Former special counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecution of former White House National Security Advisor Michael Flynn appeared to be based an aspiration to “get Trump,” an FBI agent who was part of Mueller’s team told the Department of Justice, according to a DOJ document filed Thursday.
As part of the ongoing Flynn case, the DOJ filed the FBI 302 of agent William Barnett’s Sept. 17 interview, which was conducted by Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri Jeffrey Jensen, National Review reported.
“Attorney General William Barr had asked Jensen to go over the case against Flynn, and Jensen has since joined U.S. Attorney John Durham in a probe of the origins of the Russia investigation,” according to the outlet.
Barnett discussed his work with the FBI, specifically his assignment to the cases against Flynn and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort as part of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, which sought to investigate alleged ties between Trump associates and Russian officials during the election.
The Flynn investigation was known by the code name Crossfire Razor.
“Barnett thought the Crossfire Hurricane investigation was ‘opaque,’ with little detail concerning specific evidence of criminal events,” the FBI 302 read.
He initially thought that he didn’t understand the case because he had just joined the team, however, after six weeks of working on it, he was “still unsure of the basis of the investigation concerning Russian and the Trump campaign working together, without a specific criminal allegation,” according to the document.
Flynn pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to federal investigators, but reversed his plea in early 2020.
“Barnett believed Flynn lied in the interview to save his job, as that was the most plausible explanation and there was no evidence to contradict it,” the FBI 302 read.
“Barnett believed the prosecution of Flynn by Mueller’s office was used as a means to ‘get Trump.'”
He said that this was displayed in questioning that Mueller’s team conducted where attorneys were “convinced the interviewee had information despite the answers provided,” according to the FBI 302.
“There was a lack of letting the evidence lead the investigation and more the attitude of ‘the evidence is there we just have to find it,'” the document read.
Barnett was not part of or consulted about the FBI’s interview of Flynn, and said in hindsight he believed he was “cut out” from it because he thought the investigation should be closed, according to the FBI 302.
Despite his uncertainty regarding the Flynn investigation, Barnett did believe there were grounds to investigate several other subjects of the Crossfire Hurricane probe, the DOJ documents read.
Still, Barnett indicated in his interview that members of the Special Counsel’s Office frequently thought they had information that could prove collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, only for it to result in a “dead end.”
“Barnett thought there was a ‘get Trump’ attitude by some at the SCO,” according to the 302.
“Barnett said it seems there was always someone at SCO who claimed to have a lead on information that would prove collusion only to have the information be a dead end.”
Federal prosecutors moved to dismiss Flynn’s case earlier this year.
The Justice Department maintains that the FBI’s interview of Flynn was “conducted without any legitimate investigative basis,” Fox News reported.
Flynn has a federal court appearance scheduled for Sept. 29.
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