After the 2016 election, the Washington insiders who had together orchestrated The Russia Lie switched into a cover-up, hide-the-evidence, continue-to-harm-Trump operation. Trump had been elected with the promise that he would appoint General Michael Flynn as his national Security Advisor. Flynn had publicly favored a rapprochement with Russia.
Once behind the desk with access to the government’s top-secret files, Flynn would have figured out that the FBI and CIA combined with the DNC and members of the Obama administration played political dirty tricks against Trump. The plotters’ first order of business was to destroy Flynn.
In their meeting two days after the election, President Obama forcefully told Trump not to give Flynn a role in his administration. Trump was taken aback but did not listen. He made General Flynn his National Security Advisor.
In that role during the transition, Flynn would contact foreign dignitaries and make introductions on behalf of the incoming Trump administration.
The Obama Administration needed a Plan B: Invent an international incident to entrap Flynn.
On December 27, 2016, President Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats – including gardeners and chauffeurs – for “interfering” in the election. Flynn had a conversation with the Russian ambassador the next day and the plotters listened in via wiretap. The Obama administration wanted to see if Flynn signaled to the Russians that the Trump administration would have a different approach to foreign policy.
Under American law, it is reasonable for an incoming administration to communicate its foreign policy preferences during a transition, even if they differ from the lame duck administration. That is one of the purposes of a presidential transition. Flynn could have said, “President-elect Trump believes this Russian interference thing is a fantasy and these sanctions will be lifted on his first day in office.”
Given the soupy mix of conspiracy theories at the time, though, it is unlikely the Trump administration would have survived such an act of diplomatic common sense. These scoundrels were hoping to get Flynn on tape making that sort of accommodation to the Russians. The promise to lift the ridiculous sanctions would then be cited to suggest a quid pro quo that proved the nonexistent collusion.
Instead, Flynn was noncommittal in his wiretapped conversation. Drat!
The plotters did have a transcript of what he said, though. This is where the tin-pot dictator behavior of FBI Director James Comey is fully displayed. He invited Flynn to be interviewed by the FBI, supposedly about Russian collusion to steal the election. If you’re Flynn, you say, “Sure, I want to tell you 15 different ways that there was no collusion and when do you want to meet.” What Flynn did not know was that the purpose of the interview had nothing to do with the election. It would be a test pitting Flynn’s memory against the transcript.
Think about that for a moment. Comey did not need to ask Flynn what was said in the conversation with the ambassador – he had a transcript. The only reason to ask Flynn about it was to cross him up. The inescapable conclusion is that the FBI set a trap for the incoming national security advisor to affect the foreign policy of the newly elected president.
Flynn perhaps was not completely clear about what he had discussed with the ambassador. In his defense, he did not believe he was sitting there to tell the FBI how the Trump administration was dealing with Russia going forward. The conversation was supposed to be about the election. He certainly did not think the FBI would unmask his comments and compare them to his answers. That would be illegal.
Only the most wild-eyed conspiracy theorist would have suggested during the FISA debate back in 1978 that an outgoing administration could use a wiretap to interfere with his successor’s transition. Yet that is what happened here.
Flynn was forced to resign. The conspirators had successfully eliminated the one person with the experience and gumption to discover their dirty tricks and go after them for it. Once Flynn had been successfully sidelined, insiders combined with the media to gaslight a phony Russia narrative that called into question Trump’s legitimacy.
Republicans played leading roles ginning up Russia hysteria during the transition. Trump appointed Exxon chairman Rex Tillerson as his Secretary of State. He had received the Order of Friendship from Vladimir Putin in 2013, for his work on the Arctic Exploration Pact with Russia’s state-owned oil company, Rosneft. Tillerson drew the ire of Marco Rubio, a prominent Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, who tweeted, “Being a ‘friend of Vladimir’ is not an attribute I am hoping for from a #SecretaryofState – MR.”
Sen . John McCain expressed opposition to Tillerson’s appointment. McCain went on TV to declare that “Vladimir Putin is a thug, and a murderer, and a killer… .and a KGB agent.” Trump’s attorney general, Sen. Jeff Sessions, ridiculously recused himself from the Russia probe because of minor contacts with the Russian ambassador at the Senate, which somehow placed him under investigation for collusion.
All of Washington – Republicans and Democrats – were now playing the same Russia game. Everyone knew their role.
FBI Director James Comey attended a meeting before Trump’s inauguration, during which President Obama posited that “we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia” with the new president.
Comey had an obligation to say, “Mr. President, with all due respect, the FBI gathers intelligence for the president, and once you’re out the door and the new guy is in here, I have an obligation to share everything with him, even embarrassing facts that show we were using the FBI to improperly surveil his campaign.”
Instead, Comey – who was up to his neck in the political operation at this point – saluted and said, “Yes sir.” When Trump took office, information meant to assist him in making intelligent decisions as Commander in Chief was kept from him. For that alone, Comey should be locked in an iron mask and set adrift in a rudderless skiff upon an edict that he may never again hear news of his country.
Moments after the inauguration, as the Obama administration’s last official act in office, Susan rice sent a CYA email clumsily stating that President Obama had said during the earlier meeting that everyone should do everything by-the-book. Ambassador Rice wrote:
President Obama began the conversation by stressing his continued commitment to ensuring that every aspect of this issue is handled by the Intelligence and law enforcement communities ‘by the book’. The President stressed that he is not asking about, initiating or instructing anything from a law enforcement perspective. He reiterated that our law enforcement team needs to proceed as it normally would by the book.
These people knew exactly what they were doing.