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Reckoning: What Did Obama Know and When Did He Know It?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Michael Sohn

reck·on·ing (noun)the avenging or punishing of past mistakes or misdeeds.

When one writes a regular opinion column, one is often faced with multiple major stories in the news that deserve further analysis and context that inspire thought and even passion from one's readers. Today, those of us in this noble trade are faced with a serious quandary: Where to begin?


- Do we celebrate the partial justice delivered to American patriot Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as the Justice Department properly withdrew criminal charges against him?

- Do we focus on the nefarious actions of the Comey FBI and Lynch Justice Department under Barack Obama that led to the vengeful vendetta against the general?

- Do we discuss the duplicity and corruption of the Mueller investigators in using the FBI's dirty work to threaten Flynn's family and basically coerce a false guilty plea from him?

- Do we pivot to the other major news item of the day and delve into the voluminous House Intel testimony that was finally released thanks to the herculean efforts of Acting ODNI Richard Grenell?

- Do we explain how Rep. Adam Schiff has been fully exposed as the lying, defamatory charlatan that he truly is as the testimony proves that he never saw the direct evidence proving Trump/Russia collusion as he has claimed for the past several years?

You see the challenge. 

If one is to take the proverbial 35,000-foot view of all these stories and focuses one's eyes as if they are trying to discover the 3-D picture in one of those tacky 90s "magic eye" pictures, one image clearly appears.

President Barack Obama is at the center of all of this. Indeed, Obama oversaw it all, from the start.

The investigation of Flynn. The surveillance of Carter Page and George Papadopolous. The Steele Dossier infection of the FISA courts. The Kangaroo Court hearings. The Special Counsel investigation built on known fictions.


None of it happens without Obama.

Over the past few years, most of the enterprising journalists and commentators who have strayed from the lockstep march of establishment media and politicians by challenging the lazy Trump/Russia collusion hoax have been asking a basic question related to the enormous political scandal:

What did Obama know, and when did he know it?

It's political scandal journalism 101, yet the Pulitzer-prize winning elites at CNN, The New York Times and The Washington Post are not in any way interested. Curious.

For now, let's just focus on the Flynn portion. Here's what we now know about Obama's involvement in the Flynn episode:

Sally Yates, as Acting Attorney General, authorized FBI agents (including disgraced Peter Strzok) to interview then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn in the early days of the Trump Administration. It was that interview that led to the persecution of Flynn at the hands of the Mueller investigators. The predicate for this questioning was concern over violations of the archaic Logan Act that alleged to happen in a phone call between Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

It was that Logan Act predicate that triggered the Justice Department to withdraw charges against Flynn yesterday because, as Attorney General William Barr explained to CBS News, "they initially tried some theories of how they could open an investigation which didn't fly and then they found out they had technically not closed the earlier investigation and they kept it open for the express purpose of trying to catch, lay a perjury trap for General Flynn. They didn't warn him the way we would usually be required by the Department. They bi-passed the Justice Department. They bi-passed the protocols at the White House and so-forth."


In the trove of documents released yesterday, a stunning revelation was discovered.

"Yates first learned of the December 2016 calls between [LTG Michael] Flynn and [Russian Ambassador to the United States, Sergey] Kislyak on January 5, 2017, while in the Oval Office. Yates, along with then FBI-Director James Comey, then-CIA Director John Brennan, and then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, were at the White House to brief members of the Obama Administration on the classified Intelligence Community Assessment on Russian Activities in Recent U.S Elections. President Obama was joined by his National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, and others from the National Security Council," the document states.

"After the briefing, Obama dismissed the group but asked Yates and Comey to stay behind. Obama started by saying he had 'learned of the information about Flynn' and his conversation with Kislyak about sanctions. Obama specified he did not want any additional information on the matter, but was seeking information on whether the White House should be treating Flynn any differently, given the information. At that point, Yates had no idea what the President was talking about, but figured it out based on the conversation. Yates recalled Comey mentioning the Logan Act, but can't recall if he specified there was an 'investigation,'" it continues.

Yates learned of the Flynn/Kislyak phone call from the president himself. Clearly, the president informing the top official at the Justice Department about this information triggered a criminal investigation. A criminal investigation that we now know, for certain, was inappropriate at best, criminal and corrupt at worst (and more likely.)


This appears to be the first major and direct link we have between the improper behavior of the Justice Department and President Obama. The first real crack in the dam. In a normal journalistic and political environment, the dam would now break.

Reporters would be demanding to know more about Obama's involvement. What did he discuss with Comey about the investigation into the Trump campaign and transition team? What did he learn from CIA Director John Brennan or DNI James Clapper as these events unfolded?

Now that we know he was in the middle of the amped-up investigation of General Flynn, let's find out what else he was in the middle of?

Are we meant to believe that Lynch, Comey, Yates, Clapper and Brennan all went rogue and conducted this historic, unprecedented and obviously improper investigation without any authorization from the Oval Office?

If Obama knew about these matters, we deserve to know to what extent he was directly involved and whether he authorized and even directed this corrupt operation. If he didn't know about it, we deserve to challenge the lack of competence and accountability inherent to the Obama Administration where individuals felt empowered and protected to wield the power of the surveillance and investigative tools designed to protect our nation against terrorists for the purpose of harassing and criminalizing domestic political behavior.

Either way, Obama has some explaining to do.

Let the reckoning, finally, begin.


Editor's Note: Want to support Townhall so we can keep telling the truth about the Obama DOJ's abuses of power? Join Townhall VIP  and use the promo code FISA to get 25% off VIP membership! You'll get exclusive access to Larry's weekly VIP column like yesterday's: Grenell's Power Play Leaves Adam Schiff Worried for His Career, and a ton of other exclusive reporting and commentary from your favorite authors!

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