Obama talks out of both sides of his mouth

Michael Flynn (AP pix)

Former President Barack Obama on Friday in a private conversation said that the “rule of law is at risk” due to the Justice Department dropping charges against former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn, a former Army lieutenant general, according to Yahoo.

“And the fact that there is no precedent that anybody can find for someone who has been charged with perjury just getting off scot-free. That’s the kind of stuff where you begin to get worried that basic — not just institutional norms — but our basic understanding of rule of law is at risk. And when you start moving in those directions, it can accelerate pretty quickly as we’ve seen in other places,” Obama was quoted as saying.

Flynn was not charged with perjury but with lying to the FBI, which is what James Cartwright — a retired Marine Corps general and former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a key member of Obama’s national security team in his first term was charged with.

Days before leaving office in 2017, Obama pardoned Cartwright prior to sentencing, according to The New York Times.

Rule of law? No precedent?

Hat tip to PJ Media.

James Cartwright (AP pix)

40 comments on “Obama talks out of both sides of his mouth

  1. Anonymous says:

    Integrity? Principles?

    “Mr. Flynn, who served less than a month as the national security adviser before resigning in disgrace, pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to F.B.I. investigators about his communications with the Russian ambassador.
    When asked about the plea at the time, Mr. Trump said, “I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the vice president and the F.B.I.”
    That was true, of course. Mr. Flynn did lie, as he admitted to under oath in a court of law — twice. He told investigators, falsely, that he had not communicated with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States, about possible changes to American foreign policy toward Russia even before Mr. Trump took office.
    Last year Mr. Flynn asked the federal judge to throw out his conviction because, he claimed, the prosecutors and F.B.I. agents on his case had engaged in misconduct. The judge rejected his request, finding that the agents had not entrapped Mr. Flynn. And a report by the Justice Department’s inspector general found that the bureau had sufficient evidence to investigate Mr. Flynn as part of its inquiry into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, even as the report was sharply critical of the F.B.I.’s broader handling of that investigation.”

  2. Rincon says:

    I believe the Founding Fathers got the power to pardon wrong. Receiving a get out of jail free card just because you’re on the President’s team is ridiculous. If the justice system commits a serious error, then let it go through another trial. If reforms are needed, institute them. Pardoning political hacks is the purview of autocrats and has no place in a democracy (or a representative republic for those who are touchy).

    Obama’s pardon of Cartwright is highly suspicious, as is dismissing charges against Flynn . The difference is that I consider both to be worth a thorough investigation, while Conservatives will undoubtedly excuse the Trump Justice Department, while condemning Obama. The question of why an innocent man would lie never even occurs to them, at least regarding one of their own. Partisans just don’t understand or perhaps reject the concept of objectivity. Very sad.

    BTW, please explain why whether it’s lying to the FBI or perjury is relevant in any way. Unless I misunderstand something, it sounds a lot like partisan nitpicking.

  3. Rincon says:

    Another BTW: Perhaps I should have phrased my comment differently. Are you condemning Obama and the Justice Department equally here, or trying to justify the Justice Department?

  4. Steve says:

    Not under oath when being “questioned” by law enforcement.

  5. Obama said the charge against Flynn was perjury. It was not.

  6. Athos says:

    Left/Right divide? So, in order to compel your argument, you offer an NYSlimes Opinion piece (that no one takes credit. It’s a product of the “editorial board”). And the spin is awesome. But No Sale.

    Mike Flynn was SET UP to get him out of the way. Comey broke the law by leaking material to his professor buddy that paved the way for almost 2 years of The Mueller Fiasco. I’m mad at Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell for not holding these players feet to the fire. But the absolute scope of this inside the beltway coup is hard to believe (cause aren’t we all Americans and don’t elections have winners and losers?)

    The problem with the left is they won’t accept the results of Trump winning.

    It HAD to be the Russians, right?

    No Way the American public would vote Trump over Clinton, right?

    There is no way those “deplorable flyovers” voting against Hillary could put enough electoral votes together to actually win, right??

    Aren’t the left’s ideas far superior to the rights? Isn’t global warming the #1 threat to mankind?
    And fly over states are so dumb, they need the left to tell them which bathroom they should use? How could ANYONE vote against that, right?

    They weren’t real keen on accepting W back in 2000, were they?

    The reason we are a successful nation is we accept the outcome of elections. We don’t want the dead or illegal aliens to vote. Only citizens. Otherwise, it’s civil war, isn’t it?

  7. Anonymous says:

  8. Rincon says:

    Nice rant, Athos. A little vacuous, but it has a lot of style.

    BTW, I didn’t ask if it was or was not perjury per se, but rather, why you feel it makes a difference. If you can’t explain that, I’ll just have to classify it as partisan nit picking.

  9. Athos says:

    You can partisan nit pick all you want, Rin. I can’t stop you. Nor can I compel you to investigate how Mike Flynn was set up. More will be revealed about this whole sordid affair. And when you can’t accept the fact that Trump is the duly elected 45th President of the United States, (and you have a lot of deranged company) I suppose “mindless but stylish” is the best you can do, isn’t it?

    Annie, I thought your cousin’s video was funny. You got any more?

  10. Athos says:

    Here’s a tidbit for you, Rin: Where is the evidence that Mike Flynn lied? And please don’t say he plead guilty, because he withdrew that plea. So where is the evidence?

  11. Anonymous says:

    I can’t believe I have to say this, but please don’t drink bleach.

    “Accidental poisonings as a result of Americans mistakenly ingesting bleach or other household cleaners spiked over March and April, nearly doubling as President Trump suggested the chemicals could be useful in fighting coronavirus infections.

    Data from the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) first reported by Time on Tuesday found that the number of calls to poison control hotlines regarding accidental poisoning from household cleaners and disinfectants surged over the past two months, nearly doubling the number of cases reported in March of 2019 and more than doubling April 2019’s total case numbers.”

  12. Anonymous says:

    Thomas this is a very big day in our little constitutional republic and I’m wondering if I could get your take on the arguments taking place in the Supreme Court about whether the president is answerable to the people while he is in office, or whether he’s not?

    “The Supreme Court will face its most politically potent case of the term on Tuesday when the justices hear arguments in a landmark dispute over access to President Trump’s financial records and tax returns.

    Trump contends that the broad powers he enjoys as the country’s chief executive invalidate subpoenas issued by House Democrats and a New York grand jury, and even bar access to a third-party paper trail of his financial dealings from before he entered office.”

    Keeping in mind that two unanimous Supreme Courts have ruled on the issues of executive privilege and immunity from civil lawsuits in the last 50 and 23 years respectively:

    “In a 1974 ruling against President Nixon’s right to shield secret Watergate tapes, a unanimous court held that while presidents can conceal some confidential information under executive privilege, they cannot withhold key evidence from a criminal investigation.

    In another unanimous ruling in 1997, the court decided in Clinton v. Jones that presidents are not immune from civil lawsuits for conduct that occurred before entering the White House, allowing a sexual harassment case to proceed against Clinton while in office.”

    https://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/497219-supreme-court-to-hear-blockbuster-case-on-trump-financial-records

  13. Depends on whether it is really a criminal investigation or a political fishing expedition, doesn’t it?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Never seen any such distinction made and certainly never saw any authority to question the motives of the legislature in making a law, or a litigant in filing an action.

    Have you?

  15. Athos says:

    It’s got to be hard being you, Annie. After all, “….. you have to pretend Joe Biden is competent, Hillary Clinton is innocent, and Barack Obama did a good job…..” Pookie Tunes

  16. Athos says:

    Here’s another one from Pookie…..” Is Biden as bad as Bill Clinton? Close, but no cigar!”

  17. Rincon says:

    Ask and ye shall receive…

    “…he had spoken with Russia’s ambassador the same day the Obama administration announced hefty sanctions on the country.”

    “Over the next few days, Flynn repeated the lie to Priebus and others in the White House. No sanctions discussions with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, he told Mike Pence, the vice president-elect. He said the same to press secretary Sean Spicer. And they parroted that to the public.”

    “The denials set off alarm bells at the Justice Department.
    Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, an Obama holdover, and other senior officials knew the comments weren’t true. U.S. intelligence agencies, which routinely monitor the communications of foreign diplomats, had learned of Flynn’s discussions with Kislyak when analyzing the Kremlin’s response to the sanctions. The FBI had also opened an investigation into Flynn’s relationship with Russia.”

    “Yates worried that Flynn’s lie could put him and other U.S. officials in a compromising position because the Russians could prove the American public had been misled. There was also an ongoing counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russia, of which Flynn’s calls were now a part of the mounting evidence.”

    “He also lied about a follow-up phone call and another matter: On Dec. 21, 2016, when Egypt pushed a resolution at the United Nations critical of Israeli settlements in Palestinian areas, Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner turned to Flynn to push for the Kremlin to oppose the move. Flynn had unsuccessfully pressured Kislyak on the issue. But he told the agents otherwise.

    “News of the false statements to the FBI— a crime under federal law— quickly made it to Yates, who on Jan. 26, called White House counsel Don McGahn.” https://apnews.com/d47a5be3e46442d0a1243c7dc52278f3

    Now for the operative question: What possible reason could Flynn have had to lie? He gave no explanation that I’m aware of.

  18. Athos says:

    Wow, Rin! You really got the goods, this time! When are you going to DC and set the record straight with Bill Barr and all those rascally Republicans? You taking CHAD DAY with you?

    Uh

    I thought Sally Yates was told about Flynn’s conversation w/Kislyak from Obama. Did I get that info wrong? Maybe you could ask good old muckraking Chad, eh?

  19. Athos says:

    And what reason did Joe Biden give to unmask Flynn’s conversation w/Kislyak 9 days before Trump took over as President? (1/12/2017) Hmmmm?

  20. Rincon says:

    Timing the unmasking may be dirty politics, although I am dead certain that you would never consider it that in a turnabout situation, but the fact is, Flynn lied to the FBI and others. Do the crime, you do the time…unless you have the President in your corner, just like most third world countries. We get closer every day.

  21. Rincon says:

    Let’s see, you think it’s perfectly all right for the President’s staff to be immune from prosecution, since the Justice Department can just dismiss or neglect filing charges for political appointees whenever they want, especially if el Presidente orders it. Have I got it straight?

  22. Anonymous says:

    No Rincon you forgot one very important word “this”, as in “this president” can do those things.

  23. The charges — from the guys under the previous president — were bogus.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Release the transcripts of Flynns call and let’s all see together.

    I mean, not that it will change that he lied, and therefore broke the law, but let’s all see what he was lying about.

    And my recollection, admittedly failing in my old age, was that Pense was so angry that Flynn lied to him about not having that conversation with the Russian and that that this was why he got fired in the first place. Surely not because Flynn lied to the FBI or investigators.

    But knowing what a principled guy you are Thomas, I’m sure you’re all in favor of releasing that conversation so that that great “disinfectant” can free us all from these speculations.

    Right?

  25. Rincon says:

    You miss the point, Thomas. The end does not justify the means. Even if what you say is true, it calls for a retrial, not a dismissal ordered by one man. (Aside to Athos: Here’s a good example of Conservatives wanting to do things the way that third world strongmen do them. One man in charge. Do what he says.) Do you really think it’s a good idea to have an administration police itself? If so, then I suggest that veterinarians should be allowed to run their own profession without any governmental regulations. Selling narcotics would be very profitable!

  26. Athos says:

    They (Obama Plummers) spied on and set up Flynn. The only thing that’s relevant to Trump, is the fact that with Flynn out of the way, they could continue to spy on Trump and his people. I can’t believe you’re so partisan (or so infected with TDS) that you don’t see the damage of Obama spying on the Trump (Republican) candidate! Maybe ’cause you and your cartel of veterinarians selling narcotics have sampled too much of the product;)

    And for your information, when the shoe was on the other foot (his name was Nixon, and his peeps spied on McGovern) our guy RESIGNED rather than get impeached. (and he took air force one and flew off to his San Clemente home! Ah, who says politics don’t pay??)

  27. Athos says:

    Annie, maybe they’ll release the unmasking requests so we can see the reason Sleepy Joe gave to unmask Flynn on 1/12/17!

  28. Those who interviewed Flynn did not believe he lied.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Does this count as an interview?

    “President Donald Trump changed his story Saturday on why he fired Michael Flynn as his national security adviser, now suggesting he knew at the time that Flynn had lied to the FBI as well as to Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with Russians during the presidential transition.

    That was a turnabout from his initial explanations that Flynn had to go because he hadn’t been straight with Pence about those contacts. Lying to the FBI is a crime, and one that Flynn acknowledged Friday in pleading guilty and agreeing to cooperate with the special counsel’s Russia investigation.

    Trump’s tweet: “I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!”

    https://apnews.com/f5ab3e3c75304b9bbe1e4b32322b3faf/Trump-alters-story-on-why-he-fired-Flynn

  30. Athos says:

    Trump’s good at learning as you go. Remember, he’s not a career Politician like Zero or BJ. But he is catching on, isn’t he? Wouldn’t you love to see 4 more years of this, annie?

  31. Rincon says:

    I suppose he might do better the next time around if there’s another pandemic on his watch (couldn’t do much worse now, could he?), but maybe it’s not so smart to hire a leader with no expertise in the first place. Name me any private corporation that installed a CEO with no relevant knowledge.

    Rule 1 for next time is, don’t fire the Pandemic Response Team just before a pandemic (wow, the worst timing ever!). Rule 2 is, try to appoint people with some expertise, not political hacks with none to offer. Betsy DeVos comes to mind. Rule 3 is, try to have some N95 masks available, at least within 3 months (we STILL can’t get them for my employees)

  32. Athos says:

    Rinny, your in Illinois, right? You’ve got a peach of a Governor. Maybe he could get you some N95 masks! (when he’s not too busy busting citizens with more than 2 persons on a boat)

  33. Steve says:

    “Name me any private corporation that installed a CEO with no relevant knowledge.”

    Rincon…”Peter Principle” look it up.

    It applies here.

  34. Rincon says:

    🙂

  35. Athos says:

    you’re not your. fire the editor!

  36. Anonymous says:

    “Trump says he would prefer for government employees to wash Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s dishes if his wife or son was not there to do so.

    While the dish-washing assertion was not among those reportedly investigated by the State Department inspector general fired by Trump last week at Pompeo’s recommendation, the secretary of state faced dual investigations by the department watchdog into whether he had staffers perform personal chores and whether he looked to circumvent Congress in accelerating an arms deal with Saudi Arabia.”

    Any plans to write a piece about Trump firing the Inspector General Thomas?

  37. Rincon says:

    I think he’s settled into a routine of firing anyone who gives him bad news like any other autocrat, but at least he doesn’t have them executed like Kim Jong Un….although come to think of it, Trump does express an admiration for him and lots of other autocrats.

  38. Athos says:

    There’s no way Trump should have anyone loyal to him, working for him, right? Who does that Trump guy think he is, Obama??

  39. Rincon says:

    I’m just amazed how he consistently picks people that aren’t loyal to him so that they must be terminated. Ya just can’t find good help these days. Poor Donald. It couldn’t have anything to do with the fact that he blames everyone but himself for all problems or that he refuses to believe his own experts, such as our intelligence community or his medical experts. Hydroxyquinone, anyone?

  40. Anonymous says:

    How timely your mention of Hydroxycloroquin is Rincon!

    Some here might remember the Orange Satan some here refer to as God telling everyone with two ears that in advance of drinking detergent and shoving a UV lamp up their rectum that they ought to take this drug (made by a company he partially owns “Sanofil”) because since he plays a doctor on one of his reality shows “what do you have to lose?”

    Course, this was before he started (snicker) and then stopped (for what reason he would stop is very hard to understand since obviously we were all told that taking it prophylactically was safe and great, but nevertheless he stopped but of course never said he wanted YOU to stop (his stock and all…)

    And after multiple studies showing that the drugs were killing people though even far right wing pundits were embarrassed to continue touting this snake oil.

    So now in a large study just published by the British Medical Journal The Lancet, we learned what everyone WITHOUT a financial interest in the company that makes this drug knew all along; that the only thing the drug does for corona patients is kill them. And not one other good thing.

    “treated with hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria touted by President Trump, had a much higher risk of death than those who were not, according to a new study of 96,000 patients.

    The study, published Friday in the medical journal The Lancet, found that patients who were treated with hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine also faced a much higher risk of abnormal heartbeats, called arrhythmias, which could result in cardiac arrest.

    The study looked at patients across six different continents, and is the largest analysis to date on the effects of treating COVID-19 patients with hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine.”

    https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/499140-anti-malaria-drug-hyped-by-trump-has-high-death-risk-in-covid-patients-new

    “I can’t believe I have to say this, but please don’t drink bleach”

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