Flynn-Yates All-Russia Hearing Week:
Sally Yates Warned White House About Mike Flynn’s Underlying Conduct Being Problematic In & Of Itself[/caption]
For many Americans it has been a tortuous nightmare since the campaign, election, and onset of the Trump
administration has beset our country. Meanwhile Trump supporters seem very happy and faithful to their hero,
97 or 98% of those who say they voted for him, still supporting him overall. So far he has been very adept
at diverting the investigation into his people being possibly involved with the Russian interference in our election.
In fact, he has tweeted many of his supporters into delusion concerning the veracity of the entire
However, I did listen to much of the Sally Yates Senate Judiciary committee hearing yesterday May 8 2017 afternoon
and I was gratefully impressed by the opening acknowledging statements of both Senators Lindsey Graham of South
Carolina, and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island. So please allow me to present these opening statements
for you now. Perhaps they will pull up the shades high enough to illuminate the facts of what
the Senate Judiciary Committee has discovered so far, for the benefit of all of us Americans:
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse Discussed Russian Toolbox Used In Hacking USA Elections[/caption]
Opening Remarks of Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime
and Terrorism May 8, 2017 [A select few key Sally Yates remarks follow this statement]
Thank you Chairman Graham, for the important work this subcommittee is doing under your
leadership investigating the threat of Russian interference in our elections. In January, America’s
intelligence community disclosed that the Russian government, on the orders of Vladimir Putin,
engaged in an election influence campaign throughout 2016.
In March, FBI Director Comey confirmed that, and I quote him here, “the FBI, as part of [its]
counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in
the 2016 election, and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals
associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was
any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.” The FBI and the intelligence
community’s work is, appropriately, taking place outside the public eye. Our inquiry serves
broader aims: to give a thorough public accounting of the known facts, to pose the questions
that still need answers, and to help us determine how best to protect the integrity and proper
functioning of our government.
At this subcommittee’s first hearing, on March 15, we heard from expert witnesses about
the Russian toolbox for interfering in the politics of other countries. Now we can ask, which
of these tools were used against us by the Russians in 2016? Here’s a checklist.
Propaganda, fake news, trolls and bots: As Clint Watts told the Senate Select Committee on
Intelligence in March, Russian state-sponsored media outlets RT and Sputnik in the lead-up
to the election “churned out manipulated truths, false news stories and conspiracies,” providing
a weaponized fake news effort openly supporting Donald Trump’s candidacy, “while consistently
offering negative coverage of Secretary Clinton.” This was, to again quote Watts, “a deliberate,
well organized, well resourced, well funded, wide ranging effort” by Russia, using trolls and bots
to amplify its messages, particularly across social media. These facts are not disputed by any
serious person, so this is a yes on the checklist.
Hacking and theft of political information: Throughout 2015 and 2016, Russian intelligence
services and state-sponsored hackers conducted cyber operations against U.S. political
targets including state and local election boards, penetrating networks, probing for
vulnerabilities, and stealing private information and emails. Attribution of these crimes
to Russian actors was confirmed in our last hearing, and by many other sources.
So this is another yes
Timed leaks of damaging material: Russian intelligence fronts, cut-outs, and
sympathetic organizations like Guccifer 2.0, DCLeaks.com, and Wikileaks then
time the release of stolen victim data to maximize its political effect, manipulate
public opinion, and thereby influence the outcome of an election. Longtime Trump
associate Roger Stone admits to having interacted with Guccifer 2.0, and he
foreshadowed releases of stolen data on Twitter in August and October 2016.
Timing can matter: on October 7, just hours after the damaging “Access Hollywood”
tapes of Donald Trump’s offensive comments were made public, Wikileaks began
publishing emails stolen from Clinton campaign manager John Podesta. So yes again.
Assassination and political violence: Last October, Russian military intelligence
reportedly conspired to assassinate the then-prime minister of Montenegro as part
of a coup attempt.
In 2004, former Ukrainian prime minister Viktor Yushchenko was disfigured when
he was poisoned in a suspected assassination attempt by Russian agents.
Vladimir Putin Leads Cyberattack on Elections in USA, France….Next…Follow the Trail of Dead Russians…[/caption]
Russian opposition figures are routinely the targets of state-directed political
violence: Vladimir Kara-Murza has survived two recent poisonings, while Boris Nemtsov
was brazenly murdered near the Kremlin in 2015. Thankfully, we have no evidence of
that happening here.
[As Clinton Watts previously testified: “Follow the trail of dead Russians…” my added note]
Investment control in key economic sectors: We learned from Heather Conley’s testimony
in our last hearing that the Kremlin playbook seeks to manipulate other countries through
economic penetration, heavily investing in critical sectors of the target country’s economy
to create political leverage. Putin’s petro-politics uses Russia’s control of natural gas to
create political pressure. But no as to that tactic here, so far.
Shady business and financial ties: Russia exploits the dark shadows of economic and
political systems. FBI Director Comey testified last week that the United States is
becoming the last big haven for shell corporations, where the opacity of the corporate
form allows the concealment of criminal funds, and can allow foreign money to
directly and indirectly influence our political system. Since the Citizens United decision,
we’ve seen unprecedented dark money flow in our elections from 501(c)(4) organizations.
We don’t know who’s behind that dark money, or what they’re demanding in return.
Felix Sater pitched business ideas to Donald Trump “on a constant basis.” Sen. Whitehouse states Sater’s family has links to Russian organized crime.[/caption]
Using shell corporations and other devices, Russia establishes illicit financial relationships
to develop leverage against prominent figures, through the carrot of continued bribery or the
stick of threatened disclosure. How about here? Well we know that President Trump himself
has long pursued business deals in Russia. He is reported to have done or sought to do
business there since the mid-1990s. As he chased deals in Russia throughout the 2000s,
he deputized a colorful character named Felix Sater to develop real-estate projects there
under the Trump name. Sater’s family has links to Russian organized crime, and Felix himself
has had difficulties with the law. Sater said in a 2008 deposition that he would pitch
business ideas directly to Trump and his team “on a constant basis.” As recently as 2010,
Sater had a Trump Organization business card and an office in Trump Tower.
Donald Trump Jr. said in September 2008 that he’d made half a dozen trips to the country
in the preceding 18 months, noting that Russian investors were heavily involved in Trump’s
New York real estate projects. “We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia,” he said. One
Trump property in mid-town Manhattan had become, within a few years of opening, “a prominent
depository of Russian money,” according to a report in Bloomberg Businessweek. So here there
are still big questions. Of course, President Trump could clarify questions by releasing his business
and personal tax returns.
Corrupting and compromising politicians: In testimony before the Judiciary Committee last
Wednesday, Director Comey acknowledged that financial leverage has been exploited by
Russian intelligence “over many decades.” Back to the days of Joe Alsop, they use
kompromat, or compromising material, to pressure and manipulate targeted individuals
with the prospect of damaging disclosures. Has Russia compromised, corrupted, cultivated,
or exerted improper influence on individuals associated with President Trump, his administration,
his transition team, his campaign, or his businesses? Another big question mark. We know that
President Trump has had in his orbit a number of very Russia-friendly figures.
Michael Flynn Led The Cry To ‘Lock Her Up’ re Hillary Clinton Boomeranged By His Own Karma[/caption]
In August 2015, Trump first met informally with Michael Flynn, who as director of the Defense Intelligence
Agency [DIA] had developed strong professional relationships with Russian military intelligence.
In December of that year, Flynn traveled to Moscow for a paid speaking appearance at an anniversary
gala for RT, where he was briefly seated next to Vladimir Putin — quite a seat for a retired American general.
Two months after that trip, Flynn was reportedly serving as an informal national security advisor to Trump.
Trump identified a little-known energy investor named Carter Page as one of his foreign policy advisors.
In late March 2016, Page told Bloomberg Politics that friends and associates had been hurt by U.S. sanctions
against Russia, and that “there’s a lot of excitement in terms of the possibilities for creating a better situation.”
On April 27, 2016, Trump and several of his advisors, including Jeff Sessions, met Sergei Kislyak, Russia’s
ambassador to the United States before a campaign speech. The speech, which was hosted by the Center
for the National Interest, had been arranged by Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner. Kislyak attended the Trump
Republican convention, and he told the Washington Post that he had multiple contacts with the Trump
campaign both before and after the election. (In the days after the November election, Russia’s deputy
foreign minister confirmed that his government had communicated with the Trump team during the campaign.)
And we know Michael Flynn spoke with Ambassador Kislyak on December 29, the same day President Obama
announced punitive sanctions against Russia for its interference in the 2016 election. Trump transition and
administration officials thereafter made false statements to the media and the public about the content of
Flynn’s conversations with Kislyak, apparently as a result of Flynn having misled them. This eventually led
President Trump to ask for Flynn’s resignation, something I’m hoping Ms. Yates can shed some light on in
her testimony today. The President and his administration have yet to take responsibility for or explain these
and other troubling Russia links, dismissing facts as “fake news,” and downplaying the significance of individuals
involved. More than 100 days into the Trump administration and nearly two years since he declared his candidacy
for President, only one person has been held accountable for improper contacts with Russia: Michael Flynn. Even
then, the Trump administration has maintained that Flynn’s illicit communications with the ambassador were not,
in fact, improper – – he simply lost the confidence of the president.
We need a more thorough accounting of the facts. Many years ago, an 18-minute gap transfixed the
country and got everybody’s attention in another investigation. In this case, we have an 18- day gap
between the notification of the White House that a senior official had potentially been compromised
and action taken against that senior official’s role. At best, the Trump administration has displayed
serious errors of judgment. At worst, these irregularities may reflect errors of compromise or corruption
at the hands of Russian intelligence. My sincere hope is that this hearing and those to come will help us to find out.
During the May 8 2017 hearing, Whitehouse asked former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates about
her concerns about Flynn’s conduct.
Sally Yates Warned White House of Michael Flynn’s Vulnerability To Blackmail Because of Lying To Members of Trump Staff[/caption]
“To state the obvious, you don’t want your national security adviser compromised with the Russians,” answered Yates.
“This was a matter of some urgency.” Yates also suggested that Flynn’s conduct was a legal issue even
without making misrepresentations to the White House and the
public. “The underlying conduct that General Flynn had engaged in was problematic in and of itself,” she said.
Again, the classified information upon which she based this statement also forbid her to give further depth to her claim.
Interview with Chris Hayes ‘All In’ TV show 5-8-17
President Trump Denies Knowing About NSA Director Flynn Working As A Foreign Agent, But Stated He’d Look Into It on 2-20-17[/caption]
Find http://www.msnbc.com/all …..look for 5-8-17 show segment, 8 minutes long, with Senator Whitehouse.
Incidentally at 4:24 into the segment now-President Trump is seen on Feb 10, 2017, denying knowing about
Flynn’s foreign agent work – though his Transition Team officially was notified Nov 18 2016 by Congress in writing
about Flynn’s working as an unregistered foreign agent; plus Flynn’s lawyers had also notified the White House twice
of Flynn’s paid foreign agent activity before Feb 10 2017.
Russian Ambassador Had Multiple Conversations With Michael Flynn About Sanctions Against Russia Being Relaxed[/caption]
Remember Sally Yates testified that she visited the White House urgently Jan 26 AND Jan 27, plus spoke on the
phone again, to the White House lawyer Don McGahn about General Flynn’s illegal activities, and the risk that
the Russians had recorded his conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. This information then putting Flynn
as chief of the National Security Agency (NSA) at the mercy of Russian blackmail, because he lied about these
phone conversations, possibly to the FBI when interviewed by them on January 24, 2017, in addition to lying
to the Vice President and others in the administration. If the latter narrative is indeed true.
VP Pence Denied on March 9 2017 That He Only Found Out “Today” About Michael Flynn Being A Foreign Agent Though Congress Notified His Transition Team November 18, 2016 That Flynn Was Working As A Foreign Agent[/caption]
Of course, all this story could be false if Trump confederates had cooperated with the Russians during the campaign and
thereafter, and Flynn and Vice President Pence and everyone in the White House had lied and are continuing to lie about
the entire scandal. Remember also that knowing the above facts and dates, Vice President Pence said twice to FOX TV’s
Bret Baier in a March 9 2017 interview that “today” was the first he was hearing about Flynn working as a foreign agent.
Which has to be impossible, with him being the head of the Transition Team.
Here is some very interesting discussion/information now from yesterday’s Chris Hayes [CH] All In show 5-8-17:
Edited notes from segment with Malcolm Nance (MSNBC Terrorist Expert) [MV]
Author: ‘The Plot To Hack America’
Matt Miller – served in Justice Department under Eric Holder – AG Obama Administration
MM: Were they ever going to fire Michael Flynn, if it didn’t become public? [reported by the Washington Post]
…MV: He [Flynn] could be a turned asset of Russia
CH: That’s going very far…
MV: But why would you pick up a phone five times on the same day we’re kicking out  Russian spies?
Was he directed by the President? [?] Apparently not.
…MV: This was a hair-on-fire intelligence breach, no matter how you look at it. When I worked
at the NSA if this happened, everyone on my floor got repolygraphed; everyone was considered
….We need to re-clear everyone
Terrorism Expert Malcolm Vance Posits Goodfellas Attitude In Trump White House To Sally Yates’ Flynn Warning[/caption]
….MV: But they have this Goodfellas sort of attitude towards everything she [Sally Yates] was bringing
to them. Not just, “What’re you doing, nosing around in our business? What’s it to YOU!? You’re justice,
why are you here in our White House? And that’s sort of understandable, that she would come in there.
But a good White House counsel who’s really looking out for the interests of the United States would
say “This is a crisis meeting we’re having.”
CH: While you’re protecting your client [The President]…
…MM: This gets to what we don’t know what happened in the White House. We don’t know whether
they went to the President and the President said “You know what, I don’t care. I want to keep him anyway.”
MV: Yeah, this is a loyalist White House. This is a group of people – again the Goodfellas analogy.
They don’t care! So long as it’s all Cosa Nostra* amongst us.
*Sicilian Mafia; Cosa Nostra actually translates to Our Thing
This is a bit more insightful than what you will hear on most media outlets.
Now, Senator Graham’s opening statement to the 58-17 Judiciary Committee hearing to end this post:
Senator Lindsey Graham Chairman of Judiciary Committee Concerned About Russian Hacking Of USA Election[/caption]
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-SOUTH CAROLINA: “The hearing will come to order, thank you
all for coming. Here’s sort of the order of the day. I’ll give a brief opening statement along
with Senator Whitehouse, then we’ll have Senator Grassley and Feinstein follow some
questioning and it’ll be seven minute rounds initially and we’ll try to do a second round
of five minutes. To both of the witnesses, thank you for coming.
I’ll try to make this as reasonably short as possible and if you need a break, please let us
know. So people wonder what are we doing and what are we trying to accomplish? In January,
the intelligence community unanimously said that the Russians through their intelligence services
tried to interfere in the 2016 American presidential election, that it was the Russians who hacked
It was the Russians who broke into the Democratic National Committee and it was Russians who
helped empower WikiLeaks. No evidence that the Russians changed voting tallies, how people
were influenced by what happened only they know and God knows but I think every American
should be concerned about what the Russians did. From my point of view, there’s no doubt
in my mind it was the Russians involved in all the things I just described, not some 400 pound
guy sitting on a bed or any other country.
Russia is up to no good when it comes to democracies all over the world. Dismembering the Ukraine,
the Baltics are always under siege by Russian interference, so why? We want to learn what the Russians
did, we want to find a way to stop them because they’re apparently not going to stop until somebody
makes them. The hearing that was held last week with Director Comey asked a question, is it fair to say
that Russian government still involved in American politics and he said yes.
So I want House members and Senators to know it was the presidential campaign in 2016, it could be
our campaigns next. I don’t know what happened in France but somebody hacked into Mr. Macron’s
account and we’ll see who that may have been but this is sort of what Russia does to try to undermine
democracy. So what are we trying to accomplish here?
To validate the findings of the intelligence committee as much as possible and to come up with a course
of action as a nation bipartisan in nature because it was the Democratic Party of 2016 were the victims,
could be the Republican Party of the future. When one party’s attacked, all of us should feel an attack.
It should be an Article 5 agreement between both major parties — all major parties, that when a foreign
power interferes in our election, it doesn’t matter who they targeted, we’re all in the same boat.
Secondly, the unmasking the 702 program. Quite frankly, when I got involved in this investigation, I
didn’t know much about it. Director Comey said the 702 program, which allows warrants for intelligence
gathering and a vital intelligence tool, I’ve learned to bid about unmasking and what I’ve learned is disturbing.
So I don’t know exactly all the details, what goes into unmasking an American citizen, being incidentally
surveilled when they involved with a foreign agent. I’d like to know more and I want to make sure that that
unmasking can never be used as a political weapon in our democracy, so I am all for hitting the enemy
before they hit us, intelligence gatherings essential.
But I do believe we need to take a look at the procedures involved in 702, particularly how unmasking is
requested, who can request it and what can — what — what limitations exist, if any, on how the information
can be used. So that’s why we’re here.
We’re here to find out all things Russia and the witnesses are determined by the evidence and nothing else.
And the 702 reauthorization will come before the Congress fairly soon and I, for one, have a lot of
questions I didn’t have before.
I’ve enjoyed doing this with Senator Whitehouse, Senator Feinstein and Grassley have been terrific.
Let it be said that the chairman and ranking member of this subcommittee have allowed us to do
our job, have empowered us and have been hands-on and it’s much appreciated.
And with that, I’ll recognize Senator Whitehouse.”
When all is said and done, and sooner rather than later, an independent special prosecutor who
is above question about his or her integrity must be chosen to properly un-partisanly investigate
the Russian attack on our elections and country. Sally Yates, anyone?
P.S. Tuesday Night Massacre!! Now Trump fires the man investigating him and his people
Trump Suddenly Fires FBI Director Comey Investigating His Administration re Russian Attack on USA Elections[/caption]
concerning the Russian Attack On Our Elections: James Comey Fired as head of FBI!
How can Donald Trump dare do this? “This is Nixonian.” “This should send a chill down the spine of every American.”
are some early comments on this OUTRAGE! Trump claims he fired Comey because he treated Hillary Clinton
unfairly in 2016. Special Prosecutor NOW! or Impeachment!?!! What do you think? Nausea rising across our nation…
(C) 2017 Conrad Miller M.D.