On a recent David Feldman podcast, your mostly-retired host recapped Aaron Maté’s recent critical review of false reporting about Russiagate, including articles that won Pulitzers. Feldman pushed back with skepticism regarding the Mike Flynn imbroglio; PBC shared that view before this show with Scott Ritter.Here’s the text from the original posting of the Ritter interview:
Put your doubts aside, and listen to Scott Ritter make a persuasive argument that Mike Flynn, Trump’s first national security advisor, was investigated as part of the crumbling Russiagate scheme, aimed at undermining or removing Trump.Ritter, the former weapons inspector who found no WMD in Iraq and tried to stop the US invasion, is a former Marine intelligence officer who’s now a writer and commentator. The first article we discuss is here.
Ritter makes clear that he doesn’t like Mike Flynn, and wasn’t sorry to see him bounced from the Trump administration. But after reviewing AG Bill Barr’s filings seeking to withdraw the charges that Flynn pleaded guilty to, he makes a strong case that the FBI’s investigation of Flynn was tainted. His arguments changed the mind of your humble host, who previously argued that Flynn had ample warning and didn’t need to lie about his phone call with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak just before Trump took office.
Ritter connects the Flynn case to the Russiagate narrative that is crumbling quickly, and offers a credible scenario that the FBI and Obama administration went after Flynn to discredit Trump and promote the widely-believed “intelligence assessment” that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to help Trump.
We discuss the newly-released transcripts from House Intelligence Committee closed-door sessions, especially testimony by Shawn Henry–a former FBI executive under Mueller who was a top executive at Crowdstrike–that revealed there was no actual evidence that Russian agents hacked the servers of the Democratic National Committee, and that Henry admitted he didn’t actually know how the purloined files were delivered to WikiLeaks. These pillars of the Russiagate story have now crumbled.
We also talk about FBI reports that show that Trump advisor Roger Stone had a least nine contacts with a top Israeli official between May and October, 2016 that mention delivery of intelligence to the Trump campaign and at least one meeting between Netanyahu’s minister and Trump–confirming the actual foreign interference in the election. The FBI documents were made public after major US news organizations–the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, AP and Politico sued for their release–but have not published them so far. [Still true, 11.29.21]
And near the end of this wide-ranging interview, Ritter answers a question about Covid-19 from listener Olivier de Mirleau.