Newly released documents have showed a plot by top bureau officials to interview Michael Flynn with the intention of getting him to incriminate himself.
Explosive new internal FBI documents unsealed Wednesday show that top bureau officials discussed their motivations for interviewing then-national security adviser Michael Flynn in the White House in January 2017 — and openly questioned if their “goal” was “to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired.”
The handwritten notes — written by the FBI’s former head of counterintelligence Bill Priestap after a meeting with then-FBI Director James Comey and then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, Fox News is told — further suggested that agents planned in the alternative to get Flynn “to admit to breaking the Logan Act.”
The Logan Act is an obscure statute that has never been used in a criminal prosecution; enacted in 1799 in an era before telephones, it was intended to prevent individuals from falsely claiming to represent the United States government abroad.
“What is our goal?” one of the notes read. “Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?”
“If we get him to admit to breaking the Logan Act, give facts to DOJ + have them decide,” another note read. Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley called the document’s implications “chilling.”
The memo appears to weigh the pros and cons of pursuing those different paths. “I don’t see how getting someone to admit their wrongdoing is going easy on him,” one note reads. Flynn did not ultimately admit to wrongdoing in the interview.
The document indicates that the agents at least discussed the merits of a by-the-book approach: “If we’re seen as playing games, WH [White House] will be furious.”
The bombshell materials strongly suggested the agents weren’t truly concerned about Flynn’s intercepted contacts with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition period, except as a pretext.
Former President Obama personally had warned the Trump administration against hiring Flynn, and made clear he was “not a fan,” according to multiple officials. Obama fired Flynn as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014.