by WorldTribune Staff, March 12, 2020
Newly declassified documents show that the FBI knew in January of 2017 that President Donald Trump had not colluded with Russia and that former national security adviser Michael Flynn was not a Russian agent, a report said.
“And that means a nascent presidency and an entire nation were put through two more years of lacerating debate over an issue that was mostly resolved in January 2017 inside the bureau’s own evidence files. The proof is now sitting in plain view,” investigative report John Solomon noted on March 11 for Just the News.
Sidney Powell, Flynn’s attorney, confirmed that special counsel Robert Mueller was fully aware of a letter sent in early January 2017 to Flynn from Britain’s national security adviser raising concerns about dossier author Christopher Steele’s credibility.
The British government “hand-delivered” the letter to Flynn’s defense team that “totally disavowed any credibility of Christopher Steele, and would have completely destroyed the Russia collusion narrative,” Powell, said.
“I was told that a copy of the document would have been given to [then-national security adviser] Susan Rice as well,” she added. “So the Obama administration knew full well that the entire Russia collusion mess was a farce.”
Instead of responding to the British government’s warning by abandoning the Russia collusion narrative and sparing her client the years-long ordeal of being targeted for investigation, top U.S. intelligence officials hid the communication, Powell said.
Solomon’s report noted that, in January 2017, U.S. officials:
- Received multiple warnings about the credibility of informant Christopher Steele and his dossier.
- Affirmed key targets of the FBI counterintelligence investigation made exculpatory statements denying collusion to undercover sources.
- Concluded that retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser, was not engaged in collusion with the Russians.
The latter revelation, which has mostly escaped notice, was contained in a single sentence in a once-sealed court motion filed by Powell that requested what is known as Brady material, or evidence of innocence.
Powell’s motion, dated Sept. 11, 2019, requested access to “an internal DOJ document dated January 30, 2017, in which the FBI exonerated Mr. Flynn of being ‘an agent of Russia.’ ”
Flynn’s motion is confirmed by a 2018 letter obtained by Just the News between special counsel Robert Mueller’s office and defense lawyers. It shows the DOJ exoneration memo was written after Flynn had been interviewed by FBI agents in January 2017 and after the government learned Flynn, the former Defense Intelligence Agency chief, had kept his old agency briefed on his contacts with Russia, something that weighed heavily against the notion he was aiding Moscow.
“According to an internal DOJ memo dated January 30, 2017, after the Jan. 24 interview, the FBI advised that based on the interview the FBI did not believe Flynn was acting as an agent of Russia,” Mueller’s team wrote in the letter.
The newly declassified documents, Solomon noted, show that “Less than two weeks into Trump’s presidency the FBI had concluded his national security adviser had not been working as an agent of Russia. While that was the view of federal law enforcement, the false storyline of Flynn as a Russian stooge was broadcasted across the nation, with leaks of his conversations with a Russian ambassador and other tales, for many more months.”
In an interview with Just the News and its John Solomon Reports podcast, Powell confirmed she was provided, by letter, three sentences from the DOJ memo but has been unable to get the full document.
“It’s just horrible,” Powell said. “They gave us a little three lines summary of it and the letter and told us it existed but have refused to give us the actual document, which I know means there’s a lot of other information in it that would be helpful to us.”
Solomon noted that “Other significant red flags also emerged in January 2017 that the Russia collusion theory used by the FBI to open a Trump campaign-focused probe in July 2016 was simply wrong. So too was the evidence the FBI submitted to secure an October 2016 FISA warrant targeting Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.”
According to information made public by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the FBI interviewed Steele’s primary sub-source around Jan. 7, 2017. That source disavowed much of the Russia collusion evidence attributed to him in the dossier, a fact the FBI hid from the FISC court.
A recent order by FISC Chief Judge James Boasberg lays bare how devastating the revelation from Steele’s source was to the entire Russia collusion theory.
“Steele obtained this information from a primary sub-source, who had, in tum, obtained the information from his/her own source network,” the judge wrote. “The FBI did not, however, advise DOJ or the Court of inconsistencies between sections of Steele’s reporting that had been used in the applications and statements Steele’s primary sub-source had made to the FBI about the accuracy of information attributed to ‘Person 1,’ who the FBI assessed had been the source of the information in Reports 95 and 102. The government also did not disclose that Steele himself had undercut the reliability of Person 1, telling the FBI that Person 1 was a ‘boaster’ and an ‘egoist’ and ‘may engage in some embellishment.'”
An FBI spreadsheet similarly found that nearly all of Steele’s information in the dossier was either false, could not be proved, or amounted to Internet-based rumor, making it mostly worthless as actionable intelligence.
Further eroding by January 2017 the FBI’s “mosaic” (former FBI Director James Comey’s term) of evidence cited for suspicions of collusion, the bureau had collected exculpatory statements in the fall of 2016 in which two central targets of the investigation — former Trump advisers Carter Page and George Papadopoulos — told undercover informants they were not colluding with Russia.
Boasberg’s ruling also slammed the FBI for hiding these statements from his court, saying they substantially undercut the FBI’s predicate for the investigation, including the now-disproven allegation that Page had altered the RNC platform at the 2016 nominating convention to help Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“The government also omitted Page’s statements to a confidential human source that he intentionally had ‘stayed clear’ of efforts to change the Republican platform, as well as evidence tending to show that two other Trump campaign officials were responsible for the change,” the judge wrote. “Both pieces of information were inconsistent with the government’s suggestion that, at the behest of the Russian government, Page may have facilitated a change to the Republican platform regarding Russia ‘s annexation of part of Ukraine.”
“The FBI had evidence its two main Trump targets were innocent,” Solomon noted. “All as President Trump was starting his first two weeks in office.”