More on Trump/Russia/Flynn Nuclear Deal

September 14, 2017

I posted yesterday on a massive nuclear power deal involving Saudis and Russians, that former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn had curiously failed to disclose. Rachel Maddow has a good synthesis of that from last night — meat starts at 8:49 if you’re pressed.

I point this out because it bears on the very significant swamp of difficulties that a global nuclear program to combat climate change is up against.  I’m all for continuing research on “next generation” nuclear plants that, purportedly, have no utility in manufacturing nuclear weapons, but for now, the technologies are inseparable, else why the big hubbub about Iran’s “peaceful” nuclear options?

Current nuclear technology is unique in that it cannot exist outside of a highly capital intensive, and secretive, nexus of global industrial and military interests. As such, it is a magnet for the type of activities for which General Flynn is currently in deep legal jeopardy.

In addition, it is relevant because I believe that climate, and the emerging “carbon bubble”,  is the essential subtext for the entire Trump/Russia scandal, the reason that Vladimir Putin, on behalf of his gang of Fossil Fueled oligarchs, would take such an enormous risk and intervene in the US political system – continued exploitation of fossil fuels is critical to his huge fortune, and the fortunes of his Russian Mafia circle.

Just Security:

Q. Refusing to comply with a congressional subpoena doesn’t look great. What do you think Flynn’s strategy is? What’s his cost-benefit analysis here?

A. There are lots of reasons to try to avoid asserting the Fifth Amendment in highly scrutinized and politicized cases such as the Russia investigations. While the privilege is designed to protect both the guilty and the innocent from prosecutorial overreach, it comes with great reputational damage in fact. In my best judgment as an observer, two things are informing Flynn’s strategy: (1) he faces a clear and present likelihood of indictment for at least a False Statements felony under 18 USC 1001. and (2) Flynn has already had his lawyer publicly signal his intent to assert the Fifth. Reputational damage has already been priced into Flynn’s defense team’s calculations. At this point, the whole game for Flynn is avoiding conviction and jail time.

Q. Does Special Counsel Robert Mueller have tools to compel testimony not available to congressional investigators?

A. Like Congress, Mueller can offer immunity. Unlike Congress, however, a prosecutor also use charging decisions as leverage for testimony and or plea bargains. For example, let’s say Mueller’s grand jury had probable cause to indict Flynn for, say, a Logan Act violation, three FARA criminal offenses, and two False Statement offenses. Mueller could offer to proceed with only a single felony count of False Statements in return for a guilty plea and a favorable sentencing recommendation predicated on substantial assistance to the government, including testimony before Congress and the Grand Jury.

Another interesting idea: During Watergate, Judge John Sirica used sentencing to leverage congressional testimony from several figures who were convicted in criminal trials but had used the Fifth Amendment as a shield against Congress. There is some doubt about whether that methodology is viable today, both in the context of the federal sentencing guidelines and more recent Fifth Amendment waiver cases, but it is worthy of contemplation.

Q. If Flynn did indeed take this trip and fail to disclose it on his security clearance form, is that significant?

A. An undisclosed effort to help broker a deal for Russian government entities is a huge revelation in the context of the Russia investigations. It could be significant legally as it relates to FARA, False Statements, or Espionage Act investigations. The legal significance for each would turn on the nature of Flynn’s role in the deal and his mental state about the failure to disclose.

Q. At this point, is it safe to say that Flynn has some serious criminal liability?

A. Flynn is in significant legal jeopardy of criminal prosecution.

 

 

If you have a sub to the Wall Street Journal, (I don’t), you can read the mentioned new revelations here.

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5 Responses to “More on Trump/Russia/Flynn Nuclear Deal”

  1. Thomas Simon Says:

    Thank you for this – I called Senator Grassley’s office and received assurance he will get a response on the WSJ article for me.

  2. dumboldguy Says:

    WHOA! A very watchable 20 minutes from Rachel. That loud gurgling sound is all the Russian troll toilets being flushed yet again.

    Will DweebyJ or one of the other Russian trolls make some inane dismissive comment in an attempt to deflect us from the substantial truths that are being revealed?

    (They are already down rating this piece with the stars (I gave it 5) and will soon be giving my comment thumbs down—-believe me).

  3. webej Says:

    Let me get this straight:
    [1] He met/was paid by a Kremlin new organization [read:RT] — this is about as accurate as stating that someone who comes on a talk show for the state-sponsored BBC or the CBC met with MI5 or Cdn intelligence.
    [2] He was in contact with Kasperski Labs, a company that has earned its spurs in the anti-virus world, with its software and labs. They were involved in revealing NSA software that inserts itself in the firmware of you hard drive, undetectable to virus scanners, and in reconstructing the code that went into the StuxNet virus (another piece of American cyberwarfare aggression).
    [3] Something about acquiring Russian hackers to get dirt on Hillary Clinton — a story that always forgets to ask how the “Russians” could possibly have guessed, out of all the information in the world, that they would strike gold because Hillary and Podesta just happened to have all these incriminating emails lying about in other places than properly safe-guarded State Department servers.
    [4] He met with Eric Prins — another clear example of a tried and convicted traitor.
    [5] He was involved in a big deal with nuclear reactors to America’s ally Saudi which is obviously a conspiracy by Russian fossil fuel interests to corner control over America’s political system with a paltry K$50 investment in facebook messages to get their anti-climate man Trump into office. As a result, Russian oil exports have leaped to unprecedented heights because nobody wants Saudi oil if they are running nuclear reactors from Russia, and as it turns out, Rosneft was a secret share-holder in Rusatom for no other purpose than to lay a trap for people who might suppose that fossil fuels and nuclear energy are competing energy providers.

    The plot structure is becoming delusional…

    • dumboldguy Says:

      As predicted, a Russian troll has appeared to try to muddy the waters and distract/deflect. Also as predicted, he has given my comment the obligatory thumbs down vote.

      It is quite laughable that he seeks to “get this all straight” and “interpret” it for us, when anyone who is at all confused only needs to watch the Maddow piece again and take notes (just as Mueller et al have been doing) to see the truth.

      What’s becoming delusional is DweebyJ’s belief that he is earning his paycheck as a Russian troll. Perhaps the Russian troll masters will soon decide that he is not worth the $$$ and fire him as they seem to have done with his mentor Sweet Vera?

      • webej Says:

        More delusion. Haven’t touched the thumbs today. Being all scientific and all, what is your falsifiable test to differentiate between paid trolls and people who disagree with this evidence-free narrative?


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