Ret. Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn Flynn Intel Group, Fired as the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014, Resigned National Security Advisor February 13, 2017
Failure to disclose meetings with Russians on security clearance forms and accepting payments from Russian television without receiving clearance and then lying about it to Mike Pence were the original reasons for firing Flynn. It has since been revealed that the Obama administration alerted the Transition Team about undisclosed meetings and therefore Pence, leading the Transition, should have been aware of the security alert. Also, Flynn accepted a $600,000 payment from Ekim Alptekin to lobby on behalf of Turkey right before being nominated as National Security Adviser, and failed to mention it on his forms and in confirmation hearings. Flynn and his son Michael G. Flynn work together as consultants and both spread many conspiracy theories and anti-Clinton stories such as “Pizzagate”, which was fed by Wikileaks. Peter Smith, also an anti-Clinton activist, told computer specialists was working with Flynn to obtain the 33,000 missing Clinton emails, which reportedly were in the hands of 5 hacking groups including 2 Russian groups.
Flynn brought right-wing Ezra Cohen-Watnick to the NSC, who was let go by H.R. McMaster.
“Intelligence agency findings describe hackers seeking to obtain messages and send them to intermediary who also had deep ties to Trump backer Newt Gingrich
“Peter Smith told the computer specialists he approached in his hunt for the stolen emails that he was working with Michael Flynn, then a top Trump foreign policy adviser, according to the Wall Street Journal. But Smith, who has died since talking to the Journal, also had deep-rooted connections to Newt Gingrich, an old Clinton foe and enthusiastic backer of Trump.
Smith was a Chicago investment banker who was a major fundraiser for Gingrich when the latter was a Republican congressional leader in a ferocious battle of wills with then president Bill Clinton. Smith was instrumental in the “Troopergate” scandal, in which four state troopers who provided security for Clinton alleged that the then Arkansas governor had used them to find him women to have sex with.
He also tried to orchestrate a paternity suit against Clinton and tried to find a woman who would claim she had an illegitimate child with the governor.” The Guardian
The Fall of Michael Flynn: A Timeline Washington Post February 14, 2017
Rachel Maddow on Sally Yates’ Testimony May 8, 2017 Maddow asks, what is the Underlying Conduct?
Sally Yates Testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee: “So I told them again, that there were a number of press accounts, of statements that had been made by the Vice President and other high-ranking White House officials about General Flynn’s conduct that we knew to be untrue. And we told them how we knew that this, how we had this information, how we had acquired it and how we knew that it was untrue. And we walked the White House counsel, who also had an associate there with him, through General Flynn’s underlying conduct, the contents of which I obviously cannot go through with you today because it’s classified. But we took them through a fair amount of detail of the underlying conduct, what General Flynn had done, and then we walked them through the various press accounts and how it had been falsely reported…The first thing we did was to explain to Mr. McGahn that the underlying general conduct that General Flynn had engaged in was problematic in and of itself..My knowledge of his underlying conduct is based on classified information and so I can’t reveal what that underlying conduct is.”
“Flynn was forced to resign as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser in February after it became clear he had misled Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of his pre-inauguration phone calls with Russia’s ambassador. Flynn has come under scrutiny for his lobbying on behalf of Turkey.” Politico
“The Turkish man who gave Mike Flynn a $600,000 lobbying deal just before President Donald Trump picked him to be national security adviser has business ties to Russia, including a 2009 aviation financing deal negotiated with Vladimir Putin, according to court records. The man, Ekim Alptekin, has in recent years helped to coordinate Turkish lobbying in Washington with Dmitri “David” Zaikin, a Soviet-born former executive in Russian energy and mining companies who also has had dealings with Putin’s government, according to three people with direct knowledge of the activities. This unusual arrangement, in which Alptekin and Zaikin have helped steer Turkish lobbying through various groups since at least 2015, raises questions about both the agenda of the two men and the source of the funds used to pay the lobbyists. Although Turkey is a NATO ally, its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has grown increasingly authoritarian and friendly with Putin. And the hiring of Flynn by Alptekin came at a time when Flynn was working for Trump’s campaign and Putin’s government was under investigation for interfering with the U.S. election.” Politico April 25, 2017
“Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the panel’s top Democrat, noted that knowingly falsifying or concealing information on a security clearance application form, called an SF-86, is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.” Politico
April 25, 2017: House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-UT, said Flynn took money without clearance. Politico
“[Chaffetz] and ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings, D-Md. — after reviewing classified Pentagon documents, had just accused Flynn of failing to disclose foreign income from Russia and Turkey when he sought to renew his security clearance.”Yahoo News
“Flynn had dinner with loyalists that evening and said, “I just got a message from the president to stay strong,” Flynn said after the meal was over, according to two sources who are close to Flynn and are familiar with the conversation, which took place on April 25.” Yahoo News
“Democrats on Cummings’ committee released several documents related to Flynn from the Defense Intelligence Agency.” USA Today
April 7, 2017: Defense Intelligence Agency sent a classified letter to the House Oversight Committee dated October 8, 2014, warning Flynn of Foreign Payments without permission after they fired him. The letter states there were no records showing that he sought permission or approval of the money he received from speaking at the Moscow RT Gala in December 2015 during which he dined with Putin. The Defense Department gave House Oversight Committee an unclassified version the week of April 27, 2017. House Democrats Oversight Committee
Department Of Defense confirmation of April 4 Flynn investigation. USA Today
“Michael Flynn Resigns as National Security Adviser” NY Times February 13, 2017
“Michael T. Flynn: A Timeline of His Brief Tenure” at the National Security Council NY Times February 14, 2017
Republican National Convention, July 19-20-, 2016, Flynn leads “Lock Her Up” chants. Washington Post
Pizzagate, December 2016
“In November 2016, Michael T. Flynn, then on President-Elect Donald Trump‘s transition team and Trump’s designate for National Security Advisor, posted multiple tweets on Twitter containing conspiratorial material regarding Hillary Clinton alleging that Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta, drank the blood and bodily fluids of other humans in Satanic rituals, which Politico says “soon morphed into the ‘#pizzagate’ conspiracy theory involving Comet Ping Pong”. On November 2, 2016, Flynn tweeted a link to a story with unfounded accusations and wrote, “U decide – NYPD Blows Whistle on New Hillary Emails: Money Laundering, Sex Crimes w Children, etc…MUST READ!” The tweet was shared by over 9,000 people, but was deleted from Flynn’s account some time between December 12–13, 2016.” Wikipedia
After the shooting incident at Comet Ping Pong, Michael Flynn Jr., Michael T. Flynn’s son and also a member of Trump’s transition team, tweeted:
On December 6, 2016, Flynn Jr. was forced out of Trump’s transition team. Spokesman Jason Miller did not identify the reason for Flynn Jr.’s dismissal; however, The New York Times reported that other officials had confirmed it was related to the tweet.
Washington Post February 14, 2017
April 2014: Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn is relieved of duty as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Flynn will leave the position that summer and later allege that the firing stemmed from his criticism of then-President Barack Obama’s efforts to fight radical Islamic terrorism.
Dec. 10, 2015: Flynn participates in a celebration of the 10th anniversary of Russia Today, the Russian-state-backed television network. He is part of a panel discussion in Moscow, for which he receives compensation.
Jul. 18: Flynn gives a speech endorsing Trump at the Republican National Convention. The New York Times editorial board later calls it “grotesque” for Flynn’s embrace of the convention crowd’s “lock her up” chant.
Jul. 22: On the Friday before the Democratic National Convention begins, WikiLeaks releases emails that are thought to have been stolen from the Democratic National Committee by Russian state actors.
Aug. 9: Flynn signs a $600,000, 90-day contract with a company called Inovo BV aimed at discrediting a key opponent of the regime of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Oct. 7: WikiLeaks begins publishing emails that the U.S. government thinks were stolen by Russia from the account of Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.
Prior to Nov. 8: Flynn contacts Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, according to Post reporting. It’s not clear how often the two communicated or what was discussed.
Nov. 8: An opinion piece written by Flynn runs in The Hill, focused on bolstering the Turkish government and criticizing Erdogan’s opponent.
Trump is elected president.
Nov. 17: President-elect Trump names Flynn his intended national security adviser. The position does not require Senate approval.
Nov. 30: The Justice Department informs Flynn that his lobbying work was being examined.
Where Flynn got into trouble
Dec. 6: Vice President-elect Mike Pence is asked if Flynn’s son, Michael G. Flynn, has a role with the presidential transition. (The younger Flynn has attracted negative attention for spreading conspiracy theories.) Pence denies that he does.
Later in the day, after it emerges that the transition team requested security clearance for Flynn’s son, Pence changes his story, saying that the son was helping his father with scheduling. In February, it’s reported that Flynn requested that clearance without telling the transition team.
Dec. 25: Flynn texts Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, to wish him a merry Christmas and to express condolences for a plane crash, according to Pence in a January interview.
Dec. 28: At one point, White House press secretary Sean Spicer indicates that Flynn and Kislyak spoke Dec. 28, but later corrects the date.
Dec. 29: Flynn places five phone calls to Kislyak. These calls were apparently on unsecured lines, and monitored by U.S. intelligence agencies. On the same day, Obama announces measures meant to punish Russia for its interference in the 2016 election.
Dec. 30: Trump tweets praise for Vladimir Putin’s response to Obama.
Great move on delay (by V. Putin) – I always knew he was very smart!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 30, 2016
Jan. 4: Flynn informs Don McGahn, who will serve as Trump’s White House counsel, that the Justice Department is scrutinizing his lobbying, the New York Times reports.
Jan. 10: In a meeting with Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice, Flynn is asked to sign off on a plan to partner with Kurdish forces to retake the Islamic State’s de facto capital of Raqqa. (The sign-off is requested because the operation would extend past Obama’s tenure.) Flynn asks them to hold off, as reported by McClatchy. The Turkish government opposes the U.S. partnering with the Kurds.
Jan. 11: During his first news conference since the convention, Trump acknowledges that Russia was most likely behind the hacking at the DNC, although he says that “we also get hacked by other countries and other people.”
How it fell apart
Jan. 12: The Washington Post’s David Ignatius reveals the conversations between Flynn and Kislyak. “What did Flynn say,” he wonders, “and did it undercut the U.S. sanctions?”
The Logan Act bars unauthorized citizens from contacting foreign governments “with an intent to influence its measures or conduct in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States.” If Flynn discussed sanctions with Kislyak before being sworn in as national security adviser, that could be a violation of the act.
Jan. 13: Spicer tells reporters that there was one call between Kislyak and Flynn, during which the pair “exchanged logistical information” on setting up a call between Trump and President Vladimir Putin of Russia.
Jan. 15: Pence appears on CBS’s “Face the Nation” and is asked about the Flynn conversations, which he characterizes as “a conversation.” “It was strictly coincidental that they had a conversation,” Pence says. “They did not discuss anything having to do with the United States’ decision to expel diplomats or impose censure against Russia.”
He later adds: “General Flynn has been in touch with diplomatic leaders, security leaders in some 30 countries. That’s exactly what the incoming national security adviser should do. But what I can confirm, having spoken to him about it, is that those conversations that happened to occur around the time that the United States took action to expel diplomats had nothing whatsoever to do with those sanctions.”
Jan. 20: Trump takes the oath of office as president.
Jan. 22: Flynn is sworn in as National Security Adviser.
Jan. 26: Acting Attorney General Sally Yates informs McGahn that Flynn was lying about the nature of his calls with Kislyak and that this made him vulnerable to blackmail by Russia. The meeting takes place in McGahn’s office at the White House, a secure location.
Jan. 27: Yates and McGahn meet again at the White House.
Spicer later says that McGahn subsequently reviewed the legality of Flynn’s actions, determining that no law was broken.
Jan. 31: Yates is fired by Trump after announcing that she would not defend his immigration executive order.
Feb. 1: Flynn makes an unusual appearance at the daily news briefing, declaring that the administration was putting Iran “on notice” for hostile actions.
Feb. 8: Flynn tells a reporter from The Post that he didn’t discuss sanctions in his conversations with Kislyak. Asked repeatedly, he twice says “no” to the question.
Feb. 9: Flynn’s spokesman walks that back. Flynn “indicated that while he had no recollection of discussing sanctions, he couldn’t be certain that the topic never came up,” he tells The Post.
Feb. 10: Trump tells reporters that he’s unfamiliar with the Post’s report that Flynn now admits he may have discussed sanctions in the December calls.
Feb. 13: Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway tells MSNBC that Trump maintains full confidence in Flynn.
Later that evening, The Post reports on the Yates warning to the White House.
Flynn subsequently resigns. In his resignation letter, he writes:
In the course of my duties as the incoming National Security Advisor, I held numerous phone calls with foreign counterparts, ministers, and ambassadors. These calls were to facilitate a smooth transition and begin to build the necessary relationships between the President, his advisors and foreign leaders. Such calls are standard practice in any transition of this magnitude.
Unfortunately, because of the fast pace of events, I inadvertently briefed the Vice President Elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian Ambassador. I have sincerely apologized to the President and the Vice President, and they have accepted my apology.
Mar. 31: Flynn’s lawyer informs congressional investigators that Flynn is willing to testify before their committees in exchange for immunity.