The government’s motion to dismiss the case against General Flynn. The case itself is sidebar to the Obama administration’s effort to undermine the Trump campaign and Trump presidency, easily the biggest political scandal in American history. We have never seen anything like it.
Judge Emmet Sullivan continues to mull it all over. To assist in his deliberations, the government filed the 302 interview summary of former FBI case agent William Barnett. Barnett handled the counterintelligence investigation of Flynn and was thereafter assigned to Team Mueller. He speaks from inside the scandal.
Attorney General Barr ordered United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri Jeffrey Jensen to conduct a review of the FBI investigation that led to the case against Flynn. Barnett was interviewed by Jensen and others involved in the review. I have posted the government’s filing with the 302 appended as Exhibit 1 below.
Sean Davis and Mollie Hemingway summarize the substance of the Barnett interview in the Federalist column “‘Get Trump’: FBI Whistleblower On Mueller Team Details Real Reason Flynn Was Targeted.” Here is a slice:
After moving in 2016 to close the Flynn investigation for complete lack of any evidence of criminal wrongdoing, Barnett was instructed in early 2017 to keep it open and investigate Flynn for a Logan Act violation. The FBI didn’t even have a code for the Logan Act, a never-used, centuries-old law prohibiting private citizens from corresponding with foreign governments. Flynn was not a private citizen, but the incoming National Security Advisor for President Trump when he made phone calls with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, so even if the law were deemed constitutional, it would not have applied to Flynn. Barnett had to research the Logan Act, as he was unfamiliar with it, but “did not see the Logan Act as a serious stand-alone charge.”
When Barnett pushed for a closing interview with Flynn in 2016, as part of the normal procedure for closing cases that were going nowhere, he was rebuffed. But when the FBI later interviewed Flynn, falsely conveying to Flynn that he was not a target of an investigation and not in danger of walking into a perjury trap, Barnett was “cut out” of the January 24, 2017, ambush interview of Flynn, and was not informed of its existence until it had already been conducted. “Typically a line agent/case agent would do the interview with a senior FBI official present in cases concerning high ranking political officials,” the summary of Barnett’s interview noted. While Barnett at first thought the unusual move was part of an effort to close the investigation, he later realized otherwise.
It was not the only time the case agent was cut out of the unusual activity going on in the probe to target Flynn. “[N]either Barnett nor any other line agents were invited to attend” meetings about the Flynn investigation, which was changed to being conducted from the “‘top down,’ meaning direction concerning the investigation was coming from senior officials,” Barnett said. He noted that former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was personally directing the Flynn investigation. McCabe was later fired for repeatedly lying under oath about his leaks to the media. McCabe was referred for criminal investigation by the department’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz.
“Barnett was willing to follow instructions being given by the Deputy Director as long as it was not a violation of law,” the summary of Barnett’s interview stated.
The hour is late and the time is short. We are long past the point where we can be shocked by the revelations, but it would be nice for some old-fashioned truth and consequences before the investigation is shut down.