FBI

Much of the FBI's Treatment of Mike Flynn Was Business as Usual, and That's the Scandal

Agents regularly attempt to catch suspects in lies to threaten them with prosecution, even when they can’t prove underlying crimes.

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Michael Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general and the former national security adviser to President Donald Trump, is back in the news after his attorneys released documents purporting to show that FBI officials considered trying to get Flynn to lie in order to prosecute him or get him fired. Flynn resigned in February 2017. In December 2017, he pled guilty to charges that he intentionally lied to the FBI about his connections and communications with a Russian ambassador.

The documents, released by Flynn's attorneys on Wednesday, show handwritten notes that discuss strategies for interviewing Flynn. One note asks "What is our goal? Truth/admission or to get him to lie so we can prosecute him or get him fired?" Fox News reports that the notes were written by Bill Priestap, the former head of FBI counterintelligence.

Fox highlights that question in its reporting but also contextualizes it: This document appears to show the author (again, Fox reports it is Priestap, but that has not been confirmed by the FBI or the Justice Department) questioning the tactic and suggesting that the FBI show Flynn the evidence against him rather than trick him into a lie. The author of the FBI document worries that "if we're seen as playing games, [White House] will be furious." At the end of the list, the author wrote, "protect our institution by not playing games."

Much of that context is lost in an online uproar over a supposed "perjury trap" meant to bring down Trump by first bringing down Flynn. Whether or not there were individuals or factions within the agency that wanted to attack Trump, what the FBI did to Flynn is normal FBI behavior for interviewing suspects. They've been doing it for decades. (Remember Martha Stewart?)

This is not a defense of the FBI. What the agency did to Flynn was wrong, not because he worked for Trump, but because it is wrong to induce an otherwise not-guilty person to break the law. And it's something FBI interviewers do regularly so that they can use their dishonesty as leverage when there's little evidence of actual criminal behavior. Ken "Popehat" White, Reason contributing editor and a former federal prosecutor who is now a defense attorney, has written extensively about the FBI's tactic of luring suspects into lies. After Flynn pled guilty, White used his plea deal to explain precisely why no one should sit down for an interview with FBI agents without extensive preparation.

On Wednesday, White tweeted out a useful thread explaining precisely how the FBI gets away with this and how federal laws could be reformed to eradicate the practice. Federal statute 18 USC 1001 makes it a crime to lie to the feds on a "material" matter, even if the FBI already knows the truth, aren't misled, and the lie doesn't affect the investigation. This incentivizes the FBI to play these games in the first place, to try to trick suspects into a lie that could be used against them. White argues that if people truly care about these tactics, they should lobby Congress to change the federal statute that makes the practice legal.

Trump appears ready to do his part in getting rid of the practice:

Framing what happened to Flynn primarily as a "deep state" conspiracy to take down Trump obscures the reality that this is a routine and completely legal FBI practice that will continue unless there are serious statutory reforms.

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  1. Its bad when they do this to anyone.

    Its bad when they do this to interfere in an election.

    Both can be true.

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    1. Look, when the FBI was ‘looking into’ Martin Luther King or Malcolm X they were just following orders and it was just business as usual. Really, there’s nothing to see there.

      Oh wait, that’s exactly what they said! The more things change, the more they stay the same huh?

    2. BOTH SIDES GUYS!

      This situation clearly calls for a both sides editorial approach.

      Reason Stylebook page one.

  2. Framing what happened to Flynn primarily as a “deep state” conspiracy to take down Trump obscures the reality that this is a routine and completely legal FBI practice that will continue unless there are serious statutory reforms.

    Perhaps, but acknowledging that they’re willing to do this to a president-elect staffer has value.

    1. It has value in that maybe we can get at least half of the political class to pay attention to the practice. I’ll be happily surprised if the Republicans care beyond Flynn to these abuses against individuals with whom they aren’t allied politically.

      We saw with the FISA extension that at the end of the day they sided with the deep state over citizens, so I won’t hold my breath that they learn the lesson here either.

      1. It has value in that it is more evidence of an attempted coup.

        1. Does anyone in this country really need evidence that there were several attempted coups? I mean, the only evidence lacking is people admitting to it. Oh wait, most of those involved have already done that in one form or another.

          1. See my comment below regarding Schumer when Trump was elected as a good example.

            1. Fist, Leo, R mac and Granite are all correct. This is business as usual codified by federal legislators and signed off on by presidents. Republicans have demonstrated that they are willing to let this shit continue as long as the victim isn’t one of them. And this case is more egregious because it was part of a coup attempt. I’m fine with Scott pointing out the former. He’s wrong to downplay the latter.

        2. Geez; more “attempted coup bullshit” Four points :

          (1) Flynn didn’t get in trouble because of an attempted coup. He landed in hot water because he lied to the Vice President about his contacts with Russia, then lied to the FBI when they interviewed him.

          (2) A mainstay of his lawyer’s brief is the FBI didn’t warn Flynn not to lie in the interview. I know that because a Flynn defender insisted I read the brief. So are we really saying a United States Army Lieutenant General (briefly the National Security Advisor to President Donald Trump) didn’t understand the repercussions of lying his ass off in an FBI interview?

          (3) And the greater “attempted coup” imbecility is garbage of the highest order. It’s preconditions are (a) There was no cause to investigate contacts with Russia by Trump & his associates, and (b) Mueller’s investigation didn’t uncover additional troublesome issues. And who the hell can honestly deny either point?

          Among other things, Mueller found Trump’s campaign manager was giving private briefings to a Russian spy, Trump’s fixer was carrying on secret negotiations with Moscow on a massive business deal all thru the campaign – even while DJT repeatedly lied when asked direct questions on that very subject, Trump’s son said he’d welcome secret Russian help for the campaign, and Trump’s son-in-law asked to use Russian secure communication lines during the transition – to prevent his own government from hearing what was said.

          And there’s plenty more where that comes from. The “attempt coup” bullshit is a fairy tale Right-types tell each other at bedtime. Trump earned scrutiny from the bizarre actions of himself, his family and his associates. Most previous special counsel investigations had much less cause.

          (4) It’s great Right-world has suddenly discovered law enforcement doesn’t play by marquis of queensbury rules. I wonder if this indignation lasts once the subject isn’t White Conservative Politicians?

          1. Aside from “lying” to the FBI (something the agents involved did not reportedly happened at the time) nothing Flynn did is a federal crime. Period. Flynn was well aware the his conversations were taped so it’s much more likely that he didn’t recall every sentence he uttered in an otherwise inconsequential conversation. In fact he reportedly alluded to that fact in the conversation. Comey bragged in testimony that the DOJ took advantage of the disorder in a new administration to entrap Flynn. Mueller found that internal polling was shared outside the campaign, also not a crime. In point of fact there was no cause to investigate an elected president’s campaign as the DOJ has since admitted in light of the IG investigation. This was indeed an attempt by Obama’s DOJ to hobble a duly elected president and they largely succeeded. Flynn is the tip of the iceberg.

            1. Also: Far be it from me to hand out research projects, but it wouldn’t hurt Flynn’s defenders here to look into what a sleazy little turd he is. By the time he hooked-up with DJT, Flynn already had a sizable slime trail, including :

              (1) Attending a meeting in New York with Turkish officials including foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, energy minister Berat Albayrak, and son-in-law of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, where a plan was discussed to abduct Fethullah Gülen and smuggle him to Turkey, bypassing U.S. extradition law. This was while Flynn was both working for the Trump campaign and being well-paid by the Turkish government

              (2) Lobbying for the IP3 International plan to transfer secret nuclear technology to the Saudi government, even while Flynn worked for the Trump campaign and during the transition.

              (3) Putin’s honored all-expenses paid guest, who sat at the Russian thug’s side during a gala dinner for Russia Today in December of 2015 – less than two months before taking a position with the Trump campaign and during a period of heightened tensions with the U.S. over the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

              Flynn sat in on classified national security briefings with then-candidate Trump while at the same time working for multiple foreign clients – and repeatedly failed to disclose his lobbying activities. He was paid 530K by Turkey, and only registered retroactively when exposed. He was paid 34K for his Russian dinner speech, and only registered retroactively when exposed.

              OK : He’s your guy; I get it. But for a bunch of people who worked themselves into hysterics over little Hunter Biden cashing in on his daddy’s name, you folk sure can tolerate a lot of stench steaming off former National Security Adviser Flynn.

              1. My god. A transition team met with foreign leaders during the transition. Holy fucking shit. You got him this time grb.

                1. Ah, no, Jesse. You’re not getting off that easy, no matter how frantically you weasel.

                  Flynn didn’t “meet with foreign leaders during the transition”
                  Flynn sold himself to the highest bidder during the transition

                  I have no doubt your ethical standards have atrophied from being a Trump toady, but EVEN YOU have to see there’s a distinction between those two things…..

              2. “Also: Far be it from me to hand out research projects,…”

                Then let’s have some objective references.

              3. “…sleazy little turd he is.”

                Ya think ya could find and quote me the section of U.S. Code that makes it illegal to be a sleazy little turd.

            2. Gaear Grimsrud : “In point of fact there was no cause to investigate an elected president’s campaign as the DOJ has since admitted in light of the IG investigation.”

              I have to point out one more thing : Gaear Grimsrud’s statement above is an out-and-out lie ( assuming he’s not just grossly ignorant – always a possibility )

              The IG investigation specifically found there WAS cause to investigate the Trump campaign. That was one of the major conclusions found in Inspector General Horowitz’s report.

              Yeah, we’ve gotten used to the whole “black is white” thing with a psychopathic liar in the White House – but such crude distortions still shouldn’t be tolerated. For the good of the Country, if nothing else……

                  1. Gaear Grimsrud : DOJ finds 2 FISA warrants not valid

                    And the DOJ’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz found there were legitimate and probable grounds to investigate the Trump campaign for its ties with Russia.

                    What I said remains true. What you said remains false.

                    And that’s not gonna change…….

                    1. “…probable grounds to investigate the Trump campaign for its ties with Russia.”

                      For violation of what chapter and section of U.S. Code?

                1. Gaear Grimsrud : The FBI found no reason to investigate Flynn.

                  Uh huh. Except for that business about lying to the Vice President of the United States about his contacts with Russian, then lying to the FBI when they interviewed him because of that.

                  Did you forget that part ?!?

                  1. Who investigates the fbi when they lie?

              1. And by the way Micheal Flynn is not my guy. I have no doubt he enriched himself from his “government service” just like Obama’s net worth is 40 million after working for 400k for 8 years. He must have saved every dime. But the fact is he was set up by the FBI at the direction of Comey for political reasons.

          2. ” He landed in hot water because he lied to the Vice President”

            Well, that’s what the agents who got caught lying themselves claizm anyway…

            1. No. That’s what Trump’s White House said when they fired Flynn’s ass for lying to the Vice President. There’s absolutely no dispute that (a) Flynn lied to Pence, (b) Flynn’s lying to VPOTUS resulted in the FBI interview, (c) Flynn lied in the FBI interview. Scrap & scour agent emails all you want; it doesn’t change those simple facts.

              1. Sorry. No, that wasn’t the reason that Gen Flynn was “interviewed” by the FBI. It was a setup, ordered on the “7th Floor”, which means by Dir Comey and DD McCabe. Read the (FBI CD AD) Priestap handwritten note. It was done to take out Flynn, and hopefully Trump. Keep current.

          3. This didnt age well with the whole keeping the Flynn investigation open when FBI was about to close cause of Strzok.

          4. Your bias is duly noted. It is all fine until it happens to you. Attempting to justify the actions of the FBI and Mueller is asinine. Considering it was by the DOJ of the opposing party attempting to influence an election or overturn an election only makes it worse. If President Trump did the same to Biden you would scream bloody murder. Biden and son’s bizarre deals with China should justify it according to you.

          5. “Flynn didn’t get in trouble because of an attempted coup. He landed in hot water because … then lied to the FBI when they interviewed him.”

            Did he? Show us the original 302, or better yet a recording of the interview. We know from Priestap’s memo, they wanted him to lie, its not too much of a stretch that 302 was going to say Flynn lied no matter what he said.

            Or are you going to claim the FBI never lies? If I’m ever a juror on a case where an FBI 302 is material information, I have plenty of reasonable doubt about its contents. Police or FBI, im not going to believe anything they say someone said without a recording.

        3. Glad to see the other side coming round. It’s been a long time, I guess they were busy doing your dirty work. You should all listen to Steve Earles F the CC, from the album The Revolution Starts Now.

      2. But the one “Libertarian” in congress has no problem with this whatsoever.

    2. seriously if you’re willing to do this to a protected creature of the swamp than they are willing to do worse to you.

      1. I think the risk is that people will think the fbi wouldn’t bother to do this to a “normal” person.

        1. While you think that way, the author points out exactly the opposite: if conspirators in the FBI are willing to do this to a presidential candidate, they’ll have no hesitation to do it to us.

          But here’s the rub: state actors can lie to you without penalty while if we lie to them we can be prosecuted. So where’s the equal protection before the law? Seems to me, if we’re a free country, people should be free to lie to state agents provided they aren’t under oath, but state agents may not lie to citizens. We at least are free to say nothing. If you’re in a room with 2 FBI agents, your lawyer, and one of them lies, aren’t they lying to the other FBI agent thus should be subject to prosecution? With your lawyer there, how is what they’re saying not misrepresenting the court as well? If they’re not going to present what they say to the court, they shouldn’t be saying it. The law is an abuse of state power and is unconstitutional IMHO: it doesn’t provide equal protection to all citizens as some get setup by the government for which there’s no defense. I guess defenders of the law will just say, anyone who lies to the FBI when they can say nothing is being stupid and should be prosecuted for their stupidity if not the crime they supposedly committed.

    3. He complete misses the motivation for using this tool… it was motivated by politics.

    4. Some time ago, one of my orgies crossed state lines, and I had the pleasure of being a participant in a FBI interrogation. I didn’t speak, but my lower body certainly did. After all, I was only a few hours removed from enjoy a man-meat-buffet, and a bunch of hot hunks were slamming the table trying to get my mouth to open. I still think the investigation is “active,” but they have better things to do like attempting a coup.

      1. Not bad. Go on….

    5. That’s not the point, it’s that no matter what they will use it. Joe Smith is as important as Flynn when it comes to the eyes of the law, or should be in theory. The point is that the right only gets pissed off when it’s their guy and not the other team’s guy.

  3. “Business as usual”

    Called it.
    Or rather, called Leo unintentionally foreshadowing it.
    What a fucking joke

    1. This is not a defense of the FBI. What the agency did to Flynn was wrong, not because he worked for Trump, but because it is wrong to induce an otherwise not-guilty person to break the law.

      Perhaps your didn’t read the whole article?

      Shackford is saying that we should be concerned with what happened to Flynn, not because of his political position, but because this is what the FBI does to everyone. That is an outrage. The political right should care as much about the treatment of “ordinary” citizens as they do their political allies.

      1. Shackford misses most of the point. It wasn’t just that they induced him to “break the law”. He didn’t break the law. It is that they withheld evidence and forced him to plead guilty to something he didn’t do.

        As I say below, White was happy to join the Flynn lynch mob when all of this was going on. Only now does he suddenly decide there must be something wrong at the FBI. And even then it all about some badly written laws and not the actual misconduct that occurred here.

        1. And even then it all about some badly written laws and not the actual misconduct that occurred here.

          I don’t read it that way at all.

          I see Shackford saying that the fact this is legal is much more of a threat than the specific misconduct here. The right way to correct the wrongs against Flynn (and they are serious wrongs) is to fix the broken system, not just harp on a single instance as if it is singular. What happened to Flynn is deeply troubling, but that it is systemic makes it even more troubling.

          1. Except that it wasn’t legal. That is where Shackford is wrong. It is not legal to cook up a plot to induce someone to mistakenly lie to investigators and then withhold the evidence of that from them while you use the threat of prison to force them to plead guilty.

            The notes in question show that they knew any “lie” that Flynn told would not be intentional, which is an element of the crime. The whole thing was a ruse to create the appearance he intentionally lied and then force him to plead guilty. There is nothing legal about that. It is about as legal as planting drugs on someone.

            That is the issue here. And White doesn’t address it and tries to make it about the law and the FBI normal procedures because he doesn’t want to talk about how he defending the plea all of last year.

            1. I’m certainly not a lawyer, so I’ll have to take your word on the finer points of this being illegal vs what White is saying.

              Whether “legal” or “illegal” I think we can agree that this type of behavior seems to be systemic in our criminal justice system from prosecutors at every level up to the FBI. That’s the real injustice. Arguing for justice for Michael Flynn is missing the bigger picture, which is Shackford’s point (I think). If they’re willing to do it to high profile people like Flynn, you can bet it happens all the time. That’s what needs to be fixed.

              1. The danger of making this entirely about the system is that it risks letting the agents involved here off the hook. Indeed, White’s thread is nothing but an elaborate effort to excuse the agent’s conduct in this case while not denying the obvious. If you listen to White and Shackford, the agents were just acting as part of this larger system and in accordance with that system’s set of procedures and not really doing anything out of the norm. And that is not true. They were acting illegally and need to go to jail. While there may be bigger issues implicated by that fact, treating those issues as the only important thing and ignoring the criminal conduct just excuses the agents themselves.

                The FBI agents in this case are guilty of felonies. They need to be prosecuted for it. It does not good to enact new laws and rules if you are unwilling to enforce the laws you have now.

                1. Ah. If we focus on the law allowing perjury traps then we ignore all the other nefarious shit these individuals did that is not actually legal.

                  But… if we focus on the individual culpability, then we miss the chance to reform the law.

                  Therefore nothing will change. 🙁

          2. I think it’s a threat either way. But I don’t think the fact that it was part of a process being used to overturn an election can be considered less of a threat.

            I agree that the solution going forward is to change the laws. But I’m the mean time, we still have a bunch of unelected bureaucrats and law enforcement that appear to have participated/are participating in a coup and that is a serious threat.

            1. In the meantime.

              1. In a meantime you can visit Sexdates for relaxing

            2. What law do you propose to change? I don’t think lying to investigators should be legal. And I think you have to have some kind of material requirement to that.

              You could make that less vague but I don’t think it would solve the problem. Whatever you change the law to read, the FBI is still going to bully people into pleading guilty to it. That is the real problem here. Changing the law just changes what the FBI forces people to admit in court.

              1. I think it should be explicitly illegal for law enforcement to lie. Maybe it already is? I’m not a lawyer. Maybe there’s nothing that Congress really can do.

                I agree with you in general though: the main problem here is the actions of the FBI, and nothing Congress does will stop them if they aren’t prosecuted when they do break the law.

                1. I think it is time to make it illegal for law enforcement to lie to subjects of interrogation. It is clear they can’t be trusted with such power. I never believed there was such a thing as a false confession until I actually saw one in real life. And now I think a lot of confession are false. The police get someone in the room, lie and tell them that there is all of this evidence against them and that their only hope of getting any mercy is to confess. And people rationally confess figuring they are screwed anyway and this makes the best of a bad situation. That happens all the time in this country.

                2. Edit- as stated below, the practice of not recording interviews or having real time transcripts should be illegal. That would be a good law for Congress.

                  1. I agree. There is no excuse for not recording all interviews. The irony of the whole thing is that recording interviews would help the government. Nothing hangs a defendant quicker than the jury hearing their own words. There is a reason why defense lawyers are loath to let their clients testify. The only reason law enforcement refuses to record interviews is because it prevents them from lying about them later.

                    1. From a legal perspective, did the FBI agents commit entrapment?

                3. Cops are liars and do so all the time. Have you ever watched Live PD you can see them say complete lies all the fucking time. Then they tell the person they are investigating the it’s a felony to lie to police. If it hasn’t been said enough already FUCK THE POLICE. No one has done more to create that overall outlook at them poorly as they have themselves. The fuckers can’t even stop themselves from doing illegal things knowing they have cameras everywhere! The are so accustomed to just doing as they pleased for decades unquestioned they still haven’t realized what they do it filmed now at nearly all times, yet they persist in doing it then still never being held accountable. Did I mention FUCK THE POLICE?!

                  1. I doubt anyone will argue against this.

                    1. No argument here.

              2. Investigators are allowed to lie. A defendant should be afforded the same rights.

                Very rarely are convictions swung on actual statements. The prosecution can present lies as a means to discount his testimony.

              3. ” I don’t think lying to investigators should be legal.”
                How do you square that with the 5th? Flynn wasn’t Mirandized but still prosecuted for incriminating himself. Fuck the police.

                1. It squares fine with the 5th. Their failure to read him his rights makes the statement inadmissible. It doesn’t make it okay to lie to investigators.

                  1. Still don’t see how it squares with the plain language of the 5th.

                    “nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself”

                    If not lying to cops compels me to witness against myself it’s a violation of my rights. This is why we got Miranda. Most people didn’t understand that then and most don’t understand that now. And most people don’t have the expensive luxury of consulting a lawyer when confronted by violent agents of the state.

                    1. Good point

          3. The problem, leo, is that for 3 years we have had reason defending the Mueller investigations and such. A media has gaslighted us with these being valid investigations. And now when we have proof the new gaslighting is “well we do it to other people to, ignore the political aspect ” it was Mueller who ultimately prosecuted Flynn. It was that investigation that tried heavy handed tactics to overturn an election. While the tools are all too common and need to be reformed, the fact that these tools are now being used politically is far more harmful.

            There is a reason we keep using the terms lawfare. It happened against Steven’s. It happened in Texas. It has happened for 3 years with Trump. It seems to be largely one side open to using these lawfare techniques.

            Handwaiving this to the side is ignoring a huge fucking issue.

            1. While the tools are all too common and need to be reformed, the fact that these tools are now being used politically is far more harmful.

              This is the very problem that Shackford is trying to address. Why is it worse that it happens to the political class vs everyday Americans? It’s tragic either way. And should be addressed for ALL cases, not just for the political class.

              But the blue-striped flag waivers on the political right will denounce this one because it was aimed at their ally, meanwhile doing nothing to stamp out misconduct at all levels of law enforcement and prosecution. That’s exactly what happened with FISA anyway.


              1. Why is it worse that it happens to the political class vs everyday Americans? It’s tragic either way. And should be addressed for ALL cases, not just for the political class.

                Because you can’t commit a political coup and take over a national office by screwing over Joe the Plumber with surveillance. You also can’t blackmail Joe the Plumber with information obtained via secret warrant to get preferred national policies enacted for everyone in a nation.

                That’s the reason.

                They’re both bad, and good luck trying to parse a ‘worst’ out of those two options.

                It’s a chicken or the egg question though, and the answer doesn’t really matter on which of the two is ‘worse’. They’re both just about the worst thing ever.

                1. Yes. But it would be a bad outcome if we miss the opportunity to fix Joe the Plumber’s situation and only go after a fix for Michael Flynn’s situation.

                  1. Nobody is arguing for that, leo, and you know it.
                    But you’ve never hesitated to prostrate yourself in front of the liberaltarian leftist Reason altar

                  2. I don’t think you can address the Flynn issue without also addressing the average persons issue, since they’re the same issue with very different implications.

                    Spying on everyone is terrible. Full stop.

                    Spying on politicians is going around the political process to do, potentially, way worse than just spy on people.

                    So, ultimately, if I had to pick I’d pick spying on those in power by intelligence services because, well, there are valuable things to be obtained by spying on them and it’s directly linked to remove political power from the people. I’m not so sure of a direct link between spying on the people and actually removing their political power, although I’m sure they’re closely related.

                  3. You can’t fix the situation unless you throw the people who framed Flynn in jail. That seems to be the part you are missing Leo.

                    1. What made you think that I don’t want the people who framed Flynn in jail. Throw the whole lot of them in jail.

                      The problem is, the Republicans will stop there. They didn’t much care about FISA either, and extended it as long as it wasn’t the part used to go after Trump.

                    2. Yeah, a lot of Republicans clearly don’t even understand this disconnect. That’s certainly a problem for them (and us), at least from a civil libertarian standpoint. Wouldn’t accuse Republicans of being great at certain civil liberties, notably police and ‘national security’. Or encryption, for that matter. Sadly, New York keeps proving that Democrats aren’t at all different, just different shortcomings.

                      That being said, the FBI has been doing this kind of stuff behind the scenes literally since their creation so one might be tempted to ask what they have, and on whom. I’d be willing to bet there are at least a few Senators and Congresscritters, and maybe even a SC Justice or two, that might be happy to keep certain events out of the public eye in return for some favors in committee.

                      It’s not that outlandish, in fact it’s probably already happened before under the literal founder of the organization. Maybe Hoover wasn’t dirty, but there’s a good chance he was.

                2. Yeah but you can do other things to everyday Americans like setting up a yokel to sell 1 shotgun and then murder his child and wife (Ruby Ridge). You can try to get a preacher to murder himself because you don’t like what he’s preaching (MLK). Anyone shocked by the FBI’s conduct hasn’t been paying attention over the decades. They have been a hive of scum since their founding.

                  1. Pretty much this. We already went through this 40 years ago in the Church Commission. And the FBI and its enablers swore up and down it was going to change. It clearly hasn’t and never will. The FBI needs to disbanded, its missions given to other law enforcement agency, and every agent banned for life from working in federal law enforcement.

                  2. True.

                    And, by the way, I highly recommend Netflix’s “Waco”.
                    Decent as entertainment, but they really, really give it to the FBI.
                    I was pleasantly surprised.
                    Odd that Reason hasn’t covered it…

                    1. I’ll second “Waco”. I can remember when all that happened and then the first stirrings that there was something that just wasn’t right about all of it. We all should have known from the beginning that there was something wrong when there was a news cameraman there to capture the whole thing (what an incredible coincidence). “Waco” might not exactly be even handed in its treatment of what happened, but it tells the story from a perspective that deserves to be heard while being compelling entertainment at the same time.

                    2. Before Waco there was Ruby Ridge.

                    3. And the NRA rightfully called the Federal agents jackbooted thugs and good old Bush the senior threw a hissy fit and quit the NRA.

                    4. Ruby Ridge was indefensible, even more so than Waco.
                      In both cases, had anyone thought to ask: “why are we even here” the answer would be the same – the targets disobeyed and defended themselves

                  3. +10000

                3. Keeping the president from blackmailing the Ukrainian government and being a sock puppet for Putin isn’t a “coup” . What are you smoking?

              2. You might be the inspiration for the term “useful idiot”

              3. Just as motivations play a factor in crimea, motivations can play a factor I’m abuses.

              4. Jeezus you are dense

                No. Both are wrong, this is worse. It is a perversion of the Justice system in furtherance of a coup

            2. Also the Milwaukee DA sending SWAT team goons to raid those close to Gov. Walker in Wisconsin because his wife was mad about Walker’s political agenda.

              1. Yeah. That was especially egregious.

                1. Newsom throwing a hissy fit and closing the beaches again because Californians decided to not follow his orders on beaches so he is putting them in time out again.

  4. Let’s hope Trump follows through on this promise. Nobody should be trapped into breaking a law by the FBI or any police/prosecutor.

    I was disappointed that Trump didn’t use the FISA abuse perpetrated against his campaign to bring down the whole FISA scheme to go after Americans. Let’s hope he handles this issue better than that one.

    1. I’m disappointed in FISA being renewed as well. Do you think if Trump vetoed it congress wouldn’t have overturned it?

      1. In my mind it doesn’t matter. The President signing a bill regardless of whether his veto could be overturned is a “vote” for the bill by the President. The bully pulpit of the President shouldn’t be overlooked. His veto power is the ultimate “official” exercise of the bully pulpit.

        Go read Trump’s tweet in signing that bill. He was gloating that he signed it because it wasn’t the specific portion of the bill used against him.

        1. Fair enough. Personally I think it’s futile, but that’s a matter of opinion.

    2. Hell….put Flynn in charge of the FBI. Nobody on Earth more willing to clean house than somebody fucked by them.

      1. I like it!

  5. Ken White spent all last year claiming that Flynn’s guilty plea was entirely legal and legitimate and that anyone who claimed otherwise was crazy.

    And this is about more than the perjury trap. This is about the FBI failing to disclose exculpatory evidence to Flynn and forcing him to plead guilty to something he didn’t do without having a full and true understanding of the evidence against him. The problem isn’t just that they cooked this up as way to destroy Flynn, it is that they withheld evidence of that from Flynn and then bullied him into making a guilty plea. The fact that there are notes that show FBI agents dreaming up ways to trap Flynn into lying would make convicting Flynn of lying in a trial pretty difficult. That is Brady evidence and it was withheld from Flynn and means his plea is invalid.

    I said well over a year ago that it is apparent that the government withheld Brady evidence and his plea is invalid under Giglio. And Ken White said was insane and that Flynn’s plea was as pure as the driven snow.

    Come to find out not so much. And now White wants to come in and say “well the real problem is that the FBI does this all the time”. No the problem is the FBI did it here and Ken White acted as propaganda agent for them for all of 2019.

    White is a total phony who was right with the mob cheering on the FBI destroying Flynn when it mattered. For him to now suddenly realize the FBI might engage in misconduct is frankly pathetic but exactly what anyone paying attention should expect from him.

    1. Andrew McCarthy has been highlighting these issues since day one at NRO. Weird he is completely ignored by the Reason bloggers.

      1. He uses Twitter, apparently, so he should at least be on their radar.

      2. I’ve seen McCarthy as a regularly cited and linked fixture here in the comments section

        1. Comments yes. Reason writers no.

      3. “since day one”
        No. He was a late adopter on every aspect of Russiagate.

        1. I dont agree, especially with Flynn. He even wrote a book on the abuses. Some aspects he initially agreed with conceptually but was fairly adamant the overall investigation was bad.

          1. He said there was no way a FISA warrant would have unverified information. He then said the only reason this case was so bad was that it was run out of headquarters. When the latest Horowitz report dropped, he said the FBI isn’t suited to run counterintel but the rest of the operation is good.

            I haven’t read the book, but I’ve read all his columns and heard most of his hits on Batchelor. It’s my understanding of the book that his position is that these are all good people who got over their skis. When I’m going full Pepe Silvia over Russiagate I think he’s running an op to assuage angry conservatives.

            1. He’s a former federal prosecutor and is pretty desperate to legitimize the institution. But he’s done some damn good reporting and analysis nonetheless.

              1. Agreed. My problem with McCarthy is institutional. He should be the mild mannered technocrat in right wing media instead of the crazy conspiracy guy.

          2. He didn’t actually say that the entire investigation was rotten until Mueller’s testimony.

      4. Actually McCarthy, for the first few months, said there were just too many controls and hoops to jump through to use the FiSA process for a political witchhunt.

        Then he he saw enough to realize that not everyone in the DOJ, not even a straight shooter like Jim Comey, adheres to the same standards as he thought he did.

    2. Honest Question: How is this exculpatory evidence? Let’s say the FBI has a meeting before hand and says “We think Overt is guilty. But we aren’t sure we have enough evidence to prove it. Maybe we get him to lie? Or are we going to try to get him to confess?”

      That appears to me to be the evidence that was withheld. There is nothing illegal about that. By my understanding, the FBI could claim they have emails enough to indict me on all sorts of stuff. They could say the emails implicate me in a drug ring. And if I confess to something or mess up and say something untrue, the fact that they lied (and strategized to lie) won’t change the admissibility of my lie/confession.

      Mind you, I believe that this was all trumped up nonsense. But this is also about the tenth time Flynn’s lawyers have released a bunch of evidence that they say “exonerates” him, and so far he is still in a lurch. What of this just released evidence changes that?

      1. To my last paragraph: It seems that Flynn actually broke the law. At the least, I see evidence that he was on the payroll of some foreign nationals and didn’t disclose it. And if he wasn’t honest about it to the FBI, well he also broke a law.

        But there is an injustice here. First, pretty much everybody in washington has probably broken the Logan Act. It is an obscure act that no one ever cared about before this. And much like campaign finance rules, this seems like the sort of rule that would result in a slap on the wrist. And it is obvious that while Flynn should have kept his mouth shut, people he should have been able to trust deliberately fooled him into thinking he was having a casual conversation.

        And so, even though the FBI was technically within its rights to “investigate” the Logan act, it was also a political hitjob. And that infuriates me. But it also terrifies me that on any day the FBI could find enough information to “investigate” me and catch me in a trap.

        1. It seems that Flynn actually broke the law. At the least, I see evidence that he was on the payroll of some foreign nationals and didn’t disclose it. And if he wasn’t honest about it to the FBI, well he also broke a law.

          That is only true if you believe the FBI’s account of the conversation. And Flynn has every right to go to court and let a jury decide that. And he couldn’t make a meaningful decision about that because the FBI illegally withheld evidence impeaching the credibility of the FBI agents who would have testifying against him.

          As far as your claim of him being guilty of other crimes, if that is true, why didn’t they charge him with those crimes instead of having to go with this dog of a lying to investigators’ crime? I think the fact that the FBI was so desperate to get Flynn for anything yet didn’t go forward or insist he plead guilty to any of those other crimes is pretty conclusive evidence that he wasn’t guilty of those things. How else do you explain the FBI’s failure to charge him or insist on his guilty plea for them?

          1. And honestly, their desperation to get Flynn makes me wonder just what they were afraid of with him in that position…
            I’d like to see him back in term 2

            1. I think the reason that they didn’t go after him for the Logan act nonsense is that it is was a procedural crime that, as I said, would be a slap on the wrist. But lying to an FBI agent is much more serious.

              I have read other information that this- at this point- wasn’t as much about taking down Trump so much as a bunch of score settling in the upper echelons of the intelligence community. Flynn pissed off a lot of people while he was in the Obama administration, and they did not want to see him back in government. That his demise also impacted Trump was merely a bonus.

              1. In two centuries, the Logan Act has been used twice. No convictions, and not used for a hundred and fifty years, because it is facially unconstitutional. It would have been both unethical and violative of DOJ rules if he had been charged under the Logan Act.

        2. John Kerry has literally advised the Iranian regime and PA to take actions contrary to US policy goals.
          Just pointing that out

      2. That is a fair question. It is exculpatory evidence because one of the elements of the crime is that the lie has to be intentional. If I just remember wrong or make a mistake, I am not guilty of lying to investigators.

        So, here we have notes by the investigators that say they are not going to read him his Miranda rights so that they can get him to “lie to them”. First, if they went there investigating Flynn for a crime, then they are required to read him his Miranda. They clearly did. They were hoping he would lie. That alone makes the statement he then made inadmissible against him.

        More importantly, the notes call into question Flynn’s intent to lie. The fact that his interviewer went in there for the purpose of getting him to say something false, creates some reasonable doubt that whatever lie Flynn did tell wasn’t intentional.

        Lastly, these notes reflect on the credibility of the main witnesses against Flynn. The interview wasn’t recorded. So, if the case went to trial, the contents of the interview will have to be admitted by the agents involved testifying to what Flynn said. The fact that the agents went there for the specific purpose of getting Flynn to lie is pretty damaging to their credibility and certainly would create some doubt about whether they were telling the truth when they claim Flynn said whatever he said.

        That is impeachment evidence of government witnesses. That evidence as well as full on exculpatory evidence that proves you are innocent are included under Brady as evidence the government must turn over to the defense.

      3. Lying to the fbi is only illegal if predicated on an actual crime. There was no legal prediction here to interview flynn. And the Logan act is not a valid prediction.

        1. Go read McCarthys article at NRO. Explains it in great detail.

  6. Who sets the operational rules for the FBI, DOJ or the Congress? If Trump tries I suspect some judge will block him.

    1. Ultimately the courts set the rules. This is not a case of the FBI following bad procedure. The FBI violated Brady v. Maryland and obtained an unlawful plea of guilty from Flynn. That has nothing to do with the procedures. That is straight up illegal conduct. No procedure says that is okay.

      1. I mean other procedures like not recording interviews and how they handle investigations. How is it a crime to lie to the FBI and not a crime for the FBI to lie to those they’re investigating?

        1. How dare you not trust their written word over video evidence! What reason have they given you to mistrust them so? Haha, yeah, that’s always the FBI’s take.

        2. That brings something to mind: how is “lying to congress” a crime?
          Congressmen are protected from being prosecuted for anything they say on the floor, no?
          Do congressional hearings not take place on the floor?
          And if they do, it’d subject a witness to law congress isn’t subjected to, and a clear violation of equal treatment.
          If elected officials are immune from any lawbreaking on the floor, shouldn’t everyone be?

          1. Because fuck you that’s why. You should know this by now.

          2. You could, of course, just refrain from saying anything to Congress.

            Haha, just kidding you’ll go to jail for that too.

            1. “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech” so long as you do speak when we demand you do.

          3. That’s an interesting question. I think the privilege is not being used as intended and should be changed anyway. That would probably require a constitutional amendment though. My understanding is that the reasoning for it was so that congressmen couldn’t be arrested for expressing unpopular political opinions during debates. That’s completely different than going on the floor and slandering people intentionally, whether it’s during a hearing or when giving a speech to a tv camera when no other members of Congress are present.

            1. If anybody here is ever called to testify on the senate floor, please do bring this up

              1. Lol. Good luck with that.

              2. Well I am an expert on pretty much every subject, despite the fact that my wife is unable to accept this obvious fact. Undoubtedly the senate will at some point seek my guidance on some critical issue for the good of the nation. I will of course bring the concerns of the Reason commentariat to their attention at that time. This could require multiple sessions.

                1. Well, thanks in advance then.

  7. While true. This was treated as a right wing conspiracy forever and Schiff was the more measured guy in comparison to Nunes who was clown was the dominant narrative throughout.

  8. The real storal of the mory is to simply not talk to the FBI. Just zip your lips. The Supreme Court has ruled that unless you expressly say you are invoking the Fifth Amendment, you don’t get its protection; but its protection is pretty limited when the purpose of your interrogation is to get you to spill or lie,

    Just zip your lip. Don’t say hello, don’t say you are shutting up, just shut up from start to finish. If they really have the goods on you, you will find out anyway. If they don’t have the goods on you, don’t give them the goods on you; just shut up.

    IANAL.

    1. No. the real moral of the story is that the FBI framed an innocent man. The only part of this article that is correct is that the fact that they could do it to someone as important as Flynn means they certainly have done it before and can and do do it to anyone. And that is terrifying. And if they are so depraved they will do this, not talking to them while smart likely isn’t going to save you if they decide to go after you.

      1. No, the real moral is don’t talk to the clowns. They were able to get his guilty plea only because he thought he could out-talk the FBI. He had the choice to shut up and thought he didn’t have to. He had no more control over their forged evidence and hidden exculpatory evidence than anyone else does. He did have as much control over shutting up as everybody else and he chose not to.

        1. You’re both right.

        2. Weren’t you one of the ones saying trump was obstructing for not letting his people testify…

          1. Jesse, with all due respect for the few times you do post actual content, fuck off. Your delight in making up things has destroyed what little reputation you could have had for posting actual data. Your Trump fellation is obvious to everybody. No matter what Trump does, you defend him not directly, but by making up stuff about anyone who dares say anything negative about Trump.

            I probably did say Trump was obstructing somebody sometime, because even though he is not a typical politician, he still is one, and politicians are well-known for lying their asses off. You and the other Trumpistas seem to be incapable of grasping that basic concept when it comes to Trump. Hint: the miracle of defeating Hillary does not make him a saint.

            1. but by making up stuff about anyone who dares say anything negative about Trump.

              He’s not making stuff up. There is only one person who says anything negative about Trump. That person has multiple accounts, multiple personalities, is paid by Reason, and works 24/7/365. Never eats, sleeps or shits.

              Because the notion that there are many different libertarians out there who criticize things that elected officials do that are at odds with libertarian principles just doesn’t compute.

              It’s all one person.

              So he can honestly attribute what any Trump critic says to any other Trump critic, since they’re, I mean we’re, all the same Reason employee.

            2. A simple no would suffice, but now I’ll say you doth protest too much dear. And getting sarcasmic on your side is even funnier.

            3. By the way… all due respect? You’ve called me a trump boot licker for the last year dummy. You dont respect shit, especially when discussing economics. But please pretend you dont. Maybe you forgot which sock you used for that.

            4. A simple “Yes, I’m that dipshit” would’ve sufficed.

            5. Or here..

              https://reason.com/2020/02/15/judge-napolitano-on-the-politics-of-impeachment/#comment-8130779

              See unlike sarcasmic… I actually can find the evidence for statements I infer others have said.

              1. Ouch, that was brutal. Probably should have just answered his question, ABC.

                And sarcasmic, you’ve been doing so well today. Bummer you picked this moment to have a TDS relapse.

                1. Eh, never mind sarcasmic. I see you shit all over the thread below as well.

                  1. He lost his mind since I turned him down for a date.

                    1. Lol. I remember that. It was very sad.

              2. LMAO! I made a comment that I thought was correct at the time, and admitted to my mistake when I looked back to see it was Nardz, not you, who advocated for killing people.

                Yet you still jump up and down, and whine like a little bitch, claiming that I deliberately made a false statement and never recognized my mistake.

                Such a great irony that you have to lie to call me a liar.

                And I’m the one who’s broken? Jeez dude.

                1. Unfortunately you posted your original response in support of ABC who was asked a legitimate question about a statement he made, which he threw a hissy fit about instead of just answering. And it turns out he did say it. So it makes you look stupid.

                  1. -er

                2. “And I’m the one who’s broken?”

                  Seema like yes based on how much you cry about it.

        3. That lesson was taught a long time ago, when Flynn was first caught up.
          And I don’t even know what the hell you’re trying to imply about flynn trying to “out talk” them. That’s really just you being a resentful bitch

          1. Go play with JesseAz, he’s feeling lonely.

            1. Yeap. You know you said it with how angry you got pointing it out lol.

            2. And right on cue… which sock showed up to pollute the thread. Lol.

        4. “They were able to get his guilty plea only because he thought he could out-talk the FBI. He had the choice to shut up and thought he didn’t have to.”

          No. He made a mistake, but it wasn’t that he deliberately set out to out talk the FBI. People he should have been able to trust in the government called him up and suggested that the FBI was coming by to ask some background questions. Not the investigators themselves, but people in leadership positions of the administration he was joining.

          So Flynn certainly screwed up- he should have realized that any innocuous conversation with the FBI can lead to trouble. But he also did not deliberately go into this conversation on defense, expecting to “out talk” the FBI. He was set up. And by the time he realized he needed to be on defense, it was already over.

          1. Yeah, it is a bit much to expect the national security advisor to the President never talk to anyone from the FBI out of principle. Flynn had no idea these guys were investigating him. That fact gets forgotten

            1. The were the heads of counterintelligence. The idea that the NSA should’ve treated them like men in black knocking on the front door is insane.

            2. Again, it was part of an attempted coup. Flynn didn’t realize that yet.

        5. I don’t think Flynn suspected he was being interrogated. He was a deep stater chatting with other deep staters about national security shit. He was a fucking cabinet officer for christsake. Why would he suspect that his brethren were trying to fuck him up?

  9. This is a pretty terrible take. The premise of this trap was the Logan Act. While the methods are overused, this premise to go after an incoming administration is not business as usual. Based on this premise every transition team would be considered in violation of the Logan Act.

    Likewise not every abuse of a perjury trap is motivated by politics.

    Just stop. Dont hand waive this as business as usual.

    1. The FBI, as an institution, needs to be burned to the ground, regardless, since everybody here knows the FBI is a shithole but can’t agree on the reason. And while we’re at it, some other bureaucracies can be razed too.

      1. Three Felonies a Day convinced me long ago. Why I was against Mueller the day he hired that piece of shit Weismann and political actors from the DoJ.

    2. Just stop. Dont hand waive this as business as usual.

      Yup. Downplaying it as business as usual ignores that fact that this was motivated purely by politics. By waiving it aside Reason is showing total TDS. They would be enraged if this happened to a Democrat. But because Reason is a leftist rag run by Hillary supporters, they will do everything they can to justify anything that is politically motivated against Trump.

      Did I get that right?

      1. You didn’t get it wrong

        1. Cool, I’m getting the hang of twisting everything into dissing Reason and praising Trump. Pretty soon I’ll be one of the cool kids!

          1. Apparently a broken you is more right than the normal you. Think about that for a second.

          2. The sad thing is you think you’re mocking others

            1. Back when Obama was president I’d sarcastically imitate Tony and others, this was back when Reason was a conservative rag because they were critical of a Democrat president, and got good enough that my mockery was almost indistinguishable from the real thing.

              Needless to say the subjects of my mockery didn’t appreciate it.

              So no worries. I don’t expect you to appreciate it either.

              1. The Less Wrong weirdos have a saying “reversed stupidity is not intelligence.” You should think on that.

              2. So you’re saying the reason you lost your mind is because you get mocked.

                “the subjects of my mockery didn’t appreciate it.”

                I remember it quite clearly, not being drunk like you, and literally no one ever cared what you thought.

          3. You’ll never be cool.

      2. Reason is a leftist rag run by left-libertarians who aren’t very bright and are insanely butt-blasted over Drumpf.

        1. Yep. And a few years ago those very same people were right-conservatives who were butt-blasted over O’Bummer.

          1. I’ve literally never once in my life heard a single person describe Dave Weigel, Radley Balko, or Kerry Howley as any kind of right winger. Have you?

            1. Never. The only legitimate right wing writer they have ever had was Tim Cavanaugh. And they would never hire or publish him now.

              1. There’s been a few who were slightly right of center, but you’d have to be nuts to think this place used to have right wing versions of ENB. The editor literally has the SJW uniform fercristsakes.

  10. Is it not possible to acknowledge that yes, this is business as usual and that is bad; but also acknowledge that when they do it in an attempted coup to overthrow a duly elected President that it’s WORSE than when it’s just “business as usual”?

    When they do this to some rando it’s bad and a violation of that rando’s rights; but this wasn’t some rando and they almost destroyed the fucking country because they had a sad about who won the election. Seems like the scale is a bit different.

    1. Yes. Shackford is engaging in pure sophistry here. Yes, all crimes (and I mean real crimes that harm people) are in their own way equally unjust. Everyone’s life has value and it is qualitatively no better to frame an insignificant person as it is to frame an important person. That, however, does not mean all crimes of the same type are equal. In the same way it is a worse crime to murder a mother of two young children than it is to murder an old man without any family, it is a worse crime to frame someone as part of an attempt to overturn an election than it is to frame some random person on the street.

      Neither White nor Shackford can admit the truth about this because it would interfere with the Orange Man Bad prime directive.

      1. Orange Man Bad?

        Orange Man bad?!? He BAD, all right! He SOOO BAD, He be GOOD! He be GREAT! He Make America Great Again!

        We KNOW He can Make America Great Again, because, as a bad-ass businessman, He Made Himself and His Family Great Again! He Pussy Grabber in Chief!

        See The Atlantic article by using the below search-string in quotes:
        “The Many Scandals of Donald Trump: A Cheat Sheet” or this one…

        https://reason.com/2019/09/02/republicans-choose-trumpism-over-property-rights-and-the-rule-of-law/

        He pussy-grab His creditors in 7 bankruptcies, His illegal sub-human workers ripped off of pay on His building projects, and His “students” in His fake Get-Rich-like-Me realty schools, and so on. So, He has a GREAT record of ripping others off! So SURELY He can rip off other nations, other ethnic groups, etc., in trade wars and border wars, for the benefit of ALL of us!!!

        All Hail to THE Pussy Grabber in Chief!!!

        Most of all, HAIL the Chief, for having revoked karma! What comes around, will no longer go around!!! The Donald has figured out that all of the un-Americans are SOOO stupid, that we can pussy-grab them all day, every day, and they will NEVER think of pussy-grabbing us right back!

        Orange Man Bad-Ass Pussy-Grabber all right!

        1. Take a Zanex Hihn. If you refuse to help yourself, then your family needs to get you locked up where you can’t hurt yourself or others.

          1. Do you recall the awesome enchanter named “Tim”, in “Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail”? The one who could “summon fire without flint or tinder”? Well, you remind me of Tim… You are an enchanter who can summon persuasion without facts or logic!

            So I discussed your awesome talents with some dear personal friends on the Reason staff… Accordingly…

            Reason staff has asked me to convey the following message to you:

            Hi Fantastically Talented Author:

            Obviously, you are a silver-tongued orator, and you also know how to translate your spectacular talents to the written word! We at Reason have need for writers like you, who have near-magical persuasive powers, without having to write at great, tedious length, or resorting to boring facts and citations.

            At Reason, we pay above-market-band salaries to permanent staff, or above-market-band per-word-based fees to freelancers, at your choice. To both permanent staff, and to free-lancers, we provide excellent health, dental, and vision benefits. We also provide FREE unlimited access to nubile young groupies, although we do firmly stipulate that persuasion, not coercion, MUST be applied when taking advantage of said nubile young groupies.

            Please send your resume, and another sample of your writings, along with your salary or fee demands, to ReasonNeedsBrilliantlyPersuasiveWriters@Reason.com .

            Thank You! -Reason Staff

            1. You’ve posted all this drivel before, many many times. It doesn’t get funnier to anyone except your crazy ass.

              1. I post it in response to utterly inanely unoriginal stupid thoughts like “you’re crazy” or “take your meds” or “how retarded” or other shit that the grade-school kids know how to say. You don’t want to see my shit? Then don’t put up your stupid shit! If you’re gonna insult someone, at least make it funny or original! Pretend that you’ve graduated from the 2nd grade!

                1. You post it because you lose every time you have to have a coherent conversation you sad spamming eater.

                  1. Hi Mary Stack / Tulpa / Mary’s Period / “.” / Satan!

                    “Dear Abby” is a personal friend of mine. She gets some VERY strange letters! For my amusement, she forwards some of them to me from time to time. Here is a relevant one:

                    Dear Abby, Dear Abby,
                    My life is a mess,
                    Even Bill Clinton won’t stain my dress,
                    I whinny seductively for the horses,
                    They tell me my picnic is short a few courses,
                    My real name is Mary Stack,
                    NO ONE wants my hairy crack!
                    On disability, I live all alone,
                    Spend desperate nights by the phone,
                    I found a man named Richard Decker,
                    But he won’t give me his hairy pecker!
                    Decker’s pecker is reserved for farm beasts,
                    I am beastly, yes! But my crack’s full of yeasts!

                    So Dear Abby, that’s just a poetic summary… You can read about the Love of my Life, Richard Decker, here:
                    https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/10/11/farmers-kept-refusing-let-him-have-sex-with-their-animals-so-he-sought-revenge-authorities-say/#comments-wrapper
                    Farmers kept refusing to let him have sex with their animals. So he sought revenge, authorities say.
                    Decker the hairy pecker told me a summary of his story as below:
                    Decker: “Can I have sex with your horse?”
                    Farmer: “Lemme go ask the horse.”
                    Pause…
                    Farmer: “My horse says ‘neigh’!”
                    And THAT was straight from the horse’s mouth! I’m not horsin’ around, here, no mare!

                    So Decker the hairy pecker told me that, apparently never even realizing just HOW DEEPLY it hurt me, that he was all interested in farm beasts, while totally ignoring MEEE!!

                    So I thought maybe I could at least liven up my lonely-heart social life, by refining my common interests that I share with Richard Decker… I, too, like to have sex with horses!

                    But Dear Abby, the horses ALL keep on saying “neigh” to my whinnying sexual advances!
                    Some tell me that my whinnying is too whiny… Abby, I don’t know how to fix it!

                    Dear Abby, please don’t tell me “get therapy”… I can’t afford it on my disability check!

                    Now, along with my crack full of yeasts… I am developing anorexia! Some are calling me a “quarter pounder with cheese”, but they are NOT interested at ALL, in eating me!!! They will NOT snack on my crack!

                    What will I DO, Dear Abby?!?!?

                    -Desperately Seeking Horses, Men, or ANYTHING, in Fort Worth,
                    Yours Truly,
                    Mary Stack / Tulpa / Mary’s Period / “.” / Satan

      2. Another small difference; when they frame some rando I can give them a little credit that maybe they did it for what they perceive to be “legitimate” reasons. They know that guy is a kiddie diddler but don’t quite have the proof, so the frame job is set up to make sure the kiddie diddler ends up in jail. Still a violation of rights, still bad, but at least they were attempting to do their job of stopping criminals when they did it.

        This was purely political. They don’t care whether anyone involved actually committed any crimes or not, they don’t care whether they’re framing criminals or innocent men, they wanted those people out of the way for political reasons. That isn’t over-zealous law enforcement trying to lock up a criminal; it’s a fucking coup.

        1. That isn’t over-zealous law enforcement trying to lock up a criminal; it’s a fucking coup.

          Yes, the difference between 1 count and 330 million counts.

  11. This is a good time to remind everyone that one of the leaders of the Democratic Party warmed Trump about this from the beginning.

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/schumer-warns-trump-intel-officials-have-six-ways-from-sunday-at-getting-back-at-you

    1. I would really love for Schumer to expand on that. Specially, what does he think they can or will do?

    2. Schumer informed the nation that the IC has gone rogue and even elected officials cannot control them. You’d think a U.S. senator sworn to uphold the constitution might try to mitigate this. Nope. When I was growing up the director of the FBI was J Edgar Hoover. It was no secret that he would remain in power until he dropped dead because he had evidence of corruption by every federal politician. Sure enough he finally lost his job when he died and not one minute before. 37 fucking years. But the FBI lived on. What Schumer didn’t tell us is why the IC has six ways to get politicians. Hoover is gone but they still know where the bodies are buried. If the political system wasn’t corrupt there would be no bodies. It’s actually pretty remarkable that despite their best efforts they haven’t succeeded in dethroning or intimidating Trump. If they went after Schumer he’d be in a penitentiary right now.

  12. “@realDonaldTrump

    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.”

    Reason forgets this tweet from Trump. Flynn lied to the FBI, asking him questions which he chose to lie in response is not ‘trapping’ him. Plus RWers forget what he pled guilty to, being an unregistered foreign agent while on a presidential transition team, that’s illegal.

    1. Do you think he’d have plead guilty if the exculpatory evidence had been provided to his attorneys in a timely manner, as is required by law?

    2. Did you intentionally remove the date and timestamp?

    3. Flynn was fired for lying to the VP not the FBI. And there is a difference between legal guilt and factual guilt anyway.

      Go get help Hihn.

      1. And actually, I hadn’t really thought of this until just now, and forgive me if it’s already been posted.

        The premise of the article is that the FBI does this all the time. But the letter also mentions trying to getting him fired as an option. How often does the FBI try to get people fired? To me that’s just more evidence that this was purely political. The FBI knew that Trump didn’t have many allies already in government when he got elected that he could trust. If Flynn got fired, what are the chances that whoever replaced him would be willing to go along with the coup? It’s not zero.

        1. That is an excellent point. Since when is it okay for the FBI to target members of an administration hoping to get them fired?

          1. January 20th, 2017. Or was this rhetorical?

  13. The Federalist now links to evidence showing the FBI was closing the Flynn case on Jan 4the 2017 prior to Strzok asking to remain quietly open….

    https://thefederalist.com/2020/04/30/breaking-fbi-closed-flynn-case-dubbed-crossfire-razor-in-early-2017-until-strzok-ordered-it-to-stay-open/

    1. Hadn’t read that yet so thanks for the link. Led me to
      https://thefederalist.com/2020/04/27/robert-muellers-case-against-michael-flynn-is-about-to-implode/
      which is a great explanation of the Giglio violations/crimes in the case. Can’t wait for popehat, lawfare, Reason and all of the other Mueller apologists to explain this away.

      1. Federalist has been really good on the IC abuses.

  14. The bottom line here is there are FBI agents that need to go to jail for their actions.

    1. You misspelled “woodchipper”.

      1. Just so you know, I’ve reported this post to the attorney general.

  15. The feds don’t need to trick someone into telling a lie. If you don’t remember things they think you should remember, that counts as a lie if they want to charge you. If you saw something differently than they think it happened, that counts as a lie. All it takes is a difference of opinion and they don’t even have to tell you they think you are mistaken. Tell them what they don’t want to hear, and that is a lie. Refuse to “remember” what they think you should remember, and that can get you prosecuted and even increase your sentence on other charges, for “obstructing justice.” Federal judges enthusiastically accept what prosecutors tell them and support such charges and impose prison sentences on innocent defendants – every day. This is why 97%+ of all federal defendants plead guilty. Those who don’t, are convicted at trial. The federal legal system is a system for creating convictions of those who the government targets, regardless of any actual “wrong-doing.”

    1. Correct on every point. If they want you they will get you as sure as the sun will rise in the east. Guilt or innocence is not relevant.

  16. “They’ve been doing it for decades. (Remember Martha Stewart?)”

    Decades? I think you need to go do some better research on J. Edgar Hoover and the formation of the FBI. They’ve been doing this shit since their inception.

    1. 1935.

  17. Feds rely on a dishonest go to tactics to try to take down a president and his allies. Cue the libertarian reaction – “but they do that to everyone so meh”.

    We kill a bunch of terrorists with drones. Why did everyone get worked up over the Solemni assassination? Everyone spies on everyone else and tries to interfere in elections. Why did the media get all worked up over the Russian interference?

    How much more evidence does Reason need to see to be convinced that this was a coordinated effort from a crooked intel / FBI to take down a duly elected president and his allies? They didn’t merely try to bolster a weak case by relying on bogus tips or trying to trick the defendant. They just made things up. You know how many people were convicted of breaking the Logan Act? ZERO. Flynn never negotiated any unauthorized deals with foreign powers as a private citizen.

    Did you know that they sent swat team to apprehend Roger Stone? Or that they decided not to alert the DOJ that Page was an CIA informant so they can spy on him? Or how about Mueller and Strozak deciding to move against Flynn even after the FBI agents who interviewed him concluded that he didn’t do anything wrong?

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  19. This is an embarrassingly bad take, except for all your other articles on this topic which were humiliatingly wrong. I think the only thing your publication and the other Koch whores was that there is a country named Russia. Congrats. For supposed “independents” you guys sure do regurgitate NYT and WaPo editorial pages for most of your articles. No one should believe that anyone at Reason gives a shit about FBI reform, at least not until the NYT editorial page supports it.

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