Recently unsealed notes show top FBI officials debated whether they should get President Donald Trump’s national security adviser Michael Flynn “to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired,” or “admit to breaking the Logan Act” for talking to former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition. As the deep-state onion gets peeled back layer by layer to its rotten core, it becomes clear this wasn’t mere government misconduct. It was a criminal conspiracy.
These are not mere procedural quibbles, but profound questions about the integrity and legality of the FBI’s investigations into key officials in the incoming Trump administration, including Trump himself. A pattern of collusive illegality on the part of the FBI and key Justice Department officials has become increasingly clear from these and other revelations.
The newly released notes contain shocking revelations of how the “Crossfire Hurricane” investigators and top FBI officials set their “perjury trap” for Flynn.
Flynn, you will recall, pleaded guilty to a charge of lying to federal officials. But he did so only after being forced to sell his home to fund his legal defense, and after threats to prosecute his son if he didn’t cop a plea.
It was coercion, plain and simple. The kind of thing a totalitarian or dictatorial regime would do. Yet such skullduggery was routine for the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, which tried to gin up false charges of Russian collusion first against the Trump campaign and later against the incoming Trump administration.
In questioning Flynn in January 2017, the FBI circumvented its own rules that require it to go through the White House counsel’s office. Instead, it brazenly barged in and questioned Flynn, a former Army lieutenant general, in his office just three days after Trump was sworn in.
Among the other illegalities, the FBI’s own notes of the meeting were later re-written – that is, tampered with – by both FBI special agent Peter Strzok and his paramour FBI lawyer Lisa Page. That tampered document was used as a pretense to overturn a decision in early January to close the case against Flynn. Instead, lacking any real evidence, the FBI chose to pursue an investigation it hoped would lead to a prosecution.
An honest mistake? Earlier emails released in the investigation of the FBI’s misconduct show that Strzok and Page loathed Trump and desperately wanted Hillary Clinton elected president. Yet, Strzok spearheaded the investigation into Trump, a clear conflict of interest. And he was one of the two FBI agents who interviewed Flynn in the White House.
Moreover, both Strzok and Page later admitted under questioning that they had never made the case of collusion with the Russians against Trump, either. And yet, their non-findings were used to create the Mueller investigation into a non-crime.
The notes, written by FBI counterintelligence chief Bill Priestap, provide a backdrop to Flynn’s White House interview that led to his bogus prosecution. They were written after Priestap met with FBI Director James Comey and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, and show the conspiracy to go after Flynn went to the very top of the bureau.
It’s damning on a number of levels. It shows not only the top FBI officials’ willingness to pursue a prosecution without evidence of a crime, but also their willingness to break their own rules to do so.
Comey even joked about violating FBI protocols in 2018, telling a laughing audience that it was “something I probably wouldn’t have done or maybe gotten away with in a more . . . organized administration.”
Yes, the twists and turns and convolutions of this case can be confusing.
But it’s important to recall that the impetus for all these investigations had one source: The Clinton presidential campaign, which, along with the Clinton-controlled Democratic National Committee bankrolled the spurious Fusion GPS investigation of Trump and his aides for alleged collusion with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election.
The resulting dossier on Trump from that investigation, written by former MI6 spy Christopher Steele, was later shown to have been unverifiable. Even so, it was improperly used to convince a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court to let the FBI spy on the Trump campaign.
But Steele, largely forgotten now four years later, recently has released a bombshell of his own.
According to the website justthenews.com, “Steele recently testified in a British court that he believed both then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and then-Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice were aware of his dossier research as it was going on in summer 2016.”
If so, that ties the Obama administration and the Clinton campaign to these organized efforts to undermine the Trump administration and overturn the results of the entirely legitimate 2016 election.
As you read this, U.S. Attorney John Durham’s investigation into the Crossfire Hurricane fiasco is grinding ahead. Even amid then Wuhan virus outbreak, Durham this month expanded his investigatory team as he nears completion.
He’s looking at possible misconduct and prosecutable offenses by public officials, including even former CIA Director John Brennan, who appears to have played a leading role in orchestrating the Trump investigation from the shadows.
Durham’s probe comes on the heels of a report on the FBI’s Russia investigation last December by Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz, an Obama appointee. It found at least 17 “significant errors and omissions” in the bureau’s FISA application to spy on Trump and for relying on the tainted Steele dossier, which may have been distorted by Russian disinformation.
These, it’s clear, are the real crimes. Not the imaginary collusion of Trump and his aides, including Flynn, with the Russians.
In January of this year, Flynn, still awaiting sentencing and no longer fearing retribution from the deep-state minions of the Obama administration, withdrew his guilty plea. We would hope, given the damning evidence against the government, that he would gain complete exoneration for his non-crimes and have his record wiped clean
Meanwhile, we would also hope that the Durham investigation will end with prosecutions of the government officials and politicians who put us all through four years of hell and sought to overturn a fair and legal presidential election. That is the real crime.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board.