Whatever happened to the original Michael Flynn interview with the FBI?
That’s what we’ve all been wondering ever since we found out that despite it being required that a 302 report be filed five days after speaking with federal agents, it took three weeks for Flynn’s 302 to be filed. We know from texts from Peter Strzok that he was heavily editing the 302, but was “trying not to completely re-write it.” And that’s the copy the case against Flynn was built upon.
When Flynn’s original legal team asked for the original 302 it twice, the Special Counsel’s office refused, because if they had handed over that document, it would prove Flynn didn’t lie to the FBI, and hence there would be no case against him.
So, what happened to the original 302?
A popular Twitter account that covers Spygate in depth, Undercover Huber (@JohnWHuber), posted a long thread explaining a likely answer.
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.
— Undercover Huber (@JohnWHuber) May 16, 2020
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 hasnt 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 Sidney Powell) 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 …
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 Sidney Powell – 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
- Kislyak transcript
- 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.
Is it any wonder why the DOJ finally dropped the case last month? They had nothing from the start. It was all about, as we saw in unearthed documents last month, getting Flynn prosecuted or fired. Truth be damned.
Justice must be served. Flynn must be pardoned or exonerated and this nightmare needs to end.