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Ex-special counsel: 'May be criminal' that Trump’s lawyer crashed briefing

Former federal prosecutor John Flannery says ‘it may be criminal’ that the White House sent Trump’s personal lawyer to a classified briefing on the Russia investigation Thursday.

By Caroline Orr - May 24, 2018
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MSNBC Ari Melber John Flannery 5.24.18

Three-time former special counsel John Flannery says the White House may have acted criminally by sending Trump’s personal lawyer to a classified briefing at the Department of Justice on Thursday.

Flannery, a former federal prosecutor who served as the special counsel to three congressional investigations, told MSNBC’s Ari Melber that the Trump White House is “worse than Nixon” in its efforts to interfere with and obstruct the Russia investigation.

Speaking about the revelation that Trump’s lawyer Emmet Flood had shown up at a classified briefing Thursday during which the DOJ presented evidence from its investigation into Trump, Flannery slammed Trump and the congressional Republicans who run interference for him.

By sending Flood to the briefing, Trump is brazenly interfering with the federal inquiry, Flannery said — and his accomplices are providing cover instead of oversight.

The reason they’re running this sideshow is because they want to “discredit every element of this investigation in the final hours before the charges are filed in a report, in an indictment, in an unindicted co-conspirator charge … so that they have created doubt about the credibility of the major players in this investigation.”

“That is an outrage,” Flannery said. “It’s a shame and a disgrace. I think it’s unethical — and I think it may be criminal.”

As Melber pointed out earlier in the show, Flood was not on the list of attendees for the DOJ briefing, and the only reason the public found out about his attendance is because he was spotted by a CNN producer and photographed leaving the briefing.

As he walked out, he was accompanied by Trump’s congressional allies Reps. Devin Nunes, Trey Gowdy, and Paul Ryan, as well as chief of staff John Kelly.

A short time later, Flood was spotted again, arriving for the second briefing with the Gang of Eight.

He was never supposed to be at either briefing, but he ultimately ended up with a backstage pass and access to highly classified intelligence on his own client.

Apparently, Trump and his allies are under the impression that they can get away with anything, likely because they’ve already gotten away with so much.

But in doing so, they’ve made themselves all complicit in what may be the biggest cover-up in U.S. history.


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