An FBI analyst working on the bureau’s 2016 investigation into President Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn expressed concerns about the case’s validity, saying agents involved “want a Clinton presidency,” according to court documents unsealed late Thursday.
Analysts also discussed purchasing “professional liability insurance” because they feared details of the probe would be exposed to the media.
The documents detail conversations between FBI employees in the early days of the probe into Flynn’s links to Russia, dubbed Crossfire Razor.
In an August 2016 text exchange, one analyst says of the probe: “I think some of these guys want a Clinton presidency….instead of a wild card like Trump.”
As the investigation into Flynn deepened two analysts questioned why the FBI was using a national security letter (NSL) — a secure subpoena that doesn’t require a judge’s approval — to access Flynn’s finances, according to other text exchanges.
In December 2016, one analyst asked “What do we expect to get from an nsl” The analyst said it was “the right call then,” referring to the start of the probe, adding “but now it is not.”
Another FBI employee responds: “Agreed. We didn’t find anything else from the investigation about him.”
“We put out traces, tripwires to the community and nothing,” the first analyst says about the lack of evidence of wrongdoing by Flynn.
“Bingo,” the other employee says.
“So what’s an nsl going to do — no content,” the first analyst responds.
“Hahah this is a nightmare,” the second employee responds.
By January, an FBI analyst texts that “Trump was right” and the case “was still not put together,”
“Why do we do this to ourselves. What is wrong with these people?”
That text exchange occurred just days after Mr. Trump took to Twitter to decry that his campaign briefing on Russian hacking was delayed to develop a case against his 2016 team.
A few days later, an FBI employee said analysts had “purchased professional liability insurance suggesting a leak could expose the investigation.”
“The whole thing is pretty ugly…we shall see how things pan out,” one FBI agent texted.
Flynn attorney Sidney Powell called the filing “explosive.”
“FBI agents knew what they were doing was so bad they bought professional liability insurance!” she said on Twitter. “Used NSL as ruse to keep ‘investigation’ open when they did not intend to use them & knew he was innocent.”
Flynn had pleaded guilty twice to lying to the FBI about his conversations with the Russian ambassador just before the transition between Obama and Trump administrations.
He later recanted, professing his innocence and hired a new legal team.
The Justice Department earlier this year started a political firestorm, abandoning the prosecution it had dedicated three years to pursuing. In court filings, department lawyers said court filings in May raised questions about whether the FBI sprung a perjury trap on Flynn.