“”I hope you can let this [investigation] go.”
President Donald Trump to FBI James Comey — White House, February 14 2017
President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey escalates the administration’s Russia scandal, and, for the first time, provides indications of impeachable offenses. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY
On February 14 2017, President Donald Trump asked FBI chief James Comey to drop the FBI investigation of General Mike Flynn which probes — among other scandals — into possible links between the ex-national security adviser and Russia.
According to a memo written by the ex-FBI director — immediately after the meeting — Mr Trump told Mr Comey: “I hope you can let this [the FBI investigation] go.”
The meeting occurred the day after General Mike Flynn was dismissed. (See Timeline)
Senator John McCain believes that this affair has become a scandal of “Watergate size and scale”.
“Despite the conversation between Mr. Trump and Mr. Comey, the investigation of Mr. Flynn has proceeded. In Virginia, a federal grand jury has issued subpoenas in recent weeks for records related to Mr. Flynn. Part of the Flynn investigation is centered on his financial links to Russia and Turkey.”
RELATED POST: Former NSA Mike Flynn: Obama warned Trump on Nov. 10
The January 27 Dinner
During the meal, Mr. Comey tried to explain to Mr. Trump how he saw his role as F.B.I. director. Mr. Comey told Mr. Trump that the country would be best served by an independent F.B.I. and Justice Department.
As they ate, the president and Mr. Comey made small talk about the election and the crowd sizes at Mr. Trump’s rallies. The president then turned the conversation to whether Mr. Comey would pledge his loyalty to him.
Mr. Comey declined to make that pledge. Instead, Mr. Comey has recounted to others, he told Mr. Trump that he would always be honest with him, but that he was not “reliable” in the conventional political sense.
By Mr. Comey’s account, his answer to Mr. Trump’s initial question apparently did not satisfy the president, the associates said. Later in the dinner, Mr. Trump again said to Mr. Comey that he needed his loyalty.
Mr. Comey again replied that he would give him “honesty” and did not pledge his loyalty, according to the account of the conversation.
But Mr. Trump pressed him on whether it would be “honest loyalty.”
“You will have that,” Mr. Comey told his associates he responded.
Mr. Trump said he asked the F.B.I. director if he was under investigation, a question that legal experts called highly unusual if not improper. In Mr. Trump’s telling, Mr. Comey reassured him that he was not.
The January 27 dinner came a day after White House officials learned that Mr. Flynn had been interviewed by F.B.I. agents about his phone calls with the Russian ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak.
On Jan. 26, the acting attorney general, Sally Q. Yates, told the White House counsel about the interview, and said Mr. Flynn could be subject to blackmail by the Russians because they knew he had lied about the content of the calls. (See Timeline)
The February 14 Meeting
On February 14 — a day after the firing of General Flynn (See Timeline) — Mr. Comey had been in the Oval Office with other senior national security officials for a terrorism threat briefing.
When the meeting ended, president Trump asked all those present — including VP Mike Pence and Attorney General Jeff Sessions — to leave the room except for FBI Director James Comey.
“Alone in the Oval Office, Mr. Trump began the discussion by condemning leaks to the news media, saying that Mr. Comey should consider putting reporters in prison for publishing classified information, according to one of Mr. Comey’s associates.”
“After writing up a memo that outlined the meeting, Mr. Comey shared it with senior F.B.I. officials. Mr. Comey and his aides perceived Mr. Trump’s comments as an effort to influence the investigation, but they decided that they would try to keep the conversation secret — even from the F.B.I. agents working on the Russia investigation — so the details of the conversation would not affect the investigation.”
RELATED POST: Flynngate — The mysterious Svetlana Lokhova
A foretold crisis
Before November 18 2016 — the day Trump picked Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn to be his National Security Advisor — INTEL TODAY reported:
SERIOUS ISSUES — Flynn forced out of the DIA after clashing with superiors over his allegedly chaotic management style
He has potentially problematic connections to foreign governments. (He accepted money for appearing at a lavish gala with Putin in Moscow last year. His consulting firm has financial ties to Turkey… which perhaps explains why he said that he would extradite Fethullah Gullen…)
RELATED POST: Who Could Be Trump’s CIA Director? — Last Man Standing?
On February 14 2017, while Trump was asking Comey to drop the investigation of General Flynn, INTEL TODAY suggested that Flynn could be indicted and Trump impeached.
2013 — As DIA chief, Flynn visited the GRU headquarters in Moscow. He was the first US officer ever allowed inside its headquarters. A second GRU visit was planned but denied. During this trip, he meets Russian diplomat Sergey Ivanovich Kislyak for the first time.
February 2014 — Flynn meets Svetlana Lokhova at Cambridge (CIS)
April 2014 — Flynn ‘quits’ the Defense Intelligence Agency
October 8 2014 — a letter to Flynn from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) Office of General Counsel explicitly warns Flynn, as he entered retirement, that he was prohibited by the Constitution from receiving payments from foreign sources without advance permission.
Summer 2015 –Flynn meets Trump for the first time after being invited to do so by his team
May 2016 — Flynn joins NSO Group as an “adviser”
July 15 2016 — Attempted coup in Turkey. Ankara claims Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in the US since 1999, masterminded the failed putsch. Extradition requested. Turkey Coup: “CIA Plotters’ Meeting” in Büyükada
August 9 2016 — Flynn Intel Group entered into a contract with Inovo, a consulting firm based in the Netherlands. The work focused on Mr. Fethullah Gulen and charter schools in the United States that are associated with Gulen.
August 15 2016 — The Flynn – Inovo contract goes into effect.
August 15 2016 — Presidential Candidate donald Trump tweets: “I’ve got fresh evidence 13 CIA senior officers helped in Turkey Failed Coup. I will divulge the names in the coming days.” Trump and the Attempted Coup in Turkey : “13 CIA senior officers helped in Failed Coup”
August 24 2016 — U.S. Vice President Joe Biden visited Turkey. Biden made it clear that an extradition request is a legal matter, not one for the POTUS to decide.
September 9 2016 — Inovo BV Payments to Flynn Intel Group $200k
September 19 2016 — Flynn met with senior representatives of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government at the Essex House hotel in New York City. Extradition of Gulen discussed. The Turkish officials are Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Energy Minister Berat Albayrak who is the son-in-law of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
October [x] 2016 — Flynn Intel officials presented some of their ‘anti-Gulen’ research to the House Homeland Security Committee.
October 10 2016 — Inovo BV Payments to Flynn Intel Group $185k
November 8 2016 — Suspicions about Flynn’s ties to the Turkish government were sparked by an op-ed he wrote in the Hill. Flynn calls Gulen ‘shady’ and endorses his extradition.
November 10 2016 — Mike Flynn calling for the extradition of Gulen
November 10, 2016 — Obama warned Trump about Flynn during their Oval Office meeting
November 15 2016 — Inovo BV Payments to Flynn Intel Group $145k
November 17 2016 — President-elect Trump intends to pick Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn to be his National Security Advisor
November 18 2016 — Flynn becomes Trump’s NSA
December 17 2016 — Three experts — including former MI6 chief Sir Richard Dearlove — unexpectedly resigned from their positions at the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar (CIS), amid concerns that the Kremlin is behind a newly-established intelligence journal, which provides funding for CIS.
December 28 2016 — Flynn sends text message to Russia Amb. Kislyak to wish him a Merry Christmas.
December 28 2016 — Russia Amb. Kislyak replies asking if they can talk on the phone?
December 29 2016 — US expels Russian diplomats over cyber attack allegations. The Obama administration said the GRU is responsible for the DNC hack.
December 29 2016 — Flynn and Russia Amb. Kislyak phone calls (5?). US sanctions are discussed.
December 30 2016 — Putin announced that he would not retaliate. Trump praised Putin for the decision, writing in a Twitter post, “Great move on delay (by V.Putin). I always knew he was very smart!”
Jan 5 2017 — “Effective immediately, Ambassador Woolsey is no longer a Senior Advisor to President-Elect Trump or the Transition.”Woolsey said on CNN that he did not want to “fly under false colors” any longer.
January 24 2017 — Mike Flynn interviewed by the FBI (At the White House; No lawyer)
January 24 2017 —Sally Yates, the former acting attorney general, again raised the issue with FBI Comey, who now backed away from his opposition to informing the White House.
January 26 2017 — Yates and a senior career national security official spoke to McGahn, the White House counsel. Yates tells the White House counsel that Flynn is vulnerable to blackmail by Russian intelligence.Yates considered Flynn’s comments in the intercepted call with Russia Amb. Kislyak to be “highly significant” and “potentially illegal”
January 27 2017 — Yates and McGahn second meeting. McGahn wants to know 4 Things. Why the DOJ cares? Is there a criminal case? Could the White House decision be interpreted as interference? What and where is the evidence against Flynn?
January 27 2017 — Trump invites Comey for dinner. Trump requests “pledge of loyalty”.
January 30 2017 — Sally Yates dismissed by President Trump
February 13 2017 — (Monday night) National Security Adviser Mike Flynn resigns
February 14 2017 — Trump asks Comey to drop the investigation on Flynn
March 8 2017 — Flynn Intel Group Inc filed retroactive documents with the Department of Justice to register as a foreign agent.
March 24 2017 — WSJ breaks the news of the September 19 meeting (Woolsey). The meeting was however mentioned in the documents filed on March 8 2017.
March 25 2017 — Julliette Kayyem (CNN) suggests Flynn made a deal with the FBI
May 9 2017 — CNN reported that a grand jury had begun issuing subpoenas to associates of Michael Flynn
May 9 2017 — Comey is dismissed by PresidentTrump
May 10 2017 —The Senate Intelligence Committee issued a subpoena to Mike Flynn
May 16 2017 — Memos reveal Trump asked FBI Comey to drop Flynn investigation
Comey’s Memo Is the Smoking Gun of Donald Trump’s Watergate
Dems escalate talk of Trump impeachment — POLITICO
Flynngate — The Day Donald fired Trump [TIMELINE]