Details surrounding a federal investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn continue to grow more complex.
According to the Daily Caller, new evidence shows the FBI did not actually believe Flynn intentionally lied to agents during a fateful January 2017 interview that led to a criminal conviction.
The latest revelation came to light this week when the U.S. Department of Justice released a memo dated Jan. 30, 2017 to attorneys representing Flynn. This date was roughly a week after the interview during which he would later be accused of lying.
“Flynn believed what he was telling them”
One point addressed in the memo is that the FBI agents who conducted the interview did not think Flynn was intentionally lying to them about the conversation he had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
While the agents were aware of inconsistencies between his story and the transcript they already had from the telephone conversation, the newly released memo determined that “they believed that Flynn believed what he was telling them.”
The memo further shed light on the FBI’s determination “that Flynn was not acting as an agent of Russia.”
This information adds to speculation that federal investigators were out to get Flynn from the beginning.
The probe continues
Earlier reports showed that the FBI, despite having no evidence of wrongdoing, kept the investigation into Flynn active. Those assertions appear to be supported by the latest memo.
Previous revelations also pointed to the possibility that the FBI set up the 2017 interview with the purpose of prompting Flynn to lie. Now, it appears that the agents involved did not even consider his inconsistent statements to be intentional lies.
Since he was specifically charged with lying to the FBI, this appears to be an important distinction. All of these troubling signs culminated in U.S. Attorney General William Barr moving to dismiss the case against him.
U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan, however, continues to pursue the case and is fighting an appellate court writ of mandamus ordering that he drop it.
Every new piece of information from this investigation raises new questions about the motivation of federal investigators, but it is important for this evidence to come to light.