01/12/2017 Newsnight


01/12/2017

In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Emily Maitlis.


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Transcript


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Tonight, the net

tightens around Trump.

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Michael Flynn, his former

National Security Advisor pleads

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guilty to lying to the FBI.

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Was he ordered to do

so by the President's son-in-law?

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And where does this take

the Mueller investigation now?

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We're live in Washington

with those who can explain.

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Also tonight, ten years ago,

police raided Damian Green's office

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and stumbled across porn

on a computer.

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Is it in the public

interest that they tell us?

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Many Conservative MPs want to know

what another police are playing at.

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Any information they found was

obtained using police powers. They

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found nothing illegal and yet

evidence is now being put in the

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public domain.

What were those

former police officers doing?

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We'll ask this former

Chief Constable,

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and a senior Tory MP.

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And, we have new pictures

from besieged Eastern Ghouta -

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just outside the Syrian capital,

Damascus, where we find shocking

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evidence of widespread starvation -

including children.

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Is this the worst humanitarian

catastrophe in what has proved

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a vicious civil war?

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Good evening.

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He lied, and he lied, and he lied,

and tonight he pleaded guilty

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to those lies, appearing before

the court in Washington.

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Michael Flynn was President Trump's

National Security Advisor who spent

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weeks protesting his innocence

in dealings with Russia.

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Today, he appears to have agreed

to a deal with federal prosecutors -

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which may yet lead them

to the President's door.

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This evening, US networks

are reporting that Flynn is prepared

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to testify that Donald Trump's

son-in-law directed him

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to make contact with the Russians

before he took office.

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Flynn's decision to cooperate

with the investigation led

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marks a major escalation

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in the scandal that has dogged

Trump's presidency since he took

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office - although the President's

lawyer insists it implicates

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no one but Flynn himself.

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Where will it lead?

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We head to Washington in a moment,

first, a look at the day's events.

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This was the moment many

had been waiting for.

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A guilty plea by one at the top

officials in the original

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Trump administration.

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Michael Flynn accepted

he had lied to the FBI

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about his communications

with Russia.

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He is no stranger to controversy.

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If I, a guy who knows this business,

if I did a tenth of

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what she did, I would

be in jail today.

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It was in the 2016 presidential

campaign that Michael Flynn

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and Donald Trump became close.

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Lock her up, that's right.

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The Lieutenant General

was a passionate supporter

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of Trump and his

controversial policies.

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Defending the Mexican Wall to me,

when I caught up with him at the

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Republican Convention.

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As a military man, when he is

talking about building a wall.

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When he is talking about a ban...

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Yeah, we're going to build a wall.

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What's the matter

with building a wall?

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I just visited the Vatican.

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The Vatican has one

of the highest walls around it.

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Why?

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Why does the Vatican

have a wall around it?

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His loyalty was repaid.

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He was on the short list as Trump's

vice presidential pick, eventually

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becoming national-security adviser.

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It was an appointment

that President Obama himself

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had warned against, telling

Trump the day after the election

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not to bring Flynn

into the White House.

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The beginning of his downfall came

even before he was in the job.

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Allegations surfaced of a meeting

he held with the Russian ambassador

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about sanctions.

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Conversations Flynn first denied

having, then remembering.

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He hung on for the best part

of a month, was fired just 24

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days into the job, when it

became clear he'd misled

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the vice president, Mike Pence,

with his lies.

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The president was

very concerned that

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General Flynn had misled the vice

president and others.

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The evolving and eroding level of

trust as a result of the situation

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and a series of other

questionable instances is

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what led the president to ask

for General Flynn's resignation.

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Trump also then asked

the FBI director James Comey

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to end his investigation

into ties between Flynn and Russia,

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that was according to news

reports at the time.

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Trump denied making such

a request but he fired Comey

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some months later.

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Comey was quick to set

straight his side of the story.

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The administration then

chose to defame me,

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and more importantly,

the FBI, by saying that the

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organisation was in disarray.

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That it was poorly led.

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That the workforce had lost

confidence in its leader.

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Those were lies, plain and simple.

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Today's guilty plea

accompanies Flynn's promise to

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cooperate in the probe but the real

question in all this is what

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chief prosecutor Robert

Mueller really wants.

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Flynn appears to have already cut

a deal to shorten a possible

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five-year prison sentence.

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Muller will want

something big in return.

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The prize many think

he has his eyes on?

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Trump himself.

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Seth Abramson is an attorney

and writer who repeatedly accused

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the Trump campaign of collusion

with the Russian Government.

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He is in New Hampshire.

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And Ron Christie is

a Republican Strategist.

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He's in our Washington Bureau.

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Gentlemen, great to have you both.

Thank you. Seth, tell us how big you

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think this is. For our audience,

what is the most serious charge now?

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This is the biggest news in the

Russia process far by a fairly good

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distance. It means a prosecutor

doesn't offer this order plea

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agreement to the defendant, unless a

defendant can offer incriminating

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evidence to someone who is above

them on the chain of command. And

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someone who is above the national

security adviser would be the

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president and vice president of the

United States.

You don't think this

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is about wheeling in Jared Kushner,

the President's son-in-law, you

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think this goes to trump's doorstep?

There are a number of people in the

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hierarchy which includes Donald

Trump junior and Jared Kushner who

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may be looked at that you would not

offer this sort of deal which was a

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sweetheart deal for Mike Flynn,

unless you are going up the chain of

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command rather than laterally.

You

are not seriously suggesting this

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could indicate both the president

and vice president? Where would that

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leave the administration?

All of the

allegations right now against Mr

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Quint involve his behaviour and

negotiations over sanctions while he

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was on the transition team. A

statement says Mike Flynn spoke to

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very senior officials on the

transition team while he was engaged

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in these negotiations. Jared Kushner

has already been identified as one

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of those officials, but people

suspect Mike Pence could be one of

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the others as he was running the

transition team.

Ron, I will bring

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you in and is a brave Republican to

try and defend this tonight. What do

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you make of what you are hearing?

Good evening, Emily. I am not as

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troubled by Seth is as what unfolded

here today. Let me explain this. As

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someone who worked for a

presidential transition back in 2004

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the Bush administration, you are

working in a government building,

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write but find us here in

Washington, DC. You are doing

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everything you can to transition so

when the president of the United

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States leads the parade route and

walks into the White House, the

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staff are up and fully running. On a

daily basis, as a domestic policy

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adviser, it would be your job to

speak to other officials in the

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government. I would surmise that is

a national security adviser, coming

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into the administration, it would be

your job to establish relations with

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foreign ambassadors in the United

States, who are serving their

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nations. So the notion that Mr Flynn

lied, that is his responsibility,

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and that is why he was fired 25 days

into the trump administration by the

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president himself, for those lies,

for which he was implicated and

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indicted today. To suggest this goes

to be president or the vice

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president themselves, I think that

is way to spec litter that this

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point and there is no evidence in

fact to prove that allegation. --

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point and there is no evidence in

fact to prove that allegation. --.

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Is there anything wrong with what

Flynn is now accused of doing?

Let's

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be clear the allegations right now

are not that Mr Flynn was trying to

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establish a range of ship with the

Russians in December 2016, it is

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that he was negotiating US policy on

sanctions and Israel, before he and

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Mr Trump were actually the legal

government of the United States, and

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that is a violation under the Logan

act which is very rarely enforced,

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but it has to do with citizens

illegally negotiating with foreign

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governments, having no colour

authority to do so. Having said

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that, let's understand the

allegations which came out today and

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what Mr Flynn pledged to is only the

smallest point of what he told Mr

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Muller and he was careful to shield

what he knew about Mr Flynn's

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conversations in his charging

documents.

Ron, I'm trying to work

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out if you are representative of

other Republicans or is there a

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growing voice which says this is

becoming too big to ignore?

Emily, I

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come at this from the perspective of

being a lawyer and having served in

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the White House and four years, and

knowing what it is like to bring the

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government up to speed so the

president and vice presidents can

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assume office.

But you would never

have done these things. You would

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never have set up meetings with

Russian

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ambassadors period, would you?

I

would not have, absolutely not. But

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the Logan act which was passed in

1799 says it is illegal for private

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citizens to interfere with official

government business. I was content

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to you as a lawyer, if you're

working in a federal office building

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in the United States, and you're

bringing the president and vice

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president into office, it is not Ed

Ling as a private citizen of any

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conversations he might have.

Presumably, just back to you, Seth,

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if he has pleaded guilty to lying to

the FBI and he has cut some sort of

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deal, what would that look like? We

are not used to plea bargaining

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here, talk us through it.

Mr Flynn

pleaded guilty to a one to five year

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sentence in prison, but he could see

no time in federal prison

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whatsoever. Mr Christie keeps

referring to federal buildings being

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used for the transition, it should

be clear from the statement of the

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offence that Mr Flynn was having

contact with quote very senior

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officials in the transition who were

in Florida, not in a federal

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building, and at the time is the

Flynn was having those buildings, Mr

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Trump was in Florida.

I'm not a

defender of Mr Trump or Mr p. I

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speak from experience which suggests

that where the president elect or

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the vice president elect might be.

Just because they are not physically

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in the office building I am making

reference to does not mean it is

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nefarious, that he was at Mara Lago.

I will agree with you on this.

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Seth's comments, as a lawyer I look

at this and say the special counsel

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is clearly going higher, because the

crimes he was alleged to have

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committed would have put him in jail

for 20 plus years. There is clearly

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someone else that General Flynn will

be co-operating with with the

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special counsel, that could take us

even further inside the gates of the

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White House. And as to who that

person is or who the persons might

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be, I think that is what the next

parlour game here in Washington is,

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who is next?

We have run out of time

but thank you for joining us.

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The case of pornography found

on a minister's office computer

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is one of two things: the story

of a Deputy PM who's

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lying.

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Or the story of a police officer

who's overreached his powers.

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Today, Theresa May's deputy,

Damian Green, strongly denied once

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again that he had downloaded

or viewed pornography

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on his office computer.

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It came as a response to the claims

of a retired police detective,

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Neil Lewis, who said thousands

of legal images

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were found on it nine years ago,

and that the investigation

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at the time should

never have been closed.

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He believes it was in the public

interest to reveal this now.

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Scotland Yard is investigating him

for allegedly

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leaking the confidential material.

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So, who do you trust?

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And how comfortable are we with

the way this has emerged?

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We'll speak to a former police

officer and to Green's colleague

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Dominic Grieve.

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First, here's David Grossman.

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It is worth reminding ourselves why

police came to search computers in

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Damian Green's office. The Home

Office claimed a threat to national

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security. The Cabinet Office asked

the net to find the mole. Without a

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warrant they persuaded the Commons

authorities to let them search

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Damian Green's Parliamentary office.

There was outrage among MPs,

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especially as police concluded he

had not committed a public offence.

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The then Director of Public

Prosecutions who throughout the case

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is now a Labour Shadow minister.

I

have concluded the information leak

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was not secret information or

information affecting national

0:13:560:13:59

security.

Skip forward nine years

and retired police officers are now

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alleging that Mr Green's computer

had pornography on it, although

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nothing illegal. Former PC Neil

Lewis examined one of the

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computers in 2008, and has spoken

exclusively to BBC News.

The

0:14:220:14:25

shocking thing was as I was feeling

it, I noticed a lot of pornography

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thumbnails, which indicated web

browsing. But a lot, a lot of them.

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Mr Green, however, denies having

done anything wrong.

I have said I

0:14:350:14:40

am not commenting any further while

the investigation is going on. I

0:14:400:14:43

have maintained all along, I still

maintain it is the truth that I did

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not download or look at pornography

on my computer. But obviously, while

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the investigation is going on, I

can't say any more.

0:14:510:14:58

The raid on Mr Green's Parliamentary

office was controversial at the time

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and it is controversial again. Many

MPs want to know what the police are

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playing at. Any information they

found was found using police powers.

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There was nothing illegal but

evidence is now being put into the

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public domain for that there is

anger that former Constable Lewis

0:15:170:15:20

has kept his notebook of the

investigation after retirement and

0:15:200:15:24

is showing it to reporters.

Nearly a

decade later, based on one surviving

0:15:240:15:32

evidential source, a notebook which

Constable Lewis has kept in his

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possession after retirement. It

seems more than a little odd.

The

0:15:370:15:42

allegation against Mr Green has come

not only from former Constable Lewis

0:15:420:15:47

but from the more senior Assistant

Commissioner, Bob quick. Is this the

0:15:470:15:52

police getting involved in politics?

I don't think so. There are plenty

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of politicians around that the

police dislike more than Damian

0:15:570:16:00

Green. He would not be top of the

list. I know him a little and he is

0:16:000:16:06

an honest man with integrity. I

would not anticipate he is doing

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this maliciously or anything else.

It would just appear to be you have

0:16:140:16:17

police officers with some

information and they have shared it

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in the way they have.

Meanwhile, the

politics is getting Commper coated.

0:16:190:16:25

Cabinet Office investigations into

the conduct of Damian Green is

0:16:250:16:29

expected to report imminently. The

Brexit secretary, David Davis, has

0:16:290:16:36

apparently told friends he may

resign if Damian Green is forced

0:16:360:16:38

out.

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Dominic Grieve is a Conservative MP,

former Attorney General

0:16:420:16:44

and was Shadow Home Secretary

at the time

0:16:440:16:46

of Damian Green's arrest in 2008.

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Tim Brain is former Chief Constable

of Gloucestershire.

0:16:470:16:54

Very nice of you both to come in

this evening. Do you accept this was

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unacceptable behaviour? It is

chilling that police should have

0:16:590:17:04

your computer and once they have it

they can use it against you whenever

0:17:040:17:07

they want.

They are not using a

computer against you, we are looking

0:17:070:17:12

at notes that the others are kept

and has kept for a long time. I

0:17:120:17:18

don't know if he was told to destroy

them. Interesting he was told to

0:17:180:17:22

destroy them. I find that quite an

interesting observation that was

0:17:220:17:27

made. I have got at home lots of

police records that go back 40 years

0:17:270:17:31

of that there is nothing odd about

individual officers keeping their

0:17:310:17:35

own notes. No one has ever told me

to destroy any of that. We're not

0:17:350:17:40

looking at the computer, we are

looking at somebody's collection of

0:17:400:17:45

what is considered to be important.

We have to put this into context of

0:17:450:17:52

has unravelled. Have to go back to

the Weinstein revelations and the

0:17:520:17:55

moral panic that gripped Westminster

in the immediate aftermath of that.

0:17:550:18:00

Allegations were made. Cabinet

Office enquiry has opened up and

0:18:000:18:03

police officers have come forward

with what bigoted to be relevant

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information to that in choir in.

That is what we are talking about.

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-- they believe to be relevant

information.

Do think it is about

0:18:130:18:18

whether a minister has had

pornography on his computer?

It is a

0:18:180:18:25

workplace computer. Are we happy

that our MPs can have this kind of

0:18:250:18:29

material on what is an official

computer? As a member of the public,

0:18:290:18:34

I would like to know the answer to

that. Nobody is doubting the fact

0:18:340:18:39

there is some kind of electronic

trace of this particular deal on a

0:18:390:18:44

computer. We need to have some

answers. Now this information is in

0:18:440:18:49

the public domain.

Let's ask Dominic

Grieve.

Are you happy? This cannot

0:18:490:18:55

be right. Other citizens do not have

these powers to investigate crime,

0:18:550:19:03

including carrying out acts like

acquiring data that nobody scan. It

0:19:030:19:06

is for the purpose of a criminal

investigation. -- else can. They

0:19:060:19:11

acquire that information, whether it

is correct or not. Many years later

0:19:110:19:16

they decide to put it into the

public domain because we think it

0:19:160:19:19

will make an important point. They

are in breach of their own code of

0:19:190:19:26

conduct. If they thought it was

relevant to this enquiry, what they

0:19:260:19:30

should have done was to go to

Cressida Dick, the Chief

0:19:300:19:35

Commissioner, and to say, might this

be relevant to the inquiry being

0:19:350:19:38

carried out at the Cabinet Office?

And then it would be handed over.

0:19:380:19:45

Lewis offered to go to the inquiry

but they did not take him up on it.

0:19:450:19:50

There is this information about the

minister who was back in the

0:19:500:19:53

spotlight shouldn't they be doing

the public service by coming forward

0:19:530:19:58

and saying yes, we remember this,

even if it was a decade ago?

0:19:580:20:03

Certainly not. I was Attorney

General. In my time as Attorney

0:20:030:20:08

General I have acquired allsorts of

information which would be grossly

0:20:080:20:11

improper for me to put into the

public domain.

Even if there was

0:20:110:20:16

pornography which was being looked

at by Damian Green? You are saying

0:20:160:20:22

no relevance now.

The police went to

Westminster in 2008 because there

0:20:220:20:26

was an allegation of a breach of the

Official Secrets Act. They carried

0:20:260:20:33

out a pack handed investigation

which attracted a lot of criticism.

0:20:330:20:36

I don't know what they found in the

course of that enquiry but it is

0:20:360:20:40

apparent what they found is not

criminal. Even on their own say-so

0:20:400:20:44

it did not lead to any criminal

prosecution, nor any criminal

0:20:440:20:51

investigation, a separate one. Eight

years later, they choose to put

0:20:510:20:55

material which an ordinary citizen

would be prohibited from acquiring

0:20:550:20:59

under data protection rules into the

public domain on their own judgment.

0:20:590:21:08

There is a way of dealing with that.

If you think something is relevant,

0:21:080:21:11

you do it by proper official means

also you do not go freelancing, as

0:21:110:21:14

these officers have done. It has the

smack of the police state about it.

0:21:140:21:17

It is worrying. Is it about a

vendetta?

I think we have to look at

0:21:170:21:25

Mr Lewis today. I have never seen

that officer before in my life until

0:21:250:21:29

we have seen the images today for

some he does not strike me as a

0:21:290:21:34

vengeful person going through a

series of vengeful acts. Was he

0:21:340:21:37

right to do it? We have to look at a

different motivation. Police

0:21:370:21:42

officers can feel very strongly

about information they might feel

0:21:420:21:46

the public should know about that is

being suppressed. These officers are

0:21:460:21:50

taking a risk in doing what they are

doing. The first risk is the

0:21:500:21:56

internal enquiry. The second risk is

the court of public scrutiny through

0:21:560:22:01

a slander or libel action. They have

taken a big risk. I asked the

0:22:010:22:06

question, why have they been able to

take the big risk, other than they

0:22:060:22:11

feel it is information which should

get into the public domain?

What

0:22:110:22:16

should happen now? Should it go to

Cressida Dick? Should the PM

0:22:160:22:21

dismissed the investigation as a

result of these actions?

Where are

0:22:210:22:26

you? There was an allegation against

Damian Green of misconduct, which is

0:22:260:22:31

being enquired into by the Cabinet

Office. He denies it was that it is

0:22:310:22:36

a serious allegation and quite

rightly it should be investigated. I

0:22:360:22:40

am not sure I understand the alleged

link between that enquiry on the

0:22:400:22:49

allegations of an illegal kind which

was found on his computer. He denied

0:22:490:22:51

the access to it. You believe it.

The issue at the moment is, is it

0:22:510:23:00

proper for two retired police

officers in breach of the police

0:23:000:23:05

code of conduct to take information

which they acquired, or say they

0:23:050:23:10

acquired, during the course of a

criminal investigation it into the

0:23:100:23:15

public domain?

We know that with

historic cases, people are always

0:23:150:23:18

been blamed for not coming forward

with information they had at their

0:23:180:23:23

fingertips.

We give the police

powers others do not have. They do

0:23:230:23:28

not and must not be allowed to abuse

those powers full stop there are

0:23:280:23:32

ways of dealing with allegations.

The police thought this was

0:23:320:23:35

relevant. There are perfectly clear

channels for dealing with it. Not by

0:23:350:23:39

going to the press.

What we are

seeing here is exactly what the

0:23:390:23:46

politicians would like, to focus on

the police are not themselves.

Thank

0:23:460:23:50

you both very much indeed.

0:23:500:23:54

On Monday, we brought

you extraordinary and distressing

0:23:540:23:55

pictures from Eastern Ghouta -

the part of Syria just outside

0:23:550:23:58

the capital Damascus -

that has been under siege for years.

0:23:580:24:01

This week, the United Nations called

for the urgent evacuation

0:24:010:24:03

of hundreds of the sick and injured.

0:24:030:24:05

And tonight, this programme has

gathered evidence that

0:24:050:24:07

food shortages have led to child

starvation -

0:24:070:24:09

and the most widespread malnutrition

of the vicious civil war.

0:24:090:24:12

Here's Mike Thomson -

and a warning

0:24:120:24:13

that it contains distressing images.

0:24:130:24:22

This is what siege means. Young

children are among the first to

0:24:220:24:28

suffer. This is an eight-year-old

child. Who in the world would accept

0:24:280:24:34

that?

Do you think it is normal? He

should be taller and stronger.

After

0:24:340:24:42

nearly four years of siege, the

third of children surveyed in

0:24:420:24:46

eastern Ghouta are stunted, due to

malnutrition.

We are nine people in

0:24:460:24:51

the house. We have one meal a day

until the next morning. At night he

0:24:510:24:55

does not sleep. He would pick up

anything off the floor to eat.

With

0:24:550:25:01

only tiny amounts of aid now

trickling in, the UN says the plight

0:25:010:25:05

of the area per flight children has

reached crisis proportions.

The kit

0:25:050:25:14

manager issued today is five times

higher than it was ten months ago

0:25:140:25:17

when we did, or the last

malnutrition assessment, close to

0:25:170:25:22

12% of children are facing today

acute malnutrition in eastern

0:25:220:25:28

Ghouta. That is the highest level of

the cute malnutrition we have ever

0:25:280:25:33

recorded across Syria.

There is

little food for sale in the markets

0:25:330:25:37

and the prices are now beyond the

reach of most. Bread costs 85 times

0:25:370:25:43

the price it does in neighbouring

Damascus. And, as winter sets in,

0:25:430:25:48

the price of a cylinder of gas has

topped $300.

It is not enough that

0:25:480:25:55

we are hungry and cold. We are

covering ourselves with nylon sheets

0:25:550:25:59

to keep as warm and lighting fires

to cook. God help us extra is what

0:25:590:26:05

we are like barn animals now. We eat

barley.

What can I say? With few if

0:26:050:26:11

any nutrients to hand out, doctors

are Rovman Powell is to help.

We are

0:26:110:26:17

witnessing incidents where children

are fainting at school because

0:26:170:26:20

parents are sending their children

to school without having breakfast,

0:26:200:26:24

and sometimes without even having

dinner. Within 24 hours a child

0:26:240:26:29

sometimes receives no meals.

With

food and medical supplies vanishing,

0:26:290:26:34

and this week plus my brief

ceasefire now at an end, the UN is

0:26:340:26:40

desperately trying to get those with

the most urgent medical needs

0:26:400:26:44

evacuated. Local officials insist

the area's malnourished children

0:26:440:26:50

must be brought out too.

If we wait

another month, 11th percent of

0:26:500:26:58

children, most of them will die. --

11%. Most of them are critical.

Over

0:26:580:27:09

recent weeks, many families have

lived in their basements, the only

0:27:090:27:13

places offering shelter from the

bombs and mortars. But there is no

0:27:130:27:17

refuge from hunger.

We are picking

up anything we can, even food from

0:27:170:27:23

the bins. My twin babies are dying.

We need milk come just for the

0:27:230:27:30

twins. Everything is expensive. For

the sake of God, open the road. We

0:27:300:27:36

are dying, dying of hunger.

Having

created this hunger, bringing the

0:27:360:27:45

rebel enclave to its knees, only

victory might persuade the Syrian

0:27:450:27:49

government to break its own siege.

0:27:490:27:52

Mike Thomson.

0:27:520:27:53

Lina Khatib is head

of the Middle East programme

0:27:530:27:55

at the Chatham House think tank.

0:27:550:27:59

Just seeing some of those images

seems incomprehensible. This is

0:27:590:28:05

meant to be the de-escalation zone,

an area where things are getting

0:28:050:28:10

better.

Actually, things never got

better in Ghouta. It has been under

0:28:100:28:16

siege for four years now. It is only

nominally part of the de-escalation

0:28:160:28:21

zone agreement. We are seeing an

escalation, as we can see. The

0:28:210:28:25

ceasefire that was in place for a

short period of time has quickly

0:28:250:28:30

ended. Since mid-November we have

seen around 250 air strikes in the

0:28:300:28:36

area.

The humanitarian corridor has

been shut off by the forces of

0:28:360:28:46

Assad. Why is that still in place if

he feels dominant there?

He does not

0:28:460:28:49

yet feel he has one. The strategy

the regime is using in eastern

0:28:490:28:54

Ghouta has been used in other areas

which got a lot of media attention

0:28:540:28:58

because there was a famine in that

area. It was used in homes and also

0:28:580:29:04

eastern Aleppo. It is a strategy.

Until the regime is satisfied that

0:29:040:29:10

the rebel groups holding these areas

have essentially broken down, it

0:29:100:29:14

will not lift the siege.

Unfortunately it is not over yet in

0:29:140:29:19

eastern Ghouta.

If you're looking

and saying there should be used that

0:29:190:29:26

the absence of ices should have

given Syrian people hope, shouldn't

0:29:260:29:30

it? -- Isis.

This is the problem

when only the terrorist angle is

0:29:300:29:39

focused upon. The conflict is about

more than terrorism. It is

0:29:390:29:44

essentially about a regime that has

been oppressing its people and this

0:29:440:29:49

oppression contributed to the rise

of terrorism and other things. So,

0:29:490:29:54

Ghouta has nothing to do with Isis.

It has been running parallel to the

0:29:540:30:00

Isis problem. In four years of

sieges, Isis only rose since 2013.

0:30:000:30:09

Ghouta was under siege since 2013.

When you look back over this period,

0:30:090:30:15

what are the strategic points

missed? Should there have been an

0:30:150:30:21

intervention on Assad sooner Cuesta

was when Putin came in? What do you

0:30:210:30:25

think?

At various points, the West

could have done a number of things

0:30:250:30:31

it did not do. Very early on there

could have been some form of

0:30:310:30:36

diplomatic brokering that did not

happen. Some say the red line drawn

0:30:360:30:40

in the sand by President Obama in

2013 when he said the US would

0:30:400:30:45

attack whether evidence of use of

chemical weapons in Syria, a lot of

0:30:450:30:49

people say that was a mistake will

stop a lot of things could have

0:30:490:30:53

happened and did not happen.

Thank

you very much indeed for joining us.

0:30:530:31:03

From all of us here on Newsnight.

Good night. We

0:31:030:31:07

Good night. We will be back on

Monday.

0:31:070:31:09

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