The attorneys prosecuting former White House National Security Adviser Michael Flynn were forced to admit in a Tuesday letter to Flynn’s legal defense that the notes which formed the official document describing Flynn’s January 2017 interview were not written by agent Peter Strzok, as they’ve maintained throughout the case.
“We were informed that the notes we had identified as Peter Strzok’s, were actually the other agent’s notes (see Surreply, Exhibit 1), and what we had identified as the other agent’s notes were in fact Strzok’s notes (see Surreply, Exibit 2)” the letter to Flynn’s lawyer Sidney Powell reads.
The FBI’s admission calls into further question the credibility of the case and of former FBI agent Peter Strzok, who told the FBI that his partner Joe Pientka was “primarily responsible for taking notes and writing the FD-302.” The case against Flynn, who entered a guilty plea for lying to the FBI in December 2017, centers around the 302 form, which per Bureau protocol, stands in place of a transcript, as the FBI does not record its interviews.
In defending Flynn, Powell has argued that Strzok’s supposed notes were too orderly and well constructed to have been taken in the actual interview. Now the letter, coupled with prosecution’s release of notes last week, apparently reveal that Strzok, in fact, took the majority of the notes in the interview
Strzok led the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server, and was fired from Mueller’s investigative team when text messages disparaging President Trump were discovered between him and FBI colleague Lisa Page, with whom he was having an affair.
The letter was prompted by Powell’s bombshell allegation that the FBI deliberately manipulated the original 302 document to suggest that Flynn lied about his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
“Those changes added an unequivocal statement that ‘Flynn stated he did not’ — in response to whether Mr. Flynn had asked Kislyak to vote in a certain manner or slow down the UN vote [on sanctions],” Powell wrote. “This is a deceptive manipulation because, as the notes of the agents show, Mr. Flynn was not even sure he had spoken to Russia/Kislyak on the issue. He had talked to dozens of countries.”
“That question and answer does not appear in the notes, yet it was made into a criminal offense,” Powell argued in the motion. “The draft also shows that the agents moved a sentence to make it seem to be an answer to a question it was not.”
Earlier this week, Powell demanded in another court filing that the FBI search its internal “Sentinel Database” to uncover any drafts of the 302 which may show substantial changes, after the government argued that any edits to the document, which was filed over three weeks after the interview, were merely “grammatical and stylistic.”
Released text messages between Strzok and Paige show that on February 10, the same day that news broke from “senior intelligence officials” that Flynn had discussed sanctions with Kislyak, Strozk told Paige that he had updated the 302 form to reflect her edits.
“I made your edits, and sent them to Joe. I also emailed you an updated 302 . . . hopefully it doesn’t need much more editing. I will polish it this weekend, and have it ready for Monday. I really appreciate your times and edits,” Strzok said.
On Tuesday night, Powell told Fox News that the letter all but confirms her argument.
“Their entire case depends upon what these two agents said. And now, we’re realizing 18 months later they’re looking at their file and realizing that ‘oh, by the way, we got the names of the two agents crossed on the notes, the notes you thought were Mr. Strzok’s, that we told you were Mr. Strzok’s, are not, they’re the other agent’s, and vice versa,’” Powell said. “It’s appalling. What else have they gotten wrong? We can’t trust anything they say.”