On March 24, 2017, the Wall Street Journal (“WSJ”) apparently authorized WSJ reporters to disclose the meeting attended by the former Director of Central Intelligence, James Woolsey, former Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency retired Lt. General Michael Flynn and a number of Turkish citizens. The meeting is reported to have taken place on September 19, 2016, at the Essex House Hotel in New York.
Among the Turkish citizens in attendance were Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey’s Energy Minister Berat Albayrakto (Turkish President Erdogan’s son in law) and the “owner” of the Dutch firm Inovo BV, also Turkish, Akim Alptekin who Flynn has disclosed as the Turkish cutout who paid Flynn.
The Friday March 24, 2017 Don Lemon Woolsey interview was attended by WSJ reporter James Grimaldi, who, with two colleagues, broke the story. The recording of that interview has curiously disappeared from the internet.
In that interview, Woolsey claimed that he came late to the meeting and said he heard a discussion of what I might describe as “spit-balling” on what I interpreted as how one might kidnap a U.S. permanent resident. The target was a US permanent resident, Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen who Erdogan blames for the alleged coup that Erdogan has used to purged from Turkish society including the armed forces and civilian government.
One fact that Woolsey conveyed in the first Don Lemon interview was that he told Joe Biden about it. When I heard that claim, I believed it was said because of the U.S. criminal statute 18 U.S. Code § 4 – Misprision of felony, that requires knowledge of the commission of a felony be conveyed “as soon as possible . . . to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States.” Joe Biden fit the bill.
In that March 24, 2017 interview, James Grimaldi, one of the three WSJ reporters credited for the story, breaks in at about 2:10 minutes into the video and cuts Woolsey off when he was about to name who else was present and directs the conversation to Flynn’s FARA registration that Flynn made on March 9, 2017 and where the meeting is referenced by Flynn.
It is apparent to anyone who takes witness statements for a living that Grimaldi was taking over the interview much like a defense attorney might with a client who was about to get too chatty. It seemed obvious to me that Grimaldi was concealing the identity of at least one other attendee.
Then on March 26, 2017, Don Lemon conducted a Second Woolsey interview without Grimaldi. The WSJ clean up continued in a Third Woolsey Interview on March 27, 2017 pitching a different story. Here is the link and in it Woolsey changes his story about telling Joe Biden.
Who was the person that Grimaldi stopped Woolsey from disclosing? That’s something that Bob Mueller and New York state prosecutors should be asking. And may be why folks in Fox/Murdoch country are heading to the lifeboats.