The sealed documents produced by the government to counsel for General Flynn this past Friday were unsealed last night. They include handwritten FBI notes documenting internal discussion on the day of the interview of Flynn by agents Peter Strzok and Joe Pientka. The author of the notes (identified elsewhere as assistant counterintelligence division director Bill Priestap) questioned whether the goal of the Flynn interview was “Truth/Admission” (regarding Flynn’s supposed violation of the Logan Act) or “to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?”
Catherine Herridge’s cautious story for CBS News includes the consent motion to unseal the documents previously filed as Exhibit 3 to Flynn’s supplement in support of his motion for dismissal of the case against him. The consent motion is accompanied by the unsealed documents. I have embedded the motion and accompanying documents below.
Sean Davis’s Federalist column gets to the heart of the matter. The tenor of the documents supports Powell’s assertion that Flynn was “set up.” The documents reek of bad faith. They strongly suggest that Flynn was not the object of a bona fide criminal investigation or dealt with honestly or legally. (UPDATE: Perhaps more to the point, as Andrew McCarthy puts it, “any false statements allegedly made by Flynn when he was questioned in January 2017 were immaterial” to an investigation.)
Herridge adds: “The FBI declined comment on the notes.” The FBI has a lot of commenting to do. Whenever it gets around to it, the comments should probably include a forthright confession of misconduct, an apology to Flynn, and on offer of restitution.
The FBI notes also show that the author of the document had misgivings about the FBI’s conduct in interviewing Flynn.
“I agreed yesterday that we shouldn’t show Flynn [REDACTED] if he didn’t admit,” the FBI author wrote. “I thought [about] it last night, [and] I believe we should rethink this.”
“We regularly show subjects evidence, with the goal of getting them to admit wrongdoing,” the notes said. “I don’t see how getting someone to admit their wrongdoing is going easy on him.”
The redaction portion of the notes is believed to reference transcripts of phone calls between Flynn and other foreign officials. Those transcripts have never been publicly released, making it impossible to independently assess whether Flynn lied about those conversations.
The handwritten FBI notes end with a prophetic line, given the voluminous evidence of misconduct by FBI and DOJ officials in their investigation of Trump and their attempt to oust him from office.
“If we’re seen as playing games, [the White House] will be furious,” the author wrote. “Protect our institution by not playing games.”
American Thinker’s Andrea Widburg covers the story here Widburg among others identifies Priestap as the author of the notes.
Our friend Techno Fog comments on Twitter:
How they planned to get Flynn removed:
1) Get Flynn “to admit to breaking the Logan Act”; or
2) Catch Flynn in a lie.
Their end goal was a referral to the DOJ – not to investigate Flynn's contacts with the Russians. pic.twitter.com/Vty3FYaSt9
— Techno Fog (@Techno_Fog) April 29, 2020
In the event, the firing/prosecution of Flynn was not an either/or matter. It was both/and, with shame and financial ruin thrown in for good measure.
Recall that these documents were turned over to Flynn by the government as a result of the review of his case ordered by Attorney General Barr. What we have here is not the end of the case, but rather, it is to be hoped, the beginning of the end, with justice yet to be administered in some manner to James Comey and the rest of the FBI officials involved in this disgraceful affair.