by WorldTribune Staff, May 23, 2017
Former national security adviser Mike Flynn on May 22 refused to turn over documents subpoenaed by the Senate Intelligence Committee, which Flynn’s lawyer said had reached “foregone conclusions” of the former three-star general’s guilt as part of an “escalating public frenzy.”
The Senate panel’s May 10 letter to Flynn demanded he turn over information about all meetings and communications between himself and unnamed Russian officials and all records of communications between himself and all of President Donald Trump’s campaign staff over an 18 month period, from June 16, 2015 to Jan. 20, 2017.
“The broad sweep and lack of specificity of these demands clearly reflect that the Committee does not have specific knowledge regarding the existence of any particular responsive documents,” said Robert K. Kelner, Flynn’s lawyer, in a May 22 letter to Senate Select Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr of North Carolina and ranking Democrat Mark Warner of Virginia.
“Multiple Members of Congress have demanded he be investigated and even prosecuted,” Kelner said. “He is the target on a nearly a daily basis of outrageous allegations often attributed to anonymous sources in Congress.”
Kelner said the committee’s request was so broad it amounted to a request for direct testimony. “This is not merely a demand to produce existing documents. It is actually an interrogatory.”
Meanwhile, Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Joel B. Pollak said the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel in the ongoing Russia investigation “is unfair and indefensible.”
Pollack pointed to several scandals during the eight-year tenure of President Barack Obama in which a special counsel was not appointed.
Many of the Obama scandals “involved apparent violations of federal law,” Pollack noted. “And yet in eight long years, Obama skated by without any serious investigations by the Department of Justice, or with investigations that were quashed from above. It seems Republican administration are held to a higher standard.”
Hillary Clinton’s e-mail scandal is the “most glaring example,” Pollack said. It was “connected to broader claims of corruption involving the Clinton Foundation. President Obama told “60 Minutes” in 2015 that Clinton had simply made a mistake: ‘I don’t think it posed a national security problem,’ he said. The media bought it – and so did the Department of Justice, despite a mountain of evidence that she had been ‘extremely careless,’ as (James) Comey put it later.”
Another example was the Lois Lerner and IRS targeting of conservative groups where, Pollack said, “there were clear violations of federal law, including the deliberate leak of confidential taxpayer information to partisan groups, as well as violation of conservatives’ civil rights. Yet the Department of Justice let Lerner, and her bosses, off the hook, saying the IRS was merely guilty of ‘mismanagement, poor judgment and institutional inertia’ but no crimes.”
There was also the Fast and Furious scandal, where the Obama administration, “under the supervision of Attorney General Eric Holder, supervised the smuggling of weapons across the Mexican border, ostensibly to trace their path through drug cartels, but more likely as a pretext for gun control. Obama tried to use his executive privilege to cover up related documents, and Holder was held in contempt of Congress – but nothing more.”
Pollack also cited the Stuxnet scandal, “where the Obama administration leaked information about a computer virus that had been created to destroy Iranian nuclear centrifuges, the White House specifically rejected calls for a special counsel or special prosecutor. Retired Marine Corps General James E. Cartwright was eventually found guilty, but benefited from a lame-duck pardon by President Obama, setting a dangerous example for future leakers of national secrets.”
On numerous other occasions, Pollack said, “Obama administration officials lied to Congress. Holder lied to Congress, under oath, about whether he had discussed prosecuting journalists. But Holder had ordered the wiretapping of Fox News reporter James Rosen. Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper also lied to Congress about data collection on U.S. citizens. The Department of Justice never appointed a special counsel to investigate.”
Pollack continued: “The double standard is glaring. Some Republicans feel the appointment of a special counsel in the Russia case is evidence their party lacks the Democrats’ will to fight.
But Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s decision to appoint Mueller “was not a partisan one – and, arguably, it is better that the eventual exoneration of the president will be seen as impartial.
“Still, the imbalance remains, and might only begin to be rectified if the FBI and DOJ pursue the leakers and unmaskers causing havoc with our democracy.”