Former Bush AG Shoots Down Media’s ‘Speculation’ About Flynn Deal

The Sunday morning shows were dominated by wild fantasies from the liberal media regarding what was to come next in the Russia investigation after Michael Flynn’s plea deal on Friday. But during an appearance on ABC’s This Week, former Attorney General for George W. Bush, Michael Mukasey, wrote off the press’s hopes as just “speculation” and “heavy breathing.”

When describing what the plea deal meant for the investigation, Mukasey told Clinton lackey George Stephanopoulos: “What I made of it is that a lot of the heavy breathing and a lot of the speculation is completely unwarranted. That plea agreement, does not, to me, indicate that there’s much else there.” He then explained:

When you have a witness who can put other people into criminal behavior, you can do one of two things. You can either immunize them of they’re not going to disclose their information. You can either give them immunity (…) Or else you can make them plead guilty to participating in the same criminal conduct that you're trying to prove against the people you're after. Because that’s the most convincing evidence of the existence of the conspiracy, which neither one of them is true.

Even after ABC suspended reporter Brian Ross for his flagrantly false claims that Flynn was going to testify against Trump, legal analyst Dan Abrams seemed to try and leave some wiggle room for the accusation. “The two things that they're focusing on I don’t think is what happened in the transition, which is what the plea is about. It's about what happened during the campaign,” he asserted. “And it’s about what happened after that in terms of possible obstruction of justice.

 

 

After Mukasey dismissed the idea of the plea deal meaning something larger, Abrams argued:

I think that is a very generous way to view it. The bottom line is, if you take it out of this investigation and put it into the context of any investigation like this, Flynn is considered the smaller fish who they’re cutting a deal with to potentially testify against bigger fish, period. You can hope he won't have anything else. But, he did offer a proffer. He basically told them, here's what I can give you. They thought to themselves this is important enough for us to cut a deal on a small fry indictment here.

With all due respect, that’s completely speculative,” Mukasey shot back. “And tease it out, if he testifies at trial, to a whole lot of the sort of things that Dan was just suggesting, then he's going to get cut to ribbons. You mean, you pleaded guilty to this patty-cake charge and know you're telling us you knew all this other stuff.” He would go on to explain that the plea deal left Flynn open to plead the Fifth if any other matter were to come up that was unrelated to what was immediately agreed too.

Abrams would go on to further speculate that:

<<< Please support MRC's NewsBusters team with a tax-deductible contribution today. >>>

The bottom line is: There's either going to be a prosecution for what happened during the campaign or there's going to be issues related to that, or after this occurred with potential obstruction of justice. So, I think that that's where Kushner has to be concerned is what happened in the campaign itself with regard to communications with the Russians.

Mukasey also shot down the idea of Trump obstructing justice citing: “Number one: Comey is not the guy who decides if charges are going to be brought, that’s decided by a prosecutor. (…) Secondly, the investigation is being conducted by people in the field, not by James Comey. And third, the President says, several days after or at about the same time: ‘I want you the chase down anybody around me who you think has done something wrong.’

As much as the liberal media want the Russia investigation to be a cut and dry case against the Trump administration it’s not. And despite what actions the Mueller team have taken in open view to the public, anyone claiming an imminent prosecution was just expressing wishful thinking on their part.

Transcript below:

ABC
This Week
December 3, 2017
9:05:27 AM Eastern

(…)

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You both agree this tweet in and of itself not that damaging?

Sign Up for MRC Newsletters!

DAN ABRAMS: No, I don't think this is going to be a huge piece in the investigation. In fact, I don't think the President's tweets, in general, are going to be a particularly important focus. When you’re coming on the heels of this deal with Michael Flynn. The two things that they're focusing on I don’t think is what happened in the transition, which is what the plea is about. It's about what happened during the campaign. And it’s about what happened after that in terms of possible obstruction of justice. And I think those will be the focuses.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And you're a former prosecutor as well, General Mukasey. When you saw that plea agreement, relatively narrow plea agreement, what did you make of it?

MICHAEL MUKASEY: What I made of it is that a lot of the heavy breathing and a lot of the speculation is completely unwarranted. That plea agreement, does not, to me, indicate that there’s much else there. When you have a witness who can put other people into criminal behavior, you can do one of two things. You can either immunize them of they’re not going to disclose their information. You can either give them immunity (…) Or else you can make them plead guilty to participating in the same criminal conduct that you're trying to prove against the people you're after. Because that’s the most convincing evidence of the existence of the conspiracy, which neither one of them is true.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We thought Robert Mueller could have gotten Michael Flynn on several other counts not reported.

MUKASEY: That’s right. He made that clear in the document.

STEPHANOPOLOUS: So, didn't he have to get something significant in return?

MUKASEY: No. Not necessarily.

ABRAMS: I think that is a very generous way to view it. The bottom line is, if you take it out of this investigation and put it into the context of any investigation like this, Flynn is considered the smaller fish who they’re cutting a deal with to potentially testify against bigger fish, period. You can hope he won't have anything else. But, he did offer a proffer. He basically told them, here's what I can give you. They thought to themselves this is important enough for us to cut a deal on a small fry indictment here.

(…)

MUKASEY: With all due respect, that’s completely speculative. And tease it out, if he testifies at trial, to a whole lot of the sort of things that Dan was just suggesting, then he's going to get cut to ribbons. You mean, you pleaded guilty to this patty-cake charge and know you're telling us you knew all this other stuff.

ABRAMS: That happens in every case.

MUKASEY: No it's not what happens when there’s a good prosecutor in charge.

(…)

MUKASEY: He's not protected under the terms of the agreement. He’s not protected against anything other than what he's pled guilty to. He's still got a Fifth Amendment right with respect to everything during the campaign.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That means Robert Mueller has leverage over him, doesn't it?

MUKASEY: No.

(…)

MUKASEY: I don't know what he thought was going on at the time. But there are people in the world that would lie when the truth would do. We have all encountered them. And this looks very much like one of those cases.

(…)

ABRAMS: The bottom line is: There's either going to be a prosecution for what happened during the campaign or there's going to be issues related to that, or after this occurred with potential obstruction of justice. So, I think that that's where Kushner has to be concerned is what happened in the campaign itself with regard to communications with the Russians.

(…)

[Obstruction of justice topic]

MUKASEY: No. For numerous reasons. Number one: Comey is not the guy who decides if charges are going to be brought, that’s decided by a prosecutor. I understand that Comey has got a history of telling people that charges aren’t going to be brought with Mrs. Clinton, but that's not his function. Secondly, the investigation is being conducted by people in the field, not by James Comey. And third, the President says, several days after or at about the same time, I want you the chase down anybody around me who you think has done something wrong. Add all that up. What it sounds like, is he said: “Look, this guy's gone through a lot. Been fired. He's served his country. Give him a break.”

(…)


Please support NewsBusters today! [a 501(c)(3) non-profit production of the Media Research Center]

DONATE

Or, book travel through MRC’s Travel Discounts Program! MRC receives a rebate for each booking when you use our special codes.

BOOK NOW
CyberAlerts Media Bias Debate Political Scandals Broadcast Television ABC This Week Video Michael Mukasey Mike Flynn George Stephanopoulos Dan Abrams