Former FBI Director Andrew McCabe suggested then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn did not need a lawyer present during the bureau’s questioning with the three-star general in the interview that led to his pleading guilty to lying to the FBI.
The information is from the FBI’s 302 report which was part of Flynn’s sentencing memo filed yesterday by his defense team.
Byron York explains in an excellent piece in the Washington Examiner:
Citing McCabe’s account, the sentencing memo says that shortly after noon on Jan. 24 — the fourth day of the new Trump administration — McCabe called Flynn on a secure phone in Flynn’s West Wing office. The two men discussed business briefly and then McCabe said that he “felt that we needed to have two of our agents sit down” with Flynn to discuss Flynn’s talks with Russian officials during the presidential transition.
McCabe, by his own account, urged Flynn to talk to the agents alone, without a lawyer present. “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. [Flynn] stated that this would not be necessary and agreed to meet with the agents without any additional participants.”
Within two hours, the agents were in Flynn’s office. According to the 302 report quoted in the Flynn sentencing document, the agents said Flynn was “relaxed and jocular” and offered the agents “a little tour” of his part of the White House.
The 302 report also stated the the FBI didn’t want to warn Flynn of the penalties for making false statements to the FBI “because they wanted Flynn to be relaxed, and they were concerned that giving the warnings might adversely affect the rapport.”
York points out that the FBI agents had already read transcripts of Flynn’s conversation with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak:
“Before the interview, FBI officials had also decided 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,'” the Flynn memo says, citing the FBI 302.
Read the full story HERE.