Did He Actually Lie? Lawmakers Want to See Michael Flynn Transcripts
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has had it with the DOJ’s refusal to provide documents to Congress, and he’s given senior officials until May 25 to comply with his requests.
Grassley’s frustration surrounds the mysterious case of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who plead guilty last year to one count of lying to FBI officials. The committee has had a request in for documentation pertaining to Flynn’s case for more than a year now, but the FBI and the Department of Justice have thus far failed to respond. But with FBI agents coming forward to claim that Flynn did not, in fact, ever lie to the Bureau, GOP lawmakers are more determined than ever to get to the bottom of the investigation.
Grassley sent a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray with a new request for all documents pertaining to the Flynn investigation. In the letter, he noted that the Senate Judiciary Committee originally requested the transcripts of Flynn’s conversation with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak on Feb 15, 2017, more than a year ago. At that time, the Department of Justice told the committee that they could not release any documents because of the ongoing investigation into Flynn’s behavior. But in the letter sent last week, Grassley said that couldn’t be the excuse anymore, seeing as how Flynn had already entered a plea, bringing the case to an end.
“The Department has withheld the Flynn-related documents since our initial bipartisan request last year, citing an ongoing criminal investigation,” Grassley wrote. “With Flynn’s plea, the investigation appears concluded.”
Grassley said it was important that his committee be given all the facts surrounding Flynn’s interrogation, especially seeing as how former FBI Director James Comey has testified to the fact that the agents in charge of that questioning (including anti-Trump agent Peter Strzok) had no reason to believe that Flynn was being deceptive.
“Contrary to his public statements during his current book tour denying any memory of those comments, then-Director Comey led us to believe during that briefing that the agents who interviewed Flynn did not believe he intentionally lied about his conversation with the Ambassador and that the Justice Department was unlikely to prosecute him for false statements made in that interview,” Grassley wrote.
Grassley (and the rest of us) want to know how the FBI got from that point, where they were confident that Flynn was telling the truth about his interactions with Kislyak, to the point that Flynn was compelled to plead guilty to lying. Was evidence brought forward that proved Flynn knowingly misled the agents? Or was this a trap that Flynn was led into as part of the FBI’s zeal to bring down the Trump presidency?