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OpinionMichael Flynn Is Worse Than a Liar

06:10  05 december  2018
06:10  05 december  2018 Source:   theatlantic.com

Buckle Up: Next Week Is Going to Be a Busy One for Robert Mueller

Buckle Up: Next Week Is Going to Be a Busy One for Robert Mueller The news of Paul Manafort's compounded legal woes and Michael Cohen's guilty plea to lying shifted the news cycle into overdrive this week, but the consequences will continue to be felt into next week. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); Manafort and Cohen aren’t the only cases on special counsel Robert Mueller‘s plate either. Keep an eye on President Donald Trump’s Twitter feed on Monday because on Tuesday, Dec.

The Trump administration has introduced the country to a colorful troupe of liars like none other in memory. Starting with the president himself, the past two years have brought to the national stage a phenomenal array of promiscuous fabricators.

John Banzhaf writes that even assuming arguendo that the Constitution does not fully protect the president, it is clear than any construction of “obstruction of justice” to include a president ordering – directly or indirectly, and regardless of motive – the discontinuance of a criminal proceeding does at

Michael Flynn Is Worse Than a Liar© Mike Segar / Reuters

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

The Trump administration has introduced the country to a colorful troupe of liars like none other in memory. Starting with the president himself, the last two years have brought to the national stage a phenomenal array of promiscuous fabricators. It therefore stands to reason that so many of the offenses ferreted out by Special Counsel Robert Mueller are crimes of dishonesty. Prosecutors take their crimes where they find them, particularly as they work their way up the ladder to the most important targets.

Michael Flynn sentencing memo could provide new details on Mueller's Russia probe

Michael Flynn sentencing memo could provide new details on Mueller's Russia probe Special counsel Robert Mueller on Tuesday will submit a recommended sentence for former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty last year on a charge of lying to the FBI. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); The sentencing memo is also expected to shed light on how the special counsel has evaluated Flynn's cooperation in its ongoing probe of Russia interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Generalisimo Michael Flynn can feel the walls closing in on him. Documents released Thursday reveal former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was specifically warned in 2014 not to take money from foreign governments without advance permission and is now under investigation by the

Michael Flynn , left, introduces then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a campaign rally, in Bedford, N.H. Flynn , the former The explanations I’ve heard in the past had it that Flynn was an accomplished and highly skilled intelligence officer. He did well as long as he was operating

Defenders of the president lately have taken to disparaging Mueller’s charges as mere “process crimes.” Senator Lindsey Graham called Michael Cohen’s Friday plea a “process crime” and Rush Limbaugh chimed in that “every one of Mueller’s indictments is a process crime.” Presumably, Graham and Limbaugh would also apply that term to the case against Michael Flynn, who in December of 2017 pleaded guilty to one charge of making materially false statements to the FBI. That case moved toward its conclusion Tuesday night with Mueller’s sentencing memorandum recommending no time in prison.

Although the “process” criticism is not precise, the basic idea is that many of the charges, including against Cohen and Flynn, stem from the response to an investigation, rather than underlying prior conduct. Mueller’s detractors evoke an image of Trump partisans subjected to the third degree over many days until they get confused and innocently provide inaccurate details about immaterial matters.

4 takeaways from Mueller’s sentencing memo for Michael Flynn

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Michael Dorf writes that Flynn may simply be a fall guy. Why else would Trump think that leaks, rather than lying or worse by his national security adviser, are the "real story" regarding national security? Costanza's aphorism is funny because he implied that a liar could turn himself into a

Michael Flynn as his national security adviser, an undisclosed source told CNBC on Wednesday. In addition to Flynn , Trump is expected to add more Like Trump, Flynn sees a military ally in Vladimir Putin. Flynn was seen sitting next to Putin during a banquet in Moscow, the NY Daily News reported.

[Mikhaila Fogel and Benjamin Wittes: Mueller is laying siege to the Trump presidency]

The criticism is part of the overall discounting of the value of truth in the Trump era. Lies, it’s implied, are a rampant, and ultimately trivial, feature of public life. But here’s another word for what Mueller’s chasing that has not yet lost its sting: “fraud.” That sounds a lot less benign than “lie” or “process crime,” and for good reason. The fraudster, more than just fooling the victim, aims to exploit, to implement a scheme that deprives the victim of something of personal or financial value.

Under the law, fraud is a deliberate, material deception to secure an unlawful gain. The bread and butter charge of the white-collar prosecutor is fraud of some sort—wire fraud, bank fraud, or tax fraud—which constitutes about 10 percent of the federal docket and about 75 percent of all white-collar offenses. As a prosecutor, I brought dozens of fraud cases, and in my current legal practice, I routinely sue people and companies in civil court who have defrauded the government.

Republican Tells Fox News Flynn Memo Is 'Good News'

Republican Tells Fox News Flynn Memo Is 'Good News' "I think he substantially cooperated to say that there was no collusion," Republican Representative Mark Meadows said of Flynn.

Michael Flynn accepts an offer to delay the sentencing after Judge Emmet Sullivan warned he might send the former national security advisor to jail for lying to FBI agents about his The sentencing of former national security advisor Michael Flynn is postponed less than two hours after it began.

Who is Michael Flynn ? Flynn briefly served as President Trump's national security adviser. He resigned from his position in February, amid revelations that he had misled Vice President Pence and others about conversations he had with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak about sanctions before

At the core of every fraud is a lie:  an important lie that the defendant tells knowingly in order to influence a victim’s action. Paul Manafort has made a life of such lies, as in different ways have many of Mueller’s 33 defendants and, of course, the president.

To the extent the “mere process” description is meant to trivialize the charges, several responses come immediately to mind.

First, there is nothing trivial about lying to Congress or the FBI, and none of the lies in question were picayune. Cohen’s lies for example, were thoroughly premeditated, even written out. And his sentencing memorandum indicates that his lies toed the party line designed to support the president’s political fortunes, which makes them considerably more serious. Likewise, with Flynn, underlying his false statements was an apparent relationship with Russia that may have led him to push for specific diplomatic changes. It may have been to keep that conduct under wraps that the president improperly importuned then-FBI Director James Comey to drop the Flynn probe.

Victoria Toensing: Why has Mueller ignored Obama administration crimes?

Victoria Toensing: Why has Mueller ignored Obama administration crimes? Whoever told The Washington Post the fact of and substance of the eavesdropped conversations between Flynn and the Russian ambassador committed a felony by leaking classified information. The second crime is publicly revealing a U.S. citizen’s identity as being a party to those conversations.  When there is authorized intelligence collection of foreign officials, the identity of the U.S. person who is incidentally picked up during that collection is to be minimized (not disclosed), even within the U.S. government.  Instead of the party’s name, the document substitutes “[U.S. Person].

[Ken White: Three remarkable things about Michael Cohen’s plea]

Second, Mueller’s approach is common to large-scale investigations of political crimes—think Watergate, Iran-Contra, Scooter Libby—as captured in the well-worn adage, “it’s not the crime, it’s the coverup.”

Third, the Russian angle imposes another level of gravity on the crimes of dishonesty here, because many of the lies—e.g. Flynn’s and Cohen’s—were known to the Russian government, and therefore exposed the liar to the possibility of blackmail.

By suggesting that the administration’s lying ways are haphazard and trifling, the “process crime” argument simply misses the mark. More and more the administration looks like a fundamentally fraudulent enterprise presided over by a fraudster-in-chief. Trump is not only an inveterate liar; he is a fraudster who lies knowingly, and by design, to help himself at others’ expense.

As a business man, Trump defrauded partners, employees, banks, and governments. As a candidate, he defrauded the American people: “I have no involvement with Russia”—the recurrent lie that Cohen’s plea exposed— concealed a deep business conflict that the American people had a right to know about. As president, he has continued to defraud the public in the regular, nonlegal sense of the term. To take just one recent example among dozens, last month he deployed soldiers to the border to—he claimed—keep the country safe from the “migrant caravan;” but his rather transparent goal was to gin up a hysterical fear of refugees that might serve him in the midterm elections.

Years ago, I was lead counsel on a case against a for-profit college that used boiler room tactics to drive up enrollment (and pocket federal grants), paying recruiters by the body. In so doing it wreaked havoc on the lives of many young people who wound up with a useless degree and enormous debts. The fraud charges centered on the defendants’ false representations to the Department of Education. We caught them in a lie, in other words, but describing the offense as one of “process” wouldn’t begin to capture the defendants’ venality, or the harm done to their victims.

AP Fact Check: Trump falsely claims Flynn didn't lie to FBI.
President Donald Trump is skimming over the facts when it comes to former national security adviser Michael Flynn's guilty plea.

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