Opinion: The real criminals were those involved in bringing down Michael Flynn

by WorldTribune Staff, December 11, 2018

Special counsel Robert Mueller is authorized to investigate any crime he finds in the course of the so-called “collusion” investigation.

Yet, Mueller and his team have completely ignored crimes committed by the Obama officials who sunk the career of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, a former deputy assistant attorney general wrote.

Special counsel Robert Mueller and former national security adviser Michael Flynn

Flynn had a distinguished career of public service. He is a retired U.S. Army general and former National Security Adviser and Defense Intelligence Agency director.

The Flynn matter “began with criminal conduct. … But it was not committed by Flynn,” Victoria Toensing noted for Fox News.com in a Dec. 10 op-ed. “The crimes were leaking the contents of classified telephone conversations between Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and revealing the identity of Flynn as a party to the conversations.”

In a Jan. 12, 2017 column about the Flynn/Kislyak conversations, The Washington Post’s David Ignatius cited his source as a “senior U.S. government official,” i.e., an Obama administration functionary.

“Whoever told Ignatius the fact of and substance of the eavesdropped conversations committed a felony by leaking classified information,” wrote Toensing, who is also a former chief counsel for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

“The second crime is publicly revealing a U.S. citizen’s identity as being a party to those conversations.”

In the “unmasking” process, “a written request must be made to the collecting agency that is responsible for the document, Toensing noted. “Only a handful of officials are given that authority, e.g. NSA has only 20. Perhaps there was a valid need for an Obama official to know Flynn’s identity. That issue is irrelevant.  Providing it to Ignatius was a crime.”

At the time, acting Attorney General Sally Yates, an Obama holdover, utilized Ignatius’ suggestion of criminal culpability “as a pretext to direct the FBI, without notice, to Flynn’s office to question him about the Russian conversations,” Toensing wrote.

“Not only was the basis for questioning Flynn a ruse, but more significantly the FBI did not have to ask him about the conversations to determine if there was a crime because it had the transcripts and recordings of every single word,” Toensing wrote. “If Flynn had committed any illegal act in the conversations, the Justice Department could have indicted him that day. But it did not. Nor did Mueller ever mention such an illegality in his December 2017 charges against Flynn for false statements.”

Toensing continued: “Thus, before Flynn flunked remembering every word of a conversation he was asked to recall weeks later, an Obama administration official had egregiously broken the national security and privacy laws. But only Flynn has been charged with a crime.”

Mueller, meanwhile, had “no problem charging Paul Manafort for decades-old tax crimes and looking into former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s taxi medallions,” Toensing noted. “Yet the crimes against Flynn have been ignored. Why?”

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