A federal law enforcement agency could have deliberately set up a top Trump administration national security expert for termination, privileged court evidence has revealed.
Department of Justice (DOJ) officials filed court documents under seal that appear to show the FBI tried to frame former White House National Security Adviser Michael Flynn for either prosecution or dismissal.
The documents contain handwritten notes that the FBI controversially withheld from lawyers acting in Flynn’s defense in a federal court case about whether he accepted money from foreign governments without White House approval.
“What is our goal?” an FBI agent said in the redacted documents shared on Scribd. “To get him to lie so we can prosecute him or get him fired. We regularly stow subject’s evidence with the goal of getting them to admit their wrongdoing.”
The agent, whose identity remained undisclosed, also said another option would be to force Flynn to admit breaching a late 18th century law that limits communication between foreign governments and private citizens.
“If we get him [Flynn] to admit to breaking the Logan Act, give [the] facts to DOJ and have them decide,” the FBI agent said. “Or if he initially lies then we present him [omitted] and he admits it, document for DOJ and let them decide how to address it. If we are seen as playing games, W.H. will be furious.”
The Federalist described the Logan Act as widely considered to be “unconstitutional” and was never successfully used to prosecute a U.S. citizen in history. The publication also interpreted the documents to consider Flynn as the incoming national security adviser instead of being a private citizen.
In 2017 the FBI also planned to question Flynn under false pretenses and without legal representatives present about his dialogue with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak when the suspect was a top foreign policy adviser to President Donald Trump.
“We regularly show subjects evidence, with the goal of getting them to admit wrongdoing,” the FBI agent said. “I do not see how getting someone to admit their wrongdoing is going easy on him.”
Flynn eventually pleaded guilty to the charge and is now attempting to withdraw the plea due to government corruption and ineffective counsel during his case.
The finding comes just weeks after the Senate Judiciary Committee made public more classified information from its separate inquiry into the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation of the president’s 2016 election campaign.
As The BL reported, multiple declassified documents appear to show the FBI not only tried to collect electronic messages between the president and then campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page, but also tried to obtain a court order to monitor their communications under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
“The FBI did not just seek access to past electronic communications with campaign members, the FBI believed Page would continue to communicate with the Trump campaign and sought the FISA court order to intercept those conversations,” University of Notre Dame College of Business adjunct instructor Margot Cleveland said.