The Hill goes full metal BuzzFeed listcicle today with a post titled Five questions investigators want to ask Michael Flynn. If this reflects actual thinking anywhere on The Hill, then Flynn is an idiot to say a word without a grant of immunity because the purpose it obviously to give him the Scooter Libby treatment.
Keep in mind what the committees are allegedly investigating.
- A review of the intelligence that informed the Intelligence Community Assessment “Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections;”
- Counterintelligence concerns related to Russia and the 2016 U.S. election, including any intelligence regarding links between Russia and individuals associated with political campaigns;
- Russian cyber activity and other “active measures” directed against the U.S., both as it regards the 2016 election and more broadly.
- What Russian cyber activity and other active measures were directed against the United States and its allies?
- Did the Russian active measures include links between Russia and individuals associated with political campaigns or any other U.S. Persons?
- What was the U.S. Government’s response to these Russian active measures and what do we need to do to protect ourselves and our allies in the future?
- What possible leaks of classified information took place related to the Intelligence Community Assessment of these matters?
When you look at the questions, all the answers lie within the FBI, CIA, and NSA. There is no reason to ask anyone else for any information… other than to try to paint Trump as a Russian stooge.
According to The Hill, these are the burning questions:
Who knew what about Flynn’s Russia contacts, and when did they know it?
This is exactly the kind of question that got Scooter Libby convicted. If you recall, one count Libby was convicted of was saying that he thought he had first heard of Valerie Plame during a Tim Russert interview while the prosecution convinced jurors that he’d actually learned of it from Dick Cheney. Flynn can’t possibly testify about what other people knew and he’d be an idiot to testify about when he first told them himself because all it needs is another person to disagree and were off to court. Quite honestly, the degree to which Flynn was forthcoming is immaterial. If he wasn’t truthful to the campaign, that is not of interest to the committee. If he was forthcoming, it isn’t illegal to give speeches in foreign countries for money even if you are part of a campaign. Bill Clinton can vouch for that.
What did the Trump campaign know about Flynn’s payments from sources in Russia and Turkey?
Flynn can’t possibly enlighten anyone on what the Trump campaign knew. Moreover, there is no reason for anyone to care about the payments made to Flynn via his speaker’s bureau. Accepting speaking fees by way of a speaker’s bureau is completely above board and “Emolument Clause” free. Also Turkey is not included in the probe. It is entirely possible that no one cared where Flynn had given speeches and there is no reason they should.
What information does he have about other associates of Trump’s campaign who may have had contact with Russians?
Again, any answer he gives here puts him at risk of being indicted on charges of lying to the committee. Plus, with the level of surveillance the Obama administration was conducting on the Trump campaign,there is no need to ask what someone knew. There are probably tapes of the conversations.
What did the Trump campaign know about campaign aides’ past ties to Russia?
Another irrelevancy. No matter what the Trump campaign knew or didn’t know it doesn’t prove that there was anything wrong with the contacts… beyond money laundering, I mean.
Did Flynn have any other foreign contacts besides Russia?
This is not something the committees are looking at and if they want the answer to that then obviously they should ask the NSA.
I hope to heaven this is not real and is just something a reporter made up using a particularly goofy source. If it is the direction the committees will take, Flynn would be a moron to cooperate with them in any form whatsoever because these questions are designed to put Flynn in jail, not to move the mission of the probe forward.