Opinion: Michael Flynn Is Worse Than a Liar - PressFrom - US
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OpinionMichael Flynn Is Worse Than a Liar

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

Special counsel calls ex-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s cooperation ‘substantial,’ recommends no jail time.

Special counsel calls ex-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s cooperation ‘substantial,’ recommends no jail time. Special counsel calls ex-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s cooperation ‘substantial,’ recommends no jail time.

“ Michael Flynn , General Flynn , is a wonderful man,” Trump said on February 15. “I think he’s been treated very, very unfairly by the media — as I call it, the fake media, in many cases. And I think it’s really a sad thing that he was treated so badly .” Trump then defended the calls to Kislyak at a press

Eddie Flynn is back in The Liar . For those of you not in know, Steve Cavanagh has won many fans with his ace legal series, featuring Eddie Flynn . Eddie gets more involved in the action than a lawyer would be expected to, gets to punch people, gets to cross-examine people, all the while trying to work

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.

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Michael Flynn in less than 2 minutes. Flynn lawyers cut off talks with Trump team. Sources: Russians bragged about using Flynn . The charge against Flynn is the first in Mueller's probe that has reached someone in the Trump White House. The charges mark yet another stunning downfall for Flynn .

Flynn plea part of larger deal to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller, as former national adviser acknowledges wrongdoing for first time.

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.

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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.

Liar : Admitted liar Mike Flynn is under attack from the Trump legal team who say he lied to the president to, an assault on his credibility in Fox News Channel reports that the federal government said in court Friday that it was a 'senior member' of the Trump transition team – not an aide during the

Michael Flynn leaves his plea hearing on Dec. 1 in Washington. Astrid Riecken/Getty Images. The Trump administration is making plans to attack the credibility of Michael Flynn if he testifies against the president or his top aides, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.

[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.

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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].

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A signal to his allies in Congress and the conservative media: Flynn is now an enemy and must be destroyed. President Trump’s legal team plans to cast former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn as a liar seeking to protect himself if he accuses the president or his senior aides of any

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.

Manafort, Cohen and Flynn -- The Ghosts of Trump’s Christmases Past

Manafort, Cohen and Flynn -- The Ghosts of Trump’s Christmases Past In the Charles Dickens’ classic “A Christmas Carol” three ghosts visit Ebenezer Scrooge as a reminder of the life he has led. This December Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, and Michael Flynn are a haunting reminder of the life Donald Trump has led. Manafort, Cohen, and Flynn represent three different aspects of Trump’s life with one common denominator: lying about Russia. And Robert Mueller is using them, and their lies, to put Trump squarely in the sights of his investigation.

“Trump stopped trusting Flynn because Flynn did something that was so darn illegal that Trump had to ask for his resignation. His tax returns need to be made public. It's clear he is in someone's pocket and is probably comprised way worse than anyone realises.

Michael Flynn should he testify against him is to pivot away from "he's a great guy being railroaded by an out of control prosecutor" to "he's a liar , so you can't Attorneys for Trump and his top advisers have privately expressed confidence that Flynn does not have any evidence that could implicate the

[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.

Mueller: FBI is not to blame for Flynn's false statements.
The special counsel's office is pushing back at the suggestion that the FBI acted improperly in its interview of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.Flynn's lawyers said in a sentencing memorandum this week that Flynn was not warned during his interview with the FBI that it was a crime to lie to federal agents. But prosecutors with special counsel Robert Mueller say Flynn had lied to the White House about his contacts with the Russian ambassador well before the January 2017 interview and merely repeated the same falsehoods when approached by the FBI. Flynn is scheduled to be sentenced next week for lying to the FBI.

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