The FBI has become a snake pit. The nation’s largest domestic intelligence and law enforcement body, a beacon for impartial, professional, and expert investigative work now has a muddied reputation because some people didn’t like the winner of the 2016 election. Yes, disgraced FBI Agent Peter Strzok who was fired for sending tens of thousands of anti-Trump texts to former bureau lawyer Lisa Page, with whom he was having an extramarital affair, embarrassed the agency. It also didn’t help that this man reportedly signed off on the counterintelligence probe that became the investigation spearheaded by former Special Counsel Robert Mueller. He was also a key person in the FBI’s analysis of Hillary Clinton’s email server. There are discussions with also fired Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe about an insurance policy, which many have alleged is the infamous Trump dossier, compiled by ex-MI6 spy Christopher Steele and financed by the Clinton campaign and the Democrats. This political opposition research file, which appears to be unverified, was used to secure spy warrants against Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser for the Trump campaign.
Oh, and then there was the “we’ll stop” the Trump presidency text from Strzok, who tried to pass these embarrassing communications off as a sign of his patriotism. Yeah, that’s crap. I bring these cast of characters up because remember ex-Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Well, his lawyer is alleging that Strzok, McCabe, and other top officials at the FBI conspired to entrap Flynn. First, let’s go back to why we’re here (via NYT):
President Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, pleaded guilty on Friday to lying to the F.B.I. about conversations with the Russian ambassador last December, becoming the first senior White House official to cut a cooperation deal in the special counsel’s wide-ranging inquiry into election interference.
Mr. Flynn’s discussions with Sergey I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, were part of a coordinated effort by Mr. Trump’s aides to create foreign policy before they were in power, documents released as part of Mr. Flynn’s plea agreement show. Their efforts undermined the existing policy of President Barack Obama and flouted a warning from a senior Obama administration official to stop meddling in foreign affairs before the inauguration.
The documents do not disclose what Mr. Trump knew about Mr. Flynn’s discussions. But in at least one instance, prosecutors say, Mr. Flynn was directed by a “very senior member” of the presidential transition team to discuss a United Nations resolution. Mr. Trump’s lawyers believe that unnamed aide was Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and close adviser, Jared Kushner, according to a lawyer briefed on the matter.
That was December of 2017. The financial squeeze the FBI put on Flynn probably forced him to plead out. Anyway, The Federalist reviewed a copy of a brief filed by Flynn’s lawyer, Sidney Powell, where she alleges new texts from Strzok and others showed a collusion plot to entrap his client. Also, the 302 reports appear to be radically different and he’s demanding that the FBI turn over more documents (via The Federalist):
What is most striking, though, is the timeline Powell pieced together from publicly reported text messages withheld from the defense team and excerpts from documents still sealed from public view. The sequence Powell lays out shows that a team of “high-ranking FBI officials orchestrated an ambush-interview of the new president’s National Security Advisor, not for the purpose of discovering any evidence of criminal activity—they already had tapes of all the relevant conversations about which they questioned Mr. Flynn—but for the purpose of trapping him into making statements they could allege as false.”
…quoting from a sealed statement by Strzok, Powell reveals that over next two weeks, there were “many meetings” between Strzok and [FBI Deputy Director Andrew] McCabe to discuss “whether to interview  National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and if so, what interview strategies to use.” And “on January 23, the day before the interview, the upper echelon of the FBI met to orchestrate it all. Deputy Director McCabe, General Counsel James Baker, Lisa Page, Strzok, David Bowdich, Trish Anderson, and Jen Boone strategized to talk with Mr. Flynn in such a way as to keep from alerting him from understanding that he was being interviewed in a criminal investigation of which he was the target.”
Next came “Comey’s direction to ‘screw it’ in contravention of longstanding DOJ protocols,” leading McCabe to personally call Flynn to schedule the interview. Yet none of Comey’s notes on the decision to interview Flynn were turned over to defense. Even Obama-holdover “Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates candidly opined that the interview ‘was problematic’ and ‘it was not always clear what the FBI was doing to investigate Flynn,” Powell stressed. Yet again, the prosecution did not turn over Yates’ notes, but only “disclosed a seven-line summary of Ms. Yates statement six months after Mr. Flynn’s plea.”
A sealed statement from Strzok confirmed that the “agents did three briefings the day of the interview,” and that Strzok had reported that Flynn “had a sure demeanor, and he was telling the truth or believed he was—even though he did not remember it all.” This led the FBI and DOJ to then write “an internal memo dated January 30, 2017, exonerating Mr. Flynn of acting as an ‘agent of Russia’” and expressing no concern of a possible Logan Act violation.
On February 10, 2017, the news broke—attributed to ‘senior intelligence officials’—that Mr. Flynn had discussed sanctions with Ambassador Kislyak, contrary to what Vice President Pence had said on television previously.” Following this leak, “overnight,” Flynn’s 302 was changed—and substantively so. “Those changes added an unequivocal statement that ‘FLYNN stated he did not’—in response to whether Mr. Flynn had asked Kislyak to vote in a certain manner or slow down the UN vote.”
“This is a deceptive manipulation” Powell highlighted, “because, as the notes of the agents show, Mr. Flynn was not even sure he had spoken to Russia/Kislyak on this issue. He had talked to dozens of countries.” The overnight changes to the 302 also included the addition of a line, indicating Flynn had been question on whether “KISLYAK described any Russian response to a request by FLYNN.”
But the agent’s notes do not include that question or answer, Powell stressed, yet it was later made into the criminal offense charges against Flynn.
There are many more details about the discrepancies between what’s in the official FBI report and what the agents wrote in their notes. These allegations are nasty business. It’s one why we should always distrust and be fearful of government agents. No, fearful is not the right word. It’s the FBI and the rest of the political class who should be afraid of us, the people. That notion that there are far more of us than there are of you—who will smash your homes and livelihoods if you abuse power, should be ingrained into the psyches of the political class. It’s the government that should be deathly afraid of the people. And after this Russia collusion nonsense and the impeachment circus that’s engulfing House Democrats on the Hill, rule by fear might not be such a terrible protocol when it comes to keeping this D.C. scum in line.
In the meantime, this motion is before Judge Emmett Sullivan. We’ll see what happens, but if this all turns out to be true—and that Flynn was the target of a political hit job by the FBI—Trump should pardon him immediately.