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

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.

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.

Mike Segar / Reuters. The Trump administration has introduced the country to a colorful troupe of liars like none other in memory. Although the “process” criticism is not precise, the basic idea is that many of the charges, including those against Cohen and Flynn , stem from the response to an investigation

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.

4 takeaways from Mueller’s sentencing memo for Michael Flynn

4 takeaways from Mueller’s sentencing memo for Michael Flynn The special counsel revealed a few intriguing tidbits, but kept a lot hidden.

Read: Michael Flynn is worse than a liar . Kelner, Flynn ’s lawyer, asked that the judge not hold the sentencing memo against their client. “General Flynn recognizes the obligations that came with higher office, and that this is a serious offense,” he said.

Prosecutors said Tuesday that Flynn could have been criminally charged in that case for allegedly conspiring with two former associates to act as unregistered agents "We know Michael Cohen to be a liar on a number of fronts and the president's opinion is extremely clear on that front," Sanders said.

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.

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 , former national security adviser to US President Donald Trump, leaves Federal Court December 1, 2017 in Washington, DC. Flynn , , is reportedly cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller. Mueller is investigating Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election and possible collusion

Michael Thomas Flynn (born December 24, 1958) is a retired United States Army Lieutenant General and convicted felon and was, briefly, National Security Advisor to President Donald Trump.

[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.

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].

Flynn told former associate that Russia sanctions would be 'ripped up,' witness says. Flynn is the most senior former Trump adviser known to be providing information “He’s said it himself: He’s a liar ,” said one person helping craft the strategy who was granted anonymity to describe private conversations.

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn passes by members of the media as he departs after his sentencing was delayed at U.S. District Court in They gave General Flynn a great deal because they were embarrassed by the way he was treated - the FBI said he didn’t lie and they overrode the FBI.

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.

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 Mueller's Major Mistake in the Flynn Prosecution: Were Lawyers Aware of Strzok's Removal for Bias?

Sarah Sanders says FBI 'ambushed' Michael Flynn , defends Trump calling Michael Cohen ' a liar '. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said President Trump wishes Michael Flynn well after his sentencing was delayed, while defending the president calling his former attorney Michael Cohen "a

[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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