Guest post by Larry C. Johnson
I’m never ceased to be amazed at the dishonesty and laziness of the media when it comes to reporting anything about Michael Flynn and the astonishing miscarriage of justice in bringing charges against him. The documents declassified and released by the DNI last Friday exonerate General Flynn and expose the FBI and the Mueller team as gargantuan liars. Even though Friday’s release of the declassified summaries and transcripts was overshadowed quickly by rioting in Minnesota (you know, if it bleeds and burns it is the lede), the documents reveal General Flynn as the consummate professional keen on serving his country and the Russian Ambassador as disgusted by the petulance and arrogance of the Obama administration.
The declassified material released by newly installed Director for National Intelligence actually consists of two different sets of documents–First, there are five summaries of conversations for 22, 23, 29 (two on the 29th) December 2016 and 5 January. Second, there are the full transcripts of the conversations for December 23, December 29, December 31 in 2016 and January 12 and January 19, 2017.
To summarize–a total of eight different calls between Kislyak and Flynn were recorded between December 22, 2016 and January 19, 2017. Five of the eight calls were initiated by Ambassador Kislyak–Mike Flynn only called Kislyak three times and two of those were in response to calls from Kislyak, who requested a call back or left a message.
Here are the specifics of those calls.
December 22, 2016–This call apparently was made by Michael Flynn to the Russians, responding to a request from President-elect Trump to ask Russia to not support the Egyptian UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel. (Note–Flynn made calls to most members of the UN Security Council).
December 23, 2016–Ambassador Kislyak calls Michael Flynn to report on his conversation with President Putin regarding the previous day’s request. Michael Flynn emphasizes to Kislyak that the mutual goal is/should be stability in the Middle East. Flynn tells Kislyak, “We will not achieve stability in the Middle East without working with each other against this radical Islamist crowd.” Kislyak remarks, “responding to your telephone call, and our conversations we will try to help to postpone the vote and to allow for consultations.”
December 29, 2016–Kislyak calls Flynn and leaves a simple message, “need to talk.”
December 29, 2016–Michael Flynn returns Kislyak’s phone call.
First, Kislyak wants to discuss the Middle East policy. The Russians want to convey to the President-elect that the Russians will not be supporting the American colleagues at the Security Council. Flynn says it is good.
Second, the Russians are very interesting with working with the President-elect’s team to help the peace process in Syria.
Third, the Kremlin would like to . . . have a first conversation on January 21st between the presidents. Putin’s idea is to congratulate Trump and discuss issues. . . . Flynn tells Kislyak: Do not allow this administration to box us in right now! . . . . depending on what actions the Obama Administrations takes over this current issue of the cyber stuff, . . . they’re gonna dismiss some number of Russians out of the country, I understand all that . . . I know you have to have some sort of action, but 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. . . . I really do not want us to get into the situation where we everybody goes back and forth and everybody had to be a tough guy here. We don’t need that right now. We need cool heads to prevail. And we need to be very steady about what we are going to do because we have absolutely a common threat in the Middle East.
December 31, 2016–Russian Ambassador Kislyak calls General Flynn. Kislyak tells Flynn, “And I just wanted to tell you that we found that these actions [were] targeted not only against Russia, but also against the president elect. . . . and with all our rights to responds we have decided not to act now because, its because the Obama people are dissatisfied that they lost the elections and, and its very deplorable. . . . Flynn responded, “we are not going to agree on everything, you know that, but I think that we have a lot of things in common. A lot. And we have to figure out how to achieve those things, . . .and be smart about it and keep the temperature down globally, as well as not just here in the United States and also over in Russia.
January 5, 2017–Lt. General Mike FLYNN phones Ambassador Sergey KISLYAK to express his condolences on the death of GRU Director Igor SERGUN, who died unexpectedly today from unknown causes.
January 12, 2017–Mike Flynn returns Kislyak’s phone call and discusses possible conference on Syria in Astana, Kazakstan.
January 19, 2017–Kislyak leaves voicemail for Flynn, inquiring about scheduling of a phone call between Putin and Trump after the inauguration.
Now, let us take a new look at the Mueller team’s Statement of Offense. The Mueller team got a key fact wrong. According to the Statement of Offense:
b. On or about December 28, 2016, the Russian Ambassador contacted FLYNN.
Nope. The date was 29 December 2016. Screwing up a date is not an end-of-the-world mistake, but it is inexcusable nonetheless.
Let me remind you what Michael Flynn told FBI Agents Strzok and Pientka when they asked if he “might have asked Kislyak not to escalate the situation, to keep the Russian response reciprocal.” Flynn said, according to the second draft of the FBI 302 recounting the conversation, “NOT REALLY, I DON’T REMEMBER.”
You can read for yourself Flynn’s entire exchange with Kislyak. It covered a variety of topics. It was not the only issue Flynn was dealing with as the incoming National Security Advisor. He had lots of conversations, not only with Kislyak, but with other diplomats from other countries. The fact that he did not precisely remember what he said to Kislyak should not be surprising.
The real question is why did the FBI withhold the transcript of this conversation? They could have said, “here is the transcript of your conversation with Ambassador Kislyak, is that an accurate account?” But they did not. I defy any of you to recall with 100% accuracy a conversation you had with someone almost a month earlier.
The most fascinating revelation from this transcripts is Ambassador Kislyak stating that Russia was aware of the Obama Administration’s efforts to portray normal diplomatic contacts between Moscow and the Trump campaign as something nefarious and that Obama was targeting Trump. Kislyak said:
“And I just wanted to tell you that we found that these actions [were] targeted not only against Russia, but also against the president elect.”
Kislyak and his bosses understood perfectly that the Obama team was attempting a silent coup and were willing to risk conflict with Russia in order to sell that lie. This is beyond outrageous on the part of Obama and his crew of white collared criminals. It is sedition. It is treason.
No honest person can read these transcripts without acknowledging that Flynn spoke as a diplomat intent on serving the interests of America. He was not engaged in treachery, as alleged by the corrupt Judge Emmett Sullivan. In fact, Flynn held his tongue with regard to the Obama crew. He could have trashed them and spoke ill of them. But he did not.
These transcripts show Flynn as a man of honor. A genuine professional. They also expose the fraud perpetrated on the American public by an FBI and Special Prosecutor intent on smearing Flynn as acting on behalf of the Russians. Michael Flynn did no such thing.