Judge Wants to See All Notes, Memos Regarding FBI Interview of Michael Flynn

By Susan Jones | December 13, 2018 | 7:56am EST
Then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn at the White House on February 10, 2017. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - The federal judge who will sentence Lt.-Gen. Michael Flynn for lying to the FBI has now ordered the FBI to show him the notes written by FBI agents who interviewed Flynn in January 2017.

Judge Emmet Sullivan also wants to see a January 24 memo that former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe wrote about his own conversation with Flynn, a conversation that happened just two hours before FBI agents arrived at Flynn's office.

The request from Judge Sullivan came one day after Flynn's lawyers filed a memorandum in Sullivan's court, urging leniency for President Trump's former national security adviser, who has admitted making materially false statements to the FBI.

According to Flynn's sentencing memo: "General Flynn has frankly acknowledged in his own words, he recognizes that his actions were wrong and he accepts full responsibility for them. There are, at the same time, some additional facts regarding the circumstances of the FBI interview of General Flynn on January 24, 2017, that are relevant to the Court’s consideration of a just punishment."

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House intelligence committee, said on Wednesday what's happened to Flynn is a "tragedy."

"I've known General Flynn since the mid-2000s. Visited him numerous times in Iraq. He is an American war hero," Nunes told Fox News's Laura Ingraham Wednesday night.

"You have heard me say this ad nauseum, over and over again, about the most important crime that was committed here was the leak of the highly sensitive, compartmented information of General Flynn talking to the Russian ambassador."

The December 2016 conversation between Flynn and the Russian ambassador to the U.S. was recorded by U.S. intelligence. Someone in the Obama administration unmasked Flynn's name, which was leaked to the Washington Post.)

"That was a leak of a phone call on American citizen that he had every right to make. It wasn't just that he was a national security advisor. Any American has the ability to talk to any ambassador that they want. They used a law from the 1700s, the Logan Act, that had never been used."

"It looks like a set up," host Laura Ingraham said.

Nunes noted that the 302s, the FBI notes that Judge Emmet Sullivan wants to see, were not finalized until August of 2017, seven months after FBI agents interviewed Flynn on January 24th.

"I don't know why that would have been, but I also know that we were briefed on those interviews -- the House intelligence committee -- a month or two after those interviews occurred," Nunes said.

"So you have memos that would've been written during the interview; and then you have a briefing before the House intelligence committee (in March 2017)...And then you move onward, and then it's not finalized until August 22. So I'm glad that the judge is looking at this," Nunes said.

"I think the judge should also ask the House intelligence committee to provide the (March 2017) transcript that we have of Director Comey testifying before our committee. I think he would be interested in that also."

In March 2017, then-FBI Director Comey reportedly told a closed session of House intelligence committee that the FBI agents who interviewed Flynn did not believe that he had lied to them, or that he had intentionally made inaccurate statements.

(In its report on the Trump-Russia investigation, Republicans on the House intelligence committee wrote: "General Flynn pleaded guilty to making a false statement to the Federal Bureau of Investigation regarding his December 2016 conversations with Ambassador Kislyak, even though the Federal Bureau of Investigation agents did not detect any deception during Flynn's interview.")

The sentencing memo filed Tuesday by Flynn's lawyers describes the actions taken by McCabe and two FBI agents:

The memo says at 12:35 p.m. on January 24, 2017, McCabe called Flynn at his West Wing office to discuss a security training session the FBI had recently conducted at the white House. McCabe's written memo detailing that phone conversation says McCabe told Flynn "that we needed to have two of our agents sit down" with Flynn to talk about his communications with Russian officials.

McCabe wrote: "I explained that I thought the quickest way to get this done was to have a conversation between [General Flynn] and the agents only. I further stated that if LTG Flynn wished to include anyone else in the meeting, like the White House Counsel for instance, that I would need to involve the Department of Justice. [General Flynn] stated that this would not be necessary and agreed to meet with the agents without any additional participants.”

According to Flynn's lawyers:

Less than two hours later, at 2:15 p.m., FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok and a second FBI agent arrived at the White House to interview General Flynn.  By the agents’ account, General Flynn was “relaxed and jocular” and offered to give the agents “a little tour” of the area around his West Wing office. The agents did not provide General Flynn with a warning of the penalties for making a false statement under 18 U.S.C. § 1001 before, during, or after the interview.

Prior to the FBI’s interview of General Flynn, Mr. McCabe and other FBI officials “decided the agents would not warn Flynn that it was a crime to lie during an FBI interview because they wanted Flynn to be relaxed, and they were concerned that giving the warnings might adversely affect the rapport,” one of the agents reported.

Before the interview, FBI officials had also decided that, if “Flynn said he did not remember something they knew he said, they would use the exact words Flynn used, …to try to refresh his recollection. If Flynn still would not confirm what he said…they would not confront him or talk him through it.” One of the agents reported that General Flynn was “unguarded” during the interview and “clearly saw the FBI agents as allies.”

Flynn's attorneys told the court, "A term of probation with minimal conditions of supervision is a just punishment."

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