Jonathan Turley, Constitutional Law Professor at George Washington University, slammed former President Barack Obama on Saturday after Obama made false statements about the Department of Justice (DOJ) dismissing the case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
“The news over the last 24 hours I think has been somewhat downplayed — about the Justice Department dropping charges against Michael Flynn,” Obama said in a leaked phone call late this week. “And the fact that there is no precedent that anybody can find for someone who has been charged with perjury just getting off scot-free. That’s the kind of stuff where you begin to get worried that basic — not just institutional norms — but our basic understanding of rule of law is at risk. And when you start moving in those directions, it can accelerate pretty quickly as we’ve seen in other places.”
Turley, who is a Democrat, noted that Flynn was never charged with perjury and that his claim that there was “no precedent” for what the DOJ did with Flynn is false, as the Obama administration did the same thing with former Attorney General Eric Holder.
Turley wrote on his website:
While people of good faith can certainly disagree on the wisdom or basis for the Flynn motion, it is simply untrue if President Obama is claiming that there is no precedent or legal authority for the motion.
The rare statement by President Obama is also interesting in light of the new evidence. As I discussed in a column this morning in the Hill newspaper, the new material shows that Obama was following the investigation of Flynn who he previously dismissed from a high-level position and personally intervened with President Donald Trump to seek to block his appointment as National Security Adviser. Obama reportedly discussed the use of the Logan Act against Flynn. For a person concerned with precedent, that was also a curious focus. The Logan Act is widely viewed as unconstitutional and has never been used to successfully convicted a single person since the early days of the Republic. Now that is dubious precedent.
Turley later hit CNN for their reporting on Obama’s false claim, tweeting, “CNN continues to report on Obama’s statement without noting that he was wrong on Flynn’s criminal charge and wrong on the lack of precedent. Given its slogan ‘Facts First,’ it appears the facts are not even coming last. They are not coming at all.”
(resent) CNN continues to report on Obama's statement without noting that he was wrong on Flynn's criminal charge and wrong on the lack of precedent. Given its slogan "Facts First," it appears the facts are not even coming last. They are not coming at all. https://t.co/UQ58aLDB6T
— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) May 9, 2020
Fox News reported this week that newly unsealed documents showed that Obama was aware of the FBI’s wiretapping of Flynn’s phone calls.
Fox News reported:
President Obama was aware of the details of then-incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn’s intercepted December 2016 phone calls with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, apparently surprising then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, according to documents released Thursday as exhibits to the government’s motion to dismiss the Flynn case.
Obama’s unexpectedly intimate knowledge of the details of Flynn’s calls, which the FBI acknowledged at the time were not criminal or even improper, raised eyebrows because of his own history with Flynn — and because top FBI officials secretly discussed whether their goal was to “get [Flynn] fired” when they interviewed him in the White House on January 24, 2017.
Obama personally had warned the Trump administration against hiring Flynn, and made clear he was “not a fan,” according to multiple officials. Obama had fired Flynn as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014; Obama cited insubordination, while Flynn asserted he was pushed out for his aggressive stance on combating lslamic extremism.
The Daily Wire, headed by bestselling author and popular podcast host Ben Shapiro, is a leading provider of conservative news, cutting through the mainstream media’s rhetoric to provide readers the most important, relevant, and engaging stories of the day. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.