Was PUTIN Name Redacted From Flynn FBI 302 Just Released? Almost Certainly! [UPDATE : The Mueller Report]

“Investigators have learned that Mr. Flynn and Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, took the lead in those efforts. Mr. Mueller’s team has emails that show Mr. Flynn saying he would work to kill the vote [on UN Resolution 2334].”

New York Times (December 1, 2017)

“Russia had reservations, primarily about the timing of the resolution, but the other countries did not agree with Russia’s position to continue the discussion.”

Alexander Dubrovin — Russia’s Deputy Ambassador to Israel (December 27 2016)

January 2 2019 — In January 2017, two FBI agents interviewed the then- US National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. On December 1 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI during that interview. On December 17 2018, at the request of Judge Emmet Sullivan, the Special Counsel’s Office released a redacted version of their report — known as a FBI 302 — regarding this event. I strongly believe that the word PUTIN was redacted in a key paragraph of that document.

UPDATE (May 11 2019) — According to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Report, multiple members of the Transition Team, as well as President-Elect Trump, communicated with foreign government officials to determine their views on the resolution and to rally support to delay the vote or defeat the resolution. Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and now a senior White House adviser, led the effort. The Mueller’s report confirms most elements of our investigation. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

RELATED POST: Russiagate — Former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn Charged Over False Statements to FBI

RELATED POST: RussiaGate — Adam Carter : “My Turn to Speak”

RELATED POST: Two Years Ago — CIA Playing the “Russia Card”. Again…

UPDATE (May 11 2019) — The United Nations Vote on Israeli Settlements is discussed twice in the report; first at pages 167-168 (the facts) and then page 195 (the lies).

Page 167 — On December 21, 2016, Egypt submitted a resolution to the United Nations Security Council calling on Israel to cease settlement activities in Palestinian territory ‘.

The Security Council, which includes Russia, was scheduled to vote on the resolution the following day. There was speculation in the media that the Obama Administration would not oppose the resolution.

According to Flynn, the Transition Team regarded the vote as a significant issue and wanted to support Israel by opposing the resolution.

On December 22, 2016, multiple members of the Transition Team, as well as President-Elect Trump, communicated with foreign government officials to determine their views on the resolution and to rally support to delay the vote or defeat the resolution.

Kushner led the effort for the Transition Team; Flynn was responsible for the Russian government. Minutes after an early morning phone call with Kushner on December 22, Flynn called Kislyak.

According to Flynn, he informed Kislyak about the vote and the
Transition Team’s opposition to the resolution, and requested that Russia vote against or delay the resolution.

Later that day, President-Elect Trump spoke with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi about the vote. Ultimately, Egypt postponed the vote.

On December 23, 2016, Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal, and Venezuela resubmitted the resolution.

Throughout the day, members of the Transition Team continued to talk with foreign leaders about the resolution, with Flynn continuing to lead the outreach with the Russian government through Kislyak.

When Flynn again spoke with Kislyak, Kislyak informed Flynn
that if the resolution came to a vote, Russia would not vote against it. The resolution later passed 14-0, with the United States abstaining.

Page 195 — Flynn made false statements about calls he had previously made to representatives of Russia and other countries regarding a resolution submitted by Egypt to the United Nations Security Council on December 21, 2016.

Specifically, Flynn stated that he only asked the countries’ positions on how they would vote on the resolution and that he did not request that any of the countries take any particular action on the resolution. That statement was false.

On December 22, 2016, Flynn called Kislyak, informed him of the incoming Trump Administration’s opposition to the resolution, and requested that Russia vote against or delay the resolution.

Flynn also falsely stated that Kislyak never described Russia’s response to his December 22 request regarding the resolution. Kislyak in fact told Flynn in a conversation on December 23, 2016, that Russia would not vote against the resolution if it came to a vote.

Flynn made these false statements to the FBI at a time when he was serving as National Security Advisor and when the FBI had an open investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, including the nature of any links between the Trump Campaign and Russia.

Flynn’s false statements and omissions impeded and otherwise had a material impact on that ongoing investigation.

END of UPDATE

On December 1 2017, General Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s ex-national security adviser, pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI in January 2017.

According to one of the charges against him, Flynn lied when he stated that, on December 22 2016,  he did not ask Russian ambassador Kislyak either to delay the vote [on UN Resolution 2334] or to defeat the pending United Nations Security Council Resolution.

On that day (Dec. 22 2017), the United Nations Security Council was about to vote on whether to condemn Israel’s building of settlements.

At the time, the Obama administration was preparing to allow a Security Council vote on the matter.

The vote was NOT delayed and UN Resolution 2334 passed 14-0 on December 23 2016, with the United States abstaining.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators learned through witnesses and documents that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel had asked the Trump transition team to lobby other countries to help Israel.

TIMELINE

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

December 22 2016 — Mr Flynn urges Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak to vote against or delay the resolution

December 23 2016 — Mr Kislyak says Russia would not vote against UN Resolution 2334

December 23 2016 — 14 delegations  vote in favour of UN Resolution 2334 and United States abstains.

Document: Special Counsel Releases Flynn FD 302

At the request of Judge Emmet Sullivan, the Special Counsel’s Office has filed a redacted version of the report—known as an FD-302 or simply 302—produced by FBI agents following their January 2017 interview of then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.

Today, I will only comment on a single paragraph. (More, much more, at a later time. Tiny steps for tiny feet…)

Text Analysis

Fonts have 2 characteristics that will affect character spacing: width and kerning.

Kerning determines when two adjacent characters can overlap. For instance, when you write AT, the leftmost part of the T bar may actually be positioned LEFT of the lowest part of the right branch of the A.

Although fixed width fonts may allow kerning, it is rarely the case.

In Microsoft Word 2007 on Windows, Courier New is — as far as I can tell — a fixed-length, no kerning font. And it may very well be the font used by the FBI agents who wrote the FD 302.

There is a good reason for intelligence agencies to use this kind of monospaced fonts.

The Guessing Game

I thus typed this section with that font (Courier New) and here is the result.

Historical Context

I believe that the second redacted word is almost certainly “Egyptians”. Why? Let us look at the historical context of this event.

“The draft was originally presented by Egypt on the basis of a document prepared by British legal and diplomatic figures working together with the Palestinians, with Britain regarded as the key player in formulating the resolution and pressing for a vote.

High pressures were exerted to avoid the vote.

On 22 December, United States President-elect Donald Trump called on Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to withdraw the proposal, and Egypt withdrew the nomination after what its ambassador called an intense pressure.

Then on 23 December, the draft was taken up and proposed again by Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal and Venezuela.

Following a telephone conversation between Netanyahu and Vladimir Putin, the Russian ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin requested that the vote be postponed until after Christmas. His proposal failed to gain any support.

The resolution was passed 14 to 0.

All members voted for the resolution except for the United States, which abstained.” [Wikipedia]

Considering the context, and the fact that the redacted word is 9 letters long, it is highly likely that the word is indeed Egyptians.

But, what is the first redacted word?

Many people have assumed that it was SISI [Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi ]. It certainly sounds plausible.

Actually, until I worked out — as explained above —  the exact spacing (and type of font used), I had also assumed that it was indeed the correct answer.

However, unless I made a mistake, the first redacted word is five letters long.

The ‘Suspects’

“Flynn heard through other channels” certainly means that he did not learn the information from Kislyak… and therefore almost certainly refers to a Russian key politician. Would you agree?

Obviously, four people come to mind.

Ambassador of Russia to the United Nations : Vitaly Churkin     (1 May 2006 – 20 February 2017)

Ambassador of Russian to the State of Israel : Aleksander Shein (10 July 2015 – 5 April 2018)

Foreign Minister of Russia, in office since 2004 : Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov (In office since 2004)

President of Russia : Vladimir Putin

In principle, both Shein and Putin are plausible. But, surely, if the redacted word was ‘Shein’, Flynn — assuming he even knew who was the Russian ambassador to Israel — would have explained who he was in his answer to the FBI investigators!

Thus, we are left with a single plausible solution: “PUTIN”. Does it make any sense?

Putin’s Views on Resolution 2334

Actually, yes. It is well documented that Putin did not like the idea to rush the vote on U.N. Resolution 2334 during the last days of 2016.

Neville Teller has written an excellent story for the Jerusalem Post: Can Putin out-fox Trump in the Middle East?

Of the 15 members of the Security Council, only one nation has recognized the logical implications of what they voted for in Resolution 2334 – namely that if East Jerusalem is Palestinian territory, then West Jerusalem must be Israeli.

On 6 April 2017 Russia issued a statement  reaffirming its support for the two-state solution and for East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state, but adding: “At the same time, we must state that in this context we view West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”

How Putin views Trump’s efforts to foster credible peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians is not known, but he would undoubtedly jump at the chance of brokering Israeli-Palestinian peace talks himself.

Immediately after UN Resolution 2334, Russia issued a statement that, far from endorsing the attempt to impose a two-state solution on Israel, favored direct talks between Palestinians and Israelis.

“We would also like to reaffirm our readiness to host a meeting of the leaders of Israel and Palestine in Moscow.”

On Tuesday morning December 27 2016, Russia’s Deputy Ambassador to Israel Alexander Dubrovin told Army Radio that his country tried to delay the vote but was opposed by the rest of the Security Council members.

Although, Russia voted in favor of Resolution 2334, Dubrovin stated that his country had misgivings about the timing and content of last week’s United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements.

“Russia had reservations, primarily about the timing of the resolution, but the other countries did not agree with Russia’s position to continue the discussion.”

He said that Russia was also unhappy that the resolution focused on one aspect of the complex on-going situation between Israelis and Palestinians, that of settlements.

Conclusion

I strongly believe that the 5 letters word redacted in this key paragraph of Flynn’s FD-302  document is indeed PUTIN.

I cannot think of any other plausible word that would fit the context of the interview as well as the known facts regarding UN Resolution 2334.

Why on earth was the word PUTIN redacted?

REFERENCES

Trump-Russia: Michael Flynn charged over false statements to FBI — BBC (Dec 1 2017)

United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 — Wikipedia

United Nations Security Council resolution — Wikipedia

The Black Holes in the Mike Flynn 302: The Back Channel Discussion May Be Most Sensitive Investigative Detail — Emptywheel

Monospaced font — Wikipedia

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Was PUTIN Name Redacted from Flynn FBI 302 Just Released?

Was PUTIN Name Redacted From Flynn FBI 302 Just Released? Almost Certainly!

Was PUTIN Name Redacted From Flynn FBI 302 Just Released? Almost Certainly! [UPDATE : The Mueller Report]

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