The Justice Department announced that it has unearthed further information related to the FBI’s investigation of retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, including more notes taken by fired special agent Peter Strzok.
Michael Sherwin, the acting U.S. attorney in the nation’s capital, said Tuesday that the documents handed over to Flynn’s defense team included handwritten notes from Strzok taken at a meeting on Jan. 25, 2017; notes from former Deputy Assistant Attorney General Tashina Gauhar at the same meeting; an internal DOJ document dated Jan. 30, 2017; and handwritten notes from then-acting Attorney General Dana Boente which were dated March 30, 2017. The notes remain sealed by the court.
Attorney General William Barr assigned Jeffrey Jensen, the U.S. attorney for Eastern Missouri, to review the Flynn case earlier this year, and the federal prosecutor has found a number of documents that appear to have been concealed from Flynn’s defense team.
Notes from Strzok released in late June show former Vice President Joe Biden raised the Logan Act during an early January 2017 Oval Office meeting about Flynn.
Documents declassified this year indicate that Strzok abruptly stopped the FBI from closing its investigation into Flynn in early January 2017 at the insistence of the FBI’s “seventh floor” after the bureau had uncovered “no derogatory information” on Flynn. Emails showed Strzok, along with FBI lawyer Lisa Page and several others, sought to continue investigating Flynn, even considering the Logan Act.
Notes from the FBI’s head of counterintelligence, Bill Priestap, show him asking, “What is our goal? Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?”
Flynn, 61, pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to FBI investigators, including Strzok, about his December 2016 conversations with a Russian envoy, but Flynn now claims he was set up by the FBI. The Justice Department is seeking to drop the charges after a trove of information concealed from the defense was unearthed in recent months. The appeals court ordered Judge Emmet Sullivan to grant the dismissal.
An email from March 2017 by Gauhar and notes taken by her in May 2017 are mentioned a number of times in special counsel Robert Mueller’s lengthy 2019 report. Mueller found that the Russians interfered in the 2016 election in a “sweeping and systematic fashion,” but he “did not establish” any criminal conspiracy between Trump and Russia.
Boente, who resigned from his position as the FBI’s general counsel effective at the end of June after a decadeslong career in the Justice Department, was the last-remaining active government official who signed off on one of the flawed Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants targeting onetime Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
Strzok, Gauhar, and Boente are among the key players in the Russia investigation whom Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, named as possible targets for a subpoena as part of his panel’s inquiry into the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane counterintelligence investigation into links between Russia and the Trump campaign.