- The Washington Times - Monday, September 28, 2020

Michael Flynn, President Trump’s first national security adviser, is set to return to court Tuesday armed with last week’s revelations about the FBI’s anti-Trump mission that ensnared him.

His lawyers aim to use the new evidence, revealed in unsealed court documents, to change the narrative of the case back to allegations of FBI wrongdoing.

“The new filings are dispositive of outrageous government misconduct that mandate the immediate dismissal of this case,” Flynn’s lawyer, Sidney Powell, told The Washington Times. “The agents knew they were making it up and were so concerned about their own liability they obtained special insurance in the event they were sued.

“Judge Sullivan must dismiss the case with prejudice,” she said.

The filings emerged from Justice Department special investigator John Durham’s investigation of the Russia collusion probe that targeted President Trump and his associates, including Flynn.

In the filings, an FBI analyst working on the Flynn case expressed concerns about the case’s validity, saying agents involved “want a Clinton presidency.”

Flynn had made claims of FBI misconduct the central thesis of his push for exoneration. He said anti-Trump FBI employees sprung a perjury trap on him that led to criminal prosecution.

Flynn twice pleaded guilty to lying about his contacts with the Russian ambassador in late 2016 and early 2017. He later recanted and professed his innocence.

The Justice Department stepped in this year. Citing improprieties by FBI decision-makers who ordered the interview of Flynn, Attorney General William Barr moved to drop the case.

The surprise reversal touched off a political firestorm among Democrats who accused him of acting to protect an ally of Mr. Trump.

Suddenly, focus in the case shifted to whether federal judges have the authority to buck the Justice Department. The case was paused while a federal appeals court issued two opinions on the matter, ultimately rejecting the Justice Department’s argument.

The court sent the case back to U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, who had not decided if he would grant the Justice Department’s request.

In the Durham filings, analysts also discussed buying “professional liability insurance” because they feared details of the case would be exposed in the media and they could be sued.

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, “but now it is not.”

Another FBI employee responded: “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 said about the lack of evidence of wrongdoing by Flynn.

“Bingo,” the other employee said.

“So what’s an nsl going to do — no content,” the first analyst responded.

“Haha this is a nightmare,” the second employee responded.

In another filing unsealed last week, an FBI agent who served on both special counsel Robert Mueller’s team and the Flynn probe raised doubts about the case.

William J. Barnett told investigators during a Sept. 17 interview at the Justice Department that the predication of the probe was “not great” and it “was not clear” what the FBI wanted to “look for or at,” according to court filings.

After six weeks of investigating Flynn, Mr. Barnett said he was “still unsure of the basis of the investigation concerning Russia and the Trump campaign working together without a specific criminal allegation.”

He began asking FBI officials what they viewed as “the end game” in the Flynn probe and recommended that they interview him and close the case “unless derogatory information was obtained,” according to the court filing.

Mr. Barnett said he was “cautioned against” interviewing Flynn because it might tip him off about the investigation.

Evidence in the case was so “problematic,” Mr. Barnett worried it would result in an inspector general investigation.

Mr. Barnett, according to the interview notes, said he believed the Flynn investigation was a “check the box exercise” making sure all bases were covered before the case was closed. He “did not think” the Flynn probe was “leading or headed toward prosecution.”

Mr. Barnett said he believed there were other individuals in the Russia-collusion probe who were more worthy of investigating than Flynn, whom he viewed as an “outlier.”

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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