Former FBI director James Comey told lawmakers last March that the FBI agents who interviewed retired Gen. Michael Flynn, who briefly served in the Trump White House, said Flynn did not lie to them — which contradicts what the Russia probe has concluded.
Byron York of the Washington Examiner cited two sources familiar with meetings Comey had with lawmakers on Capitol Hill as saying they believed Flynn was telling the truth when asked about his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during President Donald Trump’s transition. An intercept of their phone calls led to the Department of Justice pursuing a Logan Act case against Flynn.
The Logan Act prohibits American citizens from negotiating with foreign governments regarding disputes in the U.S. In this case, the dispute was in regards to sanctions the U.S. government had placed on Russia.
Flynn was ultimately charged with lying to the FBI by special counsel Robert Mueller, but York’s reporting shows that decision came as a surprise to Comey and others in the bureau.
Two FBI agents went to the White House on Jan. 24, 2017 to interview Flynn, who at the time was Trump’s national security adviser. He opted to speak with them without a lawyer. The agents’ takeaway from the questioning was that Flynn was telling the truth and that it was unlikely he would be charged with a crime.
Comey conveyed that to the lawmakers, and some of them believed Flynn was innocent of breaking any laws.
York pointed out that as Trump’s pick to serve as national security adviser, it would be normal for Flynn to speak with members of foreign governments about issues he would be dealing with once the new administration was installed.
Mueller’s team is investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. The probe has resulted in four indictments thus far.