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DOJ Releases Sweeping Flynn Pardon, Asks Judge to Dismiss Criminal Case

Michael G. Flynn

By Steve Neavling

The Justice Department is asking a judge to dismiss the criminal case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn after President Trump’s sweeping pardon.  

The Justice Department delivered to the court the formal language of the pardon order, which shields Flynn from “any and all possible offenses arising from the facts set forth … or that might arise, or be charged, claimed or asserted” in connection with special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan has been presiding over the case for the past three years and is considering the Justice Department’s request to dismiss the charges. 

Some legal experts said Trump’s pardon is one of the broadest in American history. 

“Pardons are typically directed at specific convictions or at a minimum at specific charges,” Margy Love, former pardon attorney for Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, who now leads the Collateral Consequences Resource Center, told Politico. “I can think of only one other pardon as broad as this one, extending as it does to conduct that has not yet been charged, and that is the one that President Ford granted to Richard Nixon.”

“In fact, you might say that this pardon is even broader than the Nixon pardon, which was strictly cabined by his time as president,“ Love said. “In contrast, the pardon granted to Flynn appears to extend to conduct that took place prior to Trump‘s election to the presidency, and to bear no relationship to his service to the president, before or after the election.“

Flynn, 61-year-old retired lieutenant general, is Trump’s first national security advisor and was the target of Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Flynn pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia. But he later fired his attorneys and asked to withdraw his guilty plea, claiming he was entrapped by the FBI and Justice Department.

Ex-Trump Aide Carter Page Files Lawsuit Against FBI, DOJ, Claiming ‘Unlawful Spying’

Carter Page, former campaign advisor for Donald Trump.

By Steve Neavling

Carter Page, former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, filed a federal lawsuit against the FBI and Justice Department, claiming he was the victim of “unlawful spying.”

The lawsuit filed in Washington’s federal court alleges multiple violations of Page’s “Constitutional and other legal rights in connection with unlawful surveillance ad investigation of him by the United State Government,” USA Today reports

Page was subjected to secret surveillance during the FBI’s Russia investigation. 

Among the claims are that the FBI eavesdropped on Page based on a series of “false and misleading” information in the applications through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

In a report last year, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz found at least 17 errors in Page’s FISA application, but concluded the FBI was justified in opening the investigation. 

The lawsuit also alleges the FBI relied excessively on former British spy Christopher Steele for information and failed to inform the surveillance court that information had come from Steele. 

The lawsuit also names as defendants former FBI Director James Comey and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

Trump Baselessly Claims FBI, DOJ May Have Helped Rig Election for Biden

Flie photo

By Steve Neavling

President Trump’s relentless attempts to undermine the election now includes baseless claims that his own FBI and Justice Department may have been involved in a conspiracy to rig the election in favor of Joe Biden. 

“This is total fraud,” Trump said Sunday on Fox News, his first television interview since the election. “And how the FBI and Department of Justice — I don’t know, maybe they’re involved. But how people are allowed to get away with this stuff is unbelievable.”

“With all of the fraud that has taken place, nobody’s come to me and said, ‘Oh, the FBI has nabbed the people that are doing this scheme,’” Trump said.

There’s no evidence to support Trump’s claims of widespread fraud, nor has he provided any proof that his own FBI and Justice Department were involved. 

Biden has won the election, with 306 electoral votes to 232 for Trump. Biden also garnered more than 80 million votes nationwide, compared to Trump’s more than 73 million. 

Trump also said the FBI and DOJ have been “missing in action” and failed to properly investigate election fraud allegations. 

“You would think if you’re in the FBI or Department of Justice, this is the biggest thing you could be looking at. Where are they?” he asked. “I’ve not seen anything.”

Neither the FBI nor the Justice Department has responded to Trump’s baseless claims as of Monday morning. 

Trump’s claims drew criticism from some Republicans, including U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, of Illinois.

“The @FBI did not rig the election,” Kinzinger wrote. “If you find yourself believing they did, please stop, and say it out loud, and you will realize how silly it sounds. “@realDonaldTrump simply flooding the zone with baseless conspiracies again.”

Weekend Series on Crime History: The Top 10 Most Controversial Pardons

Flynn Says He Can ‘Breathe Freedom and Liberty’ After Trump Pardons Him

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

By Steve Neavling

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn said Thursday he can “breathe freedom and liberty” a day after President Trump pardoned him. 

“For the first time in more than four years and because of my fearless attorney, Sidney Powell, the Guardian Angel of American Justice, and thousands of good people with endless energy rallying together on my behalf, I breathe freedom and liberty today,” Flynn said in a lengthy statement.

Flynn, 61-year-old retired lieutenant general, is Trump’s first national security advisor and was the target of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Flynn pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia. But he later fired his attorneys and asked to withdraw his guilty plea, claiming he was entrapped by the FBI and Justice Department. 

“Never again should any family or individual be so viciously targeted, maligned, smeared, and threatened such has been the experience of my family and I. Not you and your loved ones, not me nor President Trump, our First Lady, and the Trump children,” he said.

“Stand with me today in renouncing this betrayal of trust that has burdened our nation and proclaim with one united voice across this land that we will never again allow the rightful power of the citizens of this country to be uprooted, undercut, usurped, or held hostage by a coup against our nation, a duly elected President or any future president of these United States.”

Trump is expected to issue more pardons before leaving office. 

John R. Modlin Named Interim Chief Border Patrol Agent for Tucson Sector

John R. Modlin, interim chief Border Patrol agent for the Tucson Sector in Arizona. Photo via Twitter.

By Steve Neavling

John R. Modlin has been named interim chief Border Patrol agent for the Tucson Sector in Arizona. 

Modlin, who made the announcement on Twitter, will replace Roy Villarreal, who held the position since March 2019. 

“While every part of this country has its unique challenges, my mission as a Border Patrol agent has always been the same: secure our borders and ensure the safety of our communities,” Modlin, a 25-year Border Patrol veteran, wrote in the tweet. 

He added, “I look forward to working with Tucson Sector’s many government, tribal and community partners as I continue with that mission in southern Arizona.”

The Tucson Sector covers Cochise, Pima and Santa Cruz counties. 

It wasn’t clear why Villareal was leaving, but he has a new assignment in Washington D.C. and will retain his title as chief patrol agent, a CBP spokesman told The Arizona Republic.

“He has been temporary detailed up to Border Patrol headquarters to help with strategic planning,” spokesman John Mennell said.

Modlin’s Border Patrol career includes stints at the Detroit Sector and the agency’s headquarters in Washington D.C.

Ex-FBI Official Quit Airbnb Over Concerns About Sharing Customer Data With China

By Allan Lengel

Sean Joyce had a solid reputation when he worked for the FBI, rising to the second highest position. So, when he joined private industry he apparently wanted to maintain his integrity.

Sean Joyce/fbi photo

In May 2019, Joyce, the former deputy director at the FBI, was hired by Airbnb, the vacation rental company, as its first “chief trust officer,” a role that involved protecting users’ safety on the platform, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Six months later, he quit over concerns about how the company shares data on millions of its users with Chinese authorities, the Journal writes, citing unnamed sources.

The publication goes on to write:

A high-profile hire for Airbnb, Mr. Joyce grew alarmed during his tenure that the company wasn’t being fully transparent about the data it shares with the ruling Chinese Communist Party government, including for Americans traveling in the country, these people say. He also was concerned about what he viewed as Airbnb’s willingness to consider more expansive data requests from China, the people familiar said.

Happy Thanksgiving from ticklethewire.com