Ah, yes. The FBI 302 reports. Pesky little things, aren’t they? Congressional investigators have requested copies of the FBI interview reports from their January 24th interview with General Michael Flynn on numerous occasions over the last year, but the FBI has refused to turn them over.
Upon learning that then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe may have pressured Flynn into not having a lawyer present during his interview with two FBI agents, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan demanded that the Mueller team turn over copies of their agent’s interview reports which are known as 302s. He has also requested McCabe’s memo from that date. He has set a Friday, 3 pm deadline for receipt of the documents.
According to documents filed by Flynn’s attorneys late Tuesday, available here, McCabe, who was fired for lying to investigators earlier this year, called Trump’s then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn at his White House office on January 24th. McCabe told Flynn he “felt that we needed to have two of our agents sit down” with him to discuss his contacts with Russian officials during the transition period. McCabe downplayed the interview telling Flynn it wasn’t necessary to involve a lawyer. In fact, if Flynn decided to have a lawyer present, the FBI would have to involve the DOJ.
Flynn’s lawyers referenced McCabe’s memo in their filing: McCabe wrote:
I explained that I thought the quickest way to get this done was to have a conversation between [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.
Flynn’s lawyers described the sequence of events which followed this phone call in Tuesday’s filing. (Page 14)
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.23 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.24 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.25 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.”26 One of the agents reported that General Flynn was “unguarded” during the interview and “clearly saw the FBI agents as allies.”27
The fact which draws perhaps the most suspicion is that the FBI 302s were dated August 22, 2017 which is seven months after the interview took place. The other interesting aspect of this date is that, one week earlier, now disgraced FBI agent Peter Strzok had been discharged from the Mueller team “because his persistent anti-Trump communications had surfaced.”
302s are normally produced right after an interview has been completed when memories are sharp and details can be recounted accurately. The fact that these 302s were dated August 22nd is alarming, especially when one of the interviewers had just been rebuked for his rabid, anti-Trump bias. Strzok has been revealed as a man who would do whatever it takes to bring down the Trump presidency.
At a Congressional hearing following the release of DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report about FBI/DOJ misconduct during the Hillary Clinton email investigation, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) said: “There is growing evidence that 302s were edited and changed. Those 302s, it is suggested that they were changed to either prosecute or not prosecute individuals. And that is very troubling.”
Judge Sullivan, it appears, is not blind to the numerous and troubling injustices that abound in the Flynn case. He is credited with “overturning the 2008 conviction of former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens after government misconduct came to light.” He was not afraid to act then, and he obviously perceives that something is amiss in the Flynn case.
Ever since Donald Trump first became a serious candidate, DOJ and FBI officials have been on a mission to destroy him. Over and over again, they have violated the rights of anyone associated with him. Flynn was merely the first. Judge Sullivan’s request for FBI documents is a promising sign that maybe, just maybe, we have seen the high water mark of Mueller’s reign of terror.
Note: Background on the Flynn case can be found in two of my recent posts: