Director of National Intelligence to Fully Declassify Some Flynn Transcripts

May 22, 2020 Updated: May 29, 2020

Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell is in the process of fully declassifying some of the call transcripts involving former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.

“The [intelligence community] doesn’t have all the transcripts/summaries….it wasn’t our product,” Grenell wrote on Twitter. “But I already started the declassification for the few we received. They should be released in full, though. The public deserves to see it.”

Flynn recently withdrew his guilty plea, in which he admitted to lying to the FBI about the contents of his calls with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, including whether the two men discussed sanctions. Only select portions of his the transcripts have been released as part of the court proceedings in Flynn’s case.

Flynn’s defense attorney, Sidney Powell, on May 20 joined the call for the release of the full transcripts.

“I think the reason we haven’t seen [the transcripts] is because the word ‘sanctions’ doesn’t even appear in them,” Powell told SiriusXM’s “The Dan Abrams Show”. “I would love to see the release of that transcript.”

Flynn pleaded guilty to a list of false statements in late 2017, including ones saying that he and Kislyak discussed sanctions.

Notably, Grenell pointed out that the U.S. intelligence community is not in possession of all of the transcripts and summaries of Flynn’s calls, which suggests that some of the information was collected by a foreign intelligence service.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) on May 7 moved to dismiss the charges against Flynn, arguing that the FBI had no basis to conduct the interview during which he allegedly lied. The department’s motion was accompanied by a trove of documents which extensively substantiate the allegation that Flynn was set up by senior Obama administration holdovers.

The judge in Flynn’s case, Emmet Sullivan, has not ruled on the DOJ’s motion to dismiss the case and has instead appointed an amicus curiae (Friend of Court), former federal Judge John Gleeson, to argue the case against dismissal and whether Flynn should be charged with perjury. Flynn’s attorneys appealed for intervention from a circuit court, which in turn issued a rare order calling on Sullivan to explain his actions.

The release of the transcripts would be the latest in a wave of declassifications related to Flynn’s case. Grenell authorized the release of a list of unmasking requests related to Flynn that included the who’s-who from the top echelons of the Obama administration, including Vice President Joe Biden. Grenell also declassified a portion of an email sent by National Security Advisor Susan Rice which showed that President Barack Obama personally discussed Flynn with FBI Director James Comey and DOJ Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates at the White House on Jan. 5, 2017.

On the day prior to the White House meeting, the FBI scrambled to keep Flynn’s case open even though Comey had already approved the case to be closed days earlier after the investigation yielded no evidence of alleged collusion.

Special counsel Robert Mueller, who indicted Flynn, concluded his 22-month investigation having found no evidence to establish that anyone on Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election.

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