Fatal Over-reach

Last Friday morning, we adjourned the blog in anticipation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller handing over certain FBI documents in the General Flynn matter demanded by DC District Federal Judge Emmett G. Sullivan no later than 3:00 p.m. that day. Guess what. Mr. Mueller’s errand boys did not hand over the required documents — original FBI 302 interrogation reports. Instead, they proffered a half-assed “interview” with one of the two agents who conducted the Flynn interrogation, Peter Strzok, attempting to recollect the 302 half a year after it was written. Of course, Mr. Strzok was notoriously fired from the Bureau in August for bouts of wild political fury on-the-job as FBI counter-intel chief during and after the 2016 election. (This was the second time he was fired; the first was when Robert Mueller discarded him from the SC team in 2017 as a legal liability.)

So, 3:00 p.m. Friday has come and gone. It appears that the FBI 302 docs have come and gone, too. Actually, we have reason to believe that nothing ever created on a computer connected to the internet can actually disappear entirely. Rather, the data gets sucked into the bottomless well of the NSA server-farm out in Utah. Most likely, the original 302s exist and Mr. Mueller is pretending he can’t find them. In effect, it appears that Mr. Mueller has responded by gently whispering “fuck you” to Judge Sullivan.

Interestingly, The New York Times didn’t even report the story (nor The WashPo, nor CNN, nor MSNBC). Since their “Russia Collusion” narrative is foundering, they can’t tolerate any suggestion that their Avenging Angel of Impeachment, Mr. Mueller, is less than the sanctified plain dealer he affects to be. Judge Sullivan kept his own counsel all weekend. The next scheduled chapter in the story is Gen. Flynn’s sentencing this Tuesday. It would be a surprise if the Judge does not observe that Mr. Mueller has acted in contempt of court. Ditto if the charge against Gen. Flynn is not thrown out. After all, the main articles of evidence against him apparently don’t exist.

And if it turns out that Mr. Mueller and his team are disgraced by their apparent bad faith behavior in the Flynn case, what then of all the other cases connected to Mueller one way or another: Manafort, Cohen, Papadopoulos? And the other matters still in question, such as the Trump Tower meeting with the Russian “Magnitsky” lawyer and Golden Golem Junior, the porn star payoffs… really everything he has touched. What if it all falls apart?

In theory, this punch-drunk country could take a turn back to the genuine rule-of-law instead of the medieval-cum-Bolshevik practices of Deep State style justice. This would entail the prosecution of the prosecutors themselves. Far from an historical aberration, this is often the outcome when authorities overstep the boundaries of common decency. Which is what has happened in the setting-up of General Flynn.

Readers may wonder: why am I so concerned with these shenanigans among the FBI, the DOJ and Intel Community when there is that other elephant in the room, viz: Mr. Trump, the Golden Golem of Greatness, the awkward, embarrassing, childish fellow dishonoring the Oval Office? Because the actions of his antagonists are much more dangerous to the public interest than the oafish president. Elected officials come and go, but when America chucks the rule of law on the old garbage barge, this will cease to be the land of the free and the home of the brave. It will be a land of cringing cravens waiting in terror for the iron fist to smack them down like bugs.

Tomorrow, Tuesday Dec 18, some of the questions raised here will be answered, and I’ll add an addendum afterward. But there are many other forces in play right now on a world scene that is each day becoming more fraught with intimations of upsetting the current order of things. The West is enduring paroxysms of political uproar and disenchantment. China is more opaque politically, but its financial disorder is plain to see. And finally, there is the question of markets and banking, with their entwined fates heading in a bad direction. Of his many blunders, the worst for his own political survival was Mr. Trump taking ownership of the “greatest economy ever.” Stocks, bonds, and commodities are all wobbling at once, and approaching the event horizon where there is no floor under the price of anything. That will not make America great in the Trumpian sense, but it will be another opening for the long-awaited return of reality to a society where, for a long time, now, anything goes and nothing matters.

Update Tuesday, 1:30 p.m.

A mystifying scene being reported from Judge Emmet G. Sullivan’s DC courtroom today where Gen. Michael Flynn appeared for sentencing this morning on one count of lying to the FBI. Judge Sullivan gave Gen. Flynn and his lawyers an opportunity to change his guilty plea. They declined. The judge emphasized the “serious nature” of the charge and off-handedly suggested a charge of treason might have been more appropriate, hinting that Gen. Flynn might receive jail time instead of the recommended “no jail” in Mr. Mueller’s sentencing submission. The judge then called a recess so that Flynn and his attorneys could confab. When Judge Sullivan returned, he apologized to Flynn for suggesting Flynn was liable to a treason charge. The judge indicated he might have misunderstood something about the dates in question. Yesterday, charges were filed in a Virginia federal court against two characters who worked with Gen. Flynn as consultants to Turkey in 2016. They had failed register as foreign agents. Apparently today’s sentencing was used by Mueller’s prosecution team to squeeze more information from Flynn in that pending Turkey case. Finally, Judge Sullivan postponed the sentencing pending General Flynn’s further cooperation with government prosecutors. Mueller and Flynn’s attorney’s were told to file a “status report” by March 13,2019.

I won’t pretend that I know what to make of this. The simplest explanation is that Judge Sullivan was persuaded somehow that Gen. Flynn required more squeezing in order to perform better as a government witness. I have two provisional conclusions: 1) the country is being destroyed by lawyers as a general proposition; and 2) that this blatantly political prosecution is part of a larger scandal so colossal it makes Watergate look like a parking infraction. Is Gen. Flynn America’s Dreyfus?

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