When Did Flynn Initiate Contact?

If Flynn initiated contact during the transition, there is not the same apparent, rapid path to impeachment.

Mike Flynn is prepared to testify that President Trump told him to initiate contact with the Russians. It seems the timing is a relevant question before we start talking about impeachment.

If President Trump asked Flynn to initiate the contact during the transition, there really is no crime readily apparent. The incoming administration is allowed to start talking to foreign leaders.

But if this happened on the campaign trail and was related to campaign activity, including the Clinton emails, Podesta emails, or the like, then I think we do run straight into the impeachment buzz saw. If a political campaign was seeking foreign involvement in the campaign (and this is what Democrats think), that campaign needs to be burned to the ground.

Again, though, based on the information circulating right now, it appears the contact happened during the transition. Why transition team officials lied about it is beyond me and they should certainly be punished for lying. But I do not see why a Presidential transition cannot start talking to foreign leaders.

What is so amazing here is the historic issue we are dealing with. It is always the coverup and never the crime. There is a real reminder there that everyone should be honest. And that still leaves the question of when this conversation with the President about contact with Russians took place.

I'm curious why he decided to lie to the FBI... I suspect that it has more to do with who was asking the questions and in what context. Nevertheless, I still believe this is a nothing burger that will, in time prove to have been nothing more than a giant distraction to keep us talking about an election that is over.

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Never, Ever, Ever talk to any Federal Agent without a Lawyer present! And, then only if necessary!

One other matter of concern, regardless of the details: If true in any capacity that Trump, etc. reached out to the Russians, he shouldn't have so categorically denied doing so. (My understanding is that Trump said these things never happened, correct?) If he attempted to initiate contact, and it was legal, his retort should have been, "Yes, I did it; there is nothing illegal about that, and I did it for the following reasons ...". His response should not have been, "It never happened." Unless it's for undeniable national security reasons, the President doesn't get to lie to the American people, no matter how inconvenient or embarrassing the truth may be.

Erick, perhaps this is good time as any to explain the difference between Logan Act and treason. I've been debating with another person over whether Flynn or Trump committed a treasonous act. So if Flynn initiated contact with Russia before election, is that a violation of Logan Act or can be constituted as treason despite the fact we're not at war with Russia?

I clicked on return too soon, I wasn't finished with my comment. It is not only when that matters, but also what contents were discussed between Flynn and Russia. If Flynn went to Russia with the intent of influencing the US election, then yes, that's a big no. But if it was only to discuss the possibility of ending sanctions, then is that legally wrong thing to do? That might be construed as a violation of Logan Act, however, seeing how only two indictments of Logan Act were handed down in two centuries since its passing, it's hard to imagine a potential prosecution of Logan Act being the case here.

Nonetheless, what is clear here is that Flynn lied to FBI, and he made a plea deal with Mueller. What is particularly frustrating is Flynn not making clear in his remarks on when he was told by Trump to initiate contact with Russians. What is also troubling is the transition team lied about it, which is kind of beyond me to understand that, really.

I have been a detective for 15 years. The most idiotic thing a subject under investigation, or believes he/she may be under investigation, is talk to the police (me). I promise that you will not outsmart the police. By the time I talk to you it is usually just a formality, but you are holding a shovel.

@Nathan_Knight you don't even have the federal law backing you. If you make false statements to the Feds, not even under oath you are screwed! You can lie to the local police all day long with no issues till you get to court. Mis-state a date to the Feds and you go to jail!

Even if he reached out during the campaign, that is no crime. Impeachment does not equal crime, especially when the democrats are as panicked as they are, the establishment is as repulsed as it is, and there are enough "conservatives" with bruised egos that they are willing to let such an injustice occur out of personal animosity.

I think if Flynn, or anyone, tried to get any foreign nation to actively participate in influencing the election by doing something, that is one thing. I personally don't see a problem in saying, in effect, "I've heard you have some information we might find helpful. Will you give it to me?" This would not be asking the foreign nation to engage in spying on the opposition, or inventing things to smear the opposition, or to take any active role at all. It would merely be saying that if there is information there, I'd like to see it. The honorable thing to do would be to then evaluate the information to determine if it is accurate, and not be sucked into an effort by the foreign nation to influence the election by providing false information. But if the information is true, and obtained legally by whomever, and is made available to someone who asks for it, I have no problem with that. Yes, there might be a fine line there. There might be the argument that the foreign nation has offered to share this information because they KNOW It might move our election in a direction they prefer. But it comes down to, if the information is correct, and refers to actions by the opposition, and does not reflect an effort by the foreign nation to interfere but was merely collected by that nation, it is simply there for the asking. It is not "manipulation" but just "transparency". Would we prefer that a foreign nation hide proof of egregious misdeeds by a candidate because of an accusation that revealing this proof might be considered an effort to change the outcome of the election? Would we prefer that a campaign be complicit in hiding proof of criminal behavior or serious misdeeds because of fear of being accused of collusion with the source of the information?

TO: GrammaT I think it is a classic example of "legal extortion"; a very problematic tactic used by an investigator or prosecutor, in this case, Mueller, who makes a deal with someone, who may or may not be guilty of anything, to reveal information, that may or may not be true, against a third party. The "deal" is based on a threat of prosecution. In the issue with Flynn, it is most likely the threat to charge he or members of his family with something, that may or may not be criminal. What Flynn was "forced" to do is plead guilty to knowingly providing false information to a law officer. IF Flynn did lie to the FBI as, has been stated; then why would the prosecutor believe any statements made by Flynn about another person would be truthful? Do we need a witness to testify that Flynn was being truthful about telling a lie? Will the threat of prosecuting Flynn or members of his family induce him to lie about others? I could take this another step; did the prosecutor lie to Flynn about his intentions? Very problematic!

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