No evidence that Flynn complied with law, says House Oversight Chairman


Alternative helping?


“No evidence that Flynn complied with law,” is a super bizarre turn of phrase that seems to be designed to mislead. I would have a hard time, for example, providing evidence I’d complied with the law against killing people, but that’s not really an issue. If I did commit such a crime it would be up to the state to provide evidence I did do it.

But when you are taking public office and there are laws regarding something like financial disclosure, lacking any evidence that you complied means you didn’t comply. That you did comply with the law but that somehow there is no evidence of you doing so wouldn’t even stand up by criminal court standards - after all, you need to prove a reasonable doubt.

“No evidence of compliance” doesn’t usually mean “evidence of guilt.” But in this case it almost certainly does.


Wow. If Chaffetz has misgivings you know you’ve screwed up(or have been sufficiently disavowed that your case won’t cause problems for any republicans who matter).


It is a weird turn of phrase; but in the context of “Our investigation into undisclosed payments to Mr. Flynn from Russia”; stating “No evidence the law was followed” is a lot less ‘we have no idea where the burden of proof is’ than it would be in “Apropos of nothing; no evidence Humbabella didn’t murder a dude just to watch him die”.

Still an awkward phrasing; but when the context is “when you receive slush money, there are certain rituals that turn it into clean, legitimate, money; and we know that this guy received slush money”; “no evidence rituals were performed” is much closer to being a meaningful verdict, particularly since those rituals are usually some sort of disclosure filing, which is specifically intended to create evidence of compliance with the law; and whose absence is thus more suspicious than the laws where you just follow them, rather than submit paperwork according to them.


No moral fiber necessary. Simple ass covering explains it all as well; he’s trying to disassociate himself from the Trump trainwreck. Nothing in Jason “Benghazi forever” Chaffetz’s past indicates he has moral qualms about using his position for partisan advantage.


Came to post this.

Doesn’t matter who it is and what position they have, presumption of innocence is, or rather should be, a central feature.

Heck, do we have any evidence Mark Frauenfelder complied with the law?


Yeah, IANAL but I think it’s the difference between a law that
a) requires you to NOT do something (not kill people, not drive faster than the speed of light, etc) where it’s assumed lack of evidence is good, and
2) requires you to DO something (submit tax returns, obtain a drivers licence before operating a motor vehicle, declare payments by a hostile foreign government, etc) where it’s assumed lack of evidence is bad.

But, yeah it’s still a super awkward turn of phrase. I had to read it three or four times when I first came across it to be sure it wasn’t a typo, and that I’d parsed it correctly.


But I’d like to further distinguish between a law that says “everyone has to do X” and a law that says, “people who become cabinet secretaries have to do X”. A person selected at random for a tax audit may have misplaced some receipts but I wouldn’t take that as evidence of wrongdoing in itself (even though they were responsible for keeping certain records) . A person being appointed to a major position in the federal government didn’t misplace their shoebox of financial disclosures. If they had been made, they would be findable.



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