Larry C. Johnson: The Obama Administration Manufactured the Case Against General Flynn
Guest post by Larry C. Johnson
New revelations in court cases involving Donald Trump’s former National Security Advisor, General Michael Flynn, provides one more piece of evidence that the entire claim that Trump campaign was collaborating with the Russia was a set up. It was a manufactured story. It is important that you understand that upper echelons of the CIA, the DNI and the FBI conducted a massive covert action against Donald Trump, his family and members of his campaign team.
Traps were set. FBI Confidential Human Sources and CIA and British MI-6 assets were deployed in a variety of schemes designed to implicate Trump and his campaign as agents of foreign governments, Russia in particular.
The newest piece of information comes courtesy of Sundance at The Conservative Treehouse in his piece, Flynn Case Highlights Multiple Insurance Policy Motives by DOJ and FBI Operatives. Up to this point, I confess, I bought into the story that Michael Flynn was working on behalf of Turkey and failed to register under the Foreign Agent Registration Act. In short, he was guilty of a FARA violation. But that’s not the real story. Flynn was set up. What do I mean?
There is no evidence that Michael Flynn sought out Government of Turkey representative and asked to go to work for them. That has been the conventional wisdom. But it turns out that Flynn was not working for the Government of Turkey. Flynn’s firm was hired by INOVO in September 2016. Here is what USA Today reported in March of 2017:
As part of its contract with Inovo, the Flynn Intel Group hired researchers to examine Fethullah Gulen, a reclusive Islamic cleric who lives in exile in rural Pennsylvania. Erdogan has blamed Gulen’s opposition group for an attempted 2016 coup and has sought his extradition. On Election Day, The Hill newspaper published a Flynn op-ed that called Gulen “radical cleric” and said the U.S. government should “not provide him a safe haven.”
At least three possibilities exist with respect to the motive for producing this report–1) it was initiated by the Government of Turkey using INOVO as a cut out, or 2) INOVO was asked by someone linked to the Clinton Campaign or the US Government to hire Flynn’s company to do the work, or 3) INOVO did this on its own.
Regardless of the motive, what we now know is that the US Government, courtesy of either an FBI FISA or the NSA, was monitoring communications with Michael Flynn. The FBI Director of the National Security Division, David Laufman, led the charge in pressing Flynn to file a belated FARA. That filing was then used as “evidence” that Flynn lied.
It is now also clear that Michael Flynn’s original attorneys were incompetent. They went along with the FBI pressure and created an unwarranted jeopardy for General Flynn. Fortunately, Michael Flynn has new counsel, Sidney Powell, and she knows what she is doing. In her recent filing rebutting the US Government flip flop (they reversed course and wanted to now name Flynn as a co-conspirator in a case involving a former business associate), Sidney Powell waived attorney client privilege on the notes and communications surrounding the decision to file with FARA. The following is taken from her MEMORANDUM OPPOSING COCONSPIRATOR DESIGNATION OF NON-PARTY WITNESS MICHAEL T. FLYNN, ENFORCE THE GOVERNMENT’S JUDICIAL ADMISSION AND VACATE THE NON-DISCLOSURE ORDER. Here is the key section of that memorandum:
In these notes and emails, attached hereto as exhibits, it is clear Mr. Flynn’s former counsel were aware before the FARA filing was made:
- The Government of Turkey was involved in the project and likely the principal beneficiary, rendering the previously filed LDA insufficient.9
- Ms. Verderame, personal counsel for Mr. Flynn, advised from the first meeting with former counsel that “Ekim – emails show Turkey. Mike copied on many of the emails.” “August 4? Money from ministry… Government behind it, and Mike copied.” 10 [Note, no money was ever traced to Turkey to our knowledge.]
- Mr. Alptekin set up meeting in September. Flynn “met 2 ministers-Transportation and Foreign.” 11
- “[T]he GOT [government of Turkey] had role of some kind.” “Meeting in NY – Ekim and ministers.” “No argument that Gulen focus was for commercial purpose.” 12
- It was apparent Ekim Alptekin had a relationship with Erdogan’s son-in-law. They brought up Gulen. 13
- Counsel had the “Green light [email authorization from Alptekin by Turkish officials to go ahead with the project] and 2 emails on NY/Confidence” 14
- FIG was to do “research into Gulen/’ “Project Confidence” is detailed in a “75 pp report re Gulen” about which Mr. Flynn and his personal and FIG counsel Kristen Verderame told his former lawyers in their first meeting. “Plan for “disseminating what they found, based on the report.”15
- That 75-page document, which prior counsel possessed, is all about Gulen and as reflected in counsel’s notes, was used as the basis for the op-ed.16 Flynn correctly told his counsel Bijan Kian did the first draft of the op-ed.17
- Mr. Flynn pointed former counsel to the “other emails that show details.” Former counsel recognized that “op-ed and sleeper networks, plus criminal referrals changes context.”18
- Former counsel: “Documents- Gulen, op research, not commercial.”19
- The focus of the project quickly narrowed to Gulen.20
- “[T]he focus on Gulen.” 21
- Former counsel notes: “Emails, docs, interviews — little evidence of business/commercial.”22
- [there was] “little evidence of commercial” [purposes]”23 “No argument that Gulen focus was for commercial purpose. No evidence of commercial except conclusory statement.”24
- Former counsel: “And we have bad facts. No commercial facts.”25
- The “Op-ed on same topic Gulen” and “paid through the contract.”26
- Unknown at the time to Mr. Flynn, Mr. Kian sent Ekim Alptekin a copy of the op-ed. Alptekin wanted changes made to it, and Mr. Flynn did not make them.27
- They were still trying to decide even if they had to file the FARA registration on February 14, 2017. That call to Mr. Flynn was prompted by a call on February 13, 2017, from then-resigning head of the NSD at DOJ, David Laufman himself. This was the day Mr. Flynn had to resign as National Security Advisor. Mr. Laufman and others called Mr. Flynn’s former counsel and pressured them to file the FARA. In counsel’s call with Mr. Flynn, in which they advised him where they stood, he said very little, but authorized his former counsel to file it and “Be precise.”28
- This level of involvement, interest and pressure from the FARA division was unprecedented in Mr. Kelner’s significant experience. 29
- Fonner counsel told the General to take time with the draft– “high level-don’t have the detail.”30
- Fonner counsel advised the government in pre-trial preparation on May 29, 2019, the legal team preparing the FARA registration “did not necessarily go through every doc; were trying to capture the high-level info of who the client was and nature of the work.”31
- Current counsel for Mr. Flynn will hereby waive both the attorney-client privilege and the application of the work-product doctrine specifically as to the notes and information provided herein regarding the FARA filing and its preparation.
- One of the statements in the FARA filing the government alleges as false came directly from information provided to former counsel for Mr. Flynn by counsel for Ekim Alptekin at Arent Fox and was inserted in the filing despite former counsel’s concerns with the Arent Fox submission.32
- Significantly, former counsel’s email of February 20, 201733 in preparation for meeting with the Department of Justice recognizes it was all a judgment call made in extensive communication with the NSD:
- “At the same time, we recognize that Gulen is a major focus for the Turkish government, and extradition of Gulen was probably the primary focus of the Turkish government in its dealings with the United States during the period in which FIG was performing work for Inovo.”
- “Arguably, the work [by FIG] could be viewed as principally benefitting the Turkish government.”
- “But we don’t view this meeting [that Alptekin arranged between General Flynn and two Turkish ministers] by itself as resulting in agency on behalf of the government, and there is no indication that the meeting or any other contacts involved the Turkish government directing FIG’s activities.” (Emphasis supplied.)
- “So FIG had a commercial client with commercial objectives, and no known foreign government client. This left us [the lawyers] somewhat straining to determine whether registration could be required solely on the basis that the work performed could be construed as principally benefitting the Turkishgovernment rather than Inovo or business interests generally. We welcome your input on that judgment call.” (Last emphasis in original.)
Flynn was entrapped on a lie. I hope his lawyers have investigated INOVO’s initial reason for hiring Flynn’s consulting firm. It is not unusual for the Government of Turkey to hire US consultants to carry out specific investigations that serve Turkey’s interests. I know first hand. In 1996 I was working for BGI and BGI was hired by Turkey’s Foreign Ministry to investigate Greece’s support for a Turkish terrorist group, the PKK. We were paid directly by the Foreign Ministry. Using a company like INOVO is very odd.
Flynn joins the list of Papadopoulos, Manafort, Carter Page, Donald Trump Jr. and Roger Stone of people working for Trump who faced possible entrapment by FBI Confidential Human Sources, intel assets with ties to the CIA and/or Britain’s MI6 or individuals tied to Hillary Clinton’s campaign (i.e., Fusion GPS). My articles on those efforts can be read here: