by WorldTribune Staff, June 27, 2017
The FBI may have launched its investigation of former national security adviser Mike Flynn as retribution for Flynn’s intervention in a counterterror agent’s gender discrimination case against top FBI officials, including current acting Director Andrew McCabe, a report said.
The investigation of Flynn began two years after the retired Army general “roiled the bureau’s leadership” by intervening on behalf of Supervisory Special Agent Robyn Gritz, Circa reported on June 27, citing documents and interviews.
Flynn’s intervention, seen as highly unusual, included a letter in 2014 on his official Pentagon stationary, a public interview in 2015 supporting Gritz’s case and an offer to testify on her behalf, the report said.
“His offer put him as a hostile witness in a case against McCabe, who was soaring through the bureau’s leadership ranks.”
Memos obtained by Circa show that the FBI sought to block Flynn’s support for Gritz, asking a federal administrative law judge in May 2014 to keep Flynn and others from becoming a witness in her Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) case. Two years later, the FBI opened its inquiry of Flynn.
Circa noted that documents show the EEOC case, which is still pending, “was serious enough to require McCabe to submit a sworn statement to investigators.”
McCabe’s testimony “provided some of the strongest evidence in the case of possible retaliation, because he admitted the FBI opened an internal investigation into Gritz’s personal conduct after learning the agent ‘had filed or intended to file’ a sex discrimination complaint against her supervisors.”
Gritz said the FBI fired her over what it alleged was fraud on her time card that she says didn’t happen. The FBI also blamed her for not attending a 7:15 a.m. meeting and sending an unprofessional email to an ex-boyfriend.
“I had given up a marriage, I had given up 16 years of my life of anniversaries, birthdays, weddings, special events, Christmas, all of the holidays,” Gritz said. “I had dedicated my life to protecting the people of the United States … and then I was not protected and I felt it was because I was a strong female.”
Flynn said of Gritz: “She was one of the really, to me, bright lights and shining stars early on that just kinda got it when it came to the kind of enemy that we were facing and the relationship that was necessary between law enforcement and the military … and I just thought she was really a real pro.”
Three FBI employees told Circa they personally witnessed McCabe “make disparaging remarks about Flynn” before and during the time Flynn emerged as a figure in the Russia investigations.
“As far as the troops in the field, the vast-majority were disgusted with the Russia decision, but that was McCabe driving the result that eventually led [former FBI Director James] Comey to make the decision,” said a senior federal law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the investigation.
Circa’s report said the FBI agents’ concerns “became more pronounced” when a highly-classified piece of evidence – an intercepted conversation between Flynn and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak – suddenly leaked to the news media and prompted Flynn’s resignation as President Donald Trump’s top security adviser.
“The Flynn leaks were nothing short of political,” one FBI employee told Circa, noting the specific contents of the conversation were known by only a handful of government officials when they leaked. “The leaks appeared to be targeted to take Flynn out.”
One of the FBI’s most famous whistleblowers, Frederic Whitehurst, says McCabe has an obligation to recuse himself in the Flynn case.
“I don’t think they have any choice. He has to step aside,” said Whitehurst, who as an FBI special agent and forensic chemist blew the whistle on misdeeds inside the FBI crime lab two decades ago and prompted widespread reforms.
“If he stays involved, the case against Flynn has no credibility,” explained Whitehurst. “If there are criminal charges that could go against Flynn, that’s got to go to court. And those agents at some point may be called before a grand jury and anything he (McCabe) said to them about Flynn could be used as exonerating information or evidence of misconduct.”
WorldTribune.com reported in October 2106 that a Virginia state senator called for McCabe to resign after revelations that political backers of longtime Hillary Clinton associate Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe made $675,000 in cash and in-kind contributions to the election campaign of McCabe’s wife. McCabe later led the investigation into Clinton’s mishandling of classified material.
“Hillary Clinton’s defense against charges that she has lawlessly handled classified information in her emails, and by using her private email server, has been that the FBI performed a complete investigation and found no violation of law,” Virginia State Sen. Dick Black said.
“This (Monday) morning, thanks to investigative reporting by the Wall Street Journal and Fox News, we may understand why the FBI dropped the case. Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia, a Clinton confidant, directed almost $800,000 into the political coffers of the wife of this high-ranking FBI official (McCabe) overseeing the email investigation.”
Black continued: “Last year, I ran for re-election to the Virginia State Senate against Jill McCabe. I was astonished at how much money she was able to raise – $1.8 million. Andrew McCabe’s wife, Jill, received $467,500 of her campaign budget from McAuliffe’s political action committee. And the Virginia Democratic Party, which is under his strong influence, gave another $207,788 to Jill McCabe’s campaign.”