“That’s the strategic goal between Moscow and Washington,” said Gen. Michael Flynn. “We will not achieve stability in the Middle East without working with each other against this radical Islamist crowd. Period.”
“I agree with you,” said Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
“Remember ambassador,” Gen. Flynn said, “You are not talking to a diplomat. You are talking to a soldier. I am a very practical guy. It is all about solutions.” On the problem side, the outgoing administration had recently expelled 35 Russian diplomats, and Flynn had suggestions for a solution.
“They are looking like they are going to dismiss some number of Russians out of the country,” Flynn said. “I know you have to have some sort of action, to only make it reciprocal. Don’t go any further than you have to because I don’t want us to get into something that have to escalate to tit-for-tat. Do you follow me?”
“I understand what you’re saying,” Kislyak said, “but you know, you might appreciate the sentiments that are raging now in Moscow.”
At the time of that telephone conversation in December 2016, the notion raging in the outgoing DOJ and FBI leadership was that Gen. Michael Flynn was a Russian asset, treacherously conspiring with Putin on behalf of president-elect Trump. As the Democrat-deep state-media axis contended, Russian intervention had put Trump in the White House. That conspiracy theory does not emerge in transcripts of the December 2016 Flynn-Kislyak calls, released on Friday, May 29, by Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe. The transcripts had previously been deployed in the coup attempt against President Trump.
Somebody leaked a transcript to David Ignatius of the Washington Post. He charged that Flynn discussed lifting the sanctions imposed by the outgoing administration. As the transcripts show, Gen. Flynn never discussed sanctions, which did not come up in the exchange about the diplomats. Flynn was incoming National Security Advisor, so the charge that he somehow violating the Logan Act was absurd.
At the time of the calls, Gen. Flynn was unaware that he was being unmasked by a squad of powerful players. According to recent revelations from outgoing DNI Richard Grenell, UN ambassador Samantha Power made unmasking requests for Flynn on November 30, 2016, and then on December 2, 7, and 14 – two requests that day – and again on January 11, 2017, days before Trump took office. On December 14 and 15 of 2016, CIA boss John Brennan made unmasking requests for Gen. Flynn. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper put in requests on December 12, 28, and again on January 7, 2017. FBI director James Comey requested to unmask Gen. Flynn on December 15, 2016, and again on January 12, 2017.
Comey, the longtime Clinton crony who let Hillary off the hook in July 2016, knew that Flynn had done nothing wrong but sent two FBI men to interview him. As recent declassifications reveal, the agents were not sure if their mission was to trick Flynn into a lie or get him fired. By springing a perjury trap and threatening Flynn’s son, the FBI did both.
Charged with lying to the FBI, Flynn faced judge Emmet Sullivan, who railed that Flynn had betrayed his country, implying that he was guilty of treason. Sullivan remained on the case, which drove Gen. Flynn into ruin. His new attorney Sydney Powell fought to get exculpatory documents the prosecution had withheld, and the DOJ duly dropped the case. Judge Powell refused to go along and, in effect, appointed himself a deputy attorney general and federal prosecutor. Sullivan brought in retired judge John Gleeson to argue the case, and more recently retained high-powered attorney Beth Wilkinson.
Transcripts released Friday confirm that Flynn did nothing wrong and the case never should have gone to trial. The transcripts also reveal one reason why the “composite character” president, so proclaimed in 2017 by his own biographer David Garrow in Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama, fired Flynn as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014.
Gen. Flynn battled “this radical Islamist crowd” and the composite character president refused to link Islam with terrorism. Flynn also understands the intelligence community, so the president, formerly known as Barry Soetoro, did not want Flynn to become National Security Advisor.
The outgoing president held an Oval Office meeting with top aides on January 5, 2017. That same day, his chief of staff Denis McDonough made a request to unmask Gen. Flynn. On January 12, a request to unmask Gen. Flynn came from vice president Joe Biden. On January 20, Susan Rice, the administration’s Benghazi disinformation specialist, emailed herself that all had been done “by the book.”
As the transcripts reveal, incoming NSA Michael Flynn was doing his job by the book. The outgoing administration conspired to take down Gen. Flynn, with Trump the ultimate target. This massively violated federal law, but U.S. Attorney John Durham, supposedly a man of great integrity, has yet to bring charges against a single member of the coup clan. If justice is to prevail, according to Sen. Charles Grassley, more declassification will be necessary.
“Transparency brings accountability,” Grassley said in a statement Friday. “Keep it coming.” A full unmasking of John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey and many others might set Gen. Flynn free at last and shed light on the first coup attempt in U.S. history.
* * *