Newly unsealed court records on Wednesday showed that the FBI considered using their January 24, 2017, interview with then-national security adviser Michael Flynn as a way of getting Flynn fired from his job.
The revelation was contained in sealed documents filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) last week that lawyers for Flynn said was proof that Flynn was “deliberately set up and framed by corrupt agents at the top of the FBI.”
Unsealed handwritten notes from the day of the interview show that an unidentified person with the FBI wrote: “What is our goal? Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?”
Fox News Editor Gregg Re reported:
The handwritten notes — belonging to former FBI general counsel James A. Baker, Fox News is told — indicated that agents planned to get Flynn “to admit to breaking the Logan Act” and catch him in a lie. The Logan Act is an obscure statute that has never been used in a criminal prosecution; enacted in 1799, it was intended to prevent individuals from falsely claiming to represent the United States abroad.
The bombshell documents strongly suggested the agents weren’t focused on investigating his contacts with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, but instead were trying to get him removed. President Obama had personally warned the Trump administration against hiring Flynn, and made clear he was “not a fan.” Obama fired Flynn as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014.
CBS News investigative reporter Catherine Herridge highlighted additional communications that were unsealed by the DOJ, writing: “FLYNN docs just unsealed, including emails between former FBI agent Strzok, former FBI lawyer Page and name REDACTED. Timing: Day before Flynn FBI interview 1/24/2017 Discuss how to warn Flynn lying to federal agents violation 18 USC 1001 — ‘casually slip that in'”
#FLYNN docs just unsealed, including emails between former FBI agent Strzok, former FBI lawyer Page and name REDACTED. Timing: Day before Flynn FBI interview 1/24/2017 Discuss how to warn Flynn lying to federal agents violation 18 USC 1001 — “casually slip that in” @CBSNews pic.twitter.com/83u6gasnfy
— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) April 30, 2020
Fox News further noted the former FBI Director James Comey admitted that the FBI’s interview of Flynn, which was his directive, did not follow standard protocol. Flynn said that the FBI allegedly had pressed him to not have a lawyer present for the interview. Then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said that the interview was “very odd” because “it seemed like [Flynn] was telling the truth.”
One of the two agents who conducted Flynn’s interview, which ultimately led to him being charged with lying to the FBI, was Peter Strzok, who was later fired after numerous anti-Trump text messages from him surfaced.
Unsealed FBI notes reveal the intent of the FBI’s 1/24/17 interview of Flynn:
“What is our goal? Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute [Flynn] or get him fired?”
FBI Notes confirm it was all a pretext. pic.twitter.com/Y4IDyE4YZm
— Techno Fog (@Techno_Fog) April 29, 2020
Comey also said that FBI agents did not believe that Flynn had lied to them.
The Washington Post reported the following in a May 2018 fact-check:
In a letter dated May 11 to FBI Director Christopher A. Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) quoted from notes taken by a “career, nonpartisan law enforcement officer” who attended a March 15, 2017, briefing by Comey. The agent quoted Comey as saying the FBI agents “saw nothing that led them to believe [he was] lying.” Grassley also quoted from committee staff notes that “agents saw no change in his demeanor or tone that would say he was being untruthful.”
The majority report of the House Intelligence Committee includes a finding that FBI agents “did not detect any deception during Flynn’s interview.” As evidence, the report quotes Comey from a private briefing on March 2, 2017: “the agents … discerned no physical indications of deception. They didn’t see any change in posture, in tone, in inflection, in eye contact. They saw nothing that indicated to them that he knew he was lying to them.”
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