Merry Christmas from the FBI. I’m sure they had no intention of putting this present under the tree, but it had to happen.
When crooked James “Junior Fixer” Comey testified, he dropped a lot of “I don’t recall” statements. However, there were times when he was clear. And that presents a problem for him and particularly for Mueller.
As we know Mueller got Flynn for supposedly making false statements to investigators. The setup began on Jan. 24, 2017 — just days after the inauguration — when FBI agents came to the White House to talk to Flynn about his contacts with Russian officials.
No need to recap all the particulars, because what’s important is the date on the documents the FBI agents file.
When Flynn’s sentencing documents were released, the date on the 302 document was Aug. 22, 2017. In those documents we learned that the FBI interrogators didn’t believe Flynn was lying.
When Comey appeared before Congress, South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy asked him where he got the impression that Flynn wasn’t lying. He commented:
“From someone at the FBI, who either spoke to — I don’t think I spoke to the interviewing agents but got the report from the interviewing agents,” Comey said,
“All right. So you would have, what, read the 302 or had a conversation with someone who read the 302?”
“I don’t remember for sure. I think I may have done both, that is, read the 302 and then investigators directly,” Comey said.
While Comey tends to have selective memory, I buy that he wouldn’t necessarily remember the small details. But what he testified to leaves him no wiggle room in the next piece of the puzzle.
What’s so important about the date?
This is important since Comey was fired from his position as FBI director on May 9, 2017 — more than three months before the date on the Flynn 302.
So what what could Comey be referring to? And that brings up the possibility of a “phantom” 302. And if that exists as it must given the dates, where is it?
Given Mueller’s history of destroying evidence, might this evidence have been destroyed as well?
The judge hearing the case against Flynn, Judge Emmet G. Sullivan wants to know. Last week, he ordered the FBI to turn over all documents related to the case last week.
Guess what was missing? One item, at least based on publicly disclosed documents — was a January 302,
As Fox News reported,
In a piece published by The Daily Caller on Sunday, Sidney Powell — a former federal prosecutor and author of “Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice” — wrote that she believes Mueller’s investigation may be violating the law in regards to the details of Flynn’s interview.
As Powell notes, Brady v. Maryland, a 1963 Supreme Court case, “requires the prosecution, which holds all the cards in a criminal case, to give the defense all evidence favorable to the defendant, whether it impeaches a witness, mitigates punishment or shows his innocence. Indeed, the burden is on prosecutors to find anything in the possession of the government that is favorable to the defense.”
Even before Sullivan’s order, Powell notes, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican, had been trying to get detailed information on the FBI’s interview of Flynn, which was conducted by Agents Joe Pientka and Peter Strzok. (You may have heard the latter’s name before.)
The 302, Powell writes, “existed — as Grassley well knows. It was written by Agent Pientka, who also took extensive handwritten notes, whose name is redacted from Mueller’s filing, and who seems to have disappeared. Where are the original 302, his notes, and where is Agent Pientka? Grassley has been trying to get access to all three for almost two years.”
I’ve run this around in my head a bit, and wonder what possible explanation Mueller might present.
Powell makes a final point.
“Mueller’s filing confirms that Agent Pientka was assigned to take notes of the interview. Judge Sullivan’s order encompasses the production of those notes. Where are they?” she writes.
“Were they destroyed despite Grassley’s longstanding request and Judge Sullivan’s original Brady order? The failure to produce them is another Brady violation that warrants the dismissal of the charges against Flynn and warrants holding Mueller and his team in contempt of court.”
So while the new delay of Flynn’s sentencing indicated the judge was upset with Flynn, I suspect it to be more related to this revelation.
While we can’t seem to locate Pientka to provide more insights, there already exists a trove of information.
Recall the text messages of disgraced former FBI Agent Peter Strzok.
In his text messages with fellow FBI employee and his paramour Lisa Page, Strzok alludes to the Flynn 302 in February of 2017. Moreover, he indicates that then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe had seen it.
Given the state of things, we many never see the original of the 302. But Mueller may be forced to connect the dots soon on his chain of evidence. If he can’t explain this discrepancy, we may learn what we already know about this sham investigation.