A number of documents related to the FBI’s investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn were just released — and according to CBS News, Attorney General Bill Barr had something to do with that.
“A DOJ [Department of Justice] official said Barr was a driving force behind the decision to make the records public,” CBS reported Thursday. The records have sparked renewed pressure from the president’s allies for him to pardon Flynn outright, according to reports.
“What is our goal?”
Charged as part of the Robert Mueller-led probe into alleged Trump–Russia collusion, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in late 2017, a plea he’s since tried to walk back, according to Politico. He has not yet been sentenced.
The recently released records regarding Flynn’s case paint a damning picture of the investigation that led to the charges. According to CBS, within the documents “an unknown author questioned whether the goal was ‘Truth/Admission’ or ‘to get [Flynn] to lie.'” The author is identified only by the initials “EP,” CBS notes.
“What is our goal?” EP asked. “Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?” Among the possible courses of action was to get Flynn “to admit to breaking the Logan Act” and then “give facts to [the] DOJ [and] have them decide,” CBS noted.
First enacted over two centuries ago, the Logan Act prohibits American citizens from conducting foreign policy “without authority of the United States,” according to Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute. Since it was signed into law, no person has ever been convicted of violating its provisions, Reuters notes.
“If we’re seen as playing games, WH [White House] will be furious,” EP warned, according to CBS News. EP also urged fellow agents to “[p]rotect our institution by not playing games.”
“Transparency brings accountability”
Also among the released material is a series of communications between disgraced FBI Agent Peter Strzok and his lover, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, CBS said. Since the release of the records, numerous Republicans have come forward to admonish the FBI and DOJ for its conduct.
According to Fox News, GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley (IA) alleged Thursday that Flynn’s “constitutional rights” were “violated,” and called on Attorney General Barr himself to intervene.
“Time to put all cards on the table,” Grassley said, according to Fox. “Transparency brings accountability.”
AttGen Barr: it’s so obvious the unconstitutional punishment that GenFlynn has had for four long years u need to intervene and #FREE FLYNN
— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) April 30, 2020
Only time will tell if Barr indeed moves in with measures of accountability. In the meantime, Barr’s U.S. Attorney John Durham is continuing his “investigation of the investigators” behind the Trump–Russia collusion probe that left Flynn with charges — and conservatives are optimistic that Durham will be laying “all cards on the table” in that regard sooner than later.