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The wrong President was impeached this year. 

It should have been Barack Obama.  Maybe it's time the right impeachment case commences!

It's time to stop avoiding the obvious.  The information that has come to light through official memos carefully hidden from the public for nearly four years has now painted a conclusive picture.  Notes taken by former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates from a 24 January 2017 Oval Office meeting confirm that Barack Obama had personal knowledge, prior to this meeting, of the illegal wiretapping of the phone call between incoming NSA Director Michael Flynn and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. 

"The problem with such personal animus, is that it's one thing for a President to dislike or even hate someone, or to fire him from his administration, but it's another thing entirely for that President to direct, or even allow, his intelligence and law enforcement officials to break the law by carrying out a campaign of personal destruction against that person!  That is what Barack Obama did, and that folks is a high crime!"

Yates' notes also confirm that this meeting included former CIA Director John Brennan, former National Intelligence Director James Clapper, Vice President Joe Biden, National Security Advisor Susan Rice, and former FBI Director James Comey.  Yates' notes state she was shocked when Barack Obama dismissed everyone but Yates and Comey from that meeting, and according to Yates, Obama stated that he "learned of information about Flynn and his conversation with Kislyak about sanctions."  The notes went on to say that Obama "did not want any additional information on the matter, but was seeking information on whether the White House should be treating Flynn any differently, given the information."  Yates' notes indicated she did not know what Obama meant by saying "treating Flynn any differently," but concluded later it meant investigating and prosecuting him for violations of the Logan Act.

Yates' notes also note that James Comey mentioned the Logan Act with Obama.  Other documents released, all as foundation to dismiss the federal case against Michael Flynn, indicate that the FBI, on the direction of Andrew McCabe, and spearheaded by Peter Strzok, were pursing a criminal investigation against Flynn for violating the Logan Act.  Remember, Flynn was already the incoming NSA director for President-elect Donald Trump.  Therefore, to try to apply the Logan Act against Flynn was a preposterous action. 

Yates' notes indicate she was shocked that Obama knew of the phone call with Kislyak, and wanted to know why she (Yates) was not made aware that Obama knew of that phone call.  Moreover, her notes detail how James Comey decided not to notify Vice-President elect Mike Pence, nor Donald Trump, that they had eavesdropped on Flynn's phone call.  Comey's justification, given repeatedly to Yates, was to protect an ongoing criminal investigation against Flynn.  A criminal investigation, as it turns out, was a fraudulent effort to prosecute the Logan Act.

What this really was about was protecting the FBI from revealing to the Trump team their illegal wiretaps of Trump personnel.  The Logan Act was dredged up as a justification to hide the wiretapping, wrapping it up in a phony investigation, which had to be protected against public disclosure.  It is vital to understand precisely what the Logan Act says.

The Logan Act specifies that it is illegal for "Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government ... in relation to disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States ..."

The law is universally considered un-Constitutional as a violation of the First Amendment, and despite being crafted in 1799, has never been successfully used to prosecute someone.  Nevertheless, Michael Flynn was already named by Donald Trump to be his NSA Director.  By all common sense, that makes Flynn duly authorized to carry out such discussions.  It is between Flynn, and the duly elected President of the United States Donald Trump, to determine the fitness of those conversations.

And yet, Barack Obama, who in the single meeting he had with President-elect Trump, warned Trump against naming Flynn as the incoming NSA Director.  We now know that Obama had personal knowledge of the phone call that Flynn had with Kislyak, and we know that James Comey informed Obama of the ongoing Logan Act criminal investigation against Flynn.  At that point, Obama could have put an immediate halt to the investigation against Flynn, but chose not to.  Moreover,  Brennan, Clapper, and Comey all agreed to avoid mentioning the wiretapping of the phone call to anyone in the incoming Trump administration.

Obama had to have known that also, if for no other reason that such a revelation would have sent shock waves through the national media.  Does anyone doubt that if Trump had been officially notified that Flynn had his phone calls wiretapped by the FBI, that he would not have immediately howled storms of protest to the people and the media!

No, it's time to tell it plain.  Then President Barack Obama knew about the wiretaps on Trump officials, including Mike Flynn.  He knew about the decision, and likely directed the decision, to keep those wiretaps hidden from the Trump administration, and most critical of all, either knew and refused to stop, or even authorized, the criminal investigations and FISA warrant applications that led to the wiretaps of multiple Trump officials, perhaps even Donald Trump himself.

Finally, we learned from Yates' notes, again declassified and released to the court this week, that Comey never coordinated the FBI's interview with Flynn, not with anyone in the incoming Trump administration, nor even with the Attorney General's office under Barack Obama.  Instead, Comey freelanced the operations of his FBI, contrary to strict regulations, and sent Peter Strzok and another FBI agent to Flynn's White House office (the portion of the White house set aside for the incoming Trump team), to conduct that interview, which was later used to pursue the criminal case against Flynn for lying to those FBI officers. 

It is clear that Obama knew about all of this, and it is highly likely he authorized it, or at least chose to turn a blind eye to it.  Either way, the buck stops at the President's desk, and Barack Obama was still President when all of these illegal actions originated.  He's responsible for his out of control FBI under James Comey, as well as his intelligence agencies under James Clapper and John Brennan.

There is vast evidence of illegal actions carried out by Obama officials, as well as mounting evidence that Obama was at least aware of these illegal actions, and perhaps even authorized them.  Whatever the details of that phone call between Flynn and Kislyak, and it seems it was really nothing more than Flynn wanting the Russians "not to overreact" to Obama administration travel restrictions placed against Russian citizens and officials, plus pending Obama directed expulsions of Russian diplomats, it was not the place of the Obama team to investigate that phone call, with was authorized by the new President, and carried out by his duly authorized NSA Director. 

The idea that Flynn may have lied to FBI officers in an informal meeting, could have been justified by Flynn thinking it wasn't the business of the Obama FBI to know what he said to Kislyak, since he was working for Donald Trump now, and no longer for Barack Obama.  This is a very salient fact.  Trump had ever right under all American law to implement his own foreign policy as President.  If Trump chose to steer right when Obama steered left, then that's the way our system works.  If Obama FBI agents started asking questions about details of a private phone call between a Trump official and a Russian diplomat, what exactly is the Trump official supposed to do?  If said Trump official rightly determines it is frankly no one's business except the new President's what the details of that conversation was, then the best approach would have been for Flynn to bluntly tell the FBI agents that the phone call was, in fact, none of their damn business, and he was not at liberty to confirm, or not confirm, what was discussed. 

Since we still lack the original Form 302 notes from the actual meeting, shockingly "lost" for nearly four years, we really don't know what Flynn said to Peter Strzok and another still unidentified FBI officer.  Perhaps that is precisely what Flynn told the two, that it was none of their business.  What we do know is that later on Peter Strzok's Form 302 was heavily amended by Andrew McCabe, and that heavily amended version, written several months after Strzok wrote the original 302, was the version handed to the federal court of judge Emmett Sullivan.  We do know that both Strzok and the other agent concluded Flynn was not evasive during the interview, and we know from other official notes that it was Andrew McCabe who crafted the Logan Act angle, and who had read the actual wiretap transcript of the phone call.  There was never any good purpose to interview Flynn about that call, except to try to set him up in a perjury trap.  The FBI already had a word-for-word transcript of the phone call!

So much for the sacrosanct right of a newly elected President to independently pursue his own foreign policy!  The Obama administration saw to it that they knew every detail by illegally wiretapping Trump officials, and then using that information to ensnare multiple Trump officials in perjury traps and criminal prosecutions.  

We know that the FBI originally tried to determine if there was enough evidence to pursue a case against Flynn for espionage in working with Russian officials against the interests of the United States.  This was another preposterous effort, and one that FBI agents looked into, and quickly wrote an official memo saying there was no such evidence, and that the criminal investigation of Flynn should be ended.  Upon hearing of this, Peter Strzok immediately asked that the criminal investigation continue, and with Andrew McCabe, pursued it as a Logan Act violation.  Pretty clear, that upon one effort failing, that Obama's team just created another way to go after Flynn, who was at one time Obama's Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.  We know that Flynn, despite being a lifelong registered Democrat, had significant disagreements with Obama's policies, especially regarding military strategies in the war against terrorism.

We also know that Obama fired Flynn after he testified before Congress, and stated that he disagreed with Obama's statements after Osama bin Laden was killed, that al-Qaeda was "on the run."  Instead, Flynn quite accurately pointed out to Congress the pending rise of ISIS, as well as to expanded operations by al-Qaeda in Yemen, Somalia, and northwest Africa.  These statements were pure fact, entirely validated by events that played out over the next year.  Despite this, the statements to Congress infuriated Obama.  It seems lockstep loyalty was a requirement to work for Obama, and if anyone dared deviate the slightest, even in uttering entirely accurate testimony to Congress, it would earn Obama's wrath.  So, Obama fired Flynn, which was his right as President.  But, the animus endured years later. 

The problem with such personal animus, is that it's one thing for a President to dislike or even hate someone, or to fire him from his administration, but it's another thing entirely for that President to direct, or even allow, his intelligence and law enforcement officials to break the law by carrying out a campaign of personal destruction against that person!  That is what Barack Obama did, and that folks is a high crime! 

Perhaps the most pointed revelation came from former Trump White House Counsel Don McGahn, who in a 27 January 2017 personal meeting with Sally Yates, and upon hearing her "concerns" that the FBI had with details of Flynn's phone call, and what he told Vice-President Mike Pence, pointedly said to Yates, "What's it to DOJ if one White House official lies to another?"  When Yates tried to play the Logan Act angle in that same meeting, McGahn became even more forceful, saying, "Oh, come on, what are the chances DOJ will prosecute the Logan Act?"  Keep in mind, at this point, Trump was inaugurated, and seated as the President of the United States.  Yates was working for Trump, and still was wanting to get Flynn at least fired, if not criminally prosecuted.

As we all know now, three and a half years after that fateful meeting between Don McGahn and Sally Yates, the DOJ, under the Robert Mueller special counsel investigation, chose to ignore the very sage words of McGahn, and instead launched a criminal prosecution against Mike Flynn.  The Logan Act angle was quickly tossed away, and instead the Mueller prosecutors chose to bankrupt Flynn, and threaten prosecution, entirely unfounded as it turns out, of his son, unless Flynn signed a guilty plea to lying to FBI agents.  The ability of the feds to use their unlimited resources to coerce a false confession from someone is a threat that every citizen should take very seriously. 

Now, the Flynn prosecution is destroyed, with the previous DOJ attorney suddenly stepping away under murky conditions, and the DOJ asking the judge to dismiss the case.  The legal world would be shocked if Emmett Sullivan refused.  Flynn will likely walk away a free man, who perhaps has the strongest legal case for a raft of civil suits against individuals and federal agencies, which one hopes will restore his financial state to at least where it was before the Obama team unleashed hell upon him.

One also hopes that Donald Trump might consider re-hiring Michael Flynn in an important capacity.  Flynn is seen as a matter-of-fact expert on military and intelligence issues, with a track record of pursuing the path of truth vice false kowtowing to please superiors.  This character trait is what alienated Flynn from Barack Obama, but it might well be the one character trait that endears him to Donald Trump.  In the end, perhaps that is the strongest indicator of who's policies are actually working better, and the most critical reason why!  One President (Obama) wanted personal loyalty most.  The other (Trump) wants positive results. 

Most troubling of all, is that Obama also wanted his personal vengeance unleashed, and it seems clear now that vengeance campaign included willful abuse of the law to destroy people Obama did not favor.  That's more than merely objectionable.  That's criminal.

-- Ken Stallings

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