The DOJ Used The Logan Act to Obtain Warrants Against General Flynn

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  • Source: UncoverDC
  • 09/19/2023

Recently, we broke the story confirming that the FBI did, in fact, obtain surveillance warrants from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA Court or "FISC") to spy on Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn (Ret.). However, these were not the only warrants the FBI procured during their politically motivated targeting of the General.

On November 10, 2020, the DOJ made public five other search warrants of the commonplace type the FBI and Mueller Special Counsel Office (SCO) had approached the court for and received. The warrants were wide-ranging and were brought against Gen. Flynn and those associated with him as part of the witch hunt. Although the warrants were released in a FOIA lawsuit that had been filed by the Associated Press, NY Times, CNN, Washington Post and Politico, they neglected to report on the contents of the disclosure. President Trump would issue Gen. Flynn's full Pardon of Innocence just two weeks later, on November 25.

There are many stunning details revealed after close examination of the documents, not the least of which is that the FBI was still citing 18 U.S. Code § 953 - Private correspondence with foreign governments (e.g., "The Logan Act") as its predicate to obtain warrants on Gen. Flynn.

Screenshot from the August 25, 2017 affidavit in support of an application for a search warrant on Gen. Flynn and others

Portrait of George Logan, after whom The Logan Act of 1799 is named

The fact that The Logan Act was used as a basis to investigate Gen. Flynn is not breaking news to many. What is stunning was that the FBI was still trying to make the case for it so far into their investigation. In fact, on Janurary 25, 2017, an FBI OGC attorney wrote in notes that "no reasonable prosecutor" would bring forth a case using the statute. It was supposedly put to bed. Even more stunning is the fact that they were actually able to get a U.S. District Judge to agree to grant a warrant based on the statute. After all, The Logan Act is a joke. It is patently unconstitutional for vagueness and on 1st Amendment grounds. It only remains on the books because nobody in the history of the United States has ever been convicted of the crime or even charged with it since before the Civil War. So, no court has ever had to opportunity to rule it unconstitutional and strike it down. Nobody in Washington D.C. or the legal establishment takes it seriously, least of all should a federal judge.

Congressman Devin Nunes discussed the history of The Logan Act and how it is used to intimidate and target political opponents during an appearance with Maria Bartiromo in 2018.

Got an official-looking seal and everything ... neat-o

But let's assume for a moment The Logan Act was actually something to be taken seriously. We can still put to rest the notion there was any "crime" here to investigate in the first place.

Within days of declaring himself the winner of the presidential election and setting up his fictitious "Office of The President Elect" in early November 2020, Biden and his acolytes began openly bragging about reaching out to foreign leaders and governments to establish relationships and discuss changes in U.S. foreign policy.

Here is a segment of Ben Rhodes going on MSNBC and admitting to "serious Logan Act violations" to regime shill Nicolle Wallace on November 10, 2020. Rhodes is a Biden operative and former Deputy NSA under Susan Rice for President Obama. Rhodes also happens to be the alleged mastermind behind the plot to set up and frame Gen. Flynn.

The Presidential Transition Team (not the "Office of the President Elect") is a function of the General Services Administration (GSA). Members of the team work in office space, use U.S. government-provided equipment and collect a government paycheck, all provided by GSA. They are anything but private individuals or persons "not authorized" to have correspondence with foreign governments to discuss the policies of the incoming administration. When Gen. Flynn was speaking to Russian Ambassador Kislyak, he was doing so on a government-issued phone and the call itself was likely arranged through a secure channel by the GSA. Gen. Flynn was not doing anything out of the norm for an incoming National Security Advisor (NSA).

There is nothing uncommon or illegal about a Presidential Transition Team having contact with foreign governments. There's a reason it's called a Transition Team. The entire point of the team is to ensure a smooth handover from one administration to the next and maintain the continuity of the United States government both in domestic administration and foreign affairs. You cannot have a brand new administration taking office suddenly on January 20, having had no contact with other governments or foreign heads of state; then set off a mad dash scramble to reach out to at least 194 other countries, countless international organizations, and NGOs trying to establish relations in a blink of an eye. That's how wars are started. It's lunacy.

So the entire premise was ridiculous to begin with. But by looking into the documents, that doesn't appear to be where the Mueller team started off.

Mueller SCO prosecutors from Left to Right: Andrew Goldstein, Aaron Zebley, Robert Mueller, Andrew Weissmann, & Greg Andres

As discussed briefly above, the disclosure was due to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed in October 2019 by a coalition of five corporate media outlets who aggressively promoted the Russian collusion hoax and were seeking "access to the warrants, applications, supporting affidavits, and returns relating to all search, seizure and Stored Communications Act warrants issued in [The US District of Columbia] pertaining to the Flynn prosecution." At the time the lawsuit was filed, these outlets probably would have found the documents useful to spin up new stories to further smear Gen. Flynn. They were likely no longer useful when released over a year later. In the interim, we had revelations in the case, from unmaskings of Flynn's name by Obama administration officials in classified intelligence intercepts, to all the exculpatory documents turned over to his defense by then-US Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri Jeff Jensen. Recall William Barr had tasked Jensen to conduct an independent review of the FBI investigation. Stories about the details contained in the warrants would likely only have further highlighted the FBI's corruption and the DOJ's persecution of Gen. Flynn, so the media outlets just let the story die.

There are five attachments included in the government's November 10, 2020 filing. The government states there were actually eight warrants in all, but three were never executed and were included as exhibits to the revised search warrant applications. A look closer into the attachments indicates there were several additional warrants and subpoenas applied for and/or granted against individuals and organizations associated with Gen. Flynn and his firm, The Flynn Intel Group (FIG), spread across the District of Columbia (DDC) and the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA).

From the November 10, 2020 government filing in the FOIA lawsuit

The first attachment is a warrant against Covington & Burling LLP (Covington) dated July 27, 2017, and signed by DDC Chief US District Judge Beryl Howell—the highest-ranking federal judge in the DC Circuit below the appellate court level and an Obama appointee. The alleged crimes being investigated are concerning two separate statutes related to the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), as well as 18 U.S. Code § 1001 - Making a material false statement [to federal investigators]. Recent events have proven in DC's two-tier justice system, that these statutes seem only applicable to those associated with President Trump or Republicans in general.

From the November 10, 2020 government filing in the FOIA lawsuit

At this time, Covington was representing Gen. Flynn and FIG against the Mueller SCO's FARA investigation of FIG for private contract work related to groups associated with Turkey. The affidavit attached to the warrant application makes reference to earlier warrants also signed by Judge Howell on July 7. The FBI was seeking all cell phone, laptops, and other electronic devices from Gen. Flynn and other FIG employees, as well as all files and records that would cover the work related to Turkey. They also sought all files or records pertaining to any other foreign individual, organization, or government covering a three and a half year period from January 1, 2014 to June 8, 2017.

When this was occurring, the FBI had not yet started their gestapo tactics of amphibious assaults for alleged process crimes or early morning raids on personal residences for alleged FARA violations. They were still adhering to their historical, pre-Trump era custom of allowing suspects of non-violent, white-collar criminal investigations to turn over items under subpoena to the FBI through their attorneys. Gen. Flynn had turned over the items in question to Covington and necessitated the revised July 27 search warrant on the Covington law firm.

From the November 10, 2020 government filing in the FOIA lawsuit

In the exhibits, there are actually three DDC search warrants signed by Judge Howell on July 7 against FIG employees; Gen. Flynn, as discussed above, Flynn's FIG business partner Bijan Kian (whose full last name is "Rafiekian"), and an unnamed individual that has been redacted in all filings handed over as part of the FOIA lawsuit.

From the November 10, 2020 government filing in the FOIA lawsuit

Though not identified by name, the target of the third warrant is described in "The Subjects" section of the affidavit as having "served as Flynn's Chief of Staff at FIG." Through open-source investigation, we have determined that the individual is Gen. Flynn's son, Michael G. Flynn Jr.

From the November 10, 2020, government filing in the FOIA lawsuit; *(Note: There is a fourth individual described in the screenshot above whose name is also redacted, but not a target of the warrants who is believed to be FIG business partner Philip Oakley)

As reported by multiple corporate media outlets like CBS News, NBC News, and, Flynn Jr. was working as Chief of Staff at FIG and was being widely reported as a target of the Mueller Investigation for his role there at that time.

(Left) Gen. Flynn with Mike Flynn, Jr. directly behind him arriving for a meeting in Trump Tower during the 2016 transition period; (Right) Screenshots from a Nov 2017 article about Gen. Flynn and the Flynn family

Towards the very end of the document is what appears to be what allowed for the Mueller SCO colonoscopy of The Flynn Intel Group for the better part of a year. Attached is a copy of an April 5, 2017 subpoena from then-US Attorney Dana Boente in the EDVA. Boente would later become Chief Legal Counsel for the FBI and be fired in disgrace for his own role in Spygate and his efforts to block exculpatory evidence from being turned over to the defense in Flynn's trial.

From the November 10, 2020 government filing in the FOIA lawsuit

Included in the April 5 letter to The Flynn Intel Group is a sub-attachment listing all items subpoenaed by the EDVA grand jury—and they asked for just about everything. FIG was asked to turn over nearly all its business records, seemingly without any limitation on timing or scope. FIG was required to hand over all documents (physical or electronic), including contracts, bank records, employee information, payroll records, client lists and contact information, financial statements, asset and liability information, third party service provider information, communications, internal memos, and all other records related to several individuals and organizations identified by name, and much more.

If EDVA and Boente succeeded in obtaining all the FIG documents, then Andrew Weissmann, Brandon Van Grack, and the rest of the Mueller Investigation "cabal" would have a virtual unlimited treasure trove of documents they could comb through. They could piece together a "crime" using elements from different transactions as has been their modus operandi dating back to their investigations into Enron and Arthur Andersen, as Sidney Powell laid out in her book Licensed To Lie.

From the November 10, 2020 government filing in the FOIA lawsuit

One would hope Covington pushed back on such an onerous demand by the government. But given later claims of Covington's ineffective counsel in representing Gen. Flynn and FIG and inherent conflict with their own interests, having prepared the FARA filings under investigation themselves, their level of effort to safeguard the interests of their clients against the subpoena could understandably be called into question; whether real or perceived.

Sidney Powell discussed the FARA accusations made against Gen. Flynn and Covington's conflicts of interest in a June 2020 interview on American Thought Leaders with Jan Jekielek.

The second and third Attachments in the government's filing in the FOIA lawsuit are DDC warrants that are virtually identical to the one from the First Attachment. Both are dated the very next day (July 28) and also signed by Judge Beryl Howell, citing the same criminal statutes under investigation and the same exhibits with only minor changes. The only key differences are the targets; both are other law firms aside from Covington. Attachment 2 was issued against Trout, Cacheris, & Janis PLLC, who was representing Bijan Kian in his personal capacity, and Attachment 3 was taken out against Coburn & Greenbaum PLLC, who would have been representing Michael Flynn Jr.

From the November 10, 2020 government filing in the FOIA lawsuit

Then, there is a nearly month-long gap between the first three warrants and the fourth that was mentioned at the very beginning of this article. From an examination of the differences between the three July 2017 warrants and the subsequent two, there appears to be a noticeable shift in the focus in the Mueller SCO investigation into Gen. Flynn specifically.

The fourth attachment was signed on August 25, 2017. The application was submitted once again to Judge Howell, but it's interesting to note the warrant was actually signed by US District Court Judge James Boasberg. If that name rings a bell to anyone who has followed Spygate, Boasberg was the sitting judge on the FISC at the time. Boasberg is also the judge that sentenced former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith to probation with zero jail time and a $100 fine after pleading guilty to charges related to altering evidence and then lying about it in the applications for the Carter Page FISA warrants.

The same Making false statements to federal investigators (18 U.S. Code § 1001) statute that Gen. Flynn would later be charged with is still listed like the three prior warrants, but the two separate FARA statutes have been replaced by "The Logan Act" related statute (18 U.S. Code § 953). So what caused the change of course?

From the November 10, 2020 government filing in the FOIA lawsuit

Former Biden White House Press Secretary Jen Paski, everybody's favorite "Circle Back Girl"

The scheme by then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, running into the Oval Office on January 26, 2017, gasperating about "serious Logan Act violations" has been widely covered by UDC, TWP, and many other news outlets. Then, with the help of Vice President Pence, it was used to steamroll President Trump into firing Gen. Flynn as his National Security Advisor. But, due to the comical nature of the claim that was exposed in the subsequent months, it was thought the Mueller Investigation had moved on to more viable theories they could gin up to charge Gen. Flynn with by this time. They clearly had spent nearly half a year investigating FARA allegations, so why would they be taking out a warrant and Jen-Paskiing back to The Logan Act now?

In the August 2, 2017 Scope Memo to the Mueller SCO, then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein granted Mueller authority to investigate Gen. Flynn on possible Logan Act-related charges. When the memo was finally publicly released in May 2020, many questioned at the time why The Logan Act had been added, re-added, or still remained within Mueller's scope.

From then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's August 2, 2017, Scope Memo to Special Counsel Robert Mueller

There might be a clue by looking at who was listed as targets of the August 25th warrant. Gen. Flynn is listed, as well as Flynn's incoming Deputy NSA, K.T. McFarland, and once again another individual whose name is redacted. The initial thought is this could again be Mike Flynn Jr. since the individual is listed as a transition team member who served as an aid and scheduler to Gen. Flynn and McFarland, which would have been a similar role Flynn Jr. served in as FIG Chief of Staff. Flynn Jr. was on the transition team in that role for a period of time until he was forced to resign in December 2016 like many other Trump transition (and later administration) officials due to the relentless media smear campaigns targeted at them.

Just below, however, the DOJ appears to miss redacting the individual's name one time when listing out the targeted email accounts (they ain't that bright). The third target of the August 25th warrant is another Trump transition team member named Daniel Gelbinovich, who likely took over Mike Flynn Jr.'s duties after he was forced out. Gelbinovich himself would be targeted and smeared by Pee Pee Hoax publications like The Daily Beast and former Obama administration officials like Evelyn Farkas to further their Russan collusion conspiracy theory. He had a Slavic last name; therefore, he must be tied to POOTIN!!!

From the November 10, 2020 government filing in the FOIA lawsuit

So it appears Mike Flynn Jr. was not included in this warrant or the subsequent fifth and final one disclosed as part of the FOIA lawsuit. And there are no other warrants disclosed that relate to Gen. Flynn and the FARA case in the EDVA. Now, this could be because the FOIA lawsuit was brought in the DDC and mainly focused on the ongoing Flynn case before Judge Sullivan related to alleged false statements to the FBI investigating Flynn's December 2016 call with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. So other warrants issued against Gen. Flynn in the EDVA and the FARA case may have been deemed out of scope. The lawsuit, however, does specifically reference the FARA case and Turkey and also seeks access to all warrants because "[T]he Media Coalition is unaware both of the precise number of warrants involved and the case numbers associated with those warrants."

From the Oct 2019 Media Coalition FOIA lawsuit

As pointed out by noted legal columnist Techno Fog in a February 2021 article on Substack, Special Counsel Mueller requested additional authority from Rosenstein in October 2017 to expand the scope of his investigation to include three additional individuals related to the FIG FARA case—one of whom is believed to be Mike Flynn Jr. So the investigation into FIG seemed to be accelerating, not waning after the period covered by the five warrants disclosed in the FOIA lawsuit. Yet there were no additional warrants identified related to Gen. Flynn in the case.

(Editor's Note: Ekim Alptekin was a client of The Flynn Intel Group, not an employee.)

From Techno Fog's Feb 2021 column 'New Details on the Scope of the Mueller Investigation' on Substack

Again, perhaps there was no need for additional warrants because the Mueller SCO already had everything they needed from the earlier DDC & EDVA warrants/subpoenas, or they were out of the scope of the FOIA lawsuit. There is another possibility, however. The Mueller Investigation, by this point, was closing in on nearly half a year and had not yet produced any viable case that could tie President Trump (directly or indirectly) to collusion with Russia or Vladimir Putin. They were getting desperate for a scalp. All they had was process crimes and FARA cases related to countries other than Russia, like Ukraine and Turkey. Charging Gen. Flynn for FARA violations related to FIG's work in this case wasn't going to help bolster the Russian collusion hoax, but charging (or better yet, getting him to plead guilty) in a case involving his call with Russian Amb. Kislyak certainly would—and help counter the narrative that it was all a politically motivated witch hunt from the very beginning.

The case against Gen. Flynn and The Flynn Intel Group alleging they had conspired to work secretly as unregistered foreign agents on behalf of the government of Turkey, was flimsy, to say the least. The Mueller SCO may have calculated around that time they were unlikely to secure a conviction of Gen. Flynn in the case should it come to trial.

This may have been the point when the Mueller SCO concocted a blackmail scheme to coerce Gen. Flynn into his eventual plea agreement with the DOJ by threatening to indict his son in the FIG FARA case. This was detailed in a September 30, 2019 filing by Sidney Powell in the Flynn case, an act of prosecutorial misconduct expressly forbidden by U.S. Supreme Court precedent. The claim would seem to be corroborated in a later April 24, 2020, filing by Powell in the same case that included a previously undisclosed internal email from Covington showing there was an "unofficial understanding that [the DOJ was] unlikely to charge [Mike Flynn Jr.] in light of [Gen. Flynn's] Cooperation Agreement."

From an April 24, 2020, filing in the Flynn case.

The reason Mike Flynn Jr.'s name might be redacted in all the documents is simply because he was never charged, but neither was K.T. McFarland. So the more likely explanation is the DOJ hid behind classification in order to not publicly release evidence that proved their scheme to blackmail Gen. Flynn into his plea agreement.

Sidney Powell discussed the Mueller Investigation prosecutors' scheme to blackmail Gen. Flynn into a guilty plea and cooperation agreement by threatening to indict his son in the EDVA FARA case in a May 2020 interview on The Dan Bongino Show.

Mueller's prosecutors may have thought they were unlikely to secure a conviction against Gen. Flynn in the FARA case, but they likely miscalculated. The FARA case in the EDVA against Gen. Flynn's FIG business partner Bijan Kian is inexplicably still ongoing to this day. Adam Carter at the Washington Pundit has extensively covered the trial. Tracy Beanz has interviewed Kian's co-defendant and FIG client Ekim Alptekin (who has yet to present himself for trial ... can you blame the guy?) on three separate occasions (in August 2020, April 2021, and October 2021), chronicling the saga that continues to fly under the radar.

As with everything related to Spygate, the Mueller Investigation, and the Flynn case, it is a long, complicated story. But in short, the original trial against Bijan Kian took place in May 2019. The judge in the case—U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga—openly questioned Mueller's prosecutors throughout the trial about whether the case should have ever been brought in the first place. It seems Trenga, believing the government had no case and the fairest outcome for Kian would be a jury acquittal, allowed the case to go to the jury despite his reservations. Coincidentally Trenga also happens to be the judge in the upcoming trial of Igor Danchenko as part of the Durham Investigation.

Despite the lack of evidence, the EDVA jury in Alexandria (just a quick drive across the Potomac from Washington D.C.) convicted Kian on all counts in under three hours. In September 2019, Trenga set aside the jury verdict and granted Kian's Motion of Acquittal, citing the lack of evidence and speed with which the jury returned guilty verdicts in such a complex case, as well as laid out numerous reasons that would justify a mistrial and conditionally granted four separate Motions for New Trial stating,

"[T]he Government failed to present substantial evidence for a rational juror to find beyond a reasonable doubt that [Kian] knowingly participated in a conspiracy." ~U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga, in his Sept. 2019 ruling in the trial of Bijan Kian

The DOJ appealed Trenga's rulings to the 4th Circuit. The three-judge panel (including 2 Obama appointees) waited until March 2021, when President Trump happened to be safely out of office and a pardon from him was no longer possible and proceeded to overturn Trenga on all five rulings.

Defense attorney Robert Barnes broke down the 4th Circuit's overturning of the dismissal of Bijan Kian's case on his regular Sunday night livestream with Viva Frei in March 2021.

The case was remanded back down to Trenga for further proceedings. It kicked off another year-long legal drama that culminated recently in March 2022 with Trenga once again granting Kian a new trial, stating:

"The Court finds and concludes that [Kian's] convictions were so against the great weight of the evidence that it would be unjust to convict him on either Count and a new trial is warranted in the interests of justice. ORDERED that Defendant [Kian's] convictions hereby are, VACATED, and his renewed motion for a new trial hereby is, GRANTED." ~U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga's Mar 2022 ruling in the trial of Bijan Kian

The DOJ then proceeded to (you guessed it) appeal Trenga's latest ruling back to the 4th Circuit once again, and that is where the case stands now. Here is a segment of Tracy Beanz interviewing Kian's co-defendant Alpetkin back in October 2021 about the consequences Kian and Alptekin have suffered since being indicted and what is next for them.

Now, if all that egregious government misconduct exposed in the warrants wasn't enough, there is one additional angle to the story contained in the pages to be told. The fifth attachment and final warrant disclosed in the filing mimics the fourth attachment closely. It is dated a little over a month later, on September 27, 2017. Judge Howell seems to be back from her restful vacation and once again rubber-stamping her own warrant applications for anything the Mueller people heart's desire.

The same criminal offenses are cited, including the ridiculous Logan Act statute. The targets are once again the email and electronic devices of Trump transition team members; incoming NSC Chief of Staff Keith Kellogg, incoming Special Assistant Sarah Flaherty, incoming White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, and incoming Senior Advisor and President Trump's son-in-law Jared Kusher. In the "Relevant Individuals" section, incoming Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and incoming Homeland Security Advisor Thomas Bossert are named alongside the five targets of this warrant. Gen. Flynn and K.T. McFarland are also named in the August 25th warrant, indicating there may have been a separate warrant issued against Bannon and Bossert but not included in this filing.

It is really interesting to note what the specific named targets of the warrant are and where they were located at the time. The warrants in Attachments 4 and 5 specifically name email accounts and electronic devices, unlike Attachments 1 through 3 where the named targets were individuals in the earlier versions or law firms in the revised ones. And all the electronic files and devices are "currently located at [the] FBI Washington [D.C.] Field Office."

From the November 10, 2020 government filing in the FOIA lawsuit

So the FBI is already in possession of the electronic files and devices. The only reason that should be the case is if they had already been subpoenaed or turned over willingly by the Trump transition team/administration. In either case, the FBI shouldn't need a warrant to search the evidence already in their possession. So what's the deal?

The answer seems to be contained in another disclosure that dropped late in 2020 and went largely unnoticed. We will cover that in a follow-up article because it is a Massive Scandal in and of itself.

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