Former Vice President Joe Biden, now the Democratic presumptive nominee for president, got a question he should have gotten long ago about his involvement in the investigation of Gen. Michael Flynn from ABC’s George Stephanopoulos — and he did not handle it well.
According to Fox News, he was first asked about the dismissal of the case against Flynn by the Department of Justice. Stephanopoulos explained that President Donald Trump had called the whole effort against his team the “biggest crime in political history” and that Chuck Grassley had said Flynn was entrapped and said, “What did Obama and Biden know and when did they know it?” “What did you know about those moves to investigate Michael Flynn and was there anything improper done,” Stephanopoulos asked Biden.
Biden initially insisted that he knew nothing. “I know nothing about those moves to investigate Michael Flynn.” He then went off into what sounded like prepared spin, insisting that Trump was saying this to try to divert from his response to the virus which Biden claimed was lacking.
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) May 12, 2020
Indeed, Biden’s very response using Trump and the coronavirus was a “diversion” from the questions about Flynn.
But then Stephanopoulos, properly, busts Biden, bringing up the fact that Biden was at the Jan. 5 meeting with the discussion about investigating Flynn, as Biden adjusts his earpiece and looks befuddled.
Biden then shifts his story and changes his answer.
“No, I thought you asked me whether or not I had anything to do with him being prosecuted,” Biden said. “I’m sorry.”
“I was aware that there was—that they asked for an investigation, but that’s all I know about it, and I don’t think anything else …”
Alrighty now. So either he doesn’t understand a simple direct question or he’s jumping right to the Freudian slip “I thought you asked me whether or not I had anything to do with him being prosecuted.” I’m also curious if during Stephanopoulos’ question, someone on his side told him he screwed up and he adjusted his answer.
According to Susan Rice, Biden was in the room with James Comey and Sally Yates when Barack Obama brought up the question of the phone call, asking if he should treat Flynn any differently and the Logan Act was brought up. So here’s a basic question, who does he mean when he says “they” asked for an investigation? Barack Obama?
Questions were first raised by the discovery of Rice’s email, which had all the earmarks of a “CYA” email and didn’t look at all like a normal note one would write to oneself.
“President Obama began the conversation by stressing his continued commitment to ensuring that every aspect of this issue is handled by the intelligence and law enforcement communities ‘by the book,’” Rice emailed to herself. “The president stressed that he is not asking about, initiating or instructing anything from a law enforcement perspective. He reiterated that our law enforcement team needs to proceed as it normally would by the book.”
The email also appeared to reflect Obama’s guidance on sharing sensitive information with both the Russians and the incoming Trump administration.
Rice wrote that Obama said, “he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia.”
She added: “The President asked Comey to inform him if anything changes in the next few weeks that should affect how we share classified information with the incoming team. Comey said he would.”
Attorney General Bill Barr said the DOJ dropped the charges against Flynn, among other reasons, because there was no legitimate investigative predicate for their actions, that there was nothing improper on the Flynn call and the FBI notes revealed that they were trying to target Flynn with a “perjury trap.”