The Sentencing Memo On Michael Flynn Raises Eyebrows

Hannah Bleau

Byron York has a new piece in the Washington Examiner, going over some of the details in Michael Flynn’s sentencing memo. The short version? McCabe encouraged Flynn NOT to have a lawyer present, and agents “decided specifically not to warn him that there would be penalties for making false statements because the agents wanted to ensure that Flynn was ‘relaxed’ during the session.”

Hm. That doesn’t sound like a set-up at all. Nope. Nothing to see here!

The new information, drawn from McCabe’s account of events plus the FBI agents’ writeup of the interview — the so-called 302 report — is contained in a sentencing memo filed Tuesday by Flynn’s defense team.

Citing McCabe’s account, the sentencing memo says that shortly after noon on Jan. 24 — the fourth day of the new Trump administration — McCabe called Flynn on a secure phone in Flynn’s West Wing office. The two men discussed business briefly and then McCabe said that he “felt that we needed to have two of our agents sit down” with Flynn to discuss Flynn’s talks with Russian officials during the presidential transition.

McCabe, by his own account, urged Flynn to talk to the agents alone, without a lawyer present. “I explained that I thought the quickest way to get this done was to have a conversation between [Flynn] and the agents only,” McCabe wrote. “I further stated that if LTG Flynn wished to include anyone else in the meeting, like the White House counsel for instance, that I would need to involve the Department of Justice. [Flynn] stated that this would not be necessary and agreed to meet with the agents without any additional participants.”

Agents showed up to Flynn’s office two hours later.

“The agents did not provide Gen. Flynn with a warning of the penalties for making a false statement under 18 U.S.C. 1001 before, during, or after the interview,” the memo states.

According to the 302, before the interview, McCabe and other FBI officials “decided the agents would not warn Flynn that it was a crime to lie during an FBI interview because they wanted Flynn to be relaxed, and they were concerned that giving the warnings might adversely affect the rapport.”

On one hand, they should’ve given him the lowdown, but on the other hand, you should know not to lie.

The message of the sentencing memo is clear: Flynn, his lawyers suggest, was surprised, rushed, not warned of the context or seriousness of the questioning, and discouraged from having a lawyer present.

Reactions are mixed. Some say the FBI was playing a dirty game. Others say Flynn should’ve known better anyway.

Thoughts?

h/t Washington Examiner