In a new Op-Ed for the Hill Mark Penn argues the newly disclosed documents related to Gen. Flynn are in effect the “smoking gun” proving that Comey’s FBI operated with “extreme political bias.”
Mark Penn is a managing partner of the Stagwell Group, a global organization of digital-first marketing companies, as well as chairman of the Harris Poll and author of “Microtrends Squared.” He also is CEO of MDC Partners, an advertising and marketing firm. He served as pollster and adviser to former President Clinton from 1995 to 2000, including during Clinton’s impeachment.
By Mark Penn – TheHill
Had the Department of Justice (DOJ) released the newly disclosed documents related to Gen. Michael Flynn three years ago, instead of fired FBI Director James Comey improperly leaking his “memos” on President Trump, there definitely would have been a special counsel — only it would have been investigating the FBI for gross abuse of power, not the Trump administration.
The new documents are in effect the “smoking gun” proving that a cabal at the FBI acted above the law and with extreme political bias, targeting people for prosecution rather than investigating crimes.
DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz found 17 violations of policy and procedure in the initiation of the investigation of Trump’s campaign. Former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report found no evidence of any Trump-Russia collusion. And yet much of the media coverage of all this has been so riddled with bias that, in a recent poll, 53 percent still believe Trump colluded with the Russians to win the 2016 presidential election.
Let’s remember how this all started: The principal evidence that prompted the FBI to open the overall investigation into Trump has been definitively determined to be the Steele dossier.
We now know, based on recently disclosed footnotes in the Horowitz report, that the dossier was discredited by its own sources and may even have been deliberate Russian disinformation. After receiving this information, the FBI’s top brass — even after learning that the dossier was paid for by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign — opened a broad investigation into Trump and his campaign.
Michael Flynn was targeted for investigation not on the basis of any evidence but simply because he had contacts with the Russian government — something that I would hope would be true of any incoming national security adviser. Those also targeted included former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, campaign adviser Carter Page and Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen.
The new documents reveal that, despite a thorough investigation of Flynn, there was no evidence suggesting he was a Russian agent — again, not surprising that it turned out this decorated general was not a Manchurian candidate. One FBI memo just released recommended closing the investigation of Flynn on Jan. 4, 2017, because FBI agents found “no derogatory information.”
But then-FBI agent Peter Strzok intervened with the idea that the never-used Logan Act could be invoked against Flynn; Strzok was cheered on by then-FBI attorney Lisa Page. All this led to a meeting at the highest levels of the FBI that included the director and the FBI’s head of counterintelligence, who took copious notes.
It is in these notes that he reflected the discussion that took place about Flynn, writing, “Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute or get him fired.” No constructional protections were afforded Flynn, who was even advised by the FBI not to bring a lawyer when he was questioned by agents.
Let’s be candid — Flynn had been cleared of being a Russian agent on Jan. 4, 2017; there was never any evidence he should have been investigated in the first place. Yet now, because the investigation had not been officially closed, FBI officials cooked up a plan to try to create a crime that did not exist.
They unmasked the private conversations of Flynn with the Russian ambassador that contained nothing illegal, so the only chance to “get” Flynn was by setting a perjury trap. This was then all picked up by special counsel Mueller’s team, who threatened Flynn with the possible lobbying transgressions of his son.
Read more here.