aside What Was General Mike Flynn Doing by talking to Russia?

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Flynn (L) Trump (center)

UPDATE 2/10/17: It was reported on 2/9/17 that Ret. Lt. General Mike Flynn did discuss with the Russian ambassador, the issue of recent US sanctions placed against it in retaliation for its meddling into the 2016 US presidential elections, and that this event occurred before 1/20/17 while President Barack Obama was still in office. 

There is something called the “Logan Act” which the republican President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to be his national security advisor, Retired Lt. General Mike Flynn may have violated by his having taken the initiative to discuss policy with a foreign official prior to 1/20/17, when his boss moved into the White House.

As per Wikipedia, “the Logan Act (1 Stat. 613, 18 U.S.C. § 953, enacted January 30, 1799 ) is a US federal law that forbids unauthorized citizens from negotiating with foreign governments having a dispute with the U.S. It was intended to prevent the undermining of the government’s position.”

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In a 1/12/17 Washington Post article, David Ignatius asked the question as to why the retired general was frequently calling Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak several times on Dec. 29, 2016 which was the same day that the U.S. imposed sanctions against Russia in retaliation for all of its actions involved in its meddling with the 2016 US presidential elections.

Excerpts:

“Retired Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, Trump’s choice for national security adviser, cultivates close Russian contacts. He has appeared on Russia Today and received a speaking fee from the cable network, which was described in last week’s unclassified intelligence briefing on Russian hacking as “the Kremlin’s principal international propaganda outlet.”flynn-father-and-songettyimages-623852576

“According to a senior U.S. government official, Flynn phoned Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak several times on Dec. 29, the day the Obama administration announced the expulsion of 35 Russian officials as well as other measures in retaliation for the hacking. What did Flynn say, and did it undercut the U.S. sanctions? The Logan Act (though never enforced) bars U.S. citizens from correspondence intending to influence a foreign government about “disputes” with the United States. Was its spirit violated? The Trump campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.”

” If the Trump team’s contacts helped discourage the Russians from a counter-retaliation, maybe that’s a good thing. But we ought to know the facts.”
When questioned by the press, the republican President-elect Donald Trump’s surrogates initially said calls/ texts to the Russian Ambassador were conducted on December 28 versus December 29, the date when the sanctions against Russia were executed. According to retired LT. General Mike Flynn. the back and forth discussions between himself and the Russian ambassador centered around exchanging Christmas greetings and making arrangements for future meetings.
Later, there was an admission by the president-elect’s team that contact was done on December 29, 2016 between General Flynn and the Russian ambassador.
Update: By 1/16/17, several news outlets were reporting that there were 5 calls between General Flynn and the Russian ambassador on December 29.

2 comments

  1. In a word, “planning.” It could be nefarious or it could be pragmatic or something in between. Given Putin’s response he would not counter act the sanctions, my guess is Flynn assuaged them and said we will take care of it when my guy is in the White House. This is my opinion as I have no facts. I am just reading the many tea leaves which include verified data and the adamance of the president-elect that it could not be the Russians who did this. He has backed off of that, but only recently. And, we still must investigate the unverified dossier story.

    • Dear Keith, Your suspicions are the same as mine. On 1/29/16 Gen. Flynn was probably assuaging the feelings of Russia to the announcement of US sanctions.

      As for the dossier story, this is my read. The MI6 former British agent, Mr. Steele has his own high end investigative agency in London, known as Orbis. Originally, he was hired by republicans to do op-positional research on DT. Later it was democrats who took over this contract. As Mr. Steele was compiling the initial research, he became concerned about the seriousness of what he was learning. He passed on his research to a FBI contact. But he noticed that nothing was happening in response to what he sent the FBI. It is my guess that the FBI was not making the vetting of this material, a priority v the handling of HRC’s email mishandling.

      So, he then made contact with Senator John McCain. Senator McCain sent an emissary to verify that Mr. Steele was for real. Then Senator McCain had a tete a tete between himself and the FBI Director Comey as to the status of his investigations.

      The 35 pages of memos that the FBI was given was supposed to be vetted by the FBI. Any spook has to rely on various sources, some reliable and some not. So, some of the data will be wrong but inevitably some leads will have merit. I suspect that the 2 page append-um that was added to the president’s daily brief (PDB) was what was vetted by the FBI and thus Director Comey was the official who personally shared its data with DT.

      What was leaked to BuzzFeed, CNN and other news outlets was the original format of 35 pages of memos, so a lot of the info is erroneous. The entire report could accurately be termed disinformation. I suspect that the 35 pages was leaked by one of those who had originally contracted with Mr. Steele. We probably will never know what was contained in the 2 pages presented to the president, the VP, the president-elect, and 8 US House representatives.

      Ciao, Gronda

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