Mary McCord defends herself in the New York Times

The opinion piece is written by one of the people involved. She's staring at Durham getting ready to prosecute her. Of course she is going to try to defend her actions. Like all such defenses, take with a skeptical eye, and compare it to what the same people said under oath and important background information.

For a longer explanation of the sequence of events, complete with images of the evidentiary documents, see the Conservative Treehouse post. For a detailed timeline of what we now know, see this Federalist article.

She claims the interview wasn't illegal, coercive, or a violation of the 4th or 5th amendment. This is true, because it was voluntary. But it was voluntary because it was obtained under false pretenses, and by Comey's own admission, it was not ethical and violated the normal rules and procedures for such interviews, which would normally have 1) notified Flynn about the penalties for lying, 2) notified White House lawyers that Flynn was being interviewed, and 3) thus allowed him representation, and 4) showed him the transcript of the phone call in the FBI's possession to help him refresh his memory.

The call was not material to any investigation because it was entirely predicated on the Logan Act, a 200-year-old law which has never been successfully prosecuted and for which the last serious attempt at prosecution actually predates the creation of the Justice Department.

Furthermore, when the call took place, Flynn was the incoming National Security Advisor to the incoming President. Not only did this give Flynn an official position within the incoming government (thus negating the Logan Act by itself), such discussions would be entirely proper and expected given his incoming position. Flynn did not make a deal with the Russians on the call; he merely asked them not to escalate, as would any diplomat in that situation. But if he had, such a deal would be entirely legitimate and proper in his role with the incoming administration. And if the Logan Act was at all legitimate as a basis for prosecution, John Kerry would be in prison for life for his unofficial negotiations with everyone from the North Vietnamese during that war to the Iranian government post-Obama.

It was also not material to any investigation because the prior investigation on Flynn (itself illegally predicated on lies from informants who did not even attend the event they were describing) was about to be closed because it had found "no derogatory information" (that's a direct quote). The letter saying the case would be closed had already been written and is among the recently released material. It was not closed because Peter Strzok ordered it kept open. We have his text messages giving the order -- he said "the 7th floor is involved" and also said something to the effect of "we were saved by our own incompetence" (meaning the case was not closed promptly after that letter was filed). The 7th floor is where the offices of FBI Director Comey and Deputy Director McCabe are. Those orders were sent the day before the now-infamous January 5th meeting.

At that meeting, Obama, Biden, Comey, Yates, and others schemed to use the Logan Act as a pretext to interview Flynn. We have sworn testimony concerning this discussion, including I believe from McCord (it is that testimony she is now attempting to defend) and Yates.

Later, the FBI discussed their plans to interview Flynn. We have Bill Priestap's notes from that discussion (and he is likely now a cooperating witness). Priestap asked, in a portion of his notes (probably written that evening after the meeting, in retrospect), "is the goal to get to the truth or to get him to lie / get him fired"? The question answers itself -- the FBI already had the transcript of the call.

What did the Obama admin do with that call? They unmasked it and leaked it. (Those are both separate felonies, by the way). Then they used the leak as a pretext to interview Flynn about the call. Flynn likely thought he was being interviewed to find the leaker.

What happened during the Flynn interview? We know who was there: Strzok, whose biases are well known, conducted the interview and Joe Pientka, who hasn't been publicly heard from yet, took notes. What do those notes say? We don't know exactly, because the FBI has made those notes disappear. We have Strzok's improperly rewritten notes, which the FBI has falsely submitted to the court as the original notes. This substitution was admitted to in a recent filing as well. We have Strzok's text messages discussing the editing process with DOJ lawyer Lisa Page, as Strzok says he is "trying to save [Pientka]'s voice". These delayed, rewritten, and deliberative notes are themselves violations of FBI procedures for these interviews. And we have at least one eyewitness who saw the original notes and says they said Flynn was not lying during the interview. (The "eyewitness" is likely Pientka himself, now likely a cooperating witness; recent rumor suggests he might have actually gone to the IG about being pressured to change his interview notes). We also know the FBI made no attempt to prosecute Flynn on this matter; the effort was revived only under Mueller's special counsel operation.

Do not dismiss this as a conspiracy theory until you have read and absorbed the evidence. It is no longer a conspiracy theory, it is, quite simply, a conspiracy *fact*.

This entry was published Sat May 16 01:56:58 CDT 2020 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2020-05-11 12:22:08.0. [Tweet]

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