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News Michael Flynn has resigned from the National Security Council

  1. Feb 13, 2017 #1
    For those out of the loop, it was shown that he broke a law(s) outlined in the Logan Act by performing diplomatic duties in contacting Russian government officials. There are a lot of rumors about what he said and the implications it has on how Trump is viewing his relationship with Russia. Thoughts?

    Source here.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 14, 2017 #2
    I don't get the impression the Logan Act thing is the primary reason he's in trouble. From the NYT article:

    So, it may well be that Flynn's greatest sin here was twice (that is: on two separate issues) feeding misinformation to Pence who then publicly defended him on the basis of that misinformation.

    In addition, Flynn made himself a potential target for blackmail: the Russian ambassador knew the actual content of the conversation and could have threatened to reveal it unless Flynn performed some service for the Russians.

    Something that is strange to me is the mention of a routine wiretap of diplomats' calls (by the US). It seems odd that Flynn wouldn't know about this and wouldn't know that people in the US govt knew he was publicly lying about what was discussed with the Russian ambassador.
     
  4. Feb 14, 2017 #3
    He is not the only one performing diplomatic duties with the Russians.
    Here is some old news which probably brought recent events to light.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38589427
     
  5. Feb 14, 2017 #4

    nsaspook

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    The long knives at the IC were out for Flynn. All calls to Russia and to Russian officials world-wide are monitored on a routine manner so it's very likely IMO Flynn didn't lie to the VP because he knew that calls are recorded and he didn't said anything improper on the calls to lie about. He fell on his sword after leaks made it seem he did something underhanded with Russia with rumors of possible blackmail and lies with zero evidence of anything.

    That's rich, he made the VP look bad. A typical story of how the Deep State operates in the Military Industrial Media Complex today.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/...ational-security-adviser-170214040638481.html
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017
  6. Feb 14, 2017 #5

    Astronuc

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    That is a concern, but the much larger concern is that Flynn mislead investigators concerning discussions with foreign government officials about sensitive matters. Prior to getting a clearance, one is subject to an official investigation and questions about foreign contacts. Lying in that case is a felony.

    According to the NY Times article:
    So Flynn did apparently have some discussion about the sanctions imposed on Russia with the Russian ambassador.

    The article quoted by Zoobyshoe states, "Former and current administration officials said that Mr. Flynn urged Russia not to retaliate against any sanctions because an overreaction would make any future cooperation more complicated. He never explicitly promised sanctions relief, one former official said, but he appeared to leave the impression that it would be possible."

    The other concern is that having mislead investigators and the VP, Flynn compromised himself with regard to potential blackmail.

    If Flynn was aware of the likelihood that his conversation with Ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak was recorded, and even if not, Flynn should have simply (and truthfully) answered that yes, he and Kislyak had discussed sanctions. However, Flynn telling the Russians not to retaliate in response to the sanctions, because it would complicate future cooperation, would seem troubling for one in his position.
     
  7. Feb 14, 2017 #6

    nsaspook

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    Maybe I'm missing something but I really don't get the blackmail implications if the US, Russia and Flynn all know what was said and we all know the others know. Where is the secret?

    http://lawnewz.com/high-profile/cou...rested-if-he-discussed-sanctions-with-russia/

    http://lawnewz.com/high-profile/non...sor-general-mike-flynn-is-no-criminal-period/
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017
  8. Feb 14, 2017 #7
    Yes. As Nixon and Clinton demonstrate, "It's not the crime, It's the cover up." Repeating over and over that the sanctions weren't even mentioned during the conversation constitutes a lie that got him into more hot water than anything said during the phone call.
    I think "troubling" is as far as anyone could go with this. As has been pointed out, the most people seem to come up with is that, in discussing the sanctions in that phone call, he might have violated an obscure, old law that, itself, might be unconstitutional. But denying he discussed the sanctions at all was a lie, and that lie is how he painted a target on himself, it seems.
     
  9. Feb 14, 2017 #8

    jim hardy

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    Honesty woulda been the way to handle it.

    "Heck yeah i talked to the Russians, wouldn't you do some checking around before accepting such a job?" and see where the chips fall.
     
  10. Feb 14, 2017 #9
    His resignation might not be the end of this:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/powe...cee7ce475fc_story.html?utm_term=.495b789ab209

     
  11. Feb 14, 2017 #10

    russ_watters

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    I agree with this. The Trump administration doesn't care at all about scandal, but what they do want is absolute loyalty. And if someone can't be trusted to be loyal, the administration would want no part of them.

    The Logan Act is interesting. At first glance it makes sense that you wouldn't want a private citizen undermining the government's negotiating position. But there's a contradiction in that a private citizen has no power/influence and therefore can't actually offer anything to a foreign government on behalf of the USA. So the law strikes me as moot.
     
  12. Feb 14, 2017 #11

    Astronuc

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    Except when a private citizen is counseling a presidential candidate and has conversations with officials of foreign governments, but fails to report contacts. That is a concern in and of itself.

    The more serious concern is that Flynn may have lied to the FBI.

    According to the AP, Flynn was interviewed by the FBI.
    https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/...ichael-flynn-resigns-081111825--politics.html

    In a somewhat bizarre twist, according to the AP report, apparently "Just six days into his presidency, Donald Trump was informed his national security adviser had misled his vice president about contacts with Russia. Trump kept his No. 2 in the dark and waited nearly three weeks before ousting the aide, Michael Flynn, . . . ."
     
  13. Feb 15, 2017 #12

    russ_watters

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    No, a Presidential candidate (or President-elect) is also a private citizen with no power and nothing to offer a foreign leader in the present, so no way to affect "present" policy deals (except by causing the foreign leader to wait). At most he can offer a deal that would be executed in the future when he becomes President and making such policy becomes a part of his job description.
     
  14. Feb 15, 2017 #13
    Of course he has, he has intent, at most he can offer a foreign leader a deal would be executed in the future.
    If it transpires a deal is offered and it can be shown the deal is made good when he becomes president, then is shows he was undermining the president in the past.
     
  15. Feb 15, 2017 #14

    jim hardy

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    Didn't Nixon do that with the Vietnamese while running in '68?
     
  16. Feb 15, 2017 #15
    The WH has stressed that Flynn was asked to resign because of a loss of trust. Certainly the President needs and should have that trust. But trust works both ways. Pence was not told of Flynn's problem for eleven days. If I were Pence I would be more than concerned about being kept out of the loop.
     
  17. Feb 15, 2017 #16

    russ_watters

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    I don't see how that follows - if the deal isn't executed until the new president takes office, how is it undermining the old President? I guess you could say it delays a response to the old President's actions, but that's what being a "lame duck" means, so it would be hard to separate them. Moreso what it does is make the transition to the new President go faster/smoother.
     
  18. Feb 15, 2017 #17

    Borg

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    This was mentioned on an and NBC or ABC evening news broadcast last night. The newscaster stated that Pence is the security blanket for the Republicans and if he is out of the White House loop, it raises serious concerns within the party.
     
  19. Feb 15, 2017 #18

    mheslep

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    Flynn resigned due a lie to the VP per reports. There is no evidence of any prosecutable crime here for Flynn to cover up. Logan, if it applies, has never been prosecuted. It if were, Jimmy Carter's various foreign interventions after leaving office would have landed him in jail long ago. Leaking classified signal intercepts though, that's very much a crime.

    https://theintercept.com/2017/02/14...mitted-serious-and-wholly-justified-felonies/
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
  20. Feb 15, 2017 #19
    There was no tit for tat expulsion of American diplomats before the new President came into power.
    If it pans out that it is recorded that advice was given in that direction and from whom then it's an illegal act by the private citizens concerned.
    It breaks the Logan act.
     
  21. Feb 15, 2017 #20
    (and all other nongovernmental citizens)
    So don't the security services work for government.
    Are they not immune from prosecution.
     
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