So, Is That How the Special Counsel Office Avoided Turning Over the FBI’s 302 Report to Michael Flynn's Lawyers?

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Posted: May 23, 2020 2:07 AM
So, Is That How the Special Counsel Office Avoided Turning Over the FBI’s 302 Report to Michael Flynn's Lawyers?

Source: AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Sleaze. That’s is one word that describes the actions of the Obama Department of Justice during the 2016 election. Actually, that word could still describe the actions of the DOJ throughout the entirety of Obama’s presidency. The other words—corrupt, misconduct, overreach, malicious—they all apply as well, especially during the 2016 election. The Trump dossier, a debunked Democrat-funded opposition research file that sparked the Trump-Russia collusion myth, has been cited to secure FISA spy warrants against Carter Page, a former Trump campaign official, used to establish a spy operation against the campaign itself, called Crossfire Hurricane, and targeted Michael Flynn, the man who briefly served as President Trump’s national security adviser. It was all lies. There was no evidence, certainly nothing that could be used to target Flynn legitimately. This was an FBI run amok, with James Comey and other top officials determined to scalp Flynn at all costs, even with no evidence. They used phone calls he had with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak as a reason to interview him. There could be a Logan Act violation, which is laughable. It was a typical call these security officials make, especially those from a new and incoming administration. Also, no one in the legal world takes Logan Act violations seriously. No one has ever been charged with this act.

Still, Comey wanted Flynn. FBI agents interviewed him, and they felt he didn’t lie to them. Wait—didn’t Flynn plead guilty to “lying to the FBI”? Yes, they were bogus charges that the DOJ under William Barr is seeking to dismiss after new documents exposed the long history of malicious prosecution and overreach regarding Flynn. The former general pleaded guilty when the Special Counsel Office (SCO) who had backtracked to the Flynn portion of the investigation which has since wrapped, decided to pressure him and his family. 

There were reported threats of financial ruin, and all of this was leaked to the press to really put the thumbscrews on Flynn. Also, Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chair, had his own attorney testify against him, compelled by a judge to do so after someone at the SCO reportedly leaked to the media that Manafort was under a FISA warrant in a sneaky attempt to try and shred attorney-client privilege. The target of this move was to see if anything relating to Trump and the Kremlin surfaced. It didn’t, but this is the type of brutal lawfare that was being waged and Flynn’s original legal team, who stressed his innocence, apparently had no stomach for it. Flynn pleaded guilty to the politically motivated charges.

This case has no prosecutor. He resigned and all parties have not opposed the DOJ motion. Yet, Judge Emmet Sullivan, who is presiding over this case, is appointing a retired judge, John Gleeson, to fight the DOJ and see if perjury charges could be attached, given Flynn’s guilty plea. It’s absurd but predictable. This case totally collapsed, but Sullivan had already gone on record to call Flynn a traitor. He was in a position of looking ridiculous, so he’s prolonging the legal agony here. Yet, what happened to the original FBI report on the Flynn interview?

The interview would have been part of a 302 report, which has to be filed five days after speaking with those who are part of a federal investigation. It took three weeks for Flynn’s 302 to be filed, where the report was edited by those who weren’t even there, a major departure in department policy. Flynn’s legal team wanted it. The SCO refused and for good reason. This so-called case was probably over before it began because the 302 would have included citation that the agents present felt that Flynn didn’t lie, gutting the entire plot against him. To deploy countermeasures and prevent evidence of Flynn’s innocence to be exposed, the SCO leaked the legal threats against Flynn’s son, who works with his father in lobbying efforts and was on the campaign trail with him. Keep this up and your family will be locked up. Undercover Huber, who elaborated in-depth on the Manafort case mentioned above, did a lengthy Twitter thread about the FBI’s 302 on Flynn and why those who wanted to get Flynn and damage the Trump administration would want to keep this buried forever:

Wed Nov 1, 2017: Flynn’s original lawyers Covington ask for a copy of his FD-302: “We don’t think he has committed a felony offense”

Fri Nov 3, 2017: Covington ask for the FD-302 AGAIN: “We don’t think there’s a FARA violation. We don’t think he made false statements” 

The Special Counsel refused to turn over Flynn’s original FD-302 both those times. Instead, they schedule a follow up conference call with 

Covington for the following week and subtly threaten Covington that they might be a fact witness against Flynn for preparing his FARA filings 

Flynn hasnt pled guilty to anything at this point. His lawyers are adamant he’s *innocent*. And the SCO won’t even turn over the edited FD-302, never mind the original one, for them to look at 

The SCO claimed they couldn’t turn over the FD-302 because it would “reveal” parts of their overall Russia interference investigation. But even the edited version of the Jan 24, 2017 interview shows Flynn wasn’t asked about Russian interference or anything remotely like Collusion 

And we now know that the FBI itself wanted to close its Crossfire Razor investigation of Flynn for potential links to Russian interference long before that Jan 24, 2017 interview

And that investigation of Flynn should never have been opened in the first place, given its laughably weak predicate lacking any articulable factual basis for believing he could have been colluding or conspiring with Russia 

We also now know that the Dec 29 Flynn-Kislyak call changed nothing with regards to any Collusion. And the FBI never opened a Logan Act criminal probe (which would also have been ridiculous) 

And in the Mueller report, the SCO itself admits Flynn merely asked Russia not to “escalate” in response to Obama’s sanctions or only respond “reciprocally”. There’s nothing wrong with that. What should he have said, go ahead nuclear armed Russia, please escalate? 

So the SCO wouldn’t be “revealing” anything legitimate about its Russian interference investigation by turning over Flynn’s FD-302 - any of them, even the heavily edited versions filed weeks after the interview

Of course, what turning over the 302 would have really revealed is likely a document stating that the agents didn’t believe Flynn was lying, and metadata proving that it went through weeks of editing and polishing in violation of FBI policies 

If even Covington (never mind Sidney Powell) got their hands on any version of the 302, given their adamant position that Flynn was “innocent”, Flynn almost certainly would have fought the charges vigorously 

And if the SCO tried to indict Flynn anyway, that would have meant discovery, pre-trial depositions etc. Given what we now know 2.5 years later, that would have blown a gaping hole in the SCO’s case 

So back to Fri Nov 3, 2017. The SCO has been asked for the 302, twice. 

White shoe Covington say their guy is “innocent” of all charges. How do the SCO change the dynamic? They leak to the press that they’re going to charge his son with a felony unless he gives in and plead guilty 

Sun Nov 5, 2017: “Three sources” close to the Flynn investigation leak this to NBC news…

By the time Covington follow up with the SCO after this weekend of light reading of veiled threats for the Flynn family, they’ve already agreed to bring Flynn in for a “proffer” - a prelude to pleading guilty to the false statements offense

This is despite Covington circulating in internal memos at the time talking points that “We are firmly of the view that he did not commit any felony offenses. There are no circumstances under which he would plea to a felony offense” 

Remember: Covington - not Sidney Powell - are on record here REPEATEDLY saying their guy is *innocent*. They are “firmly” of this belief. And they’ve been representing him for months. This isn’t something they dreamed up after 5 minutes talking to the General 

The SCO turned over zero documents to Covington that would make them change their assessment of Flynn’s innocence. In fact, had the SCO turned *anything* over, it would have strengthened the view that Flynn could mount a strong defense against any false statement charge 

Examples:

—Comey’s testimony that both agents didn’t think Flynn lied

—302 - likely says the same thing

—Closing EC for “Razor”, showing the FBI wanted to close its own case

—Kislyak transcript

—That no Logan Act EC existed opening a new case

—Strzok/Page texts showing bias 

Any or all of those would blow a hole in *both* mandatory elements of the 1001 false statements charge - that any lie was “knowing” and “willful” (Flynn lied, deliberately) and “material” - i.e. could influence a genuine predicated FBI investigation

Sidney Powell is part of Flynn’s new and aggressive legal team, who said in October that new documents would show an FBI entrapment plot. Well, that day arrived for sure. Flynn has fought to withdraw his guilty plea since the beginning of this year. Right now, his legal team has filed a new writ of mandamus to get this case tossed, the judge removed, and the amicus brief motion dismissed as well. Yeah, I forgot to mention that Sullivan decided he was going to allow every anti-Trump legal team in the world to file amicus briefs. The good news is that the DC Court of Appeals had every right to dismiss the writ outright, no questions asked. Instead, they’ve ordered Sullivan to respond to Powell’s writ personally and defend his actions regarding this case. Legal observers noted this is a huge development and a sign that Flynn’s legal team already passed a huge hurdle. Not only that, but the DC Court gave this judge the most serious method regarding a response. It’s quite clear that the DC Court of Appeals is disturbed by Sullivan’s actions. We’ll circle back to that in a few days. It seems that at least part of the writ might be granted and bring Flynn closer to putting this nightmare behind him.