Watch the Hands, Not the Cards

So, on Jan. 13, the FBI interviewed General Mike Flynn and told him that the conversations he had with the Russians had been cleared of any wrongdoing. (He’s being charged with lying to them about it, not for what he lied about.) Then on Jan. 14, he lied to VP Mike Pence about the conversations. Why, when they’d been cleared?

Consider this. You’re an investigator, and you want to question several low-level and mid-level mob members, without alerting the high-up bosses that you’re looking into them. How do you do it? If they see their employees stopping by the courthouse, they’ll know something is up.

Consider this too: People who serve in government positions where they may handle classified data are generally required to sign non-disclosure agreements, and may be given gag orders when they leave service. The only way they can ever talk about what they know is to be subpoenaed and required to speak under oath, perhaps under immunity. That’s what happened with the FBI informant I mentioned a couple years ago, who had to have his gag order lifted before he could testify (behind closed doors) about his knowledge of the Uranium One deal. The only other option is to go whistleblower and end up in asylum somewhere like Snowden.

So if you’re the investigator, you have to bring them in and get them under oath, and do it in a way that doesn’t let their bosses catch on. You do it by hauling them in for something else. You have to make it convincing, though. Like with a huge investigation that takes months that everyone thinks is all about the president. You can bring all sorts of people in, put them under oath in private, question them about whatever you want, and then gag them again.

That’s (I think) what’s been going on since January, when the Office of the Inspector General started an investigation that we don’t know the details of yet. Investigating the election at the same time made it possible to bring in all sorts of people who knew about other things. Several have already plea bargained and given evidence, as they work their way up to the bosses.

That’s why Sessions always said he couldn’t comment. It wasn’t because he recused himself, but everyone assumed that’s what he meant. One time he slipped and said he can’t comment on ongoing investigations, but only a few people caught it. Most had already gotten used to discounting him. While they ignored him and watched Mueller, he was busy at work.

Now it’s come out that Strzok was even the one who interviewed Flynn. That means they’ll dismiss his one charge of lying to the FBI. You can’t have that; it’s likely entrapment. It would be like a cop interviewing you about spousal abuse when he’s having an affair with your wife. And of course Flynn lied to the FBI! He knew they were infiltrated top to bottom, and that they were bugging his call! And now he’s going to get to testify to all that. Flynn will come out of this exonerated.

But I still haven’t answered my first question: why lie to Pence, when Flynn knew there was nothing to hide? Because now Pence can be questioned too. Again, a lot of the machinations of the past 11 months have been about getting access to people for questioning without tipping off the targets. Like I said yesterday, now it’s on a platter; they’ve arranged the justification to question everyone involved, as either witness or suspect. They just have to take it.

I didn’t figure all this out for myself; the general theory has been floating around Internet backwaters for months. It explained some things the mainstream assumptions couldn’t: Why is Sessions acting like such a wuss? Why did Flynn want to testify, and why didn’t they let him? Why did Trump interview Mueller for the FBI Director job when he couldn’t take it because of term limits? And so on. But it wasn’t until Strzok got busted that I really believed it, because I could finally see how they get from here to there.  At least enough to start outlining it.

It’s so beautiful I almost tear up a little thinking about it.