Two Years Ago — General Mike Flynn &The Mysterious Svetlana Lokhova

“Multiple sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the CIA and FBI were discussing this episode, along with many others, as they assessed Flynn’s suitability to serve as national security adviser. The Cambridge meeting was part of a wider pattern of  maverick behaviour which included repeated contacts with Russia.”

Luke Harding, Stephanie Kirchgaessner and Nick Hopkins –The Guardian (March 31 2017)

Svetlana Lokhova

April 2 2017 — Long before his nomination as Trump’s National Security Advisor, US and UK Intelligence officials were troubled by Lieutenant-General Michael Flynn’s relationship with a Russian woman. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

RELATED POST: The Michael Flynn Saga: “The more you know, the less you understand.” [UPDATE]

RELATED POST: Former CIA Director James Woolsey: “Flynn discussed sending illegally Gulen back to Turkey.”

RELATED POST: Sean Spicer just told a whopper about Foreign Agent Mike Flynn

RELATED POST: Mike Flynn has resigned. Could an indictment lead to an impeachment? UPDATE 14/02/2017

UPDATE (April 2 2019) — Last night, Svetlana Lokhova tweeted a long series of messages expressing her rage for Luke Harding.

“Luke Harding did not think once think about the consequences of these lies. I had to hide from journalists with my two month old baby. Then I started getting death threats so police had to get involved. I had to find a pro-bono lawyer to start legal action.”

These tweets were promptly repeated by WikiLeaks. Let me make one thing very clear.

There are different, entirely separated, stories involved in these Tweets. RussiaGate and the criminal activities of Mike Flynn are not connected.

In fact, I would argue that Flynn is very lucky to have received some kind of immunity/protection from Mueller because he would have gone to jail for a long time if he had been solely prosecuted for the Gulen affair.

Luke Harding and Svetlana Lokhova have in fact a very similar problem. Neither of them is what they claim to be. Harding is not a journalist but a mouthpiece for the British Secret Services.

Svetlana Lokhova is neither an academic nor an expert on GRU Intelligence. She is a student, not a professor.

Her troubles began because she claimed in an interview with BBC Gordon Corera that she was  an expert on Russian intelligence with unique access to previously classified Soviet-era GRU material.  That claim is of course utter nonsense.

Sadly, in one of her recent tweets, she still claims that she is a British academic while she is merely a PhD candidate.

One last thing. Why did she have to find a pro-bono lawyer in 2017, considering that she had won a £3.2million pay-out after winning an employment tribunal case in London against Sberbank CIB for sex discrimination and harassment in 2015?

END of UPDATE

In February 2014, during a trip to Cambridge, General Mike Flynn met Svetlana Lokhova, a Russian-British graduate student.

At the time, Flynn was the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).

Flynn and Lokhova were introduced to each other at the end of a dinner attended by 20 guests who included Sir Richard Dearlove – the former head of MI6 – and Professor Christopher Andrew, the official MI5 historian.

At a later time, Flynn invited Lokhova to accompany him on his next official visit to Moscow to help with simultaneous translation.

Flynn never reported the discussion to US officials, as it would have been expected from him. A few weeks later, Flynn ‘resigned’ as Head of the DIA.

Flynn and  Lokhova kept in contact through emails. On occasion, Flynn would signed “General Misha”.

[NOTE: Misha is a Russian nick-name for Mikhail/Michael. But, it also means ‘Teddy Bear’. Actually, “Misha the Bear” was the official mascot of the 1980 Moscow Olympics.]

A historian and a leading expert on Soviet espionage

Svetlana Lokhova is often described as a leading expert on Soviet espionage. For instance, in this piece, BBC Gordon Corera writes:

“”I think he was one of the most important spies the Soviet Union ever had,” agrees Svetlana Lokhova, an expert on Russian intelligence.”

John Simkin, a history researcher and writer particularly interested in the role of intelligence agencies in undermining democracy in the Western world , contacted Corera to point out several inaccuracies in the piece and complained about the distorted impression that he had given to the story.

“The article refers to two historians in support of the view that Belfrage was an important Soviet spy. Professor Christopher Andrew, the official historian of MI5 (…)

The second historian used was Svetlana Lokhova, who is described in the article as an expert on Russian intelligence.

This is not supported by a search on the web although she does seem to have been a student at Cambridge University, where Andrew has taught for many years.”

Ms Lokhova, who holds Russian and British citizenship, is indeed a post-graduate student of Professor Andrew.

Unique access to previously classified Soviet-era GRU material

Ms Lokhova claims to have unique access to previously classified Soviet-era GRU material. This is highly unusual to say the least… According to a Russian historian:

“At least with the FSB and SVR [domestic and foreign spy agencies] there are places you can apply to view the archives, but with the GRU there’s not even a place to apply.”

Lokhova also listed Flynn as one of four referees who would provide selective endorsements for her new book, which is expected to detail how Russian spies penetrated the US atomic weapons programme.

Svetlana Lokhova

Ms Lokhova used to work for the London branch of Russia’s state-controlled Sberbank.

In 2015, she won a £3.2million pay-out after winning an employment tribunal case in London against Sberbank CIB for sex discrimination and harassment.

How Ms Lokhova metamorphosed from a Russian banker into a UK historian with expertise in GRU espionage and US atomic weapons is a bit unclear at this point.

The Cambridge Intelligence Seminar

The CIS was set up by official MI5 historian Professor Christopher Andrew.

On December 17 2016, former MI6 chief Sir Richard Dearlove, former policy adviser at the White House Stefan Halper, and historian Peter Martland resigned from CIS.

“Suspicious were allegedly raised after claims a new digital publishing house called Veruscript, which helps cover some of the CIS’s costs, may be acting as a front for the Russian intelligence services.

The publishing house, which, according to its website, is based in London, is also publishing a new journal, the Journal of Intelligence and Terrorism Studies.

Some of those involved are thought to be concerned that Russia may attempt to use the link to the seminars to influence sensitive debates on national defence and security.”

Michael Flynn – What you need to know

“Former national security adviser Michael Flynn is willing to testify before federal and congressional investigators in their ongoing probe into Russian meddling in the US elections, but only if he is granted immunity.”

NOTE: It has always been assumed that Flynn was asked to resign because of his phone calls with the Russian ambassador. But pay attention to the words of Spicer.

“Eroding level of trust as a result of this situation and a series of other questionable instances…”

Spicer Grilled On Flynn Resignation – White House Press Conference Q & A

White House press secretary Sean Spicer is asked multiple questions about the resignation of Donald Trump’s national security advisor Michael Flynn.

Spicer says Flynn did nothing illegal, but Trump’s trust of him had eroded so he asked for his resignation.

TIMELINE (Flynngate)

As part of his plea bargain, Michael Flynn has signed a “statement of the offence” that includes a timeline of the last week of December 2016. The dates of these statements are written in bold.

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

Mid-December — Meeting between Mr Flynn and Turkish officials in New York. Flynn discussed having Mr Gulen transported on a private jet to the Turkish prison island of Imrali.

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 22 2016 — A “very senior” Trump transition team official tells Michael Flynn to contact foreign governments including Russia to discuss a pending UN Security Council vote on Israeli settlements.

December 22 & 23 — Mr Flynn urges Sergei Kislyak to vote against or delay the resolution; the next day Mr Kislyak says Russia would not vote against such a resolution

December 23 2016 — 14 Delegations in favour of UN Resolution 2334 as United States abstains.

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 28 2016 — Mr Kislyak contacts Mr Flynn – on the day President Obama announces sanctions against Russia for interfering in the presidential election.

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 exchange (5?) phone calls. US sanctions are discussed.

December 29 2016 —Mr Flynn contacts “a senior official” in the Trump transition team at Mar-a-Lago in Florida to discuss a response. He “immediately” calls the ambassador back, urging Russia not to escalate the situation, then gets back in touch with the Trump transition official

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!”

December 30 2016 — Russian President Vladimir Putin announces no immediate retaliation will take place

December 31 2016 — Mr Kislyak calls Mr Flynn to inform him of Russia’s position, and Mr Flynn contacts the Trump transition team.

January 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 15 2017 — Vice President-elect Mike Pence appears on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” and defends Flynn’s conversations, saying Flynn did not discuss sanctions with Kislyak during phone calls in December.

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 President Trump

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

May 17 2017 — Robert Mueller appointed special Prosecutor

October 30 2017 — Special counsel Robert Mueller announced the indictments of former Trump campaign officials Paul Manafort and Rick Gates

October 30 2017 — Mueller’s office released a “statement of offense” outlining one major instance of when the Trump campaign tried to collude with Russia. George Papadopoulos — a foreign policy adviser for the Trump campaign — pleaded guilty to making false statements to FBI agents investigating the Trump-Russia scandal.

November 8 2017 — The Bureau of Prisons inmate locator shows that Zarrab was released Nov. 8, three days after NBC News reported that the special counsel had enough evidence to bring charges against Flynn.

December 1 2017 —  Flynn pleads guilty to making a false statement to the FBI in January 2017.

REFERENCES

Michael Flynn: new evidence spy chiefs had concerns about Russian ties — Guardian

Cambridge spy seminars hit by whispers of Russian links as three intelligence experts resign — Telegraph December 17 2016

The problems of appearing in a BBC documentary  — Spartacus Educational

£3m sex discrimination case winner: ‘Everybody loses’ — BBC NEWS

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Flynngate — The mysterious Svetlana Lokhova

Two Years Ago — General Mike Flynn &The Mysterious Svetlana Lokhova

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