The clear legal facts about Michael Flynn versus William Barr’s jargon

This, in today’s New York Times, is a clear, legal dissection of Barr’s efforts to get Flynn’s case dismissed: “Bill Barr Twisted My Words in Dropping the Flynn Case. Here’s the Truth: The F.B.I.’s interview of Mr. Flynn was constitutional, lawful and for a legitimate counterintelligence purpose.”

It’s by

She knows what she’s talking about.

Writing about controversial legal matters — when you’ve got the right stuff and your opponent is aimed at a pre-conceived judgment which leaps over the right stuff by using  gobble-de-gook — is not easy. Because these things, no matter how clearly described, are complicated, even while they are straightforward.

Ms. McCord describes the law-breaking of Michael Flynn clearly. (She also takes a deserved shot at Jim Comey, who seemed to break protocol — yet again — in giving the OK to the FBI interview without consulting with the DOJ. Doesn’t that remind you of something else he did? Now, what was that? Hmm….)

After I read an opinion like this, I always go to the comments by Times readers, who are often far better informed than I am. So, in addition to giving you the McCord link, here is what Sally, from California wrote. I’m with her:

Can’t say we’re surprised. As you so clearly point out, William Barr is on a crusade. Not for truth but for Trump (and his cronies). Flynn walked not because he should be freed, as Trump and Barr loudly argue (as if being loud implies anything) but because William Barr mixes apples and oranges in an attempt to fog the issue at hand. As you point out, Barr deliberately distorts and stretches the essence of what it means to be “material” in legal jargon in order to improperly assist another of the good ol’ boys, men who break the rules and then act angry and ruffled when they’re found out. It is a nauseating display of unrepentant ideologues bent on destroying the very apparatus they are meant to uphold. The Flynn case is a mockery of justice and it will be studied by students years to come to illustrate just how far -and how low- men like Mr. Barr will go in their misguided zealotry.

The only addition I’d make to what Sally said: Barr’s zealotry is only misguided if you are not, like him, a medieval Catholic devoté.

William Barr is America’s god problem in the flesh.



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