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Flynn Walks.. DOJ drops case

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Just now, David Dennison said:

They're wrong. Ask Nixon. 

Counterpoint: half this country still celebrates the confederacy.

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1 minute ago, David Dennison said:

They're wrong. Ask Nixon. 

People still deny the Holocaust 

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3 minutes ago, wildcat09 said:

Counterpoint: half this country still celebrates the confederacy.

It's not anywhere close to half the country.

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3 minutes ago, David Dennison said:

It's funny how none of these people care one bit about their place in history.

All of their reputations are forever tarnished and they don't seem to mind. It's weird.

It's not about that anymore.  Character doesn't matter.  Their reputation and place in history will be a Paul Bunyan type of mythical stature on one side.  They'll take pride in these actions and be constantly lauded and rewarded for this behavior.  The most lavish and secret of doors will all be opened to them.  When the party apparatus loses a little power that legacy will be even more celebrated and considered something that needs to be repeated.  Professionalism, ethics and respect for anything are now traits of weakness.

One of our highest ranking military retirees was getting paid at the behest of a former Soviet diehard and continued to do their bidding even while taking the wheel as one of our highest stewards of national security.  He's not only a hero now, he's also a martyr.    

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I'm no attorney, but I get the feeling that a majority of legal questions could flip based solely on the arguments made and those who are judging those arguments.  I'm so fucking tired of this shit.

"It could be immaterial", blah blah blah.  If I raised my kids this way they'd be guaranteed sociopaths.  

Fuck the law and all who manipulate it better than their opponents for no other reason than to effect the outcome to their preference.  Hired by the opposition, they'd play the other game.

We have names for these people:  "whores".

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40 minutes ago, Mole said:

Phase 1 of Reopening America Again.

Honestly, I've lost track of all of the characters in this story and they're starting to run together for me. It's like reading a Gabriel Garcia Marquez book.

Yeah, except for the fact that this is the *worst* story ever told, and not the *best*. 

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22 minutes ago, David Dennison said:

It's funny how none of these people care one bit about their place in history.

All of their reputations are forever tarnished and they don't seem to mind. It's weird.

I blame the Congress that voted to confirm Barr.  Every action he has taken since then is completely aligned with what I would say was his profile prior to being confirmed.

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Just now, deech said:

I blame the Congress that voted to confirm Barr.  Every action he has taken since then is completely aligned with what I would say was his profile prior to being confirmed.

I have much criticism for the Democrats who voted to confirm, but without the filibuster, there was no way to stop his confirmation.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, deech said:

I blame the Congress that voted to confirm Barr.  Every action he has taken since then is completely aligned with what I would say was his profile prior to being confirmed.

Folks in the media on the right and left gave the Senate plenty of air cover to confirm Barr.   It’s very much on the Senators that confirmed him.

Edited by Hugo Stiglitz

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1 minute ago, David Dennison said:

I have much criticism for the Democrats who voted to confirm, but without the filibuster, there was no way to stop his confirmation.

Then the spineless Democrats should have fillibustered.  It's the Attorney General of the United States of America.

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BANANA-REPUBLIC-JOCKEY-PLAZA-1024x768.jpg?fit=770,578

Yup. We're a third world country. We should stop comparing ourselves to Canada, Western Europe, and AUS/NZ. Our peers are Mexico, Brazil, former Soviet bloc, etc. There's just fucking more of us.

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4 minutes ago, deech said:

Then the spineless Democrats should have fillibustered.  It's the Attorney General of the United States of America.

They couldn't. There is no longer a rule allowing for a filibuster of presidential appointments.

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25 minutes ago, David Dennison said:

Yeah, a nutty few.

Somewhere approaching about 36 percent of the U.S. population by my guess.

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12 minutes ago, jimmyjazz said:

We have names for these people:  "whores".

Hoors

5Kxpmil.gif

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3 minutes ago, gmr548 said:


Yup. We're a third world country. We should stop comparing ourselves to Canada, Western Europe, and AUS/NZ. Our peers are Mexico, Brazil, former Soviet bloc, etc. There's just fucking more of us.

This is the weakest America has been in any of our lifetimes. Our influence is the lowest it's been in over a century. We are a laughingstock.

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5 minutes ago, David Dennison said:

They couldn't. There is no longer a rule allowing for a filibuster of presidential appointments.

Gotcha.  Forgot about the rule change nonsense.  They should have made more of a stink than they did IMHO publicly then.

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1 minute ago, deech said:

 

Gotcha.  Forgot about the rule change nonsense.  They should have made more of a stink than they did IMHO publicly then.

I don't disagree, but then they would get hammered for impotently yelling at clouds.

Being in the minority sucks.

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58 minutes ago, wildcat09 said:

The argument would be that it makes the lie immaterial. I'm not a federal criminal law guy, but it's not unreasonable if you view the purpose of the law a certain way. By way of example, if I remember correctly, Papadopoulos lied to the FBI and his lie allowed a guy who was a potential co-conspirator to flee the country. That makes his lie material because it clearly impeded the investigation. On the other hand, if they had known his lie was a lie when he told it, it wouldn't have affected the investigation and the argument goes that in that case, it's not material. Thus, proof that they knew Flynn was lying when he lied to them could be exculpatory Brady material.  However, my understanding is that courts construe the materiality requirement quite broadly and that such an argument never works for anyone who isn't a politically-connected guy whose testimony could implicate the President in crimes.

Thank you for this legal lesson.  I was struggling to understand, but your last sentence brought it into focus.  

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1 hour ago, Biff Tannen said:

Can someone give me a one paragraph run down of what happened here?

From the DOJ - 

In the case of Mr. Flynn, the evidence shows his statements were not “material” to any viable counterintelligence investigation—or any investigation for that matter—initiated by the FBI. Indeed, the FBI itself had recognized that it lacked sufficient basis to sustain its initial counterintelligence investigation by seeking to close that very investigation without even an interview of Mr. Flynn. See Ex. 1 at 4. Having repeatedly found “no derogatory information” on Mr. Flynn, id. at 2, the FBI’s draft “Closing Communication” made clear that the FBI had found no basis to “predicate further investigative efforts” into whether Mr. Flynn was being directed and controlled by a foreign power (Russia) in a manner that threatened U.S. national security or violated FARA or its related statutes, id. at 3. With its counterintelligence investigation no longer justifiably predicated, the communications between Mr. Flynn and Mr. Kislyak—the FBI’s sole basis for resurrecting the investigation on January 4, 2017—did not warrant either continuing that existing counterintelligence investigation or opening a new criminal investigation. The calls were entirely appropriate on their face. Mr. Flynn has never disputed that the calls were made. Indeed, Mr. Flynn, as the former Director of Defense Intelligence Agency, would have readily expected that the FBI had known of the calls—and told FBI Deputy Director McCabe as much. See Ex. 11. Mr. Flynn, as the incumbent National Security Advisor and senior member of the transition team, was reaching out to the Russian ambassador in that capacity. In the words of one senior DOJ official: “It seemed logical . . . that there may be some communications between an incoming administration and their foreign partners.” Ex. 3 at 3. Such calls are not uncommon when incumbent public officials preparing for their oncoming duties seek to begin and build relationships with soon-to-be counterparts. Nor was anything said on the calls themselves to indicate an inappropriate relationship between Mr. Flynn and a foreign power. Indeed, Mr. Flynn’s request that Russia avoid “escalating” tensions in response to U.S. sanctions in an effort to mollify geopolitical tensions was consistent with him advocating for, not against, the interests of the United States.

https://www.lawfareblog.com/justice-department-drops-criminal-case-against-michael-flynn

Flynn has an excellent lawyer - now. 

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Remember that time Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton talked in an airplane for 15 minutes and it was a huge national scandal?  LOLOLOLOL 

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They worked their ass off to get Flynn to this point and I have no idea why.  That’s the part that bugs me.

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Goodbye independent judiciary. It was nice not officially living in a banana republic for most of my life

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1 hour ago, wildcat09 said:

The argument would be that it makes the lie immaterial. I'm not a federal criminal law guy, but it's not unreasonable if you view the purpose of the law a certain way. By way of example, if I remember correctly, Papadopoulos lied to the FBI and his lie allowed a guy who was a potential co-conspirator to flee the country. That makes his lie material because it clearly impeded the investigation. On the other hand, if they had known his lie was a lie when he told it, it wouldn't have affected the investigation and the argument goes that in that case, it's not material. Thus, proof that they knew Flynn was lying when he lied to them could be exculpatory Brady material.  However, my understanding is that courts construe the materiality requirement quite broadly and that such an argument never works for anyone who isn't a politically-connected guy whose testimony could implicate the President in crimes.

That's about it.

There's an argument that if the lie doesn't mislead the investigators, it's not material and does not meet the elements of the crime.

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4 minutes ago, Pig Bellmont said:

Goodbye independent judiciary. It was nice not officially living in a banana republic for most of my life

This has nothing to do with the judiciary.  This is the DOJ dismissing a case.

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1 hour ago, TwiceHorn said:

The russian hackers case was dismissed.  That one kind of reflected poorly on Mueller as the individual defendants were never going to appear and the corporate ones to whom a conviction meant nothing were ragging the government around pretty good.

What? When did that happen and why?  

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1 minute ago, TwiceHorn said:

That's about it.

There's an argument that if the lie doesn't mislead the investigators, it's not material and does not meet the elements of the crime.

How does it not meet the elements of the crime of lying to a government official?

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1 minute ago, babysdaddy said:

What? When did that happen and why?  

They dropped it when the defendants started abusing discovery.

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12 minutes ago, washparkhorn said:

From the DOJ - 

In the case of Mr. Flynn, the evidence shows his statements were not “material” to any viable counterintelligence investigation—or any investigation for that matter—initiated by the FBI. Indeed, the FBI itself had recognized that it lacked sufficient basis to sustain its initial counterintelligence investigation by seeking to close that very investigation without even an interview of Mr. Flynn. See Ex. 1 at 4. Having repeatedly found “no derogatory information” on Mr. Flynn, id. at 2, the FBI’s draft “Closing Communication” made clear that the FBI had found no basis to “predicate further investigative efforts” into whether Mr. Flynn was being directed and controlled by a foreign power (Russia) in a manner that threatened U.S. national security or violated FARA or its related statutes, id. at 3. With its counterintelligence investigation no longer justifiably predicated, the communications between Mr. Flynn and Mr. Kislyak—the FBI’s sole basis for resurrecting the investigation on January 4, 2017—did not warrant either continuing that existing counterintelligence investigation or opening a new criminal investigation. The calls were entirely appropriate on their face. Mr. Flynn has never disputed that the calls were made. Indeed, Mr. Flynn, as the former Director of Defense Intelligence Agency, would have readily expected that the FBI had known of the calls—and told FBI Deputy Director McCabe as much. See Ex. 11. Mr. Flynn, as the incumbent National Security Advisor and senior member of the transition team, was reaching out to the Russian ambassador in that capacity. In the words of one senior DOJ official: “It seemed logical . . . that there may be some communications between an incoming administration and their foreign partners.” Ex. 3 at 3. Such calls are not uncommon when incumbent public officials preparing for their oncoming duties seek to begin and build relationships with soon-to-be counterparts. Nor was anything said on the calls themselves to indicate an inappropriate relationship between Mr. Flynn and a foreign power. Indeed, Mr. Flynn’s request that Russia avoid “escalating” tensions in response to U.S. sanctions in an effort to mollify geopolitical tensions was consistent with him advocating for, not against, the interests of the United States.

https://www.lawfareblog.com/justice-department-drops-criminal-case-against-michael-flynn

Flynn has an excellent lawyer - now. 

While I give her some credit, it's for being stubborn and pushing a near-frivolous motion to the absolute hilt.

And, with another AG, I'm not sure this would have resulted in dismissal.  While Brady violations are fertile grounds for dismissal, I don't think this case proceeded far enough to fully fault the prosecutors for it.  That is, he pled simultaneously with being indicted.

The defense provided by the material is not strong enough to merit dismissal, either.  Certainly not on its own.

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5 minutes ago, TwiceHorn said:

This has nothing to do with the judiciary.  This is the DOJ dismissing a case.

You know what I meant. Christ

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, jimmyjazz said:

How does it not meet the elements of the crime of lying to a government official?

From the DOJ, again:

Although it does not matter that the FBI knew the truth and therefore was not deceived by Mr. Flynn’s statements, see United States v. Safavian, 649 F.3d 688, 691-92 (D.C. Cir. 2011), a false statement must still “be capable of influencing an agency function or decision,” United States v. Moore, 612 F.3d 698, 702 (D.C. Cir. 2010) (citations and quotation mark omitted). Even if he told the truth, Mr. Flynn’s statements could not have conceivably “influenced” an investigation that had neither a legitimate counterintelligence nor criminal purpose. See United States v. Mancuso, 485 F.2d 275, 281 (2d Cir. 1973) (“Neither the answer he in fact gave nor the truth he allegedly concealed could have impeded or furthered the investigation.”). . . Under these circumstances, the Government cannot explain, much less prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt, how false statements are “material” to an investigation that—as explained above—seems to have been undertaken only to elicit those very false statements and thereby criminalize Mr. Flynn.

Edited by washparkhorn

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3 minutes ago, jimmyjazz said:

How does it not meet the elements of the crime of lying to a government official?

18 USC  1001

(a)  Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully--

(1)  falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact;

(2)  makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation;  or

(3)  makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry;

shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section 2331 ), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both.  If the matter relates to an offense under chapter 109A, 109B, 110, or 117, or section 1591 , then the term of imprisonment imposed under this section shall be not more than 8 years.

(b)  Subsection (a) does not apply to a party to a judicial proceeding, or that party's counsel, for statements, representations, writings or documents submitted by such party or counsel to a judge or magistrate in that proceeding.

(c)  With respect to any matter within the jurisdiction of the legislative branch, subsection (a) shall apply only to--

(1)  administrative matters, including a claim for payment, a matter related to the procurement of property or services, personnel or employment practices, or support services, or a document required by law, rule, or regulation to be submitted to the Congress or any office or officer within the legislative branch;  or

(2)  any investigation or review, conducted pursuant to the authority of any committee, subcommittee, commission or office of the Congress, consistent with applicable rules of the House or Senate.

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7 minutes ago, David Dennison said:

They dropped it when the defendants started abusing discovery.

So fucking russians were using our own system of justice against us?  I assume their discovery questions were tied to how we figured out what they did? 

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, TwiceHorn said:

 

Great answer.  Care to translate?  For fuck's sake, we've all been taught "it's a crime to lie to government officials".  So apparently it's not, under certain circumstances.  What are those circumstances, because everything you've said and everything you've quoted mean nada to this engineer.  Think of me as a moron, and explain accordingly.  I  *think* you're saying his lies weren't "material", so if that's true, why weren't they?

Edited by jimmyjazz

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26 minutes ago, washparkhorn said:

From the DOJ - 

In the case of Mr. Flynn, the evidence shows his statements were not “material” to any viable counterintelligence investigation—or any investigation for that matter—initiated by the FBI. Indeed, the FBI itself had recognized that it lacked sufficient basis to sustain its initial counterintelligence investigation by seeking to close that very investigation without even an interview of Mr. Flynn. See Ex. 1 at 4. Having repeatedly found “no derogatory information” on Mr. Flynn, id. at 2, the FBI’s draft “Closing Communication” made clear that the FBI had found no basis to “predicate further investigative efforts” into whether Mr. Flynn was being directed and controlled by a foreign power (Russia) in a manner that threatened U.S. national security or violated FARA or its related statutes, id. at 3. With its counterintelligence investigation no longer justifiably predicated, the communications between Mr. Flynn and Mr. Kislyak—the FBI’s sole basis for resurrecting the investigation on January 4, 2017—did not warrant either continuing that existing counterintelligence investigation or opening a new criminal investigation. The calls were entirely appropriate on their face. Mr. Flynn has never disputed that the calls were made. Indeed, Mr. Flynn, as the former Director of Defense Intelligence Agency, would have readily expected that the FBI had known of the calls—and told FBI Deputy Director McCabe as much. See Ex. 11. Mr. Flynn, as the incumbent National Security Advisor and senior member of the transition team, was reaching out to the Russian ambassador in that capacity. In the words of one senior DOJ official: “It seemed logical . . . that there may be some communications between an incoming administration and their foreign partners.” Ex. 3 at 3. Such calls are not uncommon when incumbent public officials preparing for their oncoming duties seek to begin and build relationships with soon-to-be counterparts. Nor was anything said on the calls themselves to indicate an inappropriate relationship between Mr. Flynn and a foreign power. Indeed, Mr. Flynn’s request that Russia avoid “escalating” tensions in response to U.S. sanctions in an effort to mollify geopolitical tensions was consistent with him advocating for, not against, the interests of the United States.

https://www.lawfareblog.com/justice-department-drops-criminal-case-against-michael-flynn

Flynn has an excellent lawyer - now. 

Admittedly, I haven't closely followed the Flynn saga. But this DOJ statement sounds like cherry-picked advocacy rather than objective analysis. 

And also, reeks of bullshit. Anyone want to educate me?

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2 minutes ago, babysdaddy said:

So fucking russians were using our own system of justice against us?  I assume their discovery questions were tied to how we figured out what they did? 

Pretty much. I think Mueller did it for publicity value. He knew the individuals were unlikely to appear and ever be tried but got outsmarted a bit by indicting the corporations. 

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3 minutes ago, TwiceHorn said:

Pretty much. I think Mueller did it for publicity value. He knew the individuals were unlikely to appear and ever be tried but got outsmarted a bit by indicting the corporations. 

MUELLER DID IT TO INFORM THE AMERICAN PUBLIC ABOUT IT B/C THAT IS THE ONLY WAY AMERICANS CAN DEFEND THEMSELVES FROM WHAT RUSSIA DID.

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, jimmyjazz said:

Great answer.  Care to translate?  For fuck's sake, we've all been taught "it's a crime to lie to government officials".  So apparently it's not, under certain circumstances.  What are those circumstances, because everything you've said and everything you've quoted mean nada to this engineer.  Think of me as a moron, and explain accordingly.  I  *think* your saying his lies weren't "material", so if that's true, why weren't they?

The statute requires material lies. 

If they ask you if you ate tacos for lunch and you lie about it, that is an immaterial falsity and no crime is committed. 

How it's immaterial in this case is explained above. But basically it's like the taco question. They knew the answer and it wasn't within the scope of the investigation.

A lie that they know the answer to can still be material if they need your corroboration to meetthe burden of proof, for example, but in this particular instance they didn't have any investigative need for the information lied about. 

So goes the argument anyway. 

Incidentally, your question was how does that not meet the elements, which is explained by the statute itself. 

Edited by TwiceHorn

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I agree with twice. The investigation against Flynn (Crossfire Razor) was over when the interview took place and they  already knew about his calls (which did not compel a reopening of that case). Formally, someone didn't close it on the system and the FBI used that glitch to secure the interview (which pissed off Yates at the DOJ). The memo produced on why the FBI was proceeding stated one possible goal was to get him to lie so he could be prosecuted or fired (nothing to do with Crossfire Razor). In plain terms, the DOJ is indicating it was a perjury trap on a closed investigation and his lie was not material to any ongoing investigation. It doesn't exonerate him, but the DOJ is dropping in the interest of justice (an often used statement by prosecutors when dropping charges). 

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3 minutes ago, washparkhorn said:

I agree with twice. The investigation against Flynn (Crossfire Razor) was over when the interview took place and they  already knew about his calls (which did not compel a reopening of that case). Formally, someone didn't close it on the system and the FBI used that glitch to secure the interview (which pissed off Yates at the DOJ). The memo produced on why the FBI was proceeding stated one possible goal was to get him to lie so he could be prosecuted or fired (nothing to do with Crossfire Razor). In plain terms, the DOJ is indicating it was a perjury trap on a closed investigation and his lie was not material to any ongoing investigation. It doesn't exonerate him, but the DOJ is dropping in the interest of justice (an often used statement by prosecutors when dropping charges). 

I'm not actually taking any kind of position on whether this was a good defense or a "valid" dismissal.  I'm just trying to explain what the basis of the dismissal is.

Personally, I think it's a bit of a whitewash to justify a politically motivated dismissal.  There were some minor shenanigans, that could have been major, had not Flynn IMMEDIATELY pled guilty because in the cosmic sense he was guilty.

In the final analysis, he was going to get 3 or 6 months in prison, not the death penalty, so we're not really missing much.

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19 minutes ago, ChuckNorrisActionJeans said:

Admittedly, I haven't closely followed the Flynn saga. But this DOJ statement sounds like cherry-picked advocacy rather than objective analysis. 

 

It has to be advocacy, since it is a motion asking for an order from a judge who can deny the motion. It is not a statement to the public or a request for a declaratory judgment. 

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2 hours ago, wildcat09 said:

The argument would be that it makes the lie immaterial. I'm not a federal criminal law guy, but it's not unreasonable if you view the purpose of the law a certain way. By way of example, if I remember correctly, Papadopoulos lied to the FBI and his lie allowed a guy who was a potential co-conspirator to flee the country. That makes his lie material because it clearly impeded the investigation. On the other hand, if they had known his lie was a lie when he told it, it wouldn't have affected the investigation and the argument goes that in that case, it's not material. Thus, proof that they knew Flynn was lying when he lied to them could be exculpatory Brady material.  However, my understanding is that courts construe the materiality requirement quite broadly and that such an argument never works for anyone who isn't a politically-connected guy whose testimony could implicate the President in crimes.

"Materiality" goes to the subject matter, not the extent of harm caused by the lie. 

That the defendant’s statement was “materially” false. Lying by itself is not illegal, including lying to a federal agent. A statement must be “materially” false to be illegal. A statement is material if it has a “natural tendency to influence or is capable of influencing” the agent the statement is made to. In other words, a material statement is important and relevant to the subject matter being discussed. In criminal investigations, any fact that may be relevant to finding, charging, or convicting the suspect meets the element of materiality. It’s irrelevant whether the government believes the false statement. The law still applies even if the federal agent knows the statement is false.

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47 minutes ago, washparkhorn said:

From the DOJ, again:

Although it does not matter that the FBI knew the truth and therefore was not deceived by Mr. Flynn’s statements, see United States v. Safavian, 649 F.3d 688, 691-92 (D.C. Cir. 2011), a false statement must still “be capable of influencing an agency function or decision,” United States v. Moore, 612 F.3d 698, 702 (D.C. Cir. 2010) (citations and quotation mark omitted). Even if he told the truth, Mr. Flynn’s statements could not have conceivably “influenced” an investigation that had neither a legitimate counterintelligence nor criminal purpose. See United States v. Mancuso, 485 F.2d 275, 281 (2d Cir. 1973) (“Neither the answer he in fact gave nor the truth he allegedly concealed could have impeded or furthered the investigation.”). . . Under these circumstances, the Government cannot explain, much less prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt, how false statements are “material” to an investigation that—as explained above—seems to have been undertaken only to elicit those very false statements and thereby criminalize Mr. Flynn.

This makes more sense. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, jimmyjazz said:

I'm no attorney, but I get the feeling that a majority of legal questions could flip based solely on the arguments made and those who are judging those arguments.  I'm so fucking tired of this shit.

This is true to a greater or lesser degree in any case, civil or criminal, you want to choose.  If it were cut and dried, there would be no controversy and no lawsuit or prosecution.

This particular case is being dismissed unilaterally by the prosecution on legal technicalities that may or may not have affected the outcome of the case.  It has almost nothing to do with legal arguments, who makes them, or who judges them.  It was the result of an internal evaluation of factors by a Department of Justice headed by you know who.  I think you can also guess that factors other than legal questions dictated the outcome.

This case doesn't really open the legal system, itself, to criticism.  It does open one side or participant in the system to criticism.

Edited by TwiceHorn

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Not surprising but still stunning nonetheless. These scumbags make Nixon look like a Boy Scout. 

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mpu


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