Newly released documents in the Michael Flynn case include a January 2017 DOJ draft memo that states “FBI leadership” decided against showing Flynn transcripts of his calls with the Russian ambassador in the White House interview that led to his guilty plea.
The DOJ document, dated January 30, 2017 — along with a batch of handwritten notes from DOJ and FBI officials describing Flynn’s White House interview with former FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI agent Joseph Pientka on January 24, 2017 — shed further light on the FBI’s spontaneous interview with Flynn, who had just begun his role as national-security adviser for President Trump.
“FBI advised that based on this interview, they did not believe General Flynn was acting as an age of Russia,” the DOJ draft document, which is heavily redacted, states. “FBI also advised that although they recognized the statements were inconsistent with the FISA collection, they believed that Flynn believed what he was telling them. FBI did not confront Flynn with the communications during the interview.”
The document explains that while the Bureau “prompted Flynn with language used during the call,” Flynn was not shown his actual words because of a decision “made by FBI leadership not to confront Flynn with the actual tech cuts.”
The mentioning of “tech cuts” about the interview’s subject matter — Flynn’s December 2016 conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak — adds further context to the questions over how Flynn’s calls were monitored in the first place. “Tech cuts” are commonly referred to as internal FBI documents that contain and describe FISA intelligence, suggesting that the FBI picked up Flynn’s calls through FISA surveillance. DOJ inspector general Michael Horowitz has said his office found no evidence of a FISA application on Flynn, raising the possibility that Flynn’s calls with Kislyak were picked up through FISA surveillance of the Russians. (Read more from “New Flynn Notes: ‘FBI Leadership’ Decided Not to Provide Russian Call Transcripts to Flynn in Interview” HERE)