For anyone following the saga of Lt. General Michael T. Flynn (Ret.), the one theme that helps explain the case is: It Just Never Ends.
As reported by both UncoverDC and The Washington Pundit back in March 2021, the Defense Department Inspector General (DoD OIG) had concluded a “long-delayed investigation into Michael Flynn,” sending its findings to the Army “in a case that could bring tens of thousands of dollars in financial penalties for President Donald Trump’s first NSA (National Security Advisor).” The investigation centered around Gen. Flynn’s business dealings during his time as a private citizen in between serving as the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) under President Obama and his appointment as NSA by President Trump.
The story again made headlines earlier this year in May when Just The News (JTN) reported Gen. Flynn had received a notification letter from the Biden Pentagon stating the Dept. of the Army Office of the General Counsel had determined he had violated the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution and would be forced to repay proceeds out of his pension for allegedly unauthorized work on behalf of foreign governments performed as a private citizen after leaving the Army. Gen. Flynn would discuss the letter the day after the JTN article was published in an interview with John Solomon—the article’s author—and Amanda Head.
Gen. Flynn mentioned during the interview that DoD had declined to provide him with a copy of the OIG investigation report. In response to the investigation, UncoverDC filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and recently obtained a copy of the report. The details are quite eye-opening and expose what a partisan witch-hunt the entire investigation was from the very beginning. And believe it or not, it could have been a lot worse.
The dates listed at the top of the report are the first thing that jumps out. DoD OIG “initiated an investigation” into Gen. Flynn in April 2017. This is less than two months after Gen. Flynn was forced to resign as President Trump’s NSA. It also has nothing to do with the allegations of lying to the FBI about his call with Russian Ambassador Kislyak and is separate from the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) investigation he would be subjected to by the Mueller Investigation. It demonstrates further how the Deep State was throwing everything—including the kitchen sink—at him around this time by weaponizing the full force of the U.S. government to “get Flynn” at all costs.
The report stems from a referral made by the House Oversight Committee to DoD OIG. Sadly, the House investigation was a bipartisan effort headed up by then-Republican Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and the Democratic Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD). Chaffetz—who now makes regular appearances on Fox News whining about his own targeting by the administrative state—went on to gleefully discuss the referral with Greta Van Susteren on MSNBC.
If you want to know how we arrived at the point of having an openly political and weaponized FBI raiding the homes of journalists, political opponents, and the former President of the United States, we present to you Exhibit A:
The DoD OIG investigation would be put on hold in June 2017, around the same time the Mueller Investigation set its sights with their multifaceted and ever-changing attempts to indict Gen. Flynn on something … anything. The DoD OIG investigation would remain on hold until President Trump ended the Mueller fiasco in November 2020 by granting Gen. Flynn his full Pardon of Innocence.
The one date that really jumps out is when the report was issued, Jan 27, 2021. Conveniently enough, one week after President Trump left office when he or his political appointees could no longer review or intervene to shut down this latest witch-hunt.
Before diving any further into the details of the DoD OIG report, it is important to highlight just how frivolous the basis of this investigation was, to begin with. The Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution can be categorized in the same sphere as violations of the Logan Act of 1799. No one with any knowledge of U.S. law takes either one seriously. They are simply used as a cudgel by partisan politicians to target their political opponents. As we will detail in a subsequent column, the use of the Emoluments Clause was a novel legal theory originally concocted by Obama official, Trump impeachment architect, and Brookings Institute Senior Fellow Norm Eisen to repeatedly harass President Trump, members of his family, and administration.
Attorneys Viva Frei and Robert Barnes broke down the news of the rekindled DoD OIG investigation when it was first reported by The Washington Post’s crack staff of “deeply sourced and relentless” Pulitzer Prize-winning Pee-Pee Hoax journalists back in March 2021. Barnes drops some very interesting nuggets that have not come out before.
The report indicates DoD OIG investigated Gen. Flynn on four separate allegations. It is unclear whether the Biden Pentagon will or is able to act on the other findings listed. For the purposes of this column, we focus on the one which the Dept. of the Army appears to be pursuing the General on related to his paid speaking engagement at a December 2015 Russia Today (RT) Gala.
RT 10-Year Anniversary Gala in Moscow (December 2015)
Defense attorney Sidney Powell addressed Gen. Flynn’s attendance at the RT Gala along with other accusations made in the DoD OIG report in numerous interviews throughout his Mueller Investigation trial.
As the JTN article details, Gen. Flynn made DIA fully aware of his planned trip to Moscow to speak at the RT event. This was confirmed by a signed affidavit from former DIA Senior Executive David Becker. Gen. Flynn contacted DIA ahead of time to let them know he expected to meet with “Senior Leadership of Russia,” including the Director of the GRU (Main Intelligence Directorate)—Russia’s main military intelligence agency and counterpart of the DIA. No less than 10 U.S. counterintelligence officials briefed Gen. Flynn on collection requirements and “intelligence threat[s]” potentially directed towards him. Immediately upon his return, he contacted DIA, was debriefed, and turned over all information he had collected while on his trip, including “a thumb drive of pictures and other information.” The encrypted thumb drive, the secure laptop used on the trip, and other secured devices used to collect Intel were likely all provided to him by DIA in advance of the trip.
The engagement itself was arranged by Leading Authorities, Inc. (LAI), which is the main speakers’ bureau used by nearly all public figures to book paid speaking engagements. Gen. Flynn was unaware President Vladimir Putin would be in attendance and was seated next to the Russian leader for only 10 to 15 minutes after Putin made the surprise appearance.
Gen. Flynn attended the RT Gala along with former Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein who also had the trip arranged and was paid to give a speech by LAI. The appearance has been used to relentlessly smear Flynn as a secret agent for Russia. Stein also wound up being accused of being a “Russian asset” by Hillary Clinton, which is an epic backfire since Stein herself was one of the Trump-Russia Collusion Hoax originators.
The DoD OIG report includes a “Description of Attached Relevant Documents” section—although the attachments were not included with the response to UDC’s FOIA request. Included in the list of attachments are copies of transcripts from the RT Gala from the U.S. Dept of State, Headquarters – Dept. of the U.S. Army (HQDA), and U.S. Army Human Resources Command (HRC). So multiple sections of the U.S. Dept. of State and the Dept. of Defense were keenly aware of Gen. Flynn’s attendance and speech for well over a year before it suddenly became problematic.
The real accusation seems to be a technicality that Gen. Flynn did not seek or receive “proper approval” before making the speech and receiving payment. Well, is that true? This is where the information Robert Barnes revealed might tell the real story. Listen again to the Barnes sound byte and then what Gen. Flynn seems to hint at in his JTN interview.
Did you catch it? Conventional wisdom—even by those coming to the defense of Gen. Flynn—has always been that he scheduled the RT speech himself through LAI and then reached out to the DIA for the intelligence briefings. So DIA was just taking advantage of the opportunity … “Well, since you’re going to be there anyways …”
If Barnes is correct, that does not seem to be the case at all. DIA came up with the idea and initiated the trip for Gen. Flynn in the first place. They put him up to it. Gen. Flynn seems to add credence to the theory in his JTN interview when he says,
I know there are classified documents that go along with everything I did. So you know, I mean release the damn classified documents. I won’t speak to those, but I know that they exist.
The next logical question is, “How would Robert Barnes know?”. He is just a constitutional attorney and has never even worked for the government. Barnes is a top defense attorney—who holds a law license in DC—and has represented a number of clients in highly politicized cases. In fact, he represented former FBI agent Robyn Gritz in her a sexual harassment complaint against former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. This is the case where Gen. Flynn personally intervened on behalf of Gritz. McCabe likely held a grudge against Gen. Flynn from that point forward and probably was a factor in McCabe leading the witch-hunt to take Gen. Flynn out.
Barnes also represented several individuals targeted by the Mueller Investigation due to their association with Gen. Flynn and even informally advised the General during his criminal trial. At one point, Barnes was considered to take over as Flynn’s defense counsel from Covington & Burling, LLP before recommending Sidney Powell, who would be hired instead. So Barnes would have knowledge directly from Gen. Flynn and related sources within the Intel Community, as he has mentioned on different occasions.
Therein lays the Catch-22. The DIA under President Obama—the same man who fired Gen. Flynn for voicing opposition to the Iran Nuclear Deal and warning about the rise of ISIS—asks him to carry out an intelligence gathering operation. Being the American patriot he is, the General decides to put his country above politics and agrees. The mission proved to be wildly more successful than anyone could have hoped, with a top U.S. intelligence agent getting to sit with the President of Russia and collect invaluable information that our government can exploit in future dealings with one of our top geopolitical rivalries for years to come.
Six years later, the Pentagon—now under Joe “Hey … why don’t we try using the Logan Act“ Biden—can now use the RT mission to launch a new smear campaign against Gen. Flynn. They can bury the documents behind classification since they would reveal “sources and methods” of inserting a U.S. spy into a direct meeting with the President of Russia. These would be some highly classified documents within the possession of the U.S. government—unlikely to ever see the light of day. And they know Gen. Flynn can’t breathe a word about the true nature of the mission in his own defense. If he reveals they put him up to it, he risks criminal prosecution for violating his oath and disclosing classified information. So they can go on trashing the reputation of an American war hero, believing he just has to sit there and take it.
These people are truly sick and have no shame … but it’s not going to work.
Stay tuned for our follow-up column when we will deep-dive into the other allegations detailed in the DoD OIG report on Gen. Flynn, where we will expose how government officials continue to use fake news stories to justify their politicized investigations and targeting. (The Washington Pundit, 9/07/2023) (Archive)