November 25, 2017

Joy Reid welcomed Malcolm Nance, Paul Butler, and Sarah Kendzior this morning to discuss the news that Michael Flynn may have turned into a witness against Trump.

"Michael Flynn was the national security adviser. That's a high-level position," Paul Butler said.

"He's now got lots of exposure for false statements, for not disclosing that he was an agent of foreign governments at the time he was working for the Trump campaign, and then in the White House. He has a lot of incentive to try to bring the goods against somebody who is higher up on the chain, which means somebody in the Oval Office. So, it's perfectly right there's not a done deal now.

"He has a lot of pressure to really deliver somebody high up. Again, that means President Trump, somebody in the Oval Office, or somebody in President Trump's family. Again, obviously Mueller is a guy with integrity. He only wants the goods if they're true. The concern is sometimes people who cooperate, when they have a lot of incentive, sometimes they say stuff that's not true to help themselves," Butler warned.

Reid then asked Nance about the attempt by Trump to protect Flynn.

"If you go back to -- travel back to when Jim Comey testified in front of a congressional committee and released the memo which showed that, in his view, Trump was asking him to end the Flynn investigation, go easy on -- of Trump reaching out to Michael Flynn, saying stay strong. Malcolm, having lived this situation for a year, is Michael Flynn the person who most likely has the answer on whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia --or is his real jeopardy that he was making money on the side with Russia, Turkey, etc.?" she said.

Nance said Flynn has four issues to worry about: for one, taking money from Russia while holding a top secret clearance, and not saying anything about it. "That could lead him to charges of being an unwitting intelligence asset," he said.

The second, he said, is taking money from the Turks in order to illegally extradite a U.S. resident to Turkey. "Which is kidnapping, federal conspiracy charges. That's bad," he said.

"Three, then there's making that phone call to Moscow in December of last year. That is significant because that could implicate Mike Pence and Donald Trump as having ordered him do that. He may have lied about it.

"And finally, he may have been the executive officer of all the dirty tricks campaigns to get the Wikileaks information, the information from the Russian lawyer, and the information from the Podesta leaks and the rest to find Hillary Clinton's e-mails, which means he's neck deep in all of them. The question is, which are the easy ones Mueller is going for? I think he's going for the Turkey and Russia payments, that's documentary. He can get that.

"Finally, it was (Trump attorney) Jay Sekulow who dropped a hint about Flynn's security clearance, saying the Obama administration cleared him. So that leads me to believe it's more the moscow phone call and him being an unwitting asset of Moscow intelligence," Nance said.

Reid reminded Nance that Sally Yates, who was then acting attorney general, warned the White House Flynn could be subject to blackmail. "And it still took them almost two weeks to get rid of him," she said.

"Person number two, Jared Kushner. Sara, we recall going back again that Jared Kushner was one of the people who urged Donald Trump to fire Jim Comey, FBI director at time. That could be one of the obstruction of justice charges," Reid said.

"We have a new piece in Vanity Fair that talks about Kushner being worried. Despite Kushner's efforts to project confidence about Robert Mueller's probe, he expressed worry after the indictments of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates about how far the investigation could go. Do you think Jared Kushner should be a little more worried about Jared Kushner and not the president being got?"

Kendzior had a snappy comeback, saying Kushner committed criminal acts without consequences for a long time.

"The consequences I'm worried about are that for the United States, a problem of nepotism has become a problem of national security," she said.

"We know Kushner is implicated, we know he lied on clearance forms. We know he had hundreds of contacts with foreign officials, especially Russia over the years, that he did not reveal. We know that he was involved in the firing of Comey. He was involved with Manafort, the campaign team and the transition. He's been implicated at every level, but of course his father-in-law is the president. And this administration used executive power to override protocols that technically should keep people like Kushner in check. And he hasn't been. Perhaps he's more worried in light of Manafort's indictment and pending indictments against Flynn, perhaps. The corruption goes deep."

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