on President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser and prominent campaign supporter for lying to the FBI.

Flynn, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general, was an early supporter of the Trump campaign, and infamously called for the incarceration of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during his speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention.

He came under scrutiny for a variety of potential criminal activities, and reached a plea deal in December 2017 with the special counsel team led by Robert Mueller. As part of the deal, he agreed to cooperate and admitted making fraudulent statements in an interview with FBI agents at the White House on Jan. 24, 2017. Flynn stepped down as national security adviser in mid-February 2017, less than a month into the Trump presidency, because the White House says he misled officials there about his contacts with the Russians.

“I’m not hiding my disgust, my disdain for this criminal offense,” U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan in Washington told Flynn ahead of the sentencing.


Sullivan also walked through a number of procedural steps to make sure that Flynn was pleading guilty because he was guilty and not for any other reason. He seemed frustrated with many of the arguments from Flynn’s team that he suggested took away from Flynn’s supposed acceptance of responsibility for his crime.

Sullivan had Flynn admit, once again, that he had lied to the FBI and was pleading guilty because he was guilty. He gave Flynn ample opportunity to back out of his guilty plea, discussed with the prosecution the variety of other crimes Flynn could have faced, and said Flynn’s criminal exposure would have been “significant” had be been charged with the other offenses.

“This crime is very serious,” Sullivan said, noting that Flynn lied “In the White House! In the West Wing!” Flynn shouldn’t “minimize” his “very serious” offense, Sullivan said.

“Arguably, you sold your country out,” Sullivan told Flynn. He then asked the government whether undermining U.S. sanctions against Russia for their interference in the 2016 election could be considered treason, a suggestion the government didn’t want to weigh in on.


Arguably, you sold your country out.
U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, speaking to Michael Flynn
Flynn’s plea deal prevented his prosecution on a host of other potential charges. One example: An indictment against Flynn’s former business partner at The Flynn Group, Bijan Kian, was unsealed on Monday, the day before Flynn’s sentencing. That indictment, which refers to Flynn as “Person A,” says that Kian and Flynn worked together on an illegal campaign to do the bidding of the Turkish government, which was seeking to extradite a cleric living in the United States that the Turkish government accused of instigating a failed coup in 2016.

Flynn’s attorneys had argued for leniency ahead of his sentencing. Mueller’s team indicated it was open to a sentence in the range of zero to six months, but encouraged the court to reject Flynn’s “attempt to minimize” the seriousness of his crime.

“A sitting National Security Advisor, former head of an intelligence agency, retired Lieutenant General, and 33-year veteran of the armed forces knows he should not lie to federal agents,” Mueller’s team wrote on Friday. “He does not need to be warned it is a crime to lie to federal agents to know the importance of telling them the truth.”
https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_5c17 ... ssion=true



THE BLACK HOLES IN THE MIKE FLYNN 302: THE BACK CHANNEL DISCUSSION MAY BE MOST SENSITIVE INVESTIGATIVE DETAIL

December 18, 2018/1 Comment/in 2016 Presidential Election, Mueller Probe /by empty wheel

In this post, I talked about what we can deduce from the unredacted parts of the Mike Flynn 302 released last night. It shows that Flynn’s lies served to hide that he consulted very closely with Mar-a-Lago — almost certainly with Trump — and even denied parts of the transcript that showed him quoting directly from KT McFarland’s related instructions.

While we’re waiting on Flynn’s sentence, I’d like to look at the substantive redactions, as a way of assessing what Mueller thinks must remain secret. I’ll just be looking at the actual report, not the bureaucratic redactions (which hide things like the case number and classification levels for the individual paragraphs).

The first redaction comes in a paragraph recording what Flynn claimed were his past communications with Sergei Kislyak, in which he explains that he called Kislyak in the wake of the death of GRU head Igor Sergun in January 2016.

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It’s possible the redaction includes an admission that he and Kislyak discussed policy — ascribing a a policy call to a condolence one is precisely what he did with the December 29 calls to Kislyak, after all. Note, too, the way Flynn distanced that conversation from Trump (he probably figured out that that call, like his much later one, would have been picked up). It’d be especially interesting if the redaction pertained to Flynn’s claim that Sergun died in Lebanon; Russia’s military issued a panicked denial today that Sergun died there (they say he died of heart problems in Russia).

The second redaction hides Flynn’s discussion of his trip to Russia in 2015, on a trip ultimately paid by RT, where he sat at a table with Vladimir Putin and Jill Stein.

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This actually might be hidden for counterintelligence reasons — to hide the circumstances of how Russians tried to sidle up to Flynn by flying him in for the gala. That said, the details are likely part of Mueller’s understanding of how Russia cultivated Trump and those close to him.

The next redaction hides Flynn’s description of the outreach to the Russians he was making.

Image

I suspect this provides more detail about the outreach Flynn made on Syria. He portrays it as pertaining to terrorism, not paying back Russia. The hidden passage may also address timing which we now know actually started during the election (which would mean this redacted passage could hide yet another Flynn lie).

Note, it’s actually fairly interesting that Flynn worked exclusively via Kislyak, but none of that is likely to be redacted.

The first paragraph about the December 29 conversation hides two details: what appears to be a request that Flynn set up the conference call that ultimately took place on January 28, and an inquiry on whether the US would send observers to … something.

Image

This redaction is one I expect we’ll get follow-up reporting on, as Kislyak was making significant asks at that time.

This may be the longest redaction in the 302. It hides Flynn’s description of the December 1 meeting with himself and Jared Kushner (Don Jr came in at some point — the meeting was conducted in his office) where Jared asked for a back channel of communications.

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I find the extent of this redaction … to be bad news for Jared Kushner (and Don Jr if he attended more of the meeting than he claims). This is another meeting that FBI had details about (or later would discover them), from when Kislyak called home and reported on the back channel request. A significant purpose for this redaction must be to hide what Flynn said from the other co-conspirators.

Also note: if this meeting is the only other communication with Kislyak that Flynn admitted to, he may have also hid communications he had during the election (in which case those communications would have also been considered sensitive).

These two words are the only ones redacted in the entire three-paragraph passage describing Flynn’s lies about the vote on Israeli settlements.

Image

The redactions here — at least the second one — are for diplomatic reasons.

I believe the second one hides the word “Egyptians;” I’m not sure if the first is long enough to be “Israel.” It may be “Trump,” in which case it’d be another point where Flynn hid how much he coordinated with Trump on all this.

In any case, the fact that Mueller redacted so little of this discussion suggests that the effort to help Israel is not a core part of his investigation (or if it is, Jared, who ordered Flynn to try to delay the vote on Israel, has already locked in his testimony on it).

It’s unclear what this redaction, in the first paragraph as the FBI Agents circled back to Flynn’s lies about the sanctions call, hides. It may be another reference to the discussion about sending observers somewhere.

Image

That’s the final redaction, though. The rest — which details how the Agents quoted directly from the transcript (including the bit that was itself a quote of KT McFarland) is all unsealed, so presumably no longer sensitive from an investigative standpoint.

All of which is to say that the most sensitive investigative detail in Flynn’s 302 — the thing the government cared most about hiding — is what Flynn said about that December 1 meeting where Jared asked to set up a back channel of communication with Russia.

As I disclosed in July, I provided information to the FBI on issues related to the Mueller investigation, so I’m going to include disclosure statements on Mueller investigation posts from here on out. I will include the disclosure whether or not the stuff I shared with the FBI pertains to the subject of the post.

https://www.emptywheel.net/2018/12/18/t ... ve-detail/
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Re: Will Flynn bring back Yellowcake to WH Menu after 1-21-1

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Dec 18, 2018 6:55 pm

The National Security Adviser to the POTUS was simultaneously acting as an unregistered foreign agent and lied about it to the FBI in the White House.


Michael Flynn’s Judge Destroys Trump’s Conspiracy Theory

By Jonathan Chait
1:47 P.M.


Donald Trump and his allies have spent two years spinning elaborate conspiracy theories about an alleged deep state conspiracy to frame the president and his campaign for imagined crimes revolving around cooperation with Russia. The most recent iteration of these theories have centered around Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, who has already pleaded guilty to federal charges. Flynn, Trump’s supporters claim, had done nothing wrong and was trapped into telling an inconsequential lie to FBI agents desperate to use him against Trump.

Flynn’s sentencing hearing today showed that this theory, like every previous exculpatory theory devised on Trump’s behalf, is an absurd fantasy.

The precise extent of Flynn’s crimes remains largely redacted. But the response of the judge, Emmet G. Sullivan, gives some indication of their severity. Sullivan lectured Flynn, “Arguably you sold your country out … I’m not hiding my disgust, my disdain for this criminal offense.” He mused that Flynn may have committed treason, before later acknowledging that treason only applies to assisting foreign enemies that are in a state of war with the United States (which Russia and Turkey were not.)


What makes this turn of events so devastating is that conservatives have held out Sullivan as the judicial hero who would vindicate their theories. Fox News legal pundit Jeanine Pirro called him “a jurist unafraid of the swamp, a judge who has a track record of calling out prosecutorial misconduct, a man who does not tolerate injustice or abuse of power.” Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel praised Sullivan as “a judge who is wise to the tricks of prosecutors and investigators … His reputation is for being no-nonsense, a straight shooter, an advocate of government transparency.”

Anticipating just such a triumph, Eli Lake published a column this morning speculating that Flynn had been entrapped and was owed an apology.


Instead, Flynn’s judge reeled in shock at the severity of his crimes, hinting that he might hand down prison time despite Robert Mueller’s recommendation that Flynn go free due to his cooperation. For this reason, Sullivan offered, and Flynn accepted, a 90-day delay, so that Flynn might have more cooperation to show in order to bargain down his sentence. In the meantime, Sullivan dealt a death blow to the theory that Flynn’s crimes were minor, let alone that he had been mistreated by prosecutors.

Two more mysteries remain. The first is just what crimes by Flynn Mueller’s prosecutors found. The second, even larger, is what Flynn gave them on Trump. If his offenses were as serious as Sullivan indicated, and Mueller still suggested he skip prison, it stands to reason that the evidence he turned over concerning other figures is devastating.

Flynn was not set up. He was charged for committing serious crimes. And he is probably going to escape prison because the crimes committed by the people he worked with and for are even more serious.
http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/12/ ... _source=tw



:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5YIKMxNxeY




BOOM! Judge Sullivan, who has seen the redacted info in the pleadings, asks if Mueller's team considered chargin' Mike Flynn with "TREASON."



Page 32.

THE COURT: I'm going to be frank with you. This crime is very serious ... it involves false statements to the [FBI] agents on the premises of the White House, in the White House in the West Wing by a high ranking security officer ... That's a very serious offense.



Darren Samuelsohn

NEW - Judge Sullivan just imposed restrictions on Michael Flynn's travel, ordering him after Jan. 4th to stay w/in 50 miles of DC unless he gets permission. He also has to hand over his passport.
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https://twitter.com/dsamuelsohn/status/ ... 53/photo/1
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Re: Will Flynn bring back Yellowcake to WH Menu after 1-21-1

Postby seemslikeadream » Wed Dec 19, 2018 7:42 pm


ROB KELNER–THE GUY WHO SIGNED MIKE FLYNN’S FARA FILINGS–CONTINUED TO BE INSUBORDINATE IN YESTERDAY’S HEARING


December 19, 2018/9 Comments/in 2016 Presidential Election, emptywheel, Mueller Probe /by emptywheel
Most of the focus in yesterday’s Mike Flynn sentencing hearing has focused on Judge Emmet Sullivan’s invocation of treason, which I addressed at length here. But — particularly since I have belatedly realized that Rob Kelner is one of the lawyers referred to in the Bijan Kian indictment who filed a FARA registration that, because of lies attributed to Flynn and Ekim Alptekin, ended up being a false statement, I want to look at two bullshit answers Kelner offered yesterday about his little ploy of introducing language on Peter Strzok and Andrew McCabe in Flynn’s sentencing memo.

Taking the second one first, Sullivan asked Kelner to explain why he chose to cite Peter Strzok’s August 22, 2017 302, which had some language about what a successful liar Flynn can be, and not Flynn’s own utterly damning January 24, 2017 302. This was a question directing counsel to explain why he tried to pull a fast one over on the judge. Any responsive answer would have to address that January 24 302 (and wouldn’t need to address the McCabe memo, at all).

But instead of answering that question, Kelner instead tried to use it to attack the Mueller team.

THE COURT: The other puzzling question I have is this: Can you explain for the record why Mr. Flynn was interviewed by the FBI on January the 24th but the 302 cited in his sentencing memorandum is dated August the 22nd, 2017? There’s no reference, and the January 24th is not highlighted at all.

MR. KELNER: Yes, Your Honor. Thank you for the opportunity to address that. I think there’s been some public confusion about that. The original draft of our brief cited specifically to the FD-302 for the interview of Special Agent Strozk and cited it specifically to the McCabe memorandum, and actually originally we intended to include those documents with the filing. Prior to the filing, we shared a draft copy of our brief with the Special Counsel’s Office really for two purposes: One was to make sure that we weren’t including anything covered by the protective order, which they objected to our including, which would, perhaps, have to be redacted or filed under seal; and the other reason, frankly, was generally to understand what their reaction might be to particular points in the filing. After that, the Special Counsel’s Office discussed it with us and asked that we consider removing the Strozk 302, and the McCabe memorandum from the brief and to simply cite to them. Given our position as cooperating in the investigation, we acceded to that. We then sent them a draft of the footnotes that we would use to cite to the relevant documents, and originally those footnotes, as drafted by us, named the McCabe memorandum specifically and named the Strozk 302 specifically so that it would be clear to the reader which documents we were talking about. The Special Counsel’s Office requested that we change those citations to simply reference the memorandum and date and the FD-302 and date without the names. We acceded to that request, and I would add would not have acceded to it if in any way we felt it was misleading, but we respected the preferences of the Special Counsel’s Office.

THE COURT: All right. Any objection to what counsel said? Anything that you wish to add to that?

MR. VAN GRACK: Judge, just one point of clarification.

THE COURT: Sure.

MR. VAN GRACK: Which is what we’ve represented to defense counsel in terms of what to and not to include, what we indicated was anything in the Strozk 302 and the McCabe memorandum that they thought was relevant can and should be included in their submissions. What we asked was that they not attach the documents because, as the Court is aware, there are other considerations in the material there that we wanted to be sensitive to.


Look closely: Kelner never actually answers Sullivan’s question, at all. Instead, he blames the decisions surrounding how those materials were cited in Flynn’s memo (which was not Sullivan’s question) on Mueller’s office.

Mueller’s team probably withheld the filings because there are legal proceedings involving both McCabe and Strzok. You can argue that those legal proceedings served as an excuse to hide embarrassing information and you might even be right. But that doesn’t give you permission to just blow off a legitimate question from the judge.

The second one is, given Kelner’s tenure of representation for Flynn, even more egregious.

Sullivan unsurprisingly expressed difficulty squaring the suggestion that there were extenuating circumstances to Flynn’s brazen lies in his FBI interview with Flynn’s claim that he was accepting responsibility for his actions. So the judge asked Kelner why he included them.

THE COURT: The references that I’ve mentioned that appear in your sentencing memorandum raise some concerns on the part of the Court. And my question is, how is raising those contentions about the circumstances under which Mr. Flynn lied consistent with acceptance of responsibility?

MR. KELNER: Your Honor, the principle reason we raised those points in the brief was to attempt to distinguish the two cases in which the Special Counsel’s investigation has resulted in incarceration, the Papadopoulos and Van der Zwaan cases in which the Special Counsel had pointed out as aggravating factors the fact that those defendants had been warned and the fact that those defendants did have counsel and lied anyway, and we felt it was important to identify for the Court that those aggravating circumstances do not exist in this case relevant to sentencing.


Kelner — the guy who signed a FARA registration that he might have faced his own legal consequences for if it weren’t for his client’s guilty plea accepting responsibility for the lies told in the registration himself — completely ignored Flynn’s FARA lies, both in his answer to this question and the brief generally. Flynn not only had benefit of counsel when he told one of the lies he pled guilty, again, to telling yesterday, Flynn had benefit of his, Rob Kelner’s, counsel.

And Kelner is only avoiding consequences for those FARA filings himself because (the existing story goes) his client is such an egregious liar, he has also lied to him, his lawyer, in the past.

That seems like a pretty major aggravating factor.

Much later in the hearing, when Kelner realized his client was facing prison time, he tried to take responsibility for all the things that showed up in that sentencing memo. Rather than leaving well enough alone, Kelner renewed his bullshit claim that what George Papadopoulos and Alex Van Der Zwaan did was worse than lying to the FBI and hiding your paid ties to a frenemy government. That led to Sullivan pointing out why even just Flynn’s lies to the FBI were, because he was in such an important role, worse than those of Mueller’s other false statements defendants.


MR. KELNER: Your Honor, with your indulgence, if I could make a few points.

THE COURT: Sure.

MR. KELNER: First of all, let me make very clear, Your Honor, that the decisions regarding how to frame General Flynn’s sentencing memorandum made by counsel, made by me, made by Mr. Anthony, are entirely ours and really should not and do not diminish in any way General Flynn’s acceptance of responsibility in this case. And I want to make that —

THE COURT: That point is well taken, but you understand why I had to make the inquiry?

MR. KELNER: I do.

THE COURT: Because I’m thinking, this sounds like a backpedaling on the acceptance of responsibility. It was a legitimate area to inquire about. And I don’t want to be too harsh when I say this, but I know you’ll understand.

[snip]

MR. KELNER: Right. We understand the Court’s reason for concern. I just wanted to make very clear the very specific reasons that those sections in the brief were included, to distinguish the Papadopoulos and Van der Zwaan cases, which did result in incarceration, we think are meaningfully distinguishable in many respects.

THE COURT: Let me stop you on that point, because I’m glad you raised that, and I was going to raise this point at some point. We might as well raise it now since you brought up Papadopoulos and Van der Zwaan. The Court’s of the opinion that those two cases aren’t really analogous to this case. I mean, neither one of those individuals was a high-ranking government official who committed a crime while on the premises of and in the West Wing of the White House. And I note that there are other cases that have been cited in the memorandum with respect to other individuals sentenced in 2017, I believe, for 1001 offenses, and the point being made — and I think it’s an absolutely good point — the point being made that no one received a jail sentence. My guess is that not one of those defendants was a high-ranking government official who, while employed by the President of the United States, made false statements to the FBI officers while on the premises of and in the West Wing of the White House. That’s my guess. Now, if I’m wrong, then you can point me to any one or more of those cases. This case is in a category by itself right now, but I understand why you cited them. I appreciate that.

MR. KELNER: Your Honor, we don’t disagree. We recognize that General Flynn served in a high-ranking position, and that is unique and relevant. But I —

THE COURT: Absolutely.


But Kelner took that comment, and kept digging, claiming that Flynn’s cooperation should be worth more because his cooperation was more “consequential” than that of the little people.


MR. KELNER: But I would submit to you a couple of points in response for the Court’s consideration. Number one, because of his high rank and because of his former high office, when it came time to deal with this investigation and to deal with the Special Counsel’s Office, that, too, set a higher standard for him, and he did understand that as a three-star general and a former National Security Advisor, what he did was going to be very consequential for the Special Counsel’s investigation, and very consequential for the nation, so he made decisions early on to remain low profile, not to make regular public statements, as some other people did. That was acknowledged by the Special Counsel’s Office when we did first hear from them, the value of that silence. And then he made the decision publicly and clearly and completely and utterly to cooperate with this investigation, knowing that, because of his high rank, that was going to send a signal to every other potential cooperator and witness in this investigation, and that was consequential, and we appreciate the fact that the Special Counsel memorialized that in his brief. That did make a decision, and that was another kind of high standard that was set for him and that he rose to and met decisively. In addition, there have been other cases —


Sullivan interrupted Kelner at this point, perhaps in an effort to get him to stop damaging his client. It didn’t work though, because having argued that Flynn’s efforts to undo his lies were worth more than that of the little people, Kelner then … brought up David Petraeus.

THE COURT: Can I just stop you right now? Is — How do you wish to proceed? Do you wish to proceed with sentencing today or do you want to defer it?

MR. KELNER: Thank you, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Or are you leading up to that point?

MR. KELNER: I’m leading up to that.

THE COURT: No, that’s fine.

MR. KELNER: Just a bit of indulgence, if I may.

THE COURT: No, no. Go ahead. That’s fine.

MR. KELNER: And let me just finish that last point.

THE COURT: No, no, no. I’m not trying to curtail you. I just wanted to make sure I didn’t miss anything.

MR. KELNER: I’m building up to it. I’m building up to it, Your Honor.

THE COURT: All right.

MR. KELNER: In addition, I would note there have been other high profile cases, one involving a four-star general, General Petraeus.

THE COURT: I don’t agree with that plea agreement, but don’t —

MR. KELNER: It’s a classic —

THE COURT: He pled to a misdemeanor?


Right before Sullivan closed the hearing, he expressed his disapproval of that sentence once again with Kelner, presumably as a warning not to argue Flynn should get light treatment, like Petraeus did, because he’s an important decorated general.

While bringing up the double standard the Obama Administration used with Petraeus is totally fair game, especially in Espionage-charged leak cases (which this is not), this was an instance where Kelner either couldn’t hear or didn’t give a fuck about what the judge had already told him, which is that, having read all the sealed underlying documents, he believes the stuff Flynn lied about “is in a category by itself.”

Honestly, if I were Mike Flynn and I had the money I’d fire Kelner after recent events, because — even if Kelner is not responsible for the ploy that badly backfired (and I suspect he’s not, at least not entirely) — by returning to sentencing with a different lawyer, you can try to start fresh with Sullivan, whom you’ve already pissed off.

But it’s not clear that Flynn can do that.

Because while firing Kelner might permit Flynn to claim he had nothing to do with this disavowal of responsibility that Kelner is now claiming responsibility for, Kelner’s still required to claim that Flynn is responsible for the false statements submitted in a document signed by Kelner back in 2017.

More importantly, according to Kelner, the Kian trial is the only thing left for Flynn to offer as far as cooperation.

Nothing has been held back. That said, it is true that this EDVA case that was indicted yesterday is still pending, and it’s likely, I would think, that General Flynn may be asked to testify in that case. We haven’t been told that, but I think it’s likely, and he’s prepared to testify. And while we believe that the Special Counsel’s Office views his cooperation as having been very largely complete, completed at this point, it is true that there’s this additional modicum of cooperation that he expects to provide in the EDVA case, and for that reason, we are prepared to take Your Honor up on the suggestion of delaying sentencing so that he can eke out the last modicum of cooperation in the EDVA case to be in the best position to argue to the Court the great value of his cooperation.

It seems likely that if Kian goes to trial, it will be Kelner’s testimony, not Flynn’s, that might be most important.

Kelner and Flynn are yoked together, Kelner to the lies Flynn told him to file in that FARA filing, and Flynn to the insubordinate effort to dismiss the importance of Flynn’s lies.

As I disclosed in July, I provided information to the FBI on issues related to the Mueller investigation, so I’m going to include disclosure statements on Mueller investigation posts from here on out. I will include the disclosure whether or not the stuff I shared with the FBI pertains to the subject of the post.
https://www.emptywheel.net/2018/12/19/r ... s-hearing/

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Re: Will Flynn bring back Yellowcake to WH Menu after 1-21-1

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Dec 20, 2018 8:18 am

In Defense of Emmet Sullivan: Van Grack Suggested Mueller Did Review Whether Flynn’s Behavior Amounted to Treason



LEEDEN TO THE RESCUE!

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Michael Ledeen bravely intervenes to spare his pal Eli Lake from the shame of having published the worst Flynn sentencing take.



To be fair, Ledeen is an expert on weird conspiracies with sordid foreign governments so he is an expert on crimes like Flynn's.


The Real Story of the Flynn Hearing
wsj opinion ^ | 12/19/2018 | Michael Leeden
Posted on 12/19/2018, 10:22:21 PM by bitt

The dramatic Tuesday hearing for former national security adviser Mike Flynn didn’t produce a sentence. Instead, Judge Emmet Sullivan gave Mr. Flynn a delay to reconsider his options. I was in the courtroom, and my reading of Judge Sullivan’s treatment of Mr. Flynn (with whom I co-wrote a 2016 book) was rather different from what most reporters have said and written.

Judge Sullivan repeatedly invited Mr. Flynn to reconsider his guilty plea on a charge of lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Judge Sullivan stressed that he had not presided over earlier proceedings in the case and that he was prepared to have Mr. Flynn change his plea or even ask for a dismissal of charges. At times, the judge seemed to implore Mr. Flynn to reopen the deal he made with special counsel Robert Mueller, implying that there was reason to believe his guilty plea had been wrongfully arranged.

Mr. Flynn wasn’t interested. Over and over he told Judge Sullivan that he was comfortable with his confession, did not wish to have it reconsidered, and wanted the judge to pronounce sentence. But Judge Sullivan continued unsuccessfully to invite a change in Mr. Flynn’s plea.

The discussion then shifted to whether the sentence should include jail time—which prosecutors had recommended against. Mr. Flynn’s lawyers stressed that he had fully cooperated with Mr. Mueller, and—as the special counsel’s written statements have reiterated—he remained cooperative. That could include testifying against Mr. Flynn’s former business associates in a case from Virginia involving the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

........
https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-real-s ... direct=amp




WHY IT MATTERED (AND STILL MATTERS) THAT FLYNN CONTINUED TO HIDE HIS TRUE RELATIONSHIP WITH TURKEY

December 20, 2018/1 Comment/in 2016 Presidential Election, emptywheel, Mueller Probe /by emptywheel


The guy who managed the first steps of the process that led to Trump announcing a withdrawal of troops from Syria yesterday was hiding secret ties to both Russia and Turkey when that process started. That’s one of the reasons why it matters that Mike Flynn lied about his relationship with Turkey for so long. It means that both Russia and Turkey have always known Flynn and Trump were vulnerable because they were hiding lies about their ties with those countries.

In this post, I noted that while the work Flynn did as an unregistered foreign agent for Turkey reportedly ended not long after election day (though WSJ reported that he and his spawn met with representatives of Turkey in mid-December to speak further about Fethullah Gulen), that relationship with Turkey would remain unregistered — that is, Flynn would continue to lie about the true nature of it — all the way through his guilty plea on December 1, 2017.

That’s important because, as I described in a post on what the redactions in the published version of the 302 (“302” is what the FBI calls their interview reports) memorializing Flynn’s January 24, 2017 interview with the FBI hide, he explained away the conversations by claiming that he and Sergei Kislyak discussed the Trump Administration’s plans on working with Russia and Turkey.

The redactions in Flynn’s 302 included two passages on Flynn’s December 29, 2016 phone calls with Ambassador Kislyak. In the first, Flynn offered up that he and Kislyak had discussed two things: a phone call with Vladimir Putin that would take place on January 28, and whether the US would send an observer to Syrian peace talks Turkey and Russia were holding in Kazakhstan the next month.

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Later in Flynn’s FBI interview, as Agents were quoting bits of the transcript back to Flynn, he again denied he and Kislyak had discussed expulsions of Russia’s diplomats. He appears to have, again, claimed they talked about sending representatives to Astana.

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For some reason, the government considers the specific description Flynn used with the FBI to remain too sensitive to publicly release, either because they don’t want co-conspirators to know precisely what Flynn said, and/or they don’t want the Russians and Turks to know.

The claim that those Kislyak phone calls discussed a later call with Putin and the Astana conference is the same one the Transition would offer to the WaPo the day after David Ignatius made clear that the FBI had recordings of the call. Mueller’s reply to Flynn’s sentencing memo describes that Flynn asked a subordinate to feed this information to the WaPo.

The defendant asked a subordinate member of the Presidential Transition Team to contact the Post on the morning of January 13 and convey false information about the defendant’s communications with the Russian ambassador. The “UPDATE” included at the end of the Post story later reported that two members of the Presidential Transition Team stated that the defendant “didn’t cover” sanctions in his conversation with the Russian ambassador.


As Mueller laid out, after Flynn told this cover story about his calls publicly, he continued to double down on it, such that by the time the FBI came to his office on January 24, he had to stick to that story.

Over the next two weeks, the defendant repeated the same false statements to multiple members of the Presidential Transition Team, including Vice President-Elect Michael Pence, incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, and incoming White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Those officials then repeated the defendant’s false statements on national television. See, e.g., Face the Nation transcript January 15, 2017: Pence, Manchin, Gingrich, CBS NEWS (Jan. 15, 2017) (Vice President Pence recounting that defendant told him he did not discuss sanctions with the Russian ambassador); Meet The Press 01/15/17, NBC NEWS (Jan. 15, 2017) (Priebus recounting that he had talked to the defendant and “[t]he subject matter of Case 1:17-cr-00232-EGS Document 56 Filed 12/14/18 Page 2 of 7 -3- sanctions or the actions taken by the Obama [sic] did not come up in the conversation [with the Russian ambassador.]”); White House Briefing by Sean Spicer – Full Transcript, Jan. 23, 2017, CBS NEWS (Jan. 24, 2017) (Spicer recounting that he had spoken with the defendant the day before, who again stated that he (the defendant) had not spoken to the Russian ambassador about the sanctions). Thus, by the time of the FBI interview, the defendant was committed to his false story.


Flynn’s lies to cover the discussion about sanctions and expulsions were not entirely invented; he’s a better liar than that. The Transition really was struggling over its decision of whether to join in a Syrian peace plan that would follow Russia (and Turkey’s lead) rather than the path the Obama Administration had pursued in the previous year. As he noted to the FBI, the Trump Administration had only decided not to send a senior delegation to Astana earlier that week. It was announced on January 21.

These lies compromised Flynn in two ways. As Sally Yates noted when she described the problem with Flynn’s lies to Don McGahn two days after his interview, because Flynn was saying something publicly that Russia knew to be false, Russia could hold that over him (and the Administration).

But by staking his lies on the Astana conference — and the Trump Administration’s willingness to join a Syrian effort that deviated from existing US policy — Flynn also raised the stakes of his past paid relationship with Turkey. It became far more damaging that Flynn had still been on the Turkish government payroll through the early transition, when Trump directed him to conduct early outreach on Syria. So even while DOJ was repeatedly telling Flynn he had to come clean on his Turkish lobbying ties, he lied about that, thereby hiding that the early days of Trump Administration outreach had been conducted by a guy still working for Turkey.

Since that time, both Flynn and Trump were stuck, because they had told lies to the US government that Russia and Turkey knew were lies.

Indeed, Trump may have started telling his own lies right away. Three days after Flynn’s FBI interview, in a conversation with Jim Comey after he had already learned of Sally Yates’ conversation with Don McGahn telling him of DOJ’s concerns about the FBI interview, Trump offered what was probably a bullshit cover story about Flynn’s communications with Russia, possibly bullshit invented to hide what Trump knew about ongoing discussions with Russia. [Here’s version of this story fed to the NYT.]

He then want on to explain that he has serious reservations about Mike Flynn’s judgment and illustrated with a story from that day in which the President apparently discovered during his toast to Teresa May that [Vladimir Putin] had called four days ago. Apparently, as the President was toasting PM May, he was explaining that she ad been the first to call him after his inauguration and Flynn interrupted to say that [Putin] had called (first, apparently). It was then that the President learned of [Putin’s] call and he confronted Flynn about it (not clear whether that was in the moment of after the lunch with PM May). Flynn said the return call was scheduled for Saturday, which prompted a heated reply from the President that six days was not an appropriate period of time to return a call from the [president] of a country like [Russia].


Since his first days as President, Trump (and Mike Flynn, until he pled guilty) has been trying to hide the true substance of the relationship he had with both Russia and Turkey.

As it happens, it appears that Turkey was the country that ultimately exploited that leverage. While Trump did little more than greet Putin at the G20 in Argentina as more details of his negotiations with Russia over a Trump Tower have become clear, he did meet with Recep Tayyip Erdogan. And he spoke with Erdogan by phone yesterday before he unexpectedly announced that American troops were withdrawing from Syria.

In the wake of yesterday’s decision, Nancy Pelosi (who as a Gang of Eight member, may know non-public information about all this) tied Trump’s announcement to the Flynn sentencing hearing and his work for Turkey; she suggested Trump had made the decision to serve his own personal or political objectives.

It is premature for the President to declare a sweeping victory against ISIS when, just a few weeks ago, our military led more than 250 coalition-conducted airstrikes against targets in Iraq and Syria. All Americans should be concerned that this hasty announcement was made on the day after sentencing in criminal proceedings began against the President’s former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who admitted that he was a registered foreign agent for a country with clear interests in the Syrian conflict.

[snip]

“When we take the gavel, our Democratic Majority will uphold the Congress’ constitutional oversight responsibilities to ensure that the President’s decisions advance our national security interests, not his personal or political objectives.


I don’t know whether Pelosi is correct (and I actually hope that we do get out of Syria, though perhaps congressional oversight can force Trump to do this in a way that doesn’t result in genocide for our longtime Kurdish allies).

But I know that when Trump ordered a guy who was still on Turkey’s payroll to initiate the negotiations that resulted in yesterday’s announcement, then tried to sustain lies those negotiations, he effectively ceded a lot of control over how negotiations would proceed to the countries that shared his and Flynn’s secrets.

And, of course, Trump’s Treasury Department also announced yesterday that it was reversing sanctions on Oleg Deripaska’s company (though not Deripaska himself).

TIMELINE
November 8, 2016: “Flynn’s” Fethullah Gulen op-ed

November 18: Elijah Cummings writes Mike Pence with concerns about conflicts in Flynn’s lobbying business

November 30: NSD contacts Flynn about registering under FARA

December 1: Flynn ends contract with Inovo

Mid-December: Reported meeting at 21 Club in NYC to discuss rendering Fethullah Gulen

December 29: Flynn discusses attending Syrian peace talks hosted by Turkey and Russia with Sergei Kislyak

January 10: Flynn asks Susan Rice to hold off on assault on Raqqa

January 11, 2017: Flynn tells DOJ he’ll “probably” be registering under FARA

January 12: David Ignatius column makes it clear FBI had intercepted Sergei Kislyak conversation discussing peace process

January 13: Based in part on White House cover story for Flynn-Kislyak call, WaPo reports discussions about participation in Astana conference

After inauguration: Flynn tells Trump Administration he will definitely register

January 21: State Department announces US Ambassador to Kazakhstan, not Flynn, will attend Russian-Turkish peace talks

January 23: Astana conference starts

January 24: Flynn interviews with FBI, and explains away the December 29 call, in part, by saying they discussed an observer to Astana

January 27: Trump tells Comey he questions Flynn’s judgment because he took six days to return a call to Vladimir Putin (he references a Putin call, the first call of congratulations from a foreign leader, but it’s not clear whether it came on January 22, 23, or 24)

January 28: Conference call with Vladimir Putin allegedly discussed on December 29

March 7: Flynn submits FARA filing that still hides true relationship with government of Turkey

December 1: Flynn pleads guilty, in part, to lying in that FARA filing

December 18, 2018: Flynn sentencing hearing

https://www.emptywheel.net/2018/12/20/w ... th-turkey/
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Re: Will Flynn bring back Yellowcake to WH Menu after 1-21-1

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Feb 19, 2019 4:24 pm

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Per whistleblowers Derek Harvey said during 1st week of Trump Admin decision to adopt IP3’s plan to develop dozens of nuclear power plants was made by Flynn during transition when he was IP3 advisor

WH staff agreed Harvey's directive could violate the law
https://assets.documentcloud.org/docume ... uclear.pdf
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Days after the inauguration IP3 officials sent docs directly to Flynn for Trump to approve including a draft Cabinet Memo stating Trump had appointed Tom Barrack as special rep\
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After Trump fired Flynn the plan continued w/Harvey, Tom Barrack & Rick Gates
https://assets.documentcloud.org/docume ... uclear.pdf

IP3 leaders stated in letter: “agreements by President Trump and Mohammed bin Salman have established the framework for our unique opportunity to take the next steps with IP3 and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” & referenced partnership to acquire Westinghouse
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A striking part in report says Deputy Nat'l Security Advisor McFarland said Trump told Barrack he could lead implementation of Middle East Marshall Plan - but Trump said Barrack could not be paid for his role

Why?

A bit like Manafort working for free?
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Jan 2018 Brookfield Business Partners, subsidiary of Brookfield Asset
Management, announced plans to buy Westinghouse Electric (part of IP3’s proposed consortium) for $4.6 billion

Brookfield Asset Management bailed out Kushner Cos 666 Fifth Ave property


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Derek Harvey who Flynn brought to NSC to run Middle East affairs and is at the center of House Oversight & Reform report today on effort to push Saudi nuclear plan - had worked for Devin Nunes and returned to work for him after McMaster fired him from NSC

This Dec 2017 story by @iarnsdorf reported on the secretive lobbying push involving Michael Flynn, Tom Barrack, Rick Gates and Iran-Contra figure Robert McFarlane - many of the details highlighted in today's report



White House May Share Nuclear Power Technology With Saudi Arabia

The overture follows an intense and secretive lobbying push involving Michael Flynn, Tom Barrack, Rick Gates and even Iran-Contra figure Robert McFarlane.

by Isaac ArnsdorfNov. 29, 2017, 1:34 p.m. EST

President Donald Trump at King Khalid International Airport on May 22, 2017, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Evan Vucci/AP Photo)
The Trump administration is holding talks on providing nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia — a move that critics say could upend decades of U.S. policy and lead to an arms race in the Middle East.

The Saudi government wants nuclear power to free up more oil for export, but current and former American officials suspect the country’s leaders also want to keep up with the enrichment capabilities of their rival, Iran.

Saudi Arabia needs approval from the U.S. in order to receive sensitive American technology. Past negotiations broke down because the Saudi government wouldn’t commit to certain safeguards against eventually using the technology for weapons.

Now the Trump administration has reopened those talks and might not insist on the same precautions. At a Senate hearing on Nov. 28, Christopher Ford, the National Security Council’s senior director for weapons of mass destruction and counterproliferation, disclosed that the U.S. is discussing the issue with the Saudi government. He called the safeguards a “desired outcome” but didn’t commit to them.

Abandoning the safeguards would set up a showdown with powerful skeptics in Congress. “It could be a hell of a fight,” one senior Democratic congressional aide said.

The idea of sharing nuclear technology with Saudi Arabia took an unlikely path to the highest levels of government. An eccentric inventor and a murky group of retired military brass — most of them with plenty of medals but no experience in commercial nuclear energy — have peddled various incarnations of the plan for years.

Many U.S. officials didn’t think the idea was serious, reputable or in the national interest. “It smelled so bad I said I never wanted to be anywhere close to that,” one former White House official said. But the proponents persisted, and finally found an opening in the chaotic early days of the Trump administration, when advisers Michael Flynn and Tom Barrack championed the idea.

The Saudis have a legitimate reason to want nuclear power: Their domestic energy demand is growing rapidly, and burning crude oil is an expensive and inefficient way to generate electricity.

There’s also an obvious political motive. Many experts believe the Saudis aren’t currently trying to develop a nuclear bomb but want to lay the groundwork to do so in case Iran develops one. “There’s no question: Why do you have a nuclear reactor in the Persian Gulf? Because you want to have some kind of nuclear contingency capability,” said Anthony Cordesman, a Middle East expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

A Saudi spokesperson provided a written statement noting that the country’s electricity needs have grown “due to our population and industrial growth.” The statement noted that “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, hence is diversifying its energy mix to serve its domestic needs in accordance with international laws and standards. The Kingdom has been actively exploring diverse energy sources for nearly the last decade to meet growing domestic demand.”

The technology for nuclear weapons is different from that for nuclear energy, but there is some overlap. The fuel for a power plant can be used for a bomb if it’s enriched to a much higher level. Also, the waste from a power plant can be reprocessed into weapons grade material. That’s why nonproliferation experts generally prefer that countries that use nuclear power buy fuel on the international market instead of doing their own enrichment and reprocessing.

In 2008, the Saudi government made a nonbinding commitment not to pursue enrichment and reprocessing. They then entered negotiations with the U.S. for a pact on peaceful nuclear cooperation, known as a 123 agreement, after a section of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954. A 123 agreement is a prerequisite for receiving American technology.

The talks stalled a few years later because the Saudi government backed away from its pledge not to pursue enrichment and reprocessing, according to current and former officials. “They wouldn’t commit, and it was a sticking point,” said Max Bergmann, a former special assistant to the undersecretary of state for arms control and international security at the time those negotiations occurred.

U.S. officials feared a domino effect. Accords with the United Arab Emirates and Egypt restrict those countries from receiving the most sensitive technologies unless the U.S. allows them in another Middle Eastern country. “If we accepted that from the Saudis, nobody else will give us legally binding commitment,” a former State Department official said.

During that same period, the Obama administration was pursuing an agreement to stop Iran’s progress toward building a nuclear bomb while letting the country keep some domestic enrichment capabilities it had already achieved. The Saudi government publicly supported the Iran deal but privately made clear they wanted to match Iran’s technology. A former official summarized the Saudi position as, “We’re going to develop this kind of technology if they have this kind of technology.”

The Obama administration held firm with the Saudis because it’s one thing to cap nuclear technology where it already exists, but it’s longstanding U.S. policy not to spread the technology to new countries. As Saudi Arabia and Iran — ideological and religious opponents — increasingly squared off in a battle for political sway in the Middle East, Republicans argued that the Obama administration had it backwards: It was enshrining hostile Iran’s ability to enrich uranium while denying the same to America’s ally Saudi Arabia.


Michael Flynn, a retired lieutenant general, at Trump Tower on Nov. 17, 2016, in New York City (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
One such critic of Obama’s Iran policy was Michael Flynn, a lieutenant general who was forced out as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014. Flynn quickly took up a variety of consulting assignments and joined some corporate boards. One of the former was an advisory position for a company called ACU Strategic Partners, which, according to a later financial disclosure, paid Flynn more than $5,000.

Flynn was one of many retired military officers whom ACU recruited. ACU’s chief was a man named Alex Copson, who is most often described in press accounts as a “colorful British-American dealmaker.” Copson reportedly made a fortune inventing a piece of diving equipment, may or may not have been a bass player in the band Iron Butterfly, and has been touting wildly ambitious nuclear-power plans since the 1980s. (He didn’t answer repeated requests for comment.)

By 2015, Copson was telling people he had a group of U.S., European, Arab and Russian companies that would build as many as 40 nuclear reactors in Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Copson’s company pitched the Obama administration, but officials figured he didn’t really have the backers he claimed. “They would say ‘We have Rolls-Royce on board,’ and then someone would ask Rolls-Royce and they would say, ‘No, we took a meeting and nothing happened,’” recalled a then-White House official.

In his role with ACU, Flynn flew to Egypt to convince officials there to hold off on a Russian offer (this one unrelated to ACU) to build nuclear power plants. Flynn tried to persuade the Egyptian government to consider Copson’s proposal instead, according to documents released by Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Flynn also tried to persuade the Israeli government to support the plan and spoke at a conference in Saudi Arabia. (The trip would later present legal problems for Flynn because he didn’t report contacts with foreign officials on his application to renew his security clearance, according to Cummings. Cummings referred the information to Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Trump’s associates and Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. Flynn’s lawyer declined to comment.)

Copson’s outfit eventually splintered. A retired admiral named Michael Hewitt, who was to head up the security services part of the project, struck out on his own in mid-2016. Flynn went with him.

Hewitt’s new company is called IP3 International, which is short for “International Peace Power & Prosperity.” IP3 signed up other prominent national security alumni including Gens. Keith Alexander, Jack Keane and James Cartwright, former Middle East envoy Dennis Ross, Bush Homeland Security adviser Fran Townsend, and Reagan National Security adviser Robert “Bud” McFarlane.

IP3’s idea was a variation on ACU’s. Hewitt swapped out one notional foreign partner for another (Russia was out, China was in), then later shifted to an all-American approach. That idea resonated with the U.S. nuclear-construction industry, which never recovered from the Three Mile Island disaster in the 1970s and was looking to new markets overseas.

But nuclear exports are tightly controlled because the technology is potentially so dangerous. A 123 agreement is only the first step for a foreign country that wants to employ U.S. nuclear-power technology. In addition, the Energy Department has to approve the transfer of technology related to nuclear reactors and fuel. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission licenses reactor equipment, and the Commerce Department reviews exports for equipment throughout the rest of the power plant.

IP3 — whose sole project to date is the Saudi nuclear plan — never went through those normal channels. Instead, the company went straight to the top.

At the start of the Trump administration, IP3 found an ally in Tom Barrack, the new president’s close friend and informal adviser and an ultra-wealthy investor in his own right. During the campaign, Barrack wrote a series of white papers proposing a new approach to the Middle East in which economic cooperation would theoretically reduce the conditions for breeding terrorism and lead to improved relations.

Barrack wasn’t familiar with nuclear power as an option for the Middle East until he heard from Bud McFarlane. McFarlane, 80, is most remembered for his role in the defining scandal of the Reagan years: secretly selling arms to Iran and using the money to support Nicaraguan rebels. He pleaded guilty to withholding information from Congress but was pardoned by George H.W. Bush.


Robert “Bud” McFarlane and Mike Flynn walk in the lobby of Trump Tower on Dec. 5, 2016, in New York. (Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images)
Nevertheless, Barrack was dazzled by McFarlane and his IP3 colleagues. “I was like a kid in a candy shop — these guys were all generals and admirals,” Barrack said in an interview. “They found an advocate in me in saying I was keen on trying to establish a realignment of U.S. business interests with the Gulf’s business interests.”

McFarlane followed up the meeting by emailing Flynn in late January, according to six people who read the message or were told about it. McFarlane attached two documents. One outlined IP3’s plan, describing it as consistent with Trump’s philosophy. The second was a draft memo for the president to sign that would officially endorse the plan and instruct his cabinet secretaries to implement it. Barrack would take charge of the project as the interagency coordinator. Barrack had discussions about becoming ambassador to Egypt or a special envoy to the Middle East but never committed to such a role. (McFarlane disputed that account but repeatedly declined to specify any inaccuracies. IP3 declined to comment on the memos.)

Flynn, now on the receiving end of IP3’s lobbying, told his staff to put together a formal proposal to present to Trump for his signature, according to current and former officials.

The seeming end run sparked alarm. National Security Council staff brought the proposal to the attention of the agency’s lawyers, five people said, because they were concerned about the plan and how it was being advanced. Ordinarily, before presenting such a sensitive proposal to the president, NSC staff would consult with experts throughout government about practical and legal concerns. Bypassing those procedures raised the risks that private interests might use the White House to their own advantage, former officials said. “Circumventing that process has the ability not only to invite decisions that aren’t fully vetted but that are potentially unwise and have the potential to put our interests and our people at risk,” said Ned Price, a former CIA analyst and NSC spokesman.

Even after those concerns were raised, Derek Harvey, then the NSC’s senior director for the Middle East, continued discussing the IP3 proposal with Barrack and his representative, Rick Gates, according to two people. Gates, a longtime associate of former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort, worked for Barrack on Trump’s inaugural committee and then for Barrack’s investment company, Colony NorthStar.


Tom Barrack, a close friend and informal adviser of President Donald Trump. During Trump's campaign, Barrack wrote white papers advocating economic cooperation as a new approach to improving relations with the Middle East. (Chris Goodney/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
By then, Barrack was no longer considering a government position. Instead, he and Gates were seeking investment ideas based on the administration’s Middle East policy. Barrack pondered the notion, for example, of buying a piece of Westinghouse, the bankrupt U.S. manufacturer of nuclear reactors. (Harvey, now on the staff of the House intelligence committee, declined to comment through a spokesman. In October, Mueller charged Manafort and Gates with 12 counts including conspiracy against the U.S., unregistered foreign lobbying, and money laundering. They both pleaded not guilty. Gates’ spokesman didn’t answer requests for comment.)

Ultimately, it wasn’t the NSC staff’s concerns that stalled IP3’s momentum. Rather, Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior aide tasked with reviving a Middle East peace process, wanted to table the nuclear question in favor of simpler alliance-building measures with the Saudis, centered on Trump’s visit in May, according to a person familiar with the discussions. (A spokesperson for Kushner, asked for comment, had not provided one at the time this article was published; we’ll update the article if he provides one later.)

In recent months, the proposal has stirred back to life as the Saudi government kicked off a formal process to solicit bids for their first reactors. In October, the Saudis sent a request for information to the U.S., France, South Korea, Russia and China — the strongest signal yet that they’re serious about nuclear power.

The Saudi solicitation also gave IP3 the problem its solution was searching for. The company pivoted again, narrowing its pitch to organizing a consortium of U.S. companies to compete for the Saudi tender. IP3 won’t say which companies it has signed up. IP3 also won’t discuss the fees it hopes to receive if it were part of a Saudi nuclear plan, but it’s vying to supply cyber and physical site security for the plants. “IP3 has communicated its strategy to multiple government entities and policy makers in both the Obama and Trump administrations,” the company said in a statement. “We view these meetings and any documents relating to them as private, and we won’t discuss them.”

The Saudi steps lit a fire under administration officials. Leading the charge is Rick Perry, the energy secretary who famously proposed eliminating the department and then admitted he didn’t understand its function. (It includes dealing with nuclear power and weapons.) Perry had also heard IP3’s pitch, a person familiar with the situation said. In September, Perry met with Saudi delegates to an international atomic energy conference and discussed energy cooperation, according to a photo posted on his Facebook page. Perry’s spokeswoman didn’t answer requests for comment.

Other steps followed. Soon after, a senior State Department official flew to Riyadh to restart formal 123 negotiations, according to an industry source. (A State Department spokeswoman declined to comment.) In November, Energy and State Department officials joined a commercial delegation to Abu Dhabi led by the Nuclear Energy Institute, the industry’s main lobby in Washington. Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy Edward McGinnis said the administration wants to revitalize the U.S. nuclear energy industry, including by pursuing exports to Saudi Arabia. The Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration and the Energy Department are organizing another industry visit in December to meet with Saudi officials, according to a notice obtained by ProPublica. And in the days before Thanksgiving, senior U.S. officials from several agencies met at the White House to discuss the policy, according to current and former officials.


Trump talks on the phone with King Salman of Saudi Arabia, with Jared Kushner and Michael Flynn nearby, on Jan. 29, 2017, in Washington, D.C. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)
The Trump administration hasn’t stated a position on whether it will let the Saudis have enrichment and reprocessing technology. An NSC spokesman declined to comment. But administration officials have begun sounding out advisers on how Congress might react to a deal that gives the Saudis enrichment and reprocessing, a person familiar with the discussions said.

Senators have started demanding answers. At the Nov. 28 hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Ford, the NSC nonproliferation official who has been nominated to lead the State Department’s Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, testified that preliminary talks with the Saudis are underway but declined to discuss the details in public. As noted, Ford wouldn’t commit to barring the Saudi government from obtaining enrichment and reprocessing technology. “It remains U.S. policy, as it has been for some time, to seek the strongest possible nonproliferation protections in every instance,” he told the senators. “It is not a legal requirement. It is a desired outcome.” Ford added that the Iran deal makes it harder to insist on limiting other countries’ capabilities.

Sen. Ed Markey, the Massachusetts Democrat who led the questioning of Ford on this topic, seemed highly resistant to the idea of the U.S. helping Saudi Arabia get nuclear technology. “If we continue down this pathway,” he said, “then there’s a recipe for disaster which we are absolutely creating ourselves.” Markey also accused the administration of neglecting its statutory obligation to brief the committee on the negotiations. (The White House declined to comment.)

Any agreement, in this case with Saudi Arabia, would not require Senate approval. However, should an agreement be reached, Congress could kill the deal. The two houses would have 90 days to pass a joint resolution disapproving it. The committee’s ranking Democrat, Ben Cardin, suggested they wouldn’t accept a deal that lacked the same protections as the ones in the UAE’s agreement. “If we don’t draw a line in the Middle East, it’s going to be all-out proliferation,” he said. “We need to maintain the UAE’s standards in our 123 agreements. There’s just too many other countries that could start proliferating issues that could be against our national interest.”

Bob Corker, the committee’s chairman, has been a stickler on nonproliferation in the past; he criticized the Obama administration for not being tough enough. Corker isn’t running for reelection and has criticized Trump for being immature and reckless in foreign affairs, so he’s unlikely to shy away from a fight. (A spokesman declined to comment.) “The absence of a consistent policy weakens our nuclear nonproliferation efforts, and sends a mixed message to those nations we seek to prevent from gaining or enhancing such capability,” Corker said at a hearing in 2014. “Which standards can we expect the administration to reach for negotiating new agreements with Jordan or Saudi Arabia?”
https://www.propublica.org/article/whit ... udi-arabia


Flynn-backed plan to transfer nuclear tech to Saudis may have broken laws, say whistleblowers


WASHINGTON — Whistleblowers from within President Donald Trump's National Security Council have told a congressional committee that efforts by former national security adviser Michael Flynn to transfer sensitive nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia may have violated the law, and investigators fear Trump is still considering it, according to a new report obtained by NBC News.

The House Oversight Committee has formally opened an investigation into the matter, releasing an interim staff report that adds new details to previous public accounts of how Flynn sought to push through the nuclear proposal on behalf of a group he had once advised. Tom Barrack, a prominent Trump backer with business ties to the Middle East, also became involved in the project, the report says.

Just days after Trump's inauguration, backers of the project sent documents to Flynn for Trump to approve, including a draft Cabinet memo stating that the president had appointed Barrack as a special representative to implement the plan and directing agencies to support Barrack's efforts, the report says.

Career national security officials objected to the plan, citing what they deemed Flynn's conflict of interest, and also that the proposal sought to bypass a policy review that is required whenever nuclear technology is transferred to another country, the report says.

The proposal, which involved enlisting the U.S. nuclear power industry to build nuclear plants across the Middle East, was backed by a group of retired generals who formed a firm called IP3. Flynn described himself in financial disclosure filings as an "advisor" to a subsidiary of IP3, IronBridge Group Inc., from June 2016 to December 2016 — at the same time he was serving as Trump's national security adviser during the presidential campaign and the presidential transition, the report says.

The report quotes one senior Trump official as saying that the proposal was "not a business plan," but rather "a scheme for these generals to make some money," and added, "OK, you know we cannot do this."

Click here to read the House Oversight Committee report.

"The whistleblowers who came forward have expressed significant concerns about the potential procedural and legal violations connected with rushing through a plan to transfer nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia," the report says.

"They have warned of conflicts of interest among top White House advisers that could implicate federal criminal statutes. They have also warned about a working environment inside the White House marked by chaos, dysfunction, and backbiting."

The Oversight Committee, led by Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said its investigation of the plan "is particularly critical because the administration's efforts to transfer sensitive U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia appear to be ongoing."

On Feb. 12, the report notes, Trump met with nuclear power developers at the White House about sharing nuclear technology with countries in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia. Next week Trump son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner is set to embark on a tour of Middle Eastern capitals — including Riyadh — to discuss the economic portion of the administration's Middle East peace plan.

"Experts worry that transferring sensitive U.S. nuclear technology could allow Saudi Arabia to produce nuclear weapons that contribute to the proliferation of nuclear arms throughout an already unstable Middle East," the report says.

Marshall Plan for the Middle East

The proposal, dubbed by its backers a "Middle East Marshall Plan," involved IP3 International, which is short for "International Peace Power & Prosperity." Among those involved with IP3, according to published reports, were Gens. Keith Alexander, Jack Keane and James Cartwright; former Middle East envoy Dennis Ross; George W. Bush homeland security adviser Fran Townsend; and Robert "Bud" McFarlane, who was one of Ronald Reagan's national security advisers. Keane was considered by Trump for secretary of defense.

The House oversight report says whistleblowers told the committee that one of Flynn's top aides, Derek Harvey — who was the senior director for Middle East and North African Affairs at the National Security Council from January to July 2017 — stated during the first week of the Trump administration that Flynn had already decided to adopt IP3's nuclear plan and develop "dozens of nuclear power plants."

Seven days after the inauguration — and two days before a scheduled call with King Salman of Saudi Arabia — Harvey met in his office at the White House with a group of retired generals who work for IP3, including its co-founders, Keane and McFarlane, the report says.

Immediately after the meeting, Harvey directed the NSC staff to add information about IP3's "plan for 40 nuclear power plants" to the briefing package for Trump's call with King Salman.

The report says career staff warned that any transfer of nuclear technology must comply with the Atomic Energy Act, and that the United States and Saudi Arabia would need to reach what is known as a "123 Agreement," which would lay out how Saudi Arabia should comply with nonproliferation requirements.

"Harvey reportedly ignored these warnings and insisted that the decision to transfer nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia had already been made," the report says.

Both career and political staff inside the White House agreed that Harvey's directive could violate the law, the report says.

According to whistleblowers, the National Security Council's ethics lawyer determined that Flynn's involvement could violate the criminal conflict of interest statute, the report says. As a result, NSC legal adviser John Eisenberg instructed NSC staff to cease all work on the plan.

But Harvey continued to pursue the matter, the report says, even after Flynn had been fired in February 2017 for lying to the FBI.

Harvey stated during a meeting on March 2, 2017: "I speak with Michael Flynn every night," the report says.

In mid-March 2017, deputy national security adviser K.T. McFarland reportedly stated during a meeting that Trump told Barrack that he could lead the implementation of the plan, the report says.

Harvey subsequently held a conference call with Barrack and Rick Gates, Trump's former deputy campaign manager and deputy chairman of the Inaugural Committee, who has pleaded guilty to crimes and is cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller.

At the time, Gates had been hired by Barrack to manage the Washington office of Barrack's company. A career NSC staffer who joined the call later told colleagues that Harvey was trying to promote the IP3 plan "so that Jared Kushner can present it to the president for approval," the report says.

Flynn's replacement, H.R. McMaster, ultimately ordered the council to cease all work on the matter, the report says. He fired Harvey, who is now a minority staffer for the House Intelligence Committee.

Inaugural Committee chairman Tom Barrack speaks at at a pre-Inaugural "Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration" at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on Jan. 19, 2017.David J. Phillip / AP file
The report raises further questions about Flynn, who is awaiting sentencing as he cooperates with Mueller. It says Flynn failed to report in his security clearance renewal application a trip he took to Saudi Arabia in June 2015 on behalf of IP3 and its predecessor company. Although he reported a separate trip to Saudi Arabia in October 2015, Flynn omitted key details, the report says, including the identity of the client that financed the trip.

Flynn claimed he spoke at a conference during the trip, but none of his three speakers' bureaus had any involvement with the trip or knew of any conference there, the report says. Flynn told investigators that he stayed at the King Khaled International Hotel, but a U.S. consulate official could not identify any such hotel in Saudi Arabia, the report says.

Both Republicans and Democrats in Congress have expressed concerns about transferring nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia, the report notes.

In October, Republican Senators Marco Rubio, Todd Young, Cory Gardner, Rand Paul, and Dean Heller sent a letter to Trump urging him to "suspend talks related to a potential civil nuclear cooperation agreement between the United States and Saudi Arabia" due to "serious concerns about the transparency, accountability, and judgment of current decisionmakers in Saudi Arabia."

They said they were concerned that "the Saudi Government has refused, for many years, to consider any agreement that includes so-called 'Gold Standard' requirements against pursuing technologies to enrich uranium and reprocess plutonium-laden spent nuclear fuel."

The House Oversight Committee is sending requests for additional documents to the White House and the Departments of Commerce, Defense, Energy, State, and Treasury, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the CIA, and companies involved with this effort, including IP3, the Flynn Intel Group, ACU Strategies, and Colony NorthStar, the report says.

The committee is also seeking interviews with the key people involved with promoting this plan to the White House.

The White House, Harvey and an attorney for Flynn did not immediately respond to NBC News requests for comment.

Ken Dilanian is a national security reporter for the NBC News Investigative Unit.
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congre ... en-n973021
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Re: Will Flynn bring back Yellowcake to WH Menu after 1-21-1

Postby seemslikeadream » Wed Feb 20, 2019 9:17 am

Did Jared Kushner benefit from a White House scheme to sell nuclear power plants to Saudi Arabia?

Top officials, including former national security adviser H.R. McMaster, reportedly warned against doing so

Brad Reed
A new report issued by House Democrats this week claims that key Trump administration appointees overrode the objections of top national security officials and attorneys to promote the sale of nuclear power plants to Saudi Arabia — and these sales could have directly benefited Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Per the Washington Post, the report, which was issued on Tuesday by House Oversight Committee chairman Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), claims that top national security officials including former national security adviser H.R. McMaster warned the administration against plans to sell nuclear power plants to the Saudis.

These national officials called for a halt to such sales in 2017 and cited “potential conflicts of interest, national security risks and legal hurdles.”

Despite this, however, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and other Trump appointees continued to push the sales of nuclear power to the Saudis.

Of particular interest in the report is the revelation that the Saudi nuke sales could have benefited Kushner, whose family in 2017 was desperate to secure investment capital at a troubled property in Manhattan.

“The Cummings report notes that one of the power plant manufacturers that could benefit from a nuclear deal, Westinghouse Electric, is a subsidiary of Brookfield Asset Management, the company that provided financial relief to the family of Jared Kushner,” the Post writes. “Brookfield Asset Management took a 99-year lease on the family’s deeply indebted New York City property at 666 Fifth Avenue.”
https://www.salon.com/2019/02/19/did-ja ... a_partner/






Trump's administration reportedly looked for ways to help Saudi Arabia build a nuclear weapon



President Donald Trump's administration has done several secretive and highly suspicious activities that suggest the US is now clearing a path for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to build a nuclear bomb.

The House Committee on Oversight and Reform released a report on Tuesday based on information from whistleblowers, who said his administration has planned to build nuclear power plants in Saudi Arabia since day one.

These whistleblowers said Trump's officials also wanted to brush aside laws that would ban Saudi Arabia from using the nuclear technology transfer to build bombs.

New evidence suggests Saudi Arabia is building ballistic missiles, which it would also need for nuclear weapons, and the US hasn't responded to it.

President Donald Trump's administration has done several secretive and highly suspicious activities that suggest the US is now clearing a path for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to build a nuclear bomb.

The House Committee on Oversight and Reform released a report on Tuesday with whistleblowers saying Trump administration officials tried to transfer sensitive nuclear secrets to one of the world's last true monarchies.

"The Trump Administration's interactions with Saudi Arabia have been shrouded in secrecy, raising significant questions about the nature of the relationship," the report said, citing Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner's close relationship with the Saudi royal family and Trump's response to the killing of the Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi.

Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal with Iran, which prevented Saudi Arabia's bitter regional rival from seeking a nuclear weapon, in 2017, saying it went against US interests.

Since then, the International Atomic Energy Agency, which monitors Iran's nuclear programs, has consistently reported that Iran is not working on a nuclear weapon.

But Trump and his top administration officials routinely dismiss US intelligence reports that conclude Iran is not working on a nuclear weapon.

Read more: The White House burns the intelligence community again with a threatening message to Iran

In responding to the killing of Khashoggi, Trump appeared willing to accept Saudi Arabia's version of events despite a "high confidence" assessment from the CIA that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had ordered the killing.

"Saudi Arabia does not want to acquire any nuclear bomb, but without a doubt, if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible," the Saudi crown prince said in 2018.

Trump's plans to nuclearize Saudi Arabia go back to day 1

George Frey/Getty Images
From the report:

"Derek Harvey, the Senior Director for Middle East and North African Affairs at the National Security Council (NSC) from January to July 2017, stated during the first week of the Trump Administration that the decision to adopt [a business plan to build nuclear power plants in Saudi Arabia] ... which it called the Middle East Marshall Plan, and develop 'dozens of nuclear power plants' had already been made by General [Michael] Flynn during the transition—while he was serving as an advisor to IP3 [the company that proposed the business plan]."
Former national security adviser Michael Flynn later pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and became the first of many Trump officials indicted and sentenced over undisclosed ties to foreign powers. Flynn reportedly also failed to disclose a 2015 trip to Saudi Arabia to explore building nuclear power plants jointly with Russia.

The whistleblowers went on to say that the career staff for Derek Harvey, the former Senior Director for Middle East and North African Affairs at the National Security Council, warned him that any nuclear technology transferred to Saudi Arabia would need to reach a "123 Agreement," or a requirement in the US's Atomic Energy Act that would demand the Saudis agree to nine nuclear nonproliferation clauses.

Read more: 'Atrocities in America are equal, or worse': Trump confidant defends Saudi Arabia's Khashoggi murder

Basically, the US could legally transfer nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia if the Saudis agreed to keep the material safe, let inspectors check on it, and never use it to make a nuclear weapon.

Harvey's staff reportedly warned him he couldn't get around this law, but "Mr. Harvey reportedly ignored these warnings and insisted that the decision to transfer nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia had already been made."

"Both career and political staff inside the White House reportedly agreed that Mr. Harvey's directive could violate the law. One senior political official stated that the proposal was 'not a business plan,' but rather 'a scheme for these generals to make some money,'" the report continued.

After Flynn had been replaced at the National Security Council, his successor, H.R. McMaster, canceled the plan, according to the report.

Turning a blind eye to missiles, too?

Saudi Arabia's missile defense system intercepts several missiles fired from rebel-Houthis.
Screenshot via Twitter/Rosie Perper
As the whistleblowers described it, Trump's officials tried to provide the Saudis with a clear path to a nuclear warhead by transferring nuclear technology to them with no strings attached on how they could use it.

But nuclear warheads represent only half the puzzle for fully functional nuclear weapons: A country also needs missiles to carry them. And there again, Trump's administration has appeared hospitable.

An expert analysis of satellite imagery has exposed suspected ballistic-missile production sites, something that the US would normally oppose.
https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-o ... ons-2019-2



More
House Oversight interim report troubling about Flynn NSC aide Derek Harvey continuing nuclear project weeks after ordered to stand down 1/



Knew Harvey went to HPSCI/nunes staff after fired from NSC in 2017. Asked where Harvey is now, House oversight said would get back to me. 2/

House Intel Dem majority said decline to comment. HPSCI GOP minority (read Nunes) did not respond. Understand Harvey still there 3/

Wonder for people like Harvey seemingly driven crosseyed by Obama withdrawing from Iraq, what they think abt Trump rush for exits in Syria.

Remember going to one NSC press event in january/feb 2017 day Flynn made threat to Iran, Harvey was backgrounding. someone asking them

if it had occurred to them to try to talk to Iran, like their predecessors had done, rather than just issue statements via the press.

this was before it seemed there was anyone non military or non ex military in trump security brain trust who that had ever occurred to

anyhow, got brief 1st hand glimpse of harvey &cadre of people flynn brought in & thr obessions. Harvey main obsession seemed hatred of Obama

the degree to which crazy assed hatred of obama was organizing principle for flynn & people he brought in to NSC—hard to state

and the give saudis nuke technology to counterveil Obama/Iran deal seems to be the context for the disturbing House oversight report

see the march 2017 supposed tom barrack white paper fran townsend forwarded to the nsc. all about eradicating obama last 8 yrs
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https://twitter.com/lrozen/status/1098059448189440006
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Re: Will Flynn bring back Yellowcake to WH Menu after 1-21-1

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:00 pm

funny....was Billy Barr in Italy looking for some yellowcake :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

worked so well for Bush/Cheney

The Niger uranium forgeries were forged documents initially released in 2001 by SISMI (Italian military intelligence)


and of course right on schedule Mike Ledeen who was involved in the Yellowcake

Per a new DOJ filing, a Senate GOP aide (apparently writing on behalf of a House GOP aide) was trying to feed Flynn's old attorneys ideas, based on the House Russia probe, on what should happen next in his case
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Flynn’s New Lawyer Asked Barr Directly To Throw Out Flynn’s Case
Tierney Sneed

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 24: President Donald Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn leaves the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse on June 24, 2019 in Washington, DC. criminal sentencing for Flynn wi... MORE
Before she had officially notified the court that she was taking up Michael Flynn’s defense, Flynn attorney Sidney Powell wrote to Attorney General Bill Barr in June asking that he throw out Flynn’s prosecution.

The June 6 letter, which Powell sent without telling Flynn’s initial team of lawyers, asked Barr to remove the prosecutors — many of them members of special counsel Robert Mueller’s team — who had been on Flynn’s case and to review their investigation into President Trump’s former national security advisor.

The letter — in calling for a re-examination for “possible corruption of our beloved government institutions” — asked Barr to take seven separate steps in total:



The Justice Department revealed the letter in a court filing Tuesday that batted down Powell’s allegations in an ongoing discovery dispute that the prosecutors were improperly withholding evidence helpful to Flynn.

“Since the beginning of their involvement, the defendant’s new counsel have sought to get the charges dropped, professed their client’s actual innocence, and perpetuated conspiracy theories, all while stating that the defendant does not intend to withdraw his guilty plea,” the prosecutors said.

Powell is requesting a court order demanding that the Justice Department hand over swaths of information ostensibly related to the origins of the Russia investigation. She is also requesting that the prosecutors be held in contempt.

Most of her document requests are at best irrelevant to Flynn’s case — in which he pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts — and often appeared to be fueled by conspiracy theories peddled by President Trump’s allies.

The Justice Department argued that many of the same discovery requests Powell is making now were floated in her nine-page plea to Barr that Flynn’s case be dropped.

“Despite recently professing to the Court that they still need ‘a significant amount of time’ to complete their review of information … defendant’s new counsel needed no time to request that the case be dismissed and the prosecutors removed,” the Tuesday filing said. “Defense counsel did not need to complete their review of the facts to make their request, because their request did not rely on facts.”

The Justice Department filing disclosed evidence that Republican Hill aides reached out to Flynn’s old attorney to feed him information about his case that, if brought up in court, could play well on Fox News. It also debunked claims about the DOJ officials linked to the Russia probe made by far-right media outlets and parroted back by the President and his supporters.

Powell’s current request, the prosecutors said, is “a fishing expedition in hopes of advancing conspiracy theories related to the U.S. government’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.”

According to the filing, Robert Kelner, the Flynn lawyer who oversaw his plea and represented him until earlier this summer, was emailed in December 2018 by Barbara Ledeen, a GOP Senate Judiciary staffer. Ledeen’s message said she was writing on behalf Derek Harvey, a GOP staffer on the House Intelligence Committee.

Ledeen was previously called out in Mueller’s report for working with Flynn in 2016 to find Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails. Harvey, meanwhile, is a Flynn ally who was ousted from the National Security Council by Flynn’s successor H.R. McMaster before joining the House Intelligence Committee.

Ledeen told Kelner that the judge should request the transcripts from the House committee interviews of former FBI Director James Comey and Peter Strzok, the agent who interviewed Flynn and who later came under fire for anti-Trump texts sent in 2016.

The transcripts would show that the FBI officials didn’t think Flynn had lied in that fateful interview, the message claimed, and, even if the judge didn’t request their release, then-House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) “wanted to get it out there on Fox tonight.”



Kelner, citing the plea agreement, forwarded the message to the prosecutors on Flynn’s case.



The Justice Department also suggested on Tuesday that Harvey had told Kelner that former FBI Director Andrew McCabe had said to other FBI officials that “First we f**k Flynn, then we f**k Trump.” Powell is now seeking discovery on that claim, despite the repeated denials from the Justice Department, which says it investigated the allegation twice and provided Flynn with reports from those investigations.

“Despite possessing all of this information, defense counsel has again resurrected the false allegations, now for a fourth time,” the Justice Department said Tuesday.

The filing calls out at length the Fox News Business appearances Powell has done hyping up her quest to get Flynn’s case dropped.

Powell and Flynn “are in search of a result, not the facts” the prosecutors said, pointing to her remarks of Fox News Business claiming that Flynn “should be completely exonerated.”

Read the filing below:
https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker ... -discovery


Adam Goldman


Prosecutors dismiss @SidneyPowell1's Brady accusations:

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Adam Goldman

More from prosecutors

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Prosecutors suggested strongly they are gonna ask the judge to send Flynn to prison.

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I don't think Strzok ever testified in front of HPSCI. Barbara Ledeen's husband, Michael Ledeen, co-authored a book with Flynn. She works for Grassley and was involved in effort to find HRC missing emails. https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-des ... eign-state

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Reminder that Derek Harvey works for @DevinNunes

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Rob Rainbolt

Replying to @adamgoldmanNYT @SidneyPowell1
That might interfere with his speaking engagements on the Republican Traitor Circuit.
https://twitter.com/adamgoldmanNYT/stat ... 4154619909


emptywheel


The govt's memo on why Flynn is full of shit makes a point I had: Brady is not impeachment.

https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov ... 22.0_3.pdf
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The govt confirms that it gave Flynn Page-Strzok texts abt Flynn that are not public.

I'm betting those aren't terribly flattering to the General, or they'd already be public.


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Another point I made: passing a poly b4 you go on a crime spree does not mean you haven't gone on a crime spree.

Flynn is effectively saying he was an honest man until he started working for Trump, which might even be true (but evidence instead suggests he's just a good liar).


[img]‏https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EF0KE_OXoAAI866.png[/img]

This timing is important. Rather than asking for specific classified information (even the Kislyak transcripts) which might be helpful, Powell just threw a fit.

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Some of the interview reports Flynn claims to want are ones that Sullivan read ex parte versions of just before he asked if Flynn had committed treason. I'm guessing Sullivan agrees those are not "helpful to the defense."
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This response seems to confirm there never was a FISA targeting Flynn.
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But this seems to be consistent with informants being used against Flynn in 2015 (before he was on the campaign, notably).

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This one there will be follow-up on. Powell is asking something ZERO defendants get--all comms about them (and there's no reason to believe Flynn got caught in Page's wiretap). DOJ is answering about Strzok alone.

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DOJ suggests that some of Flynn's briefings on his foreign contacts to DIA were inculpatory.

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This is consistent with Joseph Mifsud being at the RT dinner where Putin chatted up Flynn.
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Every time DOJ discusses whether Flynn was an agent of Russia, they modify it by saying "in this case." Which PROBABLY is a reference to suspicions in a differently predicated case, but might not be.

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They'll probably come back to this one, too. Flynn wants evidence of selective prosecution. It would never be enough to do him any good, but he might get some of this.

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DOJ says the actual Kislyak transcripts are not favorable to Flynn. Flynn's going to demand them, Sullivan will review them, and then decide Flynn's an even bigger asshole.

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This response in response to a request for Heather Hunt's notes is interesting given the outcome of the Greg Craig trial.

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This is an interesting distinction given the outcome of the Kian trial. It's not that Flynn didn't want to register under FARA. it's that he lied when he did.

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For those responding to my WAY earlier tweet abt Powell trying to get impeachment under Brady, here the govt states flat out they don't have to provide Giglio under Sullivan's order. It's possibly Sullivan will challenge that interpretation, but could not make bad faith case.

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Soo much of Sidney Powell's secret (and unethical) letter to Bill Barr actually hurts Flynn. Flynn was the one person Obama warned Trump against, Trump hired him, and Flynn confirmed those concerns.

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Not only does this claim things that are in direct contradiction to the public record, but it actually hurts Flynn, by suggesting that he perceived Strzok as a friend.

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Powell was more explicit in her letter to Barr she was really looking for Giglio, not Brady. Sullivan will likely take note of this.

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These are interesting claims from Sidney Powell, especially from someone representing a client who got fired from DIA for cause.

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Powell complains that her client wasn't informed he was being investigated for CI reasons which ... isn't how it works.

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Here's Powell, either lying outright to the Attorney General, or proving she's bitching about something she already had.

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Oh, two paragraphs later Powell makes it clear which it was. She was lying. She knew that Powell was told abt Strzok before hand, but claimed anyway that he wasn't told until it became public.

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Here's the explanation Powell made to Barr (but not to Sullivan) explaining why she thought she was entitled to Carter Page's FISA app.
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https://twitter.com/emptywheel/status/1 ... 0057688066
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