It’s amazing that, to this day, neither of Gen. Michael Flynn’s legal teams have been able to obtain the FBI’s 302 from the January 24, 2017 White House ambush interview.
Prosecutors claim this document has vanished. On Thursday night, President Trump sent out the tweet below:
Where is the 302? It is missing. Was it stolen or destroyed? General Flynn is being persecuted! #OBAMAGATE
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 15, 2020
Rep. Devin Nunes spoke to Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo about the original report. He said Congress had been briefed on it by FBI sources who said, “’Look, there’s nothing to see here, Flynn wasn’t lying.’ So we knew this at the beginning of 2017, so you can imagine my astonishment when it began to leak out in the press that General Flynn was being busted for lying to the FBI. And that, that’s what the Mueller team — the dirty Mueller team — that’s what they were going to bust him on.”
Nunes told Bartiromo the original report has vanished. “It’s gone. Poof. It’s out of sight — we can’t find it.”
302s are meant to be completed as soon as possible after an interview. An FBI agent is allowed a maximum of five days to prepare the report. Yet, 17 days after the interview, FBI agent Peter Strzok and girlfriend, FBI lawyer Lisa Page are captured texting back and forth about edits they’re making to the original report.
The FBI, of course, claims the edits were “largely grammatical and stylistic.” Flynn’s lawyer, Sidney Powell, argues the edits were “highly substantive and improper alterations that inaccurately made it appear that Flynn had issued blanket denials to agents’ questions.”
Obviously, because Flynn has been persecuted over the FBI’s edited version of that interview for over three years now, it is critical the defense be granted a look at the original document.
In one fact-filled thread, Twitter detective “Undercover Huber” lists the extraordinary measures taken by Team Mueller to prevent this from happening. For ease of reading, I’ve printed the text from the tweets below, but the entire thread can be viewed here.
Flynn’s original FD-302 is so important, the Special Counsel had to leak a prosecution threat against Flynn’s son just to avoid turning it over to his original lawyers Covington.
Wed Nov 1, 2017: Flynn’s original lawyers Covington ask for a copy of his FD-302: “We don’t think he has committed a felony offense.” Fri Nov 3, 2017: Covington ask for the FD-302 AGAIN: “We don’t think there’s a FARA violation. We don’t think he made false statements”
The Special Counsel refused to turn over Flynn’s original FD-302 both those times. Instead, they schedule a follow up conference call with Covington for the following week and subtly threaten Covington that they might be a fact witness against Flynn for preparing his FARA filings.
Flynn hasn’t pled guilty to anything at this point. His lawyers are adamant he’s *innocent*. And the SCO won’t even turn over the edited FD-302, never mind the original one, for them to look at.
The SCO claimed they couldn’t turn over the FD-302 because it would “reveal” parts of their overall Russia interference investigation. But even the edited version of the Jan 24, 2017 interview shows Flynn wasn’t asked about Russian interference or anything remotely like Collusion.
And we now know that the FBI itself wanted to close its Crossfire Razor investigation of Flynn for potential links to Russian interference long before that Jan 24, 2017 interview.
And that investigation of Flynn should never have been opened in the first place, given its laughably weak predicate lacking any articulable factual basis for believing he could have been colluding or conspiring with Russia.
We also now know that the Dec 29 Flynn-Kislyak call changed nothing with regards to any Collusion. And the FBI never opened a Logan Act criminal probe (which would also have been ridiculous).
And in the Mueller report, the SCO itself admits Flynn merely asked Russia not to “escalate” in response to Obama’s sanctions or only respond “reciprocally”. There’s nothing wrong with that. What should he have said, go ahead nuclear armed Russia, please escalate?
So the SCO wouldn’t be “revealing” anything legitimate about its Russian interference investigation by turning over Flynn’s FD-302 – any of them, even the heavily edited versions filed weeks after the interview.
Of course, what turning over the 302 would have really revealed is likely a document stating that the agents didn’t believe Flynn was lying, and metadata proving that it went through weeks of editing and polishing in violation of FBI policies.
If even Covington (never mind @SidneyPowell1) got their hands on any version of the 302, given their adamant position that Flynn was “innocent”, Flynn almost certainly would have fought the charges vigorously.
And if the SCO tried to indict Flynn anyway, that would have meant discovery, pre-trial depositions etc. Given what we now know 2.5 years later, that would have blown a gaping hole in the SCO’s case.
So back to Fri Nov 3, 2017. The SCO has been asked for the 302, twice. White shoe Covington say their guy is “innocent” of all charges. How do the SCO change the dynamic? They leak to the press that they’re going to charge his son with a felony unless he gives in and plead guilty.
Sun Nov 5, 2017: “Three sources” close to the Flynn investigation leak this to NBC news: “If the elder Flynn is willing to co-operate with investigators in order to help his son, two of sources said, it could also change his own fate, potentially limiting any legal consequences.”
In case @GenFlynn didn’t get this “message”, look at the photo ABC news use to highlight the story. Flynn with his son. “Three” sources “close to the investigation” leaked this, to Collusion/Fusion GPS friendly reporters. An investigation that at the time almost nobody knew about pic.twitter.com/haK9isaxwb
— Undercover Huber (@JohnWHuber) May 16, 2020
By the time Covington follow up with the SCO after this weekend of light reading of veiled threats for the Flynn family, they’ve already agreed to bring Flynn in for a “proffer” – a prelude to pleading guilty to the false statements offense.
This is despite Covington circulating in internal memos at the time talking points that “We are firmly of the view that he did not commit any felony offenses. There are no circumstances under which he would plea to a felony offense.”
Remember: Covington – not @SidneyPowell1 are on record here REPEATEDLY saying their guy is *innocent*. They are “firmly” of this belief. And they’ve been representing him for months. This isn’t something they dreamed up after 5 minutes talking to the General.
The SCO turned over zero documents to Covington that would make them change their assessment of Flynn’s innocence. In fact, had the SCO turned *anything* over, it would have strengthened the view that Flynn could mount a strong defense against any false statement charge.
—Comey’s testimony that both agents didn’t think Flynn lied
—302 – likely says the same thing
—Closing EC for “Razor”, showing the FBI wanted to close its own case
—That no Logan Act EC existed opening a new case
—Strzok/Page texts showing bias
Any or all of those would blow a hole in *both* mandatory elements of the 1001 false statements charge – that any lie was “knowing” and “willful” (Flynn lied, deliberately) and “material” – i.e. could influence a genuine predicated FBI investigation.
The only thing that changed – the only thing – is that the SCO leaked to the press that they were deadly serious about going after Flynn’s son. And after the elder Flynn had racked up millions in legal bills himself, who can blame him for wanting to avoid that for his family too?
So Flynn ended up pleading guilty, and he’s been on the hook ever since
And the media once again played a crucial role in making it happen.
That’s why much of the media can’t cover the Flynn case properly. They were willing and eager participants in his prosecution