A very strange thing happened Friday in the case against Michael Flynn. The judge in charge, Emmet Sullivan, had ordered the government to hand over and make public some documents, specifically the transcripts of a phone call between Flynn and then-Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak and a voicemail left by then-Trump attorney John Dowd to Flynn's lawyer Robert Kelner, where Dowd very sweetly let Flynn's counsel know Trump still loved Flynn, WINK WINK NUDGE NUDGE, not that he was otherwise trying to pressure Flynn into staying onside with Trump instead of cooperating with the government. Sullivan also ordered the government to unredact portions of the Mueller Report related to Flynn's case and make them available to the public.

And the government mostly said ... fuck off! They released the transcript of the call from Dowd (which appeared in the Mueller Report, albeit in excerpt form), but they decided not to abide by the rest of the judge's orders, because #reasons.

Rachel Maddow reported on all of this on Friday night. (Start around six minutes in.)

DOJ Surprises With Omissions In Response To Michael Flynn Document Order | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC

Is that how this works? We do not think that is how this works.

The government's response to Judge Sullivan, signed by US Attorney Jessie Liu, briefly explained why they were saying fuck off and not releasing the transcript of Flynn's call with the Russian ambassador. You know, the one he lied to Mike Pence and the FBI and a hundred others about, where he inveighed upon Kislyak during the presidential transition to convince Vladimir Putin not to retaliate to the heightened sanctions President Barack Obama had levied in response to the Russian election attack.

The government [...] represents that it is not relying on any other recordings, of any person, for purposes of establishing the defendant's guilt or determining his sentence, nor are there any other recordings that are part of the sentencing record.

Huh? You ... aren't relying on the phone calls between Michael Flynn and the Russian ambassador to determine if Flynn lied about discussing sanctions with the Russian ambassador? HENNNNGH?

As far as telling the judge to fuck off on unredacting sections of the Mueller Report, Liu's response said:

With respect to the Report, the government represents that all of the information in the Report that the defendant provided to the Special Counsel's Office has been unredacted, as has all of the information in the Report that others provided about the defendant.

The prosecutors added that the only redactions left, really, are grand jury-type things, so move along, Judge Sullivan, nothing to see here!

Except ... not really? To be clear, there is a hell of a lot in the Mueller Report about Michael Flynn, and much of it is unredacted. But the order, as you see below, says "those portions of the report that relate to Mr. Flynn." As in, ALL THE PORTIONS.

Pretty sure there's some other stuff Judge Sullivan wants to see.

Part of the issue with the phone call transcripts seems to be that, though literally everybody knows US intelligence intercepted contacts between Flynn and the Russian ambassador, any such recordings are technically classified, which means the government hasn't publicly admitted that they even exist, even though they have been reported in the newspaper one thousand times, Flynn case documents refer to them repeatedly, and so does the Mueller Report. So in a way, the government seems to be saying, "Phone calls? We don't know what you mean when you say phone calls, and if we knew about phone calls, they'd be classified anyway, so anyway, would you look at the time! Gotta go wash all our cats BRB LOL!"

The New York Times quotes A Expert:

"This would be a rare step to make public" such intelligence collection, said Joshua Geltzer, a former Justice Department official. "What you see in today's filing is the government trying to avoid disclosing that material."

We should remind you that Judge Emmet Sullivan is a judge who really likes being fucked with. (That is called SARCASM.) We haven't seen a response yet from Sullivan, but considering how he reacted last December, during what was supposed to be Flynn's sentencing hearing, we doubt he'll stay silent for long. During that hearing, Sullivan was so unamused by Flynn's criminal behavior ("Arguably, you sold your country out!") that he suggested Flynn consult with his lawyers to see if he could cooperate with the government a whole lot more, lest Sullivan throw Flynn in the slammer despite how Robert Mueller's lawyers were recommending no jail time. That's why this is still going on to this day.

So, this could get interesting!

Since the government did comply with the Dowd voicemail request, here it is:

"Let me see if I can't state it in starker terms." Ooh, scary! Might as well have said something about making an offer Flynn couldn't refuse and something something sleeps with the fishes, YOU FUCK MY WIFE? YOU FUCK MY WIFE? "Thanks, Pal." YOU FUCK MY WIFE?

Anyway, obstruction of justice who what now? We are just asking.

Now that we have that full voicemail, paste-eating human pork rinds like Devin Nunes are on Twitter screaming FRAUDSsss!!1!1!gHaZi!!!1!!!!!, because they claim that Robert Mueller excerpted John Dowd's mafia-esque phone call to Flynn's lawyer to make it sound EXTRA DEVIL mafia-esque. We don't know exactly what their problem is, because the full transcript isn't in any way exculpatory, just paints a more detailed picture. Haha oops, we didn't just mean to imply that Devin Nunes had a strategy or a plan, besides just to moo as loudly as humanly possible, in hopes that will make it seem like he is saying something.

For the record, here's how the Mueller Report quoted the phone call:

Literally it seems like what Mueller deleted were the parts where Dowd was like DURRRR ARGH and sounded like he was picking his buttcrack at the time.



The point of this post is that Devin Nunes is a fuckin' idiot, wait, was that what this post was about?

We don't even remember.

[Government response to minute order / Washington Post / New York Times]

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the senior editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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FINALLY. Of course, we say "finally," because we haven't been behind the scenes in the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees to witness the negotiating and wrangling firsthand, so we don't know what it's taken to make this happen, but clear your calendars for July 17, because Bobby Mueller is goin' to Congress!

Committee chairs Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler sent the letter late yesterday, accompanied by a subpoena, for Mueller to testify at 9 a.m. Eastern on July 17, which is a Wednesday, so you will presumably not be busy with brunch. The hearings for each committee will be back to back, after which members of Mueller's staff will meet with committee staff behind closed doors.

Schiff told Rachel Maddow last night that it should not be viewed as a friendly subpoena, because as we all know, Mueller has been very reluctant to become the star of the political circus this will surely create. However, he's gonna have to suck it up, because as we all saw after what happened when Mueller addressed the nation for 10 whole minutes, there is great value in actually having Mueller breathe life into his own work, for an American audience that hasn't read his 448-page report. (And we don't blame them/you! We probably wouldn't have read it all if it wasn't our job. It would probably be on our "list," like "someday I am going to watch 'The Sopranos' start to finish finally. And then I will read the Mueller Report!")

Point is, it needs to happen on live TV, where people can gather around at work and on the train and in the Fantastic Sams while they gets their hair did, and let this highly respected public servant tell the story of how America's most hostile enemy attacked the 2016 election in order to help Donald Trump, how the Trump campaign was positively orgasmic over that reacharound, and how Trump criminally obstructed the investigation into that hostile foreign attack at every turn.

And because Robert Mueller is a patriotic American who respects the rule of law and our institutions, he will be complying with the subpoena, because of fucking course he will.

Right off the bat, we have a couple of questions:

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The House of Representatives passed a $4.5 billion emergency bill to fund detention of undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers yesterday, but the bill's demands that government meet minimal standards of humane treatment led Donald Trump to threaten a veto, because no one puts cruelty in a corner. The bill passed largely along party lines, 230-195, with four progressive Democratic first-term representatives opposing it because they believed the machinery of the New Cruelty shouldn't get a single dollar more. Trump prefers a bill already passed by the Senate, which would provide a similar level of funding $4.6 billion), but lacks the House bill's crazy radical requirements that migrants be held in less horrifying conditions than have been reported in the last week.

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