Ahead of next week’s sentencing, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn said then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe pushed him not to have an attorney present while being questioned by the bureau.
The former Trump administration official would later plead guilty to lying to federal authorities as a result of that questioning, while McCabe would be fired for making unauthorized leaks to the media and violating FBI policy.
The allegation was made by Flynn’s legal team in a lengthy court filing on Tuesday, Fox News reported.
The attorneys charge that FBI agents deliberately did not instruct Flynn that any false statements he made could be a crime, saying that they did not “confront” him directly about any contradictions to his wiretapped communications with former Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
The court filing cited what is known as a “302” witness interview report, where FBI agents wrote that if “Flynn said he did not remember something they knew he said, they would use the exact words Flynn used, . . . to try to refresh his recollection.”
“If Flynn still would not confirm what he said, . . . they would not confront him or talk him through it.”
More from Fox News on how the FBI dealt with Flynn in comparison to individuals who were interviewed in the Hillary Clinton private email investigation:
The document outlines, with striking new details, the rapid sequence of events that led to Flynn’s sudden fall from the Trump administration. The filing also seemingly demonstrates that the FBI took a significantly more aggressive tack in handling the Flynn interview than it did during other similar matters, including the agency’s sit-downs with Hillary Clinton and ex-Trump adviser George Papadopoulos.
While Flynn is among several Trump associates to have been charged with making false statements as part of the Russia probe, no one interviewed during the FBI’s Clinton email investigation was hit with false statement charges – though investigators believed some witnesses were untruthful.
McCabe wrote in a memorandum that he spoke to Flynn on Jan. 24, 2017, and told him that he “felt that we needed to have two of our agents sit down” to discuss his contacts with Russian officials, according to Fox News.
“I explained that I thought the quickest way to get this done was to have a conversation between [Flynn] and the agents only,” McCabe wrote. “I further stated that if LTG Flynn wished to include anyone else in the meeting, like the White House Counsel for instance, that I would need to involve the Department of Justice. [General Flynn] stated that this would not be necessary and agreed to meet with the agents without any additional participants.”
If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, you probably have a duck. Or, perhaps, a set up to trap a high ranking Trump official in a compromising situation that may prove fruitful in getting the goods on the president.
Flynn’s attorneys are citing his military service in calling for no more than one year of probation and 200 hours of community service in his sentencing.
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