Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Susan Rice’s Email Proves FBI Had No Legitimate Reason To Question Flynn

Margot Cleveland

...This paragraph reveals several significant details. First, Comey distinguished between law enforcement and national security, and was not proceeding “by the book” related to the latter. Second, Obama knew of Comey’s intent and condoned the withholding of information from the incoming administration.
Now, thanks to the additional declassification, we know the purported concerns about Flynn were specific: Comey told President Obama he was concerned about the level of communication with Kislyak and raised the possibility that Flynn might pass classified information to Kislyak.
Of course, it would be entirely normal and appropriate for Flynn to speak with the Russian ambassador as part of the Trump transition team, and there is no reason to believe Flynn would share classified information with Kislyak. In fact, we know from the FBI’s closing memorandum on Flynn that a thorough investigation had revealed no derogatory information.
But Comey cautioned Obama otherwise. Why? And why did Rice belatedly document this conversation?
Possibility one: Comey, and in turn Rice and Obama, truly believed Flynn was compromised and might hand classified information to the Russians. But if that was the case, it was inexcusable for Comey not to brief President-elect Trump on that fear. And it was inexcusable for then-President Obama not to direct Comey to provide that briefing.
The second possibility is that no one suspected Flynn of being a Russian agent, but the FBI needed a pretext to continue to investigate Flynn so it could justify withholding details of the broader Crossfire Hurricane investigation from Flynn and thereby Trump. Either possibility is a huge political scandal that runs right through Comey to Obama.
However, there is a second significance to the details released yesterday, namely the declassified paragraph, when read together with other recently released documents, confirms that when FBI Agents Peter Strzok and Joe Pientka questioned Flynn on January 24, 2017, the FBI had no valid investigative purpose.

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