This has all been so dishonest. So false, damaging, and harmful. Such a lie. And all due to the irrational hatred of President Trump—which is ultimately not about the president at all but about the disdain of the elites for his supporters and our American values.
The FBI is supposed to investigate crimes, not fabricate them. The FBI is not supposed to target an American citizen—a highly decorated military officer at that—and then hatch a plan and create a crime. Gen. Flynn was set up, ambushed, and essentially framed.
Robert Mueller knew the truth about the Russia collusion witch-hunt but continued his fraudulent probe anyway. The FBI knew in early 2017 that its investigation was unjustified for several reasons, not least because it had already established that the Steele dossier was fake. James Comey, as sanctimonious as he is disingenuous, then leaked classified information to falsely create the appearance of a need for a special counsel. Mueller then grabbed on to the fateful interview—entrapment if I’ve ever seen it—of Gen. Flynn at which agents tried to both trap him in a lie and threaten to prosecute his son if he didn’t plead guilty to the charge of lying to the FBI. Facing bankruptcy, Flynn agreed to this abuse of power to protect his son.
Recall the facts: 1) evidence that would have exonerated Gen. Flynn was never provided to his defense counsel, a cardinal constitutional and statutory violation that makes clear investigators were targeting him;
2) The FBI had already conducted a counterintelligence investigation of Gen. Flynn that resulted in it concluding there was an “absence of any derogatory information” to justify investigating any further and the case was set to be closed;
3). However, before the case was closed with, again, no evidence of wrongdoing, the FBI began a criminal investigation. Why? What basis was there to interview Flynn on Jan. 24, 2017? (an action DOJ has conceded had no “legitimate investigative basis”). Why question him about his conversation with the Russian Ambassador when the FBI, as is its practice, already had a verbatim transcript of the call? And, in a highly illegal and unethical action, FBI agents actually discussed whether the goal of the interview with Gen. Flynn was to “get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired.”
4). Further, one of those FBI officials advised Gen. Flynn he did not need an attorney with him—which is inappropriate and dangerous, not least because Flynn was apparently still the subject of an investigation; they also did not provide him the standard warning that lying is a crime, nor refresh his recollection by use of recordings or a transcript; He was also encouraged not to report the FBI’s desire to speak with him to either the DOJ or to the White House—including the White House Counsel Office (either or both of which would very likely have advised him not to take the meeting or, at a minimum, have an attorney with him when he did);
5) After the interview, with agents not having gotten what they needed to successfully execute the perjury trap they were trying to set, there were multiple “edits” made of the official report of the Flynn interview. This, notwithstanding that one of the interviewing agents concluded that Gen. Flynn “did not intentionally lie”; however, that agent’s impression seems later to have “changed.”
I’m not minimizing his guilty plea but consider the circumstances. All accounts are that this ordeal was very hard on him and his family and his legal defense cost him millions of dollars he didn’t have. So, there are personal reasons he may have wanted it to end and a false plea was the way to do so. But that’s not really the issue. The issue is the abuse and fraud committed by federal officials. That’s why DOJ dropped the case after concluding Gen. Flynn’s rights were egregiously violated.
We should find it chilling that this official abuse could be inflicted on any American. These core due process violations are damaging to all of us and will continue to have ramifications long after Pres. Trump is gone.
Mueller, Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok and Brandon Van Grack, who dishonestly signed his name to the plea agreement; These people, to name a few, deserve the nation’s scorn and a criminal prosecution of their own actions which, unfortunately, is unlikely. However, as American citizens we should never forget this abuse occurred. If it can happen to someone of Gen. Flynn’s stature and position, it can happen to any of us.
Royal Alexander is a Shreveport Attorney,