Mueller to Team Flynn: Nobody Made Michael Flynn Lie to the FBI

Special Counsel delivered a rebuke to Michael Flynn's legal team, who suggested their client was a victim.

You are a grown man!

At least, that’s what it appears special counsel Robert Mueller is saying to former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

So it went like this: Earlier this week, Flynn’s attorneys filed paperwork with the courts, asking that their client receive no jail time for his crimes.

That would likely be fine with special counsel, considering the help he has given them was such that they’ve been willing to cut him a major break.

Unfortunately, Flynn and his attorneys don’t know how to leave well enough alone. They didn’t just ask for no jail time.

The filing also suggested he had been tricked by the FBI into lying to agents in his January 2017 interview. The filing has fed a theory among some conservatives that Flynn had been wrongly led to commit a crime.

C’mon. The man is a retired United States Army Lieutenant General. He can be so easily tricked into saying something that isn’t true, knowing it would get him into trouble?

He can cry now, if he wants to, but Mueller, who has remained relatively quiet in the face of a lot of attacks against his work, as well as his character, is actually clapping back.

“Nothing about the way the interview was arranged or conducted caused the defendant to make false statements to the FBI on January 24,” Mueller wrote in a filing Friday afternoon, asking a federal judge to reject Flynn’s attempt to “minimize the seriousness of those false statements to the FBI.”

“The defendant chose to make false statements about his communications with the Russian ambassador weeks before the FBI interview, when he lied about that topic to the media, the incoming Vice President, and other members of the Presidential Transition Team,” Mueller wrote.

“When faced with the FBI’s question on January 24, during an interview that was voluntary and cordial, the defendant repeated the same false statements,” he continued. “The Court should reject the defendant’s attempt to minimize the seriousness of those false statements to the FBI.”

This is true. Flynn’s first lie came long before the Russia probe heated up, or before special counsel was appointed.

Flynn made it all of three weeks as national security adviser, before he was forced out of Trump’s administration for lying to Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with the Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Pence then went on national television to defend Flynn, so he ended up looking like a dope.

Special counsel was appointed in May 2017, and Flynn pleaded guilty in December 2017, agreeing to cooperate with the investigation.

The information he has given has been such that special counsel praised his cooperation and asked for the most lenient sentence possible, given the crimes he has pleaded guilty to.

But, however, that doesn’t mean Mueller is going to let his team look like bullies, or that he’s going to let Flynn’s legal team paint his crimes as of no consequence.

Flynn’s attorneys Robert Kelner and Stephen Anthony earlier this week portrayed their client as a victim of the FBI agents who interviewed him.

They wrote that the agents “did not provide General Flynn with a warning of the penalties for making a false statement” under federal law and cited memos in which agents described Flynn as “unguarded” and viewing “the FBI agents as allies" in the interview.

So he has to be warned not to lie?

How about not lying, for the sake of truth, alone? Shouldn’t that be enough?

One of the FBI agents mentioned in the filings by Flynn’s attorneys was Peter Strzok, the agent that has caught massive amounts of grief for text messages he shared with his mistress, FBI attorney, Lisa Page, that were critical of Donald Trump.

Flynn’s attorneys are asking that the courts consider all of this, while evaluating the seriousness of his crimes.

Meanwhile, Trump has joined the fray, himself, tweeting out on Thursday that the FBI had first told Flynn that he’d done nothing wrong, but that they were “overrode” by somebody. In fact, he tweeted, the FBI officials that interviewed Flynn noted that there were no changes in his posture or tone that would indicate he knew he was lying.

He also went on to suggest that Flynn was offered a lenient sentence from Mueller and company because they were embarrassed by how the FBI treated him.

Mueller said it just isn’t the case. None of it is true.

“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 wrote.

See? That’s what I said!

“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.”

That seems like common sense.

“The interviewing agents did not observe indicia of deception and had the impression at that time that the defendant was not lying or did not think he was lying,” Mueller wrote.

“Members of the Presidential Transition Team were likewise misled by the defendant’s false denials. Those misimpressions do not change the fact—as the defendant has admitted in sworn testimony to the District Court—that he was indeed lying, and knowingly made false statements to FBI agents in a national security investigation,” he wrote.

Yeah, it’s kinda hard to wiggle out of the facts.

Flynn’s lawyers asked for something called 302s, which is a summary of the interviews with the FBI.

Mueller provided those, although they were heavily redacted.

Comments
No. 1-18
Still Jules
Still Jules

So much noise, so little information.

What did Flynn actually "lie" about? I don't know, and I doubt that anyone here does, either. That is because so little actual INFORMATION has come out.

He "lobbied" for Turkey. How? At what point does advocating for a policy that might be beneficial to a nation, or a person of that nation, cross the line from merely suggesting that it would be a good thing into actual, legal, "lobbying"? And how do we know with absolute certainty that a man knows he has crossed that line? And what about promoting causes beneficial to an international ally could be construed as "treason"? Isn't treason an act against your own country? Did Flynn advocate for something beneficial to Turkey that was harmful to the United States?

Nobody knows. I want to know exactly what he DID when he advocated, to some degree, in some way, for something Turkey found desirable. I want to know if that advocacy crossed any lines. I want to know if Flynn knew it crossed any lines. I want to know if questioning made it clear that he was expected to analyze his behavior to determine if it met certain criteria before saying it didn't, if at that time he truly hadn't made that determination. And so on.

We can't just look at what he said on one day and compare it to what he said on another, and conclude that on either date he was lying. A lie is a purposeful intent to deceive. It is not a casual response to a question that has an underlying seriousness not perceived at the moment, a question that might elicit a different answer after more thought is given to it.

As for "admitting" to something, I have been in a situation where I was in the right but the battle would have bankrupted me and my company, so I settled in spite of knowing that I could have won on the law, on the facts, but had to weigh the costs of doing so. In my case, I was up against a corrupt judge, not several federal agencies, but I know from experience what it feels like to be faced with the power of the State in a rigged encounter. A "victory" that costs everything is not much of a victory, and a battle against the massed might of several federal agencies with a clear agenda to destroy all who have been allied with Donald Trump is a battle to be avoided.

And this is increasingly clearly the strategy of the Left---to attack on all fronts, to make association with Trump such a terrifying decision that people are actually afraid to work with him, to slash at the underpinnings of his administration, to implement the policy of stripping him of the support any president has to have regarding staff and appointments, while at the same time using/abusing the power of the State to go after him in non-political areas such as his foundation and his family.

The Left is waging a nuclear war on Trump and is perfectly willing to take out all in his sphere of influence to destroy him, as well as undermine our electoral process and weaken the nation in so many ways. There is literally not a single outcome desired by the Left in this onslaught that can possibly be of benefit to the United States.

GRC1
GRC1

The issue being posited by LTG Flynn's attorneys isn't about him not lying, or about how he was supposedly "gamed" into lying. He should know better. The bigger issue is that lying to federal agents as a federal crime is where things went off the tracks. I don't think any of the actual investigators are "embarrassed" at their treatment of Flynn or any of the other people who appear to have been coerced into pleading guilty to "crimes" that are unrelated to the supposed investigation. My personal opinion is that the overall bootstrapping of charges to get witnesses to bootstrap other things in order to bootstrap yet other unrelated events, for process crimes, leads backward - to the lies used by investigators in order to obtain warrants, because even if the President is impeached, and even if somehow convicted (very unlikely), if the President is then not charged with anything after removal from office (Article 1, section 3, last para.), then his opponents will be the ones who are ultimately accused of overplaying their hand.

RobertSmith9942
RobertSmith9942

Hillary Clinton lied to the FBi and no on cares.

Why is that???

Dr. Maturin
Dr. Maturin

So the Judge has spoken. Seems like he agrees with Susan:

“This is a very — serious — offense,” Sullivan said. “A high-ranking senior official of the government making false statements to the Federal Bureau of the Investigation while on the physical premises of the White House.”

So much for the idea that lying to the FBI about something it already knows about isn't a crime.

Bpearson
Bpearson

It's always easier after the fact to write this stuff, but too, way more enjoyable. As i sit awaiting the judges's decision on Mike Flynn, we now know far more than when Susan wrote this article and so many commented.

Best of all, Flynn and his attorneys were tossed the golden ring attached to the Trojan horse by Trump, Fox News and several others...entrapment. The attorneys went down that rabbit hole and the judge quickly bought into the potential of wrong doing.

In an effort to be fair he offered Flynn the opportunity to recant his guilty plea. Oops, not so fast, tweets and news reports and right wing blogs have nothing to lose by yammering on. Flynn does, and he accepted his fate given his actions.

Now it's up to the judge and all the other noise being made by those around him matters not.