n January 24, 2017, President Donald Trump’s newly sworn-in national security adviser, Michael Flynn, met privately in his West Wing office with FBI investigators who questioned him over his communications with a Russian ambassador. Flynn was subsequently fired 24 days later after he allegedly failed to disclose his potentially illegal contacts with the Russian ambassador and gave misleading statements about the matter to FBI’s Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok.
Many felt that Flynn (who met with FBI investigators without a lawyer) was “blindsided” and inadequately prepared to answer questions about the unannounced meeting. Now reports are surfacing, alleging that James Comey reportedly told lawmakers that FBI agents who interviewed Flynn did not believe that Flynn had lied to them. However, members of the intelligence community have suspiciously and allegedly redacted this information after putting together their final report on the Trump-Russia investigation.
“In a meeting with some members of the House, according to sources familiar with the matter, Comey told lawmakers that the two FBI agents who interviewed Flynn did not believe he had lied to them, or that any inaccuracies in his answers were intentional. Lawmakers left the briefing with the impression that Flynn would not be charged with lying to the FBI,” The Washington Examiner reported.
“There’s an intense conflict brewing between some Capitol Hill Republicans and fired FBI Director James Comey. The Republicans say Comey has been lying about what he told them in a March 2017 meeting. Comey says he never said what the Republicans say he said,” The Washington Examiner went on.
Republicans have stated that a transcript exists that will prove this coverup occurred, but so far, Republicans claim that the intelligence community has prevented this proof from ever seeing the light of day. Nevertheless, a resolution on this matter is expected to occur within the next several days.
As Comey continues to deny there’s any truth to these allegations, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy is one of the Republicans who believes Comey is lying. He moreover says the release of the official transcript is the only thing that will solve this matter.
“Director Comey’s recollection is flawed,” Gowdy said. “If he does not remember telling Congress that his agents told him they didn’t think Flynn was lying, then he needs to get his lawyers to go back and look at the transcript. We did not miss here. Maybe he misspoke, but that’s in the transcript.”
According to sources, Comey’s statements in question are included in the newly-released House Intelligence Committee Republicans’ final report on the Trump-Russia investigation. However, this information has been redacted by members of the intelligence community.
“Sources say a quote from McCabe making the same point — that the agents who questioned Flynn did not believe he had lied — was also in the report and was also redacted,” The Washington Examiner concluded.
Committee chairman Devin Nunes is extremely frustrated with all the redactions and recently complained that the intel community had “gone overboard with its redactions.”
“The Intelligence Community has finished its declassification review of the House Intelligence Committee’s Russia investigation final report,” Nunes said in a statement posted on the Intelligence House’s website.
“Given the substantial public interest at stake, the Committee is publishing the redacted version we’ve received,” he continued. “However, we object to the excessive and unjustified number of redactions, many of which do not relate to classified information. The Committee will convey our objections to the appropriate agencies and looks forward to publishing a less redacted version in the near future.”
Flynn’s FBI interview last January set an extraordinary sequence of events in motion which many people claim is merely a “witch hunt” to remove Trump from office.
“To some Republicans, it appears the Justice Department used a never-enforced law and a convoluted theory as a pretext to question Flynn—and then when FBI questioners came away believing Flynn had not lied to them, forged ahead with a false-statements prosecution anyway. The Flynn matter is at the very heart of the Trump-Russia affair, and there is still a lot to learn about it,”