Regardless of whether you would support or not support the vigorous defense of Michael Flynn, I would hope we would all agree a fulsome discovery of all relevant background material is a cornerstone of justice appropriately applied.
With that in mind it is concerning how Attorney General Bill Barr would prefer to keep DOJ conduct against Flynn hidden from public review. Consider…
♦Would it be valuable for Federal Judge Emmet Sullivan to know the FBI was discussing how to “lock in” charges against [Flynn] in a “formal chargeable way”?
♦Would it be valuable for Federal Judge Emmet Sullivan to consider how Special Counsel Robert Mueller requested DAG Rod Rosenstein to provide leverage against [Mike Flynn Jr] to coerce a plea against Michael Flynn in the second scope memo?
♦Would it be relevant for the purposes of Judge Emmet Sullivan to consider how former National Security Advisor Susan Rice was portraying Lt. General Flynn, as a target for intelligence community concern, prior to President Trump taking office?
[…] From a national security perspective, however, President Obama said he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia.
The President [Obama] asked Comey to inform him if anything changes in the next few weeks that should affect how we share classified information with the incoming team. Corney said he would. (link)
~ Susan Rice Memo to File
♦ Would it be important for Flynn’s defense to have the full and unredacted text messages of the investigators and accusers against Michael Flynn as they plotted their strategy?
♦ Would it be important to know what “classified briefing material” would be “in the interests of fairness” to Lt. Gen Michael Flynn?
If you find yourself saying: yes, regardless of support for or against Flynn, it would be fair and in the correct course of justice for all relevant evidence to be known to both the public and defense…. Then ask yourself why isn’t that view held by AG Bill Barr?
Attorney General Bill Barr was granted the power to declassify all five of the examples cited above which directly relate to the prior DOJ and FBI motives in their investigation of Michael Flynn…. there are many, many more. Yet, AG Bill Barr has done nothing to provide that fulsome discovery.
AG Bill Barr doesn’t need a court order to provide the truth. Currently the prosecution of Michael Flynn is directly under Bill Barr’s authority. Heck, the President of the United States has authorized Bill Barr to declassify any/all material that may be needed in the honest search or truth and justice. And Bill Barr has done absolutely nothing.
But it’s actually worse. AG Barr has gone to court to argue he is under no obligation to provide the declassified material to anyone; for anything.
In a September 2019 court filing, surrounding a FOIA case seeking access to the fully unredacted Carter Page FISA application, the DOJ clarified the position of the DOJ as it pertains to President Trump’s May 2019 declassification authority. (pdf available here)
The DOJ highlights that President Trump did not order AG William Barr to declassify anything. Instead, according to the official position of the DOJ, President Trump “delegated authority” to the Attorney General to determine *if* anything should be declassified:
At the time of the DOJ position I stated “whether AG Bill Barr does actually declassify anything is open to debate. The current odds remain slightly less than 50/50; however, those odds could diminish significantly if the impeachment effort is successful.”
In hindsight I hate my own prescience.
On Wednesday President Trump will be impeached by the House of Representatives. One of those articles of impeachment declares President Trump is guilty of “obstruction of congress.”
There’s a strong likelihood that after the impeachment vote President Trump will not be able to declassify anything lest he be accused of obstructing his own impeachment. This is the same legal catch-22 President Trump faced in September 2018 when DOJ Rod Rosenstein advised (threatened) the President that any action he took at the time to declassify material would be considered “obstruction” of the Mueller investigation.
Strange how those legal Lawfare principles seem to resurface in a circular fashion, and always to the detriment of the person seeking justice. Thus the purpose behind the name “Lawfare”; using the law in political warfare.
Returning to the current case in point, it has seemed clear from his decisions that AG Bill Barr was focused on protecting former Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein from the consequences of his narrow-minded efforts throughout 2017 and 2018. The lack of action to declassify material related to the prosecution of Lt. General Michael Flynn seems to indicate that protecting Rosenstein is a higher priority that stopping an injustice against Flynn.
This is the state of our union in 2019.
I don’t pay attention to the distracting high-constitutional words of AG Barr, I look at his actions…. By withholding information from the public; and specifically by withholding the scope memos that authorized the investigations of 2016, 2017 and 2018; the United States Attorney General is willing to let a man hang simply to protect his institutional comrade.
With that institutional disposition clearly evident, what do you think AG Bill Barr will do when it comes to hiding evidence of institutional corruption that would clearly support President Donald Trump?
In criminal law, seminal jurist William Blackstone said: “It is better that ten guilty persons escape than one innocent suffer.”
In AG Barr’s modern interpretation: “it is better that one innocent man suffer than have guilty institutions be discovered.”