by WorldTribune Staff, April 30, 2020
Internal FBI documents unsealed on April 29 show that top bureau officials said their motivation for interviewing then-national security adviser Michael Flynn in the White House in January 2017 was “to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired.”
The handwritten notes were written by former FBI chief of counterintelligence Bill Priestap after a meeting with then-FBI Director James Comey and then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, Fox News reported.
The notes further suggested that agents, if they were unable to coax Flynn into lying, planned to get Flynn “to admit to breaking the Logan Act” when he spoke to then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition period.
Related: Washington Exposé’s epic summary of the plot to destroy Michael Flynn, April 30, 2020
The Logan Act is an obscure statute that has never been used in a criminal prosecution; enacted in 1799 in an era before telephones, it was intended to prevent individuals from falsely claiming to represent the United States government abroad.
“What is our goal?” one of the notes read. “Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?”
“If we get him to admit to breaking the Logan Act, give facts to DOJ + have them decide,” another note read.
The memo appears to weigh the pros and cons of pursuing those different paths. “I don’t see how getting someone to admit their wrongdoing is going easy on him,” one note reads.
During the interview with FBI agents, Flynn did not admit to wrongdoing.
The newly released document indicates that the agents at least discussed the merits of a by-the-book approach: “If we’re seen as playing games, WH [White House] will be furious.”
Former President Barack Obama personally had warned the Trump administration against hiring Flynn, and made clear he was “not a fan,” according to multiple officials. Obama fired Flynn as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014.
Flynn’s attorney Sidney Powell told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Wednesday night: “It’s just absolutely appalling what these agents, and then special counsel operatives, did to General Flynn. It’s abuse of their authority at every turn.”
Powell added: “I interpret the notes as absolutely damning of their conduct and their plan. They rejected the advice of the apparent lawyer who wrote on the handwritten note that they not play games with the White House and instead that is exactly what they did.
“Their standard practice in other cases [is] to warn of a [Section] 1001 violation [for making false statements to federal investigators],” Powell continued. “None of that applied to General Flynn. They had only special violations, of every protocol known for him because they were determined to take him out.”
As Comey admitted, Flynn was questioned about his conversations with Kislyak by federal prosecutors in 2017. Flynn was not told what he was being interrogated for and did not have an attorney present.
Last fall, a former Comey assistant published a book accusing the FBI chief of abusing his power to flout protocols in order to create a perjury trap for Flynn.
“We just decided, you know, screw it,” Comey said according to Josh Campbell.
“It’s clear now that James Comey will go down in history as the most corrupt FBI director in American history,” The Federalist’s Sean Davis told Fox News host Laura Ingraham on Wednesday night. “He has destroyed the FBI’s reputation through his actions, his arrogance, and his corruption.”
The Federalist noted that Comey, during a 2018 interview with NBC, had once bragged about launching an operation to frame Flynn.
“You look at this White House now and it’s hard to imagine two FBI agents ending up in the Sit room, how did that happen?” NBC personality Nicole Wallace asked.
“I sent them,” Comey said plainly. “Something I probably wouldn’t have done or even gotten away with in a more organized investigation, a more organized administration.”
Comey pointed at previous administrations under Obama and George W. Bush where the FBI director would have gone through a series of protocols before interrogating senior staff.
“In both of those administrations there was process, so if the FBI wanted to send agents into the White House itself to interview a senior official, you would work through the White House counsel, and there would be discussions and approvals of who would be there and I thought it’s early enough, let’s just send a couple guys over,” Comey said. “And so we placed a call to Flynn and said ‘Hey, we’re sending a couple guys over, hope you’ll talk to them.’ He said ‘sure.’ Nobody else was there, they interviewed him in a conference room at the White House situation room and he lied to them.”
Wallace asked Comey what he thought Flynn thought the conversation was going to be about.
“I don’t think he knew,” Comey said. “We didn’t tell him.”