Due to Mr. Flynn’s previous ties to Russian officials, FBI agents were scrutinizing him as part of the early stage of the investigation into Russia’s election disruption and whether there are any campaign associates. Trump who conspired in that interference. But the Bureau had decided to close its file on Mr Flynn when his phone calls with the ambassador and his lies to his colleagues about them raised a new reason to be suspicious.
The FBI decided to interrogate Mr. Flynn about the phone calls to see what he was going to say, and on January 24, 2017, as the national security adviser to the newly installed President Trump, the Mr. Flynn provided two agents with a false description of his phone calls. Shortly afterwards, Mr. Trump fired him, saying it was because he had lied to Vice President Mike Pence about the phone calls.
The office of Robert S. Mueller III, the special attorney who was later appointed to lead the Trump-Russia investigation, eventually struck a deal with Mr. Flynn’s original legal team under which he cooperated and pleaded guilty to a number of false statement to resolve his legal liability both for that interview and for failing to register as a paid foreign agent of Turkey in 2016 and then signing forms in 2017 contained on the nature of that interview. work.
Over time, Mr. Flynn’s case began to become a political cause for Mr. Trump and his supporters. Last year, Mr Flynn changed legal teams and stopped cooperating with the Justice Department and this year he sought to withdraw his guilty plea. Mr Barr then ordered prosecutors to ask the judge to dismiss the case rather than convict him.
Mr. Flynn’s new defense attorney, Sidney Powell, had the private prescribe Mr. Barr to appoint an outsider to scrutinize the case file for material that could be used to indict investigators and prosecutors of misconduct, an engineering that was a similar result to the department’s 2009 dismissal of a corruption case against a senator following his conviction.
Mr. Barr did so, and the department switched to defense files showing the FBI was aggressive when interviewed with him, violating bureaucratic protocol by unilaterally sending agents to talk to him despite unresolved deliberations. with Justice Department leaders on how to do so and whether to warn the White House attorney.
Among other things, the department also revealed that the FBI had decided to close the investigation on Mr. Flynn before the issue of his phone calls and his lies to colleagues about them arose. Because the file was still open, the FBI used it to question it.