The federal judge overseeing the criminal case of President Donald Trump’s former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn ordered Special Counsel Robert Mueller to turn over all documents related to the questioning of Flynn by FBI agents.
U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan made the request on Wednesday, the day after Flynn’s legal team claimed that the FBI had pressured Flynn to undergo questioning without a lawyer present.
The Reagan-appointed judge ordered Mueller to turn over the documents and “memoranda” regarding the questioning of Flynn by no later than 3:00 p.m. EST on Friday, Fox News reported.
Sullivan also ordered that Flynn’s lawyers turn over any documents or evidence that proves their allegations.
Flynn’s team alleged in a court filing on Tuesday that former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe pushed Flynn to meet with FBI agents without the presence of legal counsel. Flynn’s statements during those meetings ultimately led him to plead guilty to one count of lying to federal authorities.
The mounting legal bills during that time forced Flynn to sell his home.
The judge could also “determine why the FBI apparently took a significantly more aggressive tack in handling the Flynn interview than it did during other similar matters, including the agency’s sit-downs with Hillary Clinton and ex-Trump adviser George Papadopoulos,” Fox News reported.
Sullivan has thrown out cases in the past after misconduct by authorities was uncovered. In 2008, he overturned the conviction of former U.S. Senator Ted Stevens when it was discovered that the U.S. Justice Department withheld evidence.
While there is precedence that suggests Sullivan could overturn Flynn’s conviction, he hasn’t indicated he would do so.
There is also no obligation for federal authorities to inform interviewees that they can have a lawyer present for questions, however, Flynn’s attorneys claim that the FBI agents told Flynn they would get the Justice Department involved if he tried to seek White House counsel.
The judge could also seek understanding as to why disgraced former FBI agent Peter Strzok put August 22, 2017 as the date of the questioning on his 302 report, when the questioning actually took place seven months before.
A 302 report is used by agents to document critical details of an interview including who was there and what was said.
Often times these reports can be used as evidence when there is no audio or video recording of the interview.
On Tuesday last week, Mueller recommended a lenient sentence for Flynn, urging him to receive no jail time for offering “substantial” help to his team.