Flynn Case Gives Hope for Reform of System of Prosecutorial Abuse

May 12, 2020 Updated: May 13, 2020

Commentary

The Democratic Party and the morally bankrupt Washington political media that have parroted the party line these four years have finally recognized the impending collapse of their corrupt stranglehold on the American state and public opinion.

It need not be emphasized that the Republicans, the Trump administration, and the president himself are far from perfect and saintly. Gangling, ill-favored Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt in his wheelchair were typecasting-studio naturals for the immense roles they played in the regeneration of their country, compared to Donald Trump with his hucksterish exaggerations, carnival demeanor, and often juvenile ego (as well as many more attractive qualities).

But it’s now clear that the Clinton campaign and the highest levels of the Obama administration collaborated to circulate the malicious fabrications of the Steele dossier, commissioned and paid for by the Clinton campaign, through the intelligence apparatus to the most irresponsible media outlets. That conferred an automatic legitimacy on it because it was supposedly part of a counter-intelligence operation.

In this way, they tried to influence the election result.

It’s equally clear that President Obama and then-Vice President Biden were pretty thoroughly aware of what was afoot, and that the Justice Department willfully misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court in seeking warrants to conduct espionage on the Trump campaign and transition team.

It’s also now clear that when the new president fired James Comey (for conspicuous cause) as FBI director, on the recommendation of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who had been in lockstep with Comey for the first few weeks of Rosenstein’s appointment, that both Comey and Rosenstein knew that there had been no Trump–Russian collaboration. Yet Comey improperly leaked information that provoked Rosenstein’s appointment of a special counsel to examine allegations of Trump–Russian collusion.

The Mueller investigation was a complete fraud from the beginning.

Covering Tracks

In all of the circumstances, it’s impossible to produce any other motive for the redundant Mueller smear operation than to cover the tracks of the Obama administration in its illegal putschist effort to influence a presidential election improperly, destabilize the new administration, and provoke the new president into an impeachable offense, presumably obstruction of justice.

In their shattered condition, the perpetrators of and apologists for these outrages are still trying to construe these events as a manifestation of Trump’s skullduggery—that Attorney General William Barr is just releasing Flynn in deference to the White House, even as Flynn is obviously not guilty of anything. This, as well as the persecution of other Trump aides, was an oppressive shakedown operation seeking to obtain anything that could be used to besmirch the president.

Senior officials within the federal law enforcement apparatus were engaged in an attempt, begun and condoned by the previous administration, to extort allegations of wrongdoing against Trump. Alternatively, they sought to provoke him into an act they might be able to torque up to a more plausible charge than when they seized on the Ukrainian nonsense to inflict a completely frivolous impeachment proceeding in January.

Prosecutorial Abuse

All individuals are entitled to the presumption of innocence, though in practice in the U.S. system, anyone accused of anything is assumed to be guilty. Meanwhile, the electronic media are immediately filled with screeching self-nominated auxiliary prosecutors demanding to know why Mr. X is still at large, since his guilt is obvious.

The plea-bargain system enables prosecutors to threaten everyone who knows a suspect with prosecution for obstruction or conspiracy to conceal a crime if they don’t jog their memories and present inculpatory evidence, with any soft points of inaccuracy covered with promises of immunity from perjury charges.

In the present controversy, U.S. Attorney John Durham will hold those accountable who he thinks have committed crimes. It wouldn’t be appropriate to go further at this point than to say that some people committed serious offenses, and it’s hard to see how Comey skates away from this. Beyond that, events must take their course, and Durham, unlike the many-nozzled fountain of leaks that Mueller headed, has been admirably discreet and professional.

Apart from punishing the guilty, the best possible outcome of this controversy would be if serious agitation developed for criminal justice reform.

Sidney Powell, the very capable and courageous counsel who has conducted Flynn to victory, is a former federal prosecutor who has become a powerful advocate for reform of the practically unlimited powers of U.S. prosecutors and their complete immunity from consequences for abuse of their positions.

The United States has a federal conviction rate of about 98 percent, and 95 percent of those are without trial, which is why it has six to 12 times as many incarcerated people per capita as the most comparable and prosperous democracies: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom. It has an absurd overpopulation of lawyers.

Even more than in most countries, the American legal profession conducts a 360-degree cartel in which lawyers write and enact the laws and regulations, argue them, and judge them, and conduct an immense industry that drains more than 10 percent of the U.S. GDP. The entire tumescent process is shrouded in an impenetrable din of pious claptrap about the rule of law being all that separates human life from the jungle.

In fact, the American legal system is a jungle.

Mockery of Justice

This is why Flynn, though the FBI interrogators themselves concluded that he was being truthful, could be bullied into pleading guilty to a process crime; his son was threatened with indictment, and he had piled up legal bills that left him with a negative net worth and forced him to sell the family home.

And this was the outrageous mockery of justice that Barack Obama recently defended so vehemently as to say that when someone in Flynn’s position goes “scot-free,” it makes him worry about the state of American justice. What he is really worried about is that the ability to use the system to crush and silence the innocent may be in peril and that he himself may not get away “scot-free.”

Nor should he.

Here, liberated from personalities and partisanship is the real problem: Only the collapse of the Flynn case justifies optimism that the United States won’t complete its degeneration into an immense kangaroo court controlled by whoever has hold of the levers of prosecution.

Not only are prosecutors almost always successful, they get away “scot-free” even from the most despicable abuses; the self-policing of the legal profession is a self-serving farce.

As one of countless examples of the unaccountability of American prosecutors, John Thompson was convicted of murder and robbery in New Orleans in 1984, and spent 14 years on death row awaiting execution until a private investigator discovered DNA evidence absolving him that the district attorney had withheld.

Thompson sued and was awarded $14 million, a million dollars for each year on death row, but in 2011, the Supreme Court voted 5–4 that he couldn’t succeed and he received no compensation and the corrupt prosecutors paid no significant penalty. Nor did the prosecutors of long-serving Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens who withheld exculpatory evidence from the court.

The best possible outcome of this criminal assault on the Constitution and the Trump administration would be reforms that require prosecutors to avoid suborning and extorting false evidence, and that reduce their absolute immunity to allow for the serious penalization of dishonest prosecutors.

Trump has survived an onslaught that would have killed most people, but he’s the president and is a very wealthy man. He is absolutely right when he says that what has happened is a disgrace and shouldn’t happen to any future president; it shouldn’t happen to any American.

Conrad Black has been one of Canada’s most prominent financiers for 40 years, and was one of the leading newspaper publishers in the world. He is the author of authoritative biographies of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Richard Nixon, and, most recently “Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other.”

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.