Faced with a very violent reaction to my last column about political reprisals against Michael Flynn (as Michael Flynn), I’d like to clarify the situation with the leaks concerning national security. I support them. Moreover, I oppose the ruthless enforcement of outdated laws designed to protect state secrets, particularly if it involves monitoring and investigations against reporters.
In a situation with the departure of Flynn from his post as adviser on national security issues we are not talking about improper handling of classified information, despite some tweets about President Donald trump. We are talking about what opponents Flynn decided to publish part of the content of the talks, us officials so that this evidence of terrible abuse of power.
All this happened against the background of still open questions about how Russia influenced the course of the presidential elections and could assistants trump to be involved in this operation. Such an investigation is necessary. If trump and his advisors have to do at least some respect, is a serious crime.
The good news is that the FBI, in cooperation with the intelligence community is currently conducting an investigation of this case. The same busy and the Special Committee on intelligence of the Senate. In addition, now again began to sound insistent calls for a more formal independent Commission to study this issue. This is very important.
However, now is the time to ask, what does all this have to do with Flynn? He didn’t tell about all the details of some of the December telephone conversations with the Russian Ambassador, but he was never accused of aiding Russia in hacking email leading Democrats in spreading their emails online or sabotaging of elections in other, less grotesque ways. While in respect of other aides of trump (including the former head of the electoral headquarters of the trump Paul Manafort) currently checks against Flynn, as reported by the Washington Post, the FBI is not leading any investigation.
What is the law violated Flynn? As writes the New York Times, he may have violated the Logan Act, an outdated law prohibiting private persons to negotiate with foreign adversaries. According to reports in this publication, advisers the Obama administration believe that Flynn may have agreed to conclude a deal with Russia to cut after Obama imposed new sanctions against it and expelled Russian spies in response to Moscow’s intervention in the election. Thursday, February 16, edition of the Washington Post reported that he may have misled the FBI agents, the study of these phone calls.
There are a few important points. First, there is no evidence that Flynn signed with the Russians any transaction. Times writes about it, and I was able to confirm it from their sources. Secondly, the Logan Act, which came into force in 1799, most likely, unconstitutional. The justice Department does not pursue those who violate the act. In this case, the citizen was prepared to take the post of adviser on national security. If applicants American officials are forbidden by law to discuss politics with foreign opponents, then you need to declare outside the law and work on the preparation of new foreign policy programs. The FBI investigation is already serious, but the same can be said about the disclosure of information about an ongoing investigation of the Agency to the press.
There have also been reports that Flynn had contact with the Russians during the election campaign. This is already more trouble, however, by itself it means almost nothing. In addition, this happened many times in the past. For example, in 2008, Obama’s adviser on foreign policy, Daniel kurtzer (Daniel Kurtzer) went to Damascus to Express his government his view on peace talks between Syria and Israel.
Many Democrats, including former U.S. Secretary of state John Kerry met with Iran’s Ambassador to the UN in recent years, the presidency of George W. Bush — then our military leaders have accused Iran of killing American soldiers in Iraq. If in that time the FBI initiated an investigation in accordance with the Logan Act, do the Democrats not happy to leak details of such investigations?
It is possible, Flynn was hiding information about their last contact with the Russians. In 2015, he attended a conference in Moscow organised by the Russian propaganda channel RT, and for him it was even paid. Some reporters have speculated that a check Flynn from Russia, is a violation of the instructions of the Pentagon for military retired.
The weakest link in all of this is the accusation that Russian will now be able to blackmail Flynn, because he from the beginning said Vice-President Mike Pence (Mike Pence) all the details of his phone conversations. As writes Washington Post, acting attorney General Sally Yates (Yates Sally) felt it necessary to report this information to the White house in late January because she was concerned that Flynn’s been compromised.
Personally I think it’s a fanning out of molehills. If Flynn forgot to mention that in his conversation with the Russian Ambassador was casually touched upon the topic of sanctions, the suggestion that the Russians may force him to betray his country, threatening to make public his “lie” is far-fetched. That is why it is important to publish the transcript of these telephone calls, as urged by former Federal Prosecutor Andy McCarthy (Andy McCarthy) in his column in National Review.
However, the damage is already done. Republicans say that Flynn should be allowed to testify before Congress. His security clearance was revoked. He hired a lawyer. Flynn will spend several months or even years, defending himself after he mentioned in passing about sanctions against Russia in conversation with the Russian diplomat a few weeks before the inauguration of the trump adviser for national security.
If this is the whole essence of the charges, then the Democrats and the FBI should be ashamed. There are far more important issues that require investigation: for example, an operation in Russia, directed against the electoral process in the United States, and the question of whether trump or his advisors involved in this operation. Nobody has yet to prove that Flynn had to do at least something. However, this has not stopped his opponents who spoke against him with accusations in the media. Enemies Flynn spent this campaign by publishing the contents of conversations, which is to keep the government officials whom we have entrusted this function. Because of these leaks have damaged our trust.