Explosive new internal FBI documents unsealed Wednesday show that top bureau officials discussed their motivations for interviewing then-national security adviser Michael Flynn in the White House in January 2017 — and openly questioned if their “goal” was “to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired.”
The handwritten notes — written by the FBI’s former head of counterintelligence Bill Priestap after a meeting with then-FBI Director James Comey and then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, Fox News is told — further suggested that agents planned in the alternative to get Flynn “to admit to breaking the Logan Act.”
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?”
The handwritten notes are devastating evidence of an effort to disregard all standing protocols and rules, Sidney Powell said
“If we get him to admit to breaking the Logan Act, give facts to DOJ + have them decide,” another note read. Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley called the document’s implications “chilling.”
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. Flynn did not ultimately admit to wrongdoing in the interview.
The 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.”
The bombshell materials strongly suggested the agents weren’t truly concerned about Flynn’s intercepted contacts with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition period, except as a pretext.
Former President 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.
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.
The Justice Department turned over the documents just this week, even though a February 2018 standing order in the case from United States District Court for the District of Columbia Emmet Sullivan required the government to turn over any exculpatory materials in its possession that pertained to Flynn. Such materials ordinarily do not need to be disclosed to uncharged individuals or those who have already pleaded guilty, Sullivan has ruled.
Fox News is told even more exculpatory documents are forthcoming, as Attorney General Bill Barr continues to oversee the DOJ’s investigation into the handling of the Flynn case.
Flynn previously charged that top FBI officials, including McCabe, pressed him not to have the White House counsel present during the questioning with two agents that led to his guilty plea on a single charge of lying to federal authorities. Flynn was not ultimately charged with any Logan Act violation.
One of Flynn’s interviewing agents was Peter Strzok, who has since been fired from the bureau after his anti-Trump text messages came to light.