Did Mike Flynn's Pal Barbara Ledeen Get A Prosecutor Fired For Failing To LOCK HER UP Trump's Enemies List?
Let's talk about Senate Judiciary Committee staffer Barbara Ledeen and her unrelenting assault on the rule of law in this country. Axios reported yesterday that Ledeen is part of Ginni Thomas's coven trying to turn the federal government into a year-round CPAC convention. It also claims the conservative activist personally authored a hit-piece on former US Attorney for DC urging the president to fire her for failing to launch un-predicated, political prosecutions of Trump's enemies. And Ledeen did it all from her perch as a congressional staffer, paid by American taxpayers, and given access to classified US intel materials. Neat, huh?
When Barbara Ledeen, an ardent anti-feminism activist, met Michael Ledeen, a warmongering neo-con from way back when that term actually meant something, it was love at first sight. Probably. The couple are longtime allies of former NSA Michael Flynn, and the two men actually wrote a book together in 2016 on the "war" with "radical Islam." As confirmed in the Mueller Report, Barbara Ledeen and Flynn wandered into the Dark Web in 2016 to see if they could get their hands on Hillary Clinton's emails, a field trip underwritten by mercenary merchant Erik Prince. Yep, her Twitter TL is just exactly as batshit as you think it is.
Suffice it to say Barbara Ledeen was not happy with then-US Attorney Jessie Liu for allowing the Flynn prosecution to proceed after Mueller closed up shop. But two weeks ago, when rumors began to surface that she'd authored a memo for the White House advocating for Liu's dismissal, Ledeen denied it outright, telling the Washington Post, "I'm a Senate staffer. I can't lobby either the Senate or the White House. I'm kind of amazed my name came up in this. Somebody likes to throw around my name."
It's wildly inappropriate for a Senate staffer to undermine a federal criminal prosecution, and that hardly stopped her. Axios confirms that Ledeen did indeed write the hit memo that appears to have finally gotten Liu fired from the US Attorney's Office and her nomination to a position at the Treasury Department yanked. Among Liu's unforgivable transgressions:
- Not acting on criminal referrals of some of Justice Brett Kavanaugh's accusers.
- Signing "the sentencing filing asking for jail time" for Gen. Michael Flynn (a friend of Ledeen's).
- Holding a leadership role in a women's lawyers networking group that Ledeen criticized as "pro-choice and anti-Alito."
- Not indicting former deputy director of the FBI Andrew McCabe.
- Dismissing charges against "violent inauguration protesters who plotted to disrupt the inauguration."
That's why Ledeen deserves her own post here today. Because she appears to have engineered the dismissal of a government lawyer who simply refused to break the law and indict Trump's political enemies without evidence. Indeed, Liu tried mightily to get an indictment of McCabe, and it's pretty clear the grand jury refused to do it. And that never happens. The case was weak shit from the jump, Liu dragged it out for two years to mollify the president's bloodlust (and shield documents from discovery and FOIA in McCabe's wrongful termination suit), and then it fell apart because there was nothing there.
As for the inauguration protests, the DC US Attorney's Office only dropped the remaining 129 cases after the first two trials resulted in zero convictions for the ten defendants. It's not clear what Ledeen thinks Liu should have done, short of fabricating evidence against the protesters. And yet, the White House found her logic sufficiently convincing that they fired Liu.
It is inexpressible how dangerous this is. Because, say what you will about Jeff Sessions, but he knew you weren't supposed to use the Justice Department to settle political scores. Even Matthew "Meatball" Whitaker, the interim Attorney General, refused to interfere in the Mueller investigation or to try to screw with individual prosecutions. But now Bill Barr's parked his haunches atop the DOJ, and all bets are off. No reputable attorney general would have ever allowed a Senate staffer to put out a hit on a US Attorney for following the law before. But post-impeachment, the guardrails are off.
Malicious, politically motivated prosecutions violate both the law and legal ethics. But every US Attorney in the country is now on notice that they fail to indict the president's enemies at their own peril.
SO GET YOUR ASS TO THE POLLS WHILE WE STILL HAVE A DEMOCRACY TO DEFEND.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.