President Barack Obama with FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates in June 2016.
FPI / May 10, 2020
Documents released Thursday in the Department of Justice's motion to dismiss the case against Michael Flynn show that President Barack Obama was aware of the details of Flynn's intercepted December 2016 phone calls with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
On Jan. 5, 2017, then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates attended an Oval Office meeting with then-FBI Director James Comey, then-Vice President Joe Biden, then-CIA Director John Brennan, and then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, according to the newly declassified documents, including an FD-302 FBI witness report. They were discussing Russian election interference, along with national security adviser Susan Rice and other members of the national security council.
"President Obama began the conversation by stressing his continued commitment to ensuring that every aspect of this issue is handled by intelligence agencies by the book. Everyone has been focused on by the book. I'm focusing on his continuing commitment. Well, you don't have a continued commitment if this is the first time you knew something on January 5th. The fact of the matter is Obama has known all about this," radio and TV host Mark Levin said on Fox News host Sean Hannity's Thursday broadcast.
Levin also said Obama knew about the FBI's FISA abuses because it is unlikely that the president was not alerted when the FBI went to the FISA court to get surveillance warrants. Otherwise, Levin said, the FBI, DOJ, CIA, DNI, NSC, and other intel agencies went rogue.
"This is Barack Obama's blue dress," Levin said. "That's what that is without the DNA on it. Let me explain what I mean. We are supposed to believe that during the Obama administration, the FBI went rogue, the Department of Justice went rogue, the CIA went rogue, the DNI went rogue, the NSC went rogue.
"I can tell you that you're not going to go to the FISA court going after a Trump surrogate without letting the president of the United States know," Levin said. "You're not going to send spies in the opposition campaign without giving the president a heads up. You're not going to mess around with a dossier like they did without the president of the United States knowing about the dossier.
"The one man who is never questioned about this by any reporter at any time or any investigative organization is Barack Obama," Levin added.
Levin said President Donald Trump deserves a "huge apology" from the Obama administration and Democrats.
"This is a massive cover-up of the greatest scandal in American history," Levin said. "We expect and we don't like it when the Russians interfere with our elections or the Chinese or Iran... but we don't expect the Obama administration or the Democrats to interfere with our election and to send spies into the opposition party's campaign, to lie to a federal court, to fix evidence and to try and use the 25th Amendment to take the president of the United States out. That's why calling this all along a silent coup.
"Donald Trump deserves a huge apology, a huge apology from the Obama administration and from the Democrats. He'll never get it but why? He's the victim! He's the victim of the spying. He is the victim of them changing an email. He's the victim of what they did with the FISA court. You look at this document, Obama's blue dress as I said. They impeached Donald Trump over a perfectly fine phone call transcript," Levin said.
The documents released by the DOJ on Thursday show that, after the Jan. 5, 2017 briefing, Obama asked Yates and Comey to "stay behind," and said he had "learned of the information about Flynn" and his conversation with Russia's ambassador about sanctions. Obama "specified that he 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."
A previous memo from Rice stated that Biden also stayed behind after the main briefing had ended.
At that point, the documents showed, "Yates had no idea what the president was talking about, but figured it out based on the conversation. Yates recalled Comey mentioning the Logan Act, but can't recall if he specified there was an 'investigation.' Comey did not talk about prosecution in the meeting."
The Logan Act has never been used successfully in a criminal prosecution. Enacted in 1799 in an era before telephones, it was intended to prevent individuals from falsely claiming to represent the United States government abroad. In its motion to dismiss Flynn's case on Thursday, the DOJ noted that the law was an unserious dead letter.
The documents also said: "It was not clear to Yates from where the President first received the information. Yates did not recall Comey's response to the President's question about how to treat Flynn. She was so surprised by the information she was hearing that she was having a hard time processing it and listening to the conversation at the same time."
Also released by the DOJ Thursday was a two-page document outlining why the FBI opened its investigation of Flynn in August 2016.
The FBI offered only three reasons: that Flynn was "cited as an adviser to the Trump team on foreign policy issues February 2016; he has ties to various state-affiliated entities of the Russian Federation, as reported by open-source information; and he traveled to Russia in December 2015, as reported by open-source information."
Free Press International