Just how bad was the FBI’s treatment of retired general Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s first national security advisor?
According to a report by John Solomon, veteran journalist and founder of the outlet Just The News, Flynn’s treatment was so bad that many senior figures in the Obama administration’s Justice Department, including former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, who served briefly as acting attorney general under President Donald Trump, and former FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok, raised concerns to special counsel Robert Mueller.
In one document Mueller’s office sent to Flynn’s defense team in May 2018, according to Solomon, Yates was said to describe the conduct of an interview of Flynn as “problematic” due to the FBI’s failure to inform the White House counsel’s office beforehand.
The concerns were expressed when she was being interviewed by investigators assigned to Mueller, Solomon wrote.
The letter also stated, “Yates did not speak to the interviewing agents herself, but understood from others that the interviewing agents’ assessment was that Flynn showed no ‘tells’ of lying, and it was possible he really did not remember the substance of his calls with [Russian] Ambassador [Sergey] Kislyak.”
Yates was named acting attorney general in January 2017, but was fired by Trump after refusing to enforce policies Trump put in place after taking office limiting travel from certain countries with a high terrorism risk.
The Supreme Court eventually upheld Trump’s authority to issue the ban.
Solomon’s report does not say when the Yates interview with Mueller’s investigators took place, however, The Wall Street Journal reported in December 2017 that Yates had sat down with the special counsel’s investigators in July of 2017.
Of particular interest is that Yates told a very different tale for public consumption when interviewed by CNN two months earlier, in May 2017.
During that interview, as Breitbart reported at the time, Yates claimed that a “serious compromise situation” existed with Flynn, because “the Russians had real leverage” on him.
“He also had lied to the vice president of the United States,” Yates told CNN’s Anderson Cooper, according to Breitbart. “You know, whether he’s fired or not is a decision for the president of the United States to make. But it doesn’t seem like that’s a person who should be sitting in the national security advisor position.”
The documents also noted that the FBI’s Strzok, who was fired from the bureau in August 2018 in part over anti-Trump texts he shared with now-former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, had provided a readout of the FBI’s Flynn interview to Justice Department officials.
Texts between Strzok and Page included discussion of an “insurance policy” in case Trump won the 2016 election.
“Strzok provided his view that Flynn appeared truthful during the interview,” Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General Matthew Axelrod told Mueller’s investigators, according to a memo obtained by Just The News. “Strzok based his assessment more on Flynn’s mannerisms and lack of hesitation when answering questions as opposed to what Flynn actually said.”
The memo backs up claims made by Flynn’s attorney, Sidney Powell.
Flynn is seeking to withdraw the guilty plea he made in 2018.
The revelations in the memo should spark many questions.
Was Yates telling the truth when she talked to Mueller’s team? Was she using the CNN interview to deceive Americans to justify the treatment Flynn received?
More important is the fact that Flynn appears to have been lured into a “perjury trap.”
If this can happen to a senior adviser to the president of the United States, then what could happen to average citizens, should the FBI decide to target them?
Will anyone be held accountable for the apparent injustice done to General Flynn?
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