The Federal Bureau of Investigations said it had previously turned over a number of documents related to an agency investigation against Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn to U.S. Attorney John Durham, who is currently probing the origins of the agency’s 2016 Trump-Russia counterintelligence investigation.
“Under Director Wray’s leadership, the FBI has fully cooperated and been transparent with the review being conducted by U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen, just as it has been with U.S. Attorney John Durham and was with Inspector General Michael Horowitz,” Brian Hale, assistant director of the FBI’s Office of Public Affairs, said in a statement to The Epoch Times.
“With regard to certain documents in the Michael Flynn matter from the 2016-2017 time period that are now the subject of reporting by the press, the FBI previously produced those materials to the Inspector General and U.S. Attorney Durham,” Hale added.
The documents in question have renewed concern among lawmakers and officials over the FBI’s handling of their probe on Flynn after the materials were released by the DOJ on April 29. Among the documents are handwritten notes that revealed top officials in the agency had questioned whether the goal of questioning Flynn was to “get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?”
The notes belong to former FBI head of counterintelligence Bill Priestap, multiple officials confirmed to Just the News. The initials in the top right corner of the notes appear to be “EP,” which would match Priestap’s full name, Edward William Priestap.
The notes are available here (pdf).
A heavily redacted portion of the notes said, “Our goal is to determine if Mike Flynn is going to tell the truth @ his relationship w/ [with] Russians.”
At the core of the FBI’s probe into Flynn was a phone exchange he had with then-Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak. At the time, Flynn was the national security advisor on President Donald Trump’s transition team, and his role was to establish relations with foreign officials.
The agents appear to have had transcripts of calls between Flynn and Kislyak and had concerns that Flynn broke the Logan Act by conveying to Kislyak the positions of the incoming administration on several diplomatic issues.
The Logan Act, which has never been successfully used in a criminal prosecution, was enacted in 1799 and prohibits Americans from conducting diplomacy on their own with countries that the United States has a dispute with.
FBI agents Peter Strzok, the FBI’s then-deputy assistant director for counterintelligence operations, and supervisory special agent Joe Pientka visited Flynn on Jan. 24, 2017, in the West Wing to interview him about his conversations with Kislyak.
He pleaded guilty on Dec. 1, 2017, to one count of lying to FBI agents during the Jan. 24, 2017, interview. In October 2019, he requested to withdraw his guilty plea because of ineffective counsel. Flynn fired his lawyers last year and brought on a new team led by Sidney Powell, a fierce critic of prosecutorial misconduct within the Justice Department.
He is currently fighting to have the government’s case against him dismissed, saying that his statement of offense is false and was signed under false representation and undue pressure.
Further unsealed documents, released on April 30, revealed that Strozk urgently reached out to agents handling the Flynn case to advise them not to close the case after the agents determined there were no more leads to follow in the Flynn probe.
The notes and emails were handed over to Flynn as the result of an ongoing review of his case by Jeffrey Jensen, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, who was directed in January to perform the review by Attorney General William Barr.
These revelations have sparked concerns among lawmakers, who have called for DOJ and FBI leadership to investigate and intervene in the case. Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Mike Johnson (R-La.) wrote a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, urging him to “immediately review” his agency’s actions over their investigation on Flynn. Meanwhile, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) called for Attorney General William Barr to “take a close look” at the case.
Hale said in his statement that Wray is “firmly committed to addressing the failures under prior FBI leadership.”
“The Flynn investigation was initiated and conducted during this time period, under prior FBI leadership. Since taking office, Director Wray has stressed the importance of strictly abiding by established processes, without exception. Director Wray remains firmly committed to addressing the failures under prior FBI leadership while maintaining the foundational principles of rigor, objectivity, accountability, and ownership in fulfilling the Bureau’s mission to protect the American people and defend the Constitution,” the statement said.
This also comes after Fox News reported, citing several anonymous sources, that Durham was reviewing the unsealed Flynn documents and is building a “serious case.” Sources claimed in their statement to the media outlet that some of the revelations “could be sufficient for some charges against agents.”
Durham’s office declined The Epoch Times’ request to comment.
Petr Svab and Mimi Nguyen-Ly contributed to this report.