Michael Flynn’s attorneys said Wednesday former Vice President Joseph R. Biden discussed the Logan Act during an early January 2017 meeting about the investigation into President Trump’s former national security adviser.
A handwritten note by former FBI agent Peter Strzok details a meeting he had with top Obama era officials about the Flynn investigation, Ms. Powell said in a court filing.
In the barely legible note from early January 4, 2017, Mr. Strzok writes “VP: Logan Act.”
The document gives no indication who “VP” is, but Ms. Powell says she connected the dots to Mr. Biden, who is the presumptive Democratic candidate for president in 2020.
“According to Strzok’s notes, it appears that Vice President Biden personally raised the idea of the Logan Act,” she wrote. “That became an admitted pretext to investigate General Flynn.”
The Logan Act is an obscure law from 1799 that blocks U.S. citizens with talking to representatives of foreign governments. It has only been used twice — both in the 1800s — to prosecute a U.S. citizen.
Obama-era FBI officials were investigating whether Flynn violated the Logan Act through his calls with the then-Russian ambassador during the transition period before the Trump administration took over.
That investigation, which stemmed from the FBI’s Russia collusion probe, ultimately led to Flynn being charged with lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Russian ambassador.
Flynn’s attorney also said Mr. Strzok’s note reveals that former FBI Director James Comey said the conversations “appeared legit” and President Obama stressed that “the right people” should look into Flynn.
In the hastily scrawled note, Mr. Strzok wrote “D: appeared legit,” and “P:Make sure you look over things and have the right people on it.”
However, there is no indication in the note that “D” refers to Mr. Comey or P: appears to Mr. Obama.
Ms. Powell said the note was “stunning and exculpatory evidence” and showed that “Director Comey himself and the highest levels of the Obama administration” knew that the calls were “lawful and proper.”
The Strzok note was unsealed just hours after a federal appeals court ordered the trial judge to dismiss the case against Flynn.
When asked last month by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos in an interview what he knew about the Flynn investigation while serving as vice president, Mr. Biden said, “I know nothing about those moves to investigate Michael Flynn.”
A spokesperson for the Obama campaign did not respond to a request for comment.