Is Michael Flynn Trump’s G. Gordon Liddy? Or His Howard Hunt?
That was the coverup during Watergate-Nixon hoped for the blame to be solely visited on the five burglars caught in the act at the DNC in the Watergate Hotel and-G. Gordon Liddy and Howard Hunt.
He hoped to keep everyone else out of it-Haldeman, Erlichman, Dean, Mitchell, Colson, etc. As they were too high up for comfort, too close to Nixon himself.
With Trump as well, the coverup-that much of the media has played along with so far-is that allegedly it was all these rogue agents like Flynn, Carter Page, and Roger Stone-but that all this in no way implicates Trump. Despite his ‘Russia, if you’re listening…’
Seems to me Flynn is more like Hunt in that Liddy was a pure martyr, a True Believer willing to take the fall for Nixon and the Greater Good as Liddy saw it.
Flynn has already hinted that he wants to sing in exchange for a deal. Speaking of Flynn, he’s been in the news again. He just keeps making things tougher and tougher for Trump:
“In late November, a member of Donald Trump’s transition team approached national security officials in the Obama White House with a curious request: Could the incoming team get a copy of the classified CIA profile on Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the United States?”
“Marshall Billingslea, a former Pentagon and NATO official, wanted the information for his boss, Michael Flynn, who had been tapped by Trump to serve as White House national security adviser. Billingslea knew Flynn would be speaking to Kislyak, according to two former Obama administration officials, and seemed concerned Flynn did not fully understand he was dealing with a man rumored to have ties to Russian intelligence agencies.”
“To the Obama White House, Billingslea’s concerns were startling: a member of Trump’s own team suggesting the incoming Trump administration might be in over its head in dealing with an adversary.”
“The request now stands out as a warning signal for Obama officials who would soon see Flynn’s contacts with the Russian spiral into a controversy that would cost him his job and lead to a series of shocking accusations hurled by Trump against his predecessor’s administration.”
“In the following weeks, the Obama White House would grow deeply distrustful of Trump’s dealing with the Kremlin and anxious about his team’s ties. The concern — compounded by surge of new intelligence, including evidence of multiple calls, texts and at least one in-person meeting between Flynn and Kislyak — would eventually grow so great Obama advisers delayed telling Trump’s team about plans to punish Russia for its election meddling. Obama officials worried the incoming administration might tip off Moscow, according to one Obama adviser.”
“Yates’s warnings about Flynn in January capped weeks of building concern among top Obama officials. The president himself that month told one of his closest advisers that the FBI, which by then had been investigating Trump associates’ possible ties to Russia for about six months, seemed particularly focused on Flynn.”
“Obama aides described Flynn as notably dismissive of the threat Russia posed to the United States when discussing policy in transition meetings with outgoing national security adviser Susan Rice and other top officials.”
“Officials also found it curious that Billingslea only ever asked Obama’s National Security Council for one classified leadership profile to give to Flynn: the internal document on Kislyak.”
“When reached by the AP, Billingslea refused to comment. Last month, Trump announced his intention to nominate Billingslea to serve as assistant secretary for terrorist financing at the Treasury Department.”
“While it’s not inappropriate for someone in Flynn’s position to have contact with a diplomat, Obama officials said the frequency of his discussions raised enough red flags that aides discussed the possibility Trump was trying to establish a one-to-one line of communication — a so-called back channel — with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Obama aides say they never determined why Flynn was in close contact with the ambassador.”
But for the folks who voted for Trump to make sure classified information is not mishandled. uh…
“The outgoing White House also became concerned about the Trump team’s handling of classified information. After learning that highly sensitive documents from a secure room at the transition’s Washington headquarters were being copied and removed from the facility, Obama’s national security team decided to only allow the transition officials to view some information at the White House, including documents on the government’s contingency plans for crises.”
“Some White House advisers now privately concede that the administration moved too slowly during the election to publicly blame Russia for the hack and explore possible ties to the Trump campaign. Others say it was only after the election, once Obama ordered a comprehensive review of the election interference, that the full scope of Russia’s interference and potential Trump ties become clearer.”
The Obama people were just much more worried about appearances their Republican opponents within the FBI, the NY FBI, the NYPD, etc.
The Palmer Report puts it well:
“During the transition team, Michael Flynn’s underling asked the President Obama administration for the classified CIA profile of Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, according to the Associated Press (link). This raises too many questions to track. Was Flynn seeking to give the classified intel about Kislyak to him, as a favor to Russia? Was Flynn trying to gain an advantage over Kislyak, in line with the theory that Russia had control over a compromised Flynn by that time? But either way, it points to Trump’s real problem here.”
Note that PR puts a slightly different gloss on it than the AP-and a similar Washington Post-piece did. There it was framed as Billingslea wanted to warn Flynn about Kislyak. PR is taking it as Billingslea wanted the document on Flynn’s request.
“Donald Trump has been running a campaign, a transition team, and an administration in which his staff members have been so confident in their inappropriate interactions with Russia that they never even felt they’ve had to hide any of what they were doing. Flynn and his underling honestly thought there would be no problem with asking the Obama administration for classified intel on Russia? Yet this was clearly the groundwork that Trump laid for how his advisers believed they could proceed with such things.”
“And that leaves only three possibilities when it comes to Donald Trump: either he’s so mentally vacant that he doesn’t know what hijinks his advisers are up to, or he’s so ambivalent to corruption that he doesn’t care what they’re up to, or he’s so complicit in the Russia scandal that they were doing these things because he wanted it that way. Any of the three is impeachable.”
Up until now, the media seems content to assume some measure of one and two. Just like early in Watergate. On the other hand Christie is apparently able to escape jail even though it seems very implausible he didn’t know about Bridgegate.
There’s a real lesson in this: Nixon never went to jail either. If you work for a corrupt chief executive, you’ll get punished much quicker than he would, though you’re only carrying out his own orders.
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
There is nothing more important in getting answers to Trump-Russia collusion than a Democratic House in 2019. Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will.