3:38 AM 12/5/2017 – “Out Of Control” FBI Considers Itself Above The Law, Threat To Every American | A special counsel needs to investigate the FBI and Justice Department. Now. – The Washington Post

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Tucker Carlson Tonight 12/4/17 | Fox News Today December 4, 2017

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A special counsel needs to investigate the FBI and Justice Department. Now. – The Washington Post

When FBI Special Agent Robert Hanssen was revealed to have committed espionage against the United States, it didn’t mean that even one other member of the bureau was guilty of Hanssen’s sins, but it did require a painstaking review of all of Hanssen’s activities and inputs, as all of them had to be reconsidered in light of his treasonous behavior.

Tucker Carlson: “Out Of Control” FBI Considers Itself Above The Law, Threat To Every American

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A special counsel needs to investigate the FBI and Justice Department. Now. – The Washington Post
FBI director tells staff to ‘expect — and welcome’ tough questions – CNN
A special counsel needs to investigate the FBI and Justice Department. Now. – Washington Post
Trump Has Now Urged Seven Officials to Help End the Russia Probes
Recent Searches December 2017
3:36 AM 12/4/2017 – British security services are vastly outgunned by the Russian counterintelligence…
3:36 AM 12/4/2017 – British security services are vastly outgunned by the Russian counterintelligence…
4:02 AM 12/4/2017 – The FBI’s reputation is “in Tatters worst in History!” New FBI Director Chris …
5:23 AM 12/4/2017 – Et Tu, Brutus?! Met Opera Suspends James Levine After New Sexual Abuse Accusations…
The U.S. and Global Security Review: Behavior and Law: M.N.: FBI, get your hands off the Sciences!!! We d…
M.N.: FBI, get your hands off the Sciences!!! We do need the comprehensive, in-depth, objective investigation…
Personally, besides the FBIs blatant and undue interference in political matters, I am especially concerned…
8:47 AM 12/4/2017 – Dear Mr. Clapper…
Putin, Trump and ISIS ‘main threats to liberal values,’ European deputies say – StopFake.org
Turkey issues warrant for ex-CIA officer over alleged role in 2016 coup
All the signs in the Russia probe point to Jared Kushner. Who next? – The Guardian
Is Vladimir Putin really the evil genius behind Donald Trump? – Toronto Star
Russia edges in as key power broker with North Korea – Nikkei Asian Review
Who’s an Oligarch? Rich Russians Fret Over US Sanctions Label – Bloomberg
Little peace, and our strength is ebbing: A report from the Reagan National Defense Forum. – National Review
James Comey, Sally Yates and Eric Holder defend FBI after Trump’s Twitter attack – Washington Post
Michael Flynn Investigation Sparks Concern About a Politicized FBI – LifeZette
Michael Flynn shouldn’t have lied about doing the right thing
If Michael Flynn’s ‘crime’ is all Robert Mueller has, it is time to move on – USA TODAY
Russia-Trump: President criticised for attacking FBI – BBC News
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A special counsel needs to investigate the FBI and Justice Department. Now. – The Washington Post
 

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Robert S. Mueller III. (Charles Dharapak/Associated Press)

 

December 4 at 6:11 PM

The Post reported that a former top FBI official, Peter Strzok, who had been assigned to and then removed from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation, had “exchanged politically charged texts disparaging [President] Trump and supporting Democrat Hillary Clinton” and that Strzok was “also a key player in the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server.”

This is a blockbuster revelation, carrying the possibility of shattering public confidence in a number of long-held assumptions about the criminal-justice system generally and the FBI and the Justice Department specifically. The Justice Department should appoint a special counsel to investigate Strzok’s actions as soon as possible.

The Strzok report comes on heels of the widely derided Justice Department investigation into IRS discrimination against conservative groups, including the disposition of allegations against IRS senior official Lois Lerner, and after the wildly erratic behavior of then-FBI Director James B. Comey during 2016. It also follows the vote to hold then-Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt of Congress — the first ever against a sitting member of the Cabinet — with 17 Democrats voting in support. Mix into this battering of the Justice Department’s and FBI’s reputations the still-murky charges and counter-charges of abuse of “unmasking” powers during the waning days of the Obama era.

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As a result, a large swath of responsible center-right observers are now demanding a full review of the investigation and prosecution powers wielded by the Obama-era Justice Department and FBI. Former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy wrote in the National Review on Saturday that President Trump should call for a second independent counsel to investigate abuse of the counterintelligence authorities under President Barack Obama, abuses he suggests were undertaken to protect the controversial Iran deal on nuclear weapons.

This is an excellent idea. The new special counsel could also review Strzok’s texts and, more crucially, his conduct throughout 2015 and 2016. Strzok may be completely innocent of anything except an off-handed joke that the straight-laced Mueller deemed necessary to punish in a display of a “Caesar’s wife” sort of purity of purpose. But if his texts to FBI lawyer Lisa Page reveal a partisan animus towards Trump or admiration for Clinton, then the bureau and the department have a huge problem on their hands and not just with Strzok and Page.

When FBI Special Agent Robert Hanssen was revealed to have committed espionage against the United States, it didn’t mean that even one other member of the bureau was guilty of Hanssen’s sins, but it did require a painstaking review of all of Hanssen’s activities and inputs, as all of them had to be reconsidered in light of his treasonous behavior.

If Strzok’s texts reveal deep animus towards Trump or an operational effort to tilt one or more investigations, then all of his actions have to be reviewed to assure the public’s confidence in the bureau. That one or two agents or officials of the bureau are discovered to have been acting from improper motives would be bad enough. To try and sweep those activities under the rug would be worse. Against the backdrop of other recent controversies, it would be disastrous.

Step one is a quick publication of the questionable texts. All of them. The public has a right to know what the predicate for Mueller’s extraordinary action was. The public also deserves a detailed account of Strzok’s (and Page’s) duties and authorities during the years in question. If an NBA official was discovered to have purposefully thrown even one game, every game in which he had carried a whistle would be under the microscope. That’s how it works.

Unless there’s a coverup.

Nevertheless, just as Hanssen was “one bad apple” who didn’t spoil the bunch, so even an out-of-bounds Strzok doesn’t necessarily mean anything about the FBI beyond him. To get to the truth, and restore confidence in federal law enforcement, better a special counsel to conduct the inquiry, bring any necessary charges and make a report — someone without ties to the president or his opponents.

They do exist, such men and women. Former federal judges make excellent candidates. But we need one appointed right now.

FBI director tells staff to ‘expect — and welcome’ tough questions – CNN
 

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FBI director tells staff to ‘expect — and welcome’ tough questions
CNN
Read More. Wray also did not mention the case of Peter Strzok, the bureau official who was removed by special counsel Robert Mueller from his team of investigators over the summer after an internal investigation found messages he sent that could be and more »
A special counsel needs to investigate the FBI and Justice Department. Now. – Washington Post
 

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The Rebel
A special counsel needs to investigate the FBI and Justice Department. Now.
Washington Post
The Post reported that a former top FBI official, Peter Strzok, who had been assigned to and then removed from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation, had exchanged politically charged texts disparaging [President] Trump and supporting 
FBI’s Disgraced Strzok interveiwed both Flynn and HillaryThe Rebel
Conway on Allegedly ‘Tainted’ FBI Agent: Americans Frustrated by Clinton Double StandardFox News Insiderall 4 news articles »
Trump Has Now Urged Seven Officials to Help End the Russia Probes
 

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President Donald Trump has pushed at least seven officials to put an end to investigations at various levels of government into whether his campaign helped Russia meddle in the 2016 presidential election.

On Thursday The New York Times revealed that over the summer Trump urged members of the Senate—including those leading the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Russia investigation—to wrap up their investigations.

The chairman of the intelligence committee, Republican Richard Burr, said in an interview that Trump made a request “something along the lines of ‘I hope you can conclude this as quickly as possible.’”

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President Donald Trump speaks with reporters at the White House on November 28. The president has reportedly asked several officials to end the Russia investigations as soon as possible. Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

However, a Republican senator who spoke to Burr told the Times that Trump had been “very forceful” in conversations with Burr. Another senator, who also remained anonymous, told the paper Trump called other congressional members, asking them to lean on Burr to end the investigation.

Burr said other members of his committee told him of similar calls they received from Trump but said he didn’t feel pressured to end the probe, chalking up the president’s actions to inexperience.

According to lawmakers and aides, Trump also approached Republican Senator Roy Blunt, who sits on the committee, and Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, with requests to end the investigations quickly.

Related: Has Michael Flynn flipped? Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team reportedly met with his lawyer

The news brings to seven the total number of officials Trump has asked to help end the multiple investigations moving forward in both branches of Congress and the Department of Justice.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is pushing ahead with his investigation of whether Trump obstructed justice by firing former FBI Director James Comey, who was leading one of the investigations.

Congress started its investigation early this year after key American intelligence agencies compiled a report that found Russia worked to undermine Trump’s campaign rival Hillary Clinton and assist his campaign.

The latest news is a “huge story,” wrote attorney Norm Eisen on Twitter Thursday because it “corroborates a corrupt motive” for Trump’s firing of Comey on May 9.

Eisen, a former White House special counsel for ethics and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, published a report in October arguing that Trump obstructed justice by attempting to intervene in the investigations.

In a letter written by Comey ahead of his testimony to Burr’s committee in June, he wrote that Trump had pressured him on several occasions to end the part of the investigation examining former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Writing about a rare private meeting between the president and his top law enforcement official in February, Comey said Trump tried to pressure him into “letting Flynn go.” The request came after Flynn misled Vice President Mike Pence about contact he had had with the Russian ambassador. Trump made a similar request to him in a phone call, Comey said.

During closed testimony before Burr’s committee and in separate interviews with Mueller’s legal team in June, two top Trump administration intelligence officials said the president approached them to defend him publicly against the investigations, multiple sources told CNN.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers said Trump asked them to state publicly that his campaign did not work with Russia to interfere in the election. A report by The Wall Street Journal in June cited sources who said Trump also called Rogers to state publicly that there is no evidence his campaign colluded with Russia.

Officials who spoke with The Washington Post in June said that Trump applied pressure to CIA Director Mike Pompeo in March when he kept Pompeo and Coats behind after a meeting to complain about Comey’s handling of the Russia investigation. Coats reportedly told other officials that Trump had asked for an intervention. It is not known whether Trump asked Pompeo directly to intervene.

Trump’s request came after Comey testified before Congress that the FBI was investigating whether Trump’s campaign worked with Russia during the election campaign.

“Who believes at this point he didn’t obstruct justice?” former Department of Justice public affairs director Matthew Miller‏ wrote on Twitter Thursday.

“Pressuring senators to end an investigation that impacts him & those close to him could be further evidence of obstruction of justice by the President,” wrote Noah Bookbinder‏, an attorney who co-wrote the report with Eisen, on Thursday. He called Trump’s behavior “part of a pattern of conduct.”

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3:36 AM 12/4/2017 – British security services are vastly outgunned by the Russian counterintelligence threat – Business Insider | “We’re going to be growing everything, Mr. Trump said. – M.N.: Sounds sexy…
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3:36 AM 12/4/2017 – British security services are vastly outgunned by the Russian counterintelligence threat – Business Insider | “We’re going to be growing everything, Mr. Trump said. – M.N.: Sounds sexy…
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4:02 AM 12/4/2017 – The FBI’s reputation is “in Tatters worst in History!” New FBI Director Chris Wray “needs to clean house.”
5:23 AM 12/4/2017 – Et Tu, Brutus?! Met Opera Suspends James Levine After New Sexual Abuse Accusations…
 

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5:23 AM 12/4/2017 – Et Tu, Brutus?! Met Opera Suspends James Levine After New Sexual Abuse Accusations – New York Times
The U.S. and Global Security Review: Behavior and Law: M.N.: FBI, get your hands off the Sciences!!! We d…
 

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Behavior and Law: M.N.: FBI, get your hands off the Sciences!!! We d…: We do need the comprehensive, in-depth, objective investigation, reassessment, and reevaluation of the FBI M.N. In my humble opinion, w…

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M.N.: FBI, get your hands off the Sciences!!! We do need the comprehensive, in-depth, objective investigation…
 

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M.N.: FBI, get your hands off the Sciences!!! We do need the comprehensive, in-depth, objective investigation, reassessment, and reevaluation of the FBI. The FBIs darling special, professional, and VIP informants made the nice careers for themselves in Psychiatry, including the leadership positions in the American Psychiatric Association, not because of their intellectual or other abilities, but because of their special affiliation with the FBI, and informing on the researchers who have these abilities. Some psychiatric Mata Haries apparently would not even stop at using their sexual connections for these purposes.
Personally, besides the FBIs blatant and undue interference in political matters, I am especially concerned…
 

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Personally, besides the FBIs blatant and undue interference in political matters, I am especially concerned about the FBIs interference in Science, and in Psychiatry. For example, the FBIs interference in Anthropology is the well known and the well-established fact.
8:47 AM 12/4/2017 – Dear Mr. Clapper…
 

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8:47 AM 12/4/2017 – Dear Mr. Clapper…
Putin, Trump and ISIS ‘main threats to liberal values,’ European deputies say – StopFake.org
 

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StopFake.org
Putin, Trump and ISIS ‘main threats to liberal values,’ European deputies say
StopFake.org
The deputies of the European Parliament who form Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) at a meeting in Amsterdam say that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his American counterpart Donald Trump along with the Islamic state are the 
Turkey issues warrant for ex-CIA officer over alleged role in 2016 coup
 

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The Turkish government has issued a warrant for the arrest of a former officer in the United States Central Intelligence Agency, which Ankara claims was instrumental in the failed July 2016 attempt to topple the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The move comes amidst heightened tensions in relations between Ankara and Washington. The two NATO allies have partially revoked entry visas for each others citizens, while it is alleged that Michael Flynn, US President Donald Trumps former national security advisor, had an illegal agreement with Turkey to help abduct a Turkish dissident cleric living in Pennsylvania and help transport him to Turkey.

All the signs in the Russia probe point to Jared Kushner. Who next? – The Guardian
 

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The Guardian
All the signs in the Russia probe point to Jared Kushner. Who next?
The Guardian
The Flynn plea deal makes clear that he was not acting as a lone ranger in his communications with Russian officials, including the Russian ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak. Documents show that Flynn was told to call the Russians and other key 
Russia investigation sheds new light on Jared Kushner’s involvement with MoscowLos Angeles Timesall 683 news articles »
Is Vladimir Putin really the evil genius behind Donald Trump? – Toronto Star
 

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Toronto Star
Is Vladimir Putin really the evil genius behind Donald Trump?
Toronto Star
I expect Flynn wouldn’t have bothered lying to the FBI about conversations with, say, the Canadian ambassador on matters of mutual interest. But, in this climate, talking to the Russians was simply one step too far. The ostensible reason is the widely 
Kremlin says Flynn didn’t influence Putin’s decision to not retaliate against US sanctionsNBCNews.com
Kremlin denies that Flynn persuaded Putin to hold off on retaliatory sanctionsWashington Postall 46 news articles »
Russia edges in as key power broker with North Korea – Nikkei Asian Review
 

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Nikkei Asian Review
Russia edges in as key power broker with North Korea
Nikkei Asian Review
Unlike China, Russia traditionally has little economic leverage over Pyongyang. But the Putin administration is believed to have given the North Korean issue high priority. Moscow likely sees its role as go-between as a bargaining chip with the U.S and more »
Who’s an Oligarch? Rich Russians Fret Over US Sanctions Label – Bloomberg
 

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Bloomberg
Who’s an Oligarch? Rich Russians Fret Over US Sanctions Label
Bloomberg
The U.S. law, which Trump grudgingly signed on Aug. 2 after it passed Congress with a veto-proof margin, instructs the Treasury, together with the State Department and intelligence agencies, to identify officials and oligarchs as determined by their 
Changing the rules: what comes after a Putin election victory?Financial Times
Is Vladimir Putin really the evil genius behind Donald Trump?Toronto Starall 19 news articles »
Little peace, and our strength is ebbing: A report from the Reagan National Defense Forum. – National Review
 

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National Review
Little peace, and our strength is ebbing: A report from the Reagan National Defense Forum.
National Review
Various speakers called out Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, and, more broadly, radical Islamic terrorism as threats to the peace and security of the United States. Retired General Jack Keane bluntly stated that China was trying to dominate its region 
HR McMaster talks North Korea threat, Michael Flynn dealFox Newsall 27 news articles »
James Comey, Sally Yates and Eric Holder defend FBI after Trump’s Twitter attack – Washington Post
 

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James Comey, Sally Yates and Eric Holder defend FBI after Trump’s Twitter attack
Washington Post
Over the past few weeks, former FBI director James B. Comey’s Twitter feed has been filled with inspirational quotations, Bible verses and nature photographs many of them timed around remarks made by the president who fired him. On Nov. 11, he 
As Mueller probe deepens, Trump says he didn’t ask Comey to stop investigating FlynnLos Angeles Times
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Chicago Tribune –Business Insider
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Michael Flynn Investigation Sparks Concern About a Politicized FBI – LifeZette
 

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LifeZette
Michael Flynn Investigation Sparks Concern About a Politicized FBI
LifeZette
Flynn, Trump defenders say, was the victim of hysteria about alleged Russian hacking into 2016 Democratic email accounts. But his plea had nothing to do with the hacking, the ostensible focus of the Justice Department’s special investigation. Instead
Trump Says FBI Credibility Is in Tatters, Denies Telling Comey to Stop Flynn ProbeSlate Magazine (blog)
Trump’s morning tweetstorm appears to have been inspired by ‘Fox & Friends’Los Angeles Times
‘I never asked Comey to stop investigating Flynn’: Trump goes on tweetstorm about the FBIWashington Post
Chicago Tribune –MSNBC
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Michael Flynn shouldn’t have lied about doing the right thing
 

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James S. Robbins, Opinion columnist Published 6:00 a.m. ET Dec. 4, 2017

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn(Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo, epa)

On Friday, President Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators about a perfectly legal conversation he had during the presidential transition with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Flynn should not have lied, and why he chose to remains a mystery, but the substance of the single-count indictment against Flynn shows that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation has strayed far from its original purpose.

We have come down quite a way from the hyperventilation about Russia “hacking the election” a year ago. What happened to Democratic Sen. Mark Warner’s claim, later promoted by Hillary Clinton, that there were 1,000 Russian agents planting anti-Hillary fake news stories in key swing states? Or that Russians had delivered Wisconsin to Trump? All the conspiracy theorists have so far are a few Facebook ads that can’t credibly be shown to have changed even one vote.

More: With Flynn’s guilty plea, is it Trump impeachment time yet?

More: Tillerson State Department ouster is overdue, but won’t solve the Trump problem

Flynn was fully in his rights making the call to Kislyak. Despite the best efforts of the anti-Trumpers, it is still not illegal to talk to Russians. Even Democratic former CIA director and Defense secretary Leon Panetta said it was a “stretch” to say these contacts broke the law.

The dust-up seems mainly to be about the decorum of presidential transitions. Days after the 2016 election, the Trump team cautioned the Obama administration against pursuing new and damaging foreign policy initiatives that did not align with Trump’s priorities.

“I don’t think it’s in keeping with the spirit of the transition,” one of president-elect Trump’s national security advisers told Politico on Nov. 10, 2016, “to try to push through agenda items that are contrary to the president-elect’s positions.”

The Trump transition team feared, for good reason, that the lame-duck Obama administration was poisoning the well with Russia, and pursuing spiteful anti-Israel policies on the way out the door. Trump asked Flynn, his soon-to-be national security adviser, to open a semi-official channel to Russia through its ambassador to discuss future cooperative efforts against the Islamic State and the United Nations vote on an anti-Israel resolution. As lawyer Alan Dershowitz argued, “Not only was that request not criminal, it was the right thing to do.”

The phone call to Kislyak, and any other such contacts with foreign officials, should be viewed in that context. This was not, for example, on the level of colluding with shadowy Russian intelligence contacts to create disinformation to try to swing the election, as the authors of the Clinton-connected Trump smear dossier did.

There was ample precedent for the president-elect to put out feelers to foreign leaders.

  • A memo from the Podesta files released by WikiLeaks shows that the Obama team had planned for the “president-elect and senior officials (to) begin confidential policy consultations with key actors in U.S. and abroad” between Thanksgiving and Inauguration Day.
  • Obama also openly used emissaries and go-betweens to meet with foreign leaders during his transition.
  • And for overwrought members of “the resistance” who think the unenforceable Logan Act is suddenly in play, recall that in 2008 then-candidate Obama arranged substantive foreign policy discussions with numerous foreign dignitaries and leaders during an overseas campaign trip before the election.

More: Hijab Barbie: Perfect Christmas gift for non-Muslim parents who want to stick it to Trump

POLICING THE USA: A look at race, justice, media

An erroneous ABC News report that Trump had dispatched Flynn to make contact with Russia before the election appears to have caused a massive stock market selloff. The report was corrected, and reporter Brian Ross was suspended. The important takeaway of ABC’s fake news outbreak is that since the Trump team’s outreach to Russia took place after the election, it implies there were no channels to Moscow before the fact. This puts a stake in the heart of the collusion theory.

A CNN analyst speculated that instead of outright coordination, there was an implicit quid pro quo for Russia getting Trump elected. This might be called the “grasping at straws” gambit.

On Sunday, Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., resurrected the notion that Trump obstructed justice by firing then-FBI Director and Bible scholar James Comey. But again, this is a weak and constitutionally suspect narrative.

The real obstruction might be found in the Mueller investigation itself. The legitimacy of the FBI witch hunt against Trump was further damaged by reports that leading FBI investigator Peter Strzok, who had spearheaded the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s sketchy home-brew email server, was demoted because of anti-Trump texts he exchanged with co-worker Lisa Page, with whom he was having an extramarital affair.

This is hardly an unbiased investigation. If the type of process crime that Flynn was nailed for is all the Mueller team can come up with, it is time to move on.

James S. Robbins, a member of USA TODAY’s Board of Contributors and author of This Time We Win: Revisiting the Tet Offensive, has taught at the National Defense University and the Marine Corps University and served as a special assistant to the secretary of Defense in the George W. Bush administration. Follow him on Twitter: @James_Robbins.

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If Michael Flynn’s ‘crime’ is all Robert Mueller has, it is time to move on – USA TODAY
 

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USA TODAY
If Michael Flynn’s ‘crime’ is all Robert Mueller has, it is time to move on
USA TODAY
On Friday, President Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators about a perfectly legal conversation he had during the presidential transition with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak 
Trump’s lawyer offered a dubious explanation for Trump’s bombshell tweet about Michael FlynnBusiness Insider
Trump’s Lawyer: President Knew Michael Flynn Lied To FBI Before Firing James ComeyHuffPost
Trump Says He Fired Michael Flynn ‘Because He Lied’ to FBINew York Times
CNN –Los Angeles Times
all 2,174 news articles »
Russia-Trump: President criticised for attacking FBI – BBC News
 

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BBC News
Russia-Trump: President criticised for attacking FBI
BBC News
The president seized on news that an FBI officer had been dismissed from the investigation after he was discovered to have made anti-Trump remarks in text messages, tweeting: “Report: ‘ANTI-TRUMP FBI AGENT LED CLINTON EMAIL PROBE’ Now it all starts to 
Sen. Dianne Feinstein: Senate ‘Putting Together’ Obstruction of Justice Case Against President TrumpTIME
Huckabee: Mueller’s investigation needs to be investigated after FBI agent firedThe Hill
Why Was An FBI Agent Removed From The Russia Investigation? Here’s What You Need To KnowElite Daily
Daily Mail –Washington Examiner –The National
all 2,268 news articles »

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