Are Barr/Trump slowly unraveling the Michael Flynn prosecution?

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HumblePie

Lifer
Oct 30, 2000
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You've argued that the motion has merit all along. You've also claimed that Flynn acted under undue duress, something the motion simply does not address. You're clearly acting as his advocate.
Nope. I have not argued that at all. Never stated as such and emphatically have made statements that I am not arguing the merit. I am only talking about the what ifs of the situation legally. If the merits of the motion are true, then X is likely to happen. If the merits are not true, then Y is likely to occur. In fact I have stated I don't care about the outcome of the Flynn case at all. I didn't claim Flynn acted under duress, only that the claim was made. I invite you to reread all my posts if you don't believe that in this thread.
 

Jhhnn

No Lifer
Nov 11, 1999
58,853
10,927
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Nope. I have not argued that at all. Never stated as such and emphatically have made statements that I am not arguing the merit. I am only talking about the what ifs of the situation legally. If the merits of the motion are true, then X is likely to happen. If the merits are not true, then Y is likely to occur. In fact I have stated I don't care about the outcome of the Flynn case at all. I didn't claim Flynn acted under duress, only that the claim was made. I invite you to reread all my posts if you don't believe that in this thread.
You're using the same "people are saying" technique as Trump. Merely repeating such rubbish is to lend it credibility, coy denials aside.
 

imported_tajmahal

Diamond Member
Jul 9, 2009
8,889
956
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You are full of Shit.
That looks surprisingly like a personal insult, but i'm curious about what part of my post you disagree with?
Plea bargains?
The prosecutors with holding exculpatory material?
Misinformed the previous judge?
The missing 302? Still hasn't been produced?
 

Jhhnn

No Lifer
Nov 11, 1999
58,853
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HurleyBird

Platinum Member
Apr 22, 2003
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440
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Probably shouldn't even wade into this when emotions are running so hot, but... I think just about everyone involved in this has come across extremely poorly.

Flynn: The Russian/Logan act stuff is a nothing burger or worse. The § 1001 stuff is more ambiguous and it would be great if we could put the agents in the room under oath. But even with all that he's obviously guilty as sin when it comes to Turkey and FARA, and this seems to be getting lost in the commotion.

FBI: Most likely did step over the line. Hyper-partisan-and-all-around terrible-people Page and Strzok being so deeply involved is troubling. Withholding documents is troubling. Losing initial drafts of the 302 is troubling.

Current DOJ: Not even trying to hide their political motivations. Novel interpretation of "materiality" for the benefit of Flynn. Probably a better interpretation to be honest, but not when it's inconsistently applied. No one else has, or likely will, be judged according to "is material" rather than the prevailing "could be material."

Sullivan: Made a bit of a clown of himself with the entire "treason" thing (prosecution had to step in and correct him because Sullivan didn't even know the proper timeline). Probably stepping outside of his judicial authority and violating recent supreme court precedent with the whole amicus curiae thing.
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
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Where did you get the idea that Strzok and Page were partisans, much less hyper partisans? Because they privately talked shit about Trump? They privately insulted a lot of politicians.

I’m sure this would be news to Hillary Clinton if nothing else as Strzok was one of the people who pushed to reopen the email investigation, which probably cost her the election.

I mean I know right wing media has repeatedly tried to cast them as partisans but I thought we all knew that was a lie?
 
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HurleyBird

Platinum Member
Apr 22, 2003
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Where did you get the idea that Strzok and Page were partisans, much less hyper partisans? Because they privately talked shit about Trump? They privately insulted a lot of politicians.

I’m sure this would be news to Hillary Clinton if nothing else as Strzok was one of the people who pushed to reopen the email investigation, which probably cost her the election.

I mean I know right wing media has repeatedly tried to cast them as partisans but I thought we all knew that was a lie?
Correction: announcing the reopening is what probably costed Clinton the election. That's on Comey's head. Simply re-opening an investigation into certain documents when new documents are discovered sounds like a course of action that would be difficult to avoid even if you wanted to. Also...

Electronic records show Peter Strzok, who led the investigation of Hillary Clinton's private email server as the No. 2 official in the counterintelligence division, changed Comey's earlier draft language describing Clinton's actions as "grossly negligent" to "extremely careless," the sources said.
Of course, just because someone's name is stamped on the electronic record doesn't necessarily tell the entire story of what went on behind the scenes. But nor does "he wanted to reopen."

As for insulting other politicians, I wouldn't mind seeing that. I don't doubt that they did, but I'm very skeptical there's anything in there that screams bias the same way as their other leaked correspondence screams "I'm in the resistance."
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
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Correction: announcing the reopening is what probably costed Clinton the election. That's on Comey's head. Simply re-opening an investigation into certain documents when new documents are discovered sounds like a course of action that would be difficult to avoid even if you wanted to. Also...
This is false. Comey didn’t announce it, he notified Congress, who then leaked it.

As for whether or not reopening the investigation could be avoided Strzok certainly didn’t need to advocate for it as he did.

Of course, just because someone's name is stamped on the electronic record doesn't necessarily tell the entire story of what went on behind the scenes. But nor does "he wanted to reopen."
I mean changing that is not just common sense, it would be professional misconduct not to. If you’re releasing a statement saying you aren’t charging someone with a crime you don’t say in the statement that their conduct met a criminal standard.

Regardless, you claimed he was not just a partisan but a hyper partisan. It is odd that you think a hyper partisan would push to torpedo the campaign of someone he was in the tank for. Pretty illogical. It’s also strange to say that his involvement here was troubling considering extensive investigation turned up precisely zero acts of misconduct in his work on the various investigations. If anything it should be comforting that the person involved had their conduct scrutinized and it all came up clean. Agree?
 

HurleyBird

Platinum Member
Apr 22, 2003
2,033
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This is false. Comey didn’t announce it, he notified Congress, who then leaked it.
Sure, but that's semantics. Comey knew it would get out when he briefed congress, and again, it isn't the re-opening that sunk Hillary but the publication of the same.

As for whether or not reopening the investigation could be avoided Strzok certainly didn’t need to advocate for it as he did.
The same caveat applies here in that neither of us know what happened behind the scenes or "how" he advocated for it.

I mean changing that is not just common sense, it would be professional misconduct not to. If you’re releasing a statement saying you aren’t charging someone with a crime you don’t say in the statement that their conduct met a criminal standard.
Which is one way to look at it. Depending on your red or blue coloured glasses, one might say more or less the same thing but with a different connotation. Eg. that there was a crime, the original wording suggests as much, but the final recommendation and wording was changed for political reasons. It's not obvious what is the better read.

But if we want to speak about obvious, it sure does seem obvious that after you close an investigation into the content of leaked documents and another trove of of the same is discovered that it bears further investigation. You can't honestly paint supporting a natural extension of the situation at hand as a contra-indication of bias. A contra-indication would be going against the flow, not going along with it. Regardless of bias or lack of bias, advising to keep the investigation closed was likely an untenable position for Stzork to take.

Regardless, you claimed he was not just a partisan but a hyper partisan. It is odd that you think a hyper partisan would push to torpedo the campaign of someone he was in the tank for. Pretty illogical.
The texts seem pretty clear on partisanship, and the recent leaks with Flynn only reinforce it.

Again, it's not the investigation that tanked Clinton, it was the revelation of the investigation. Did Stzork push for that? And again, did Stzork really have any sort of reason or excuse for not reopening the email probe? Or was it a natural and obvious extension of discovering new material? It's only a contra-indication in the former scenario, not in the later.

It’s also strange to say that his involvement here was troubling considering extensive investigation turned up precisely zero acts of misconduct in his work on the various investigations. If anything it should be comforting that the person involved had their conduct scrutinized and it all came up clean. Agree?
Certainly not zero acts of misconduct, or the Office of Professional Responsibility wouldn't have recommended a 60 day suspension and demotion. You probably mean zero acts of bias, and there I know of one investigation that didn't find fault in the Clinton email investigation. I'm unaware of any that did the same for the Russia probe. That's probably coming given newly public correspondence between him and Page regarding Flynn that some see as damning, and others not. Although to be honest, I don't put much trust into internal investigations in general. They tend to either cover, or have an axe to grind. If this administration launches a probe into Szork and Page over their handling of Flynn, and claims gross misconduct and malicious prosecution, how much stock would you put in that?
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
67,759
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I can’t help but notice how you’ve provided literally zero evidence that Strzok is a hyper partisan, you’re only trying to explain away why actions that he took which clearly hurt Clinton don’t count. This is silliness.

Also, as per the investigation they found zero actions of Strzok’s in the investigation that were improper, both for Clinton AND Russia so you have bad info there.

He simply is not a hyper partisan and I don’t know why you’re trying to pretend otherwise.
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
67,759
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Sorry, the evidence is he said something mean about Trump in a text.

Yes guys, that’s the entirety of it.
 

HurleyBird

Platinum Member
Apr 22, 2003
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I mean, the actions in reopening the Clinton investigation might count. Perhaps Stzork counselled Comey to brief congress too? Doubtful though. Maybe he yielded to pressure from the rest of the team? I also wouldn't put much confidence in that. Most likely, reopening the investigation was just the natural conclusion of finding new documents. Point is, it's a poor argument that you made.

It's not about saying mean things about Trump. Stzork could have said the most vile things about Trump imaginable and wouldn't have gotten into much trouble, and certainly wouldn't have gotten fired over it. It's that various messages can be easily interpreted as signifying a desire to work against Trump using FBI resources that creates a perception of impropriety. There's a difference between calling Trump a drooling moron, which is saying mean things about him, and talking about "insurance policies" in the case he's elected. Which isn't to say that you can't conceive of a situation where said insurance policy is referencing something less sinister than what it immediately sounds like, because of course you can, but to equate this with "saying mean things about Trump" is extremely disingenuous.

Reading the texts, I do get the impression that he's hyper partisan. Honestly, I think it would be difficult not to walk away with that impression. Digging up the dusty, 200+ yr old, likely unconstitutional, only invoked twice and never successfully Logan act on the surface, looks like a partisan move. Noting that an investigation should have been closed, but because it hasn't "our utter incompetence actually helps us" looks partisan when the subject of that investigation is a political enemy.

Any you know what? Regardless of how partisan Stzork might be, that doesn't necessarily mean that he can't effectively compartmentalise, or that he's allowed that bias to creep into his actions any more than it always does at a subconscious level. It could be that he's honest in how he conducts himself professionally, despite the partisanship, and despite the moral weakness exposed by the affair. Perhaps he's just generally a hard-ass when it comes to prosecution, and he'd dig up some dusty old law to go after anyone given the chance.

I'll agree his and Page's involvement generally pales in consideration to the withholding of potential Brady material as far as FBI misconduct goes. But I also stand by my statement that the involvement of personnel who give the appearance of impropriety is troubling. For that, I think we'll need to agree to disagree.
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
67,759
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I mean, the actions in reopening the Clinton investigation might count. Perhaps Stzork counselled Comey to brief congress too? Doubtful though. Maybe he yielded to pressure from the rest of the team? I also wouldn't put much confidence in that. Most likely, reopening the investigation was just the natural conclusion of finding new documents. Point is, it's a poor argument that you made.

It's not about saying mean things about Trump. Stzork could have said the most vile things about Trump imaginable and wouldn't have gotten into much trouble, and certainly wouldn't have gotten fired over it. It's that various messages can be easily interpreted as signifying a desire to work against Trump using FBI resources that creates a perception of impropriety. There's a difference between calling Trump a drooling moron, which is saying mean things about him, and talking about "insurance policies" in the case he's elected. Which isn't to say that you can't conceive of a situation where said insurance policy is referencing something less sinister than what it immediately sounds like, because of course you can, but to equate this with "saying mean things about Trump" is extremely disingenuous.

Reading the texts, I do get the impression that he's hyper partisan. Honestly, I think it would be difficult not to walk away with that impression. Digging up the dusty, 200+ yr old, likely unconstitutional, only invoked twice and never successfully Logan act on the surface, looks like a partisan move. Noting that an investigation should have been closed, but because it hasn't "our utter incompetence actually helps us" looks partisan when the subject of that investigation is a political enemy.

Any you know what? Regardless of how partisan Stzork might be, that doesn't necessarily mean that he can't effectively compartmentalise, or that he's allowed that bias to creep into his actions any more than it always does at a subconscious level. It could be that he's honest in how he conducts himself professionally, despite the partisanship, and despite the moral weakness exposed by the affair. Perhaps he's just generally a hard-ass when it comes to prosecution, and he'd dig up some dusty old law to go after anyone given the chance.

I'll agree his and Page's involvement generally pales in consideration to the withholding of potential Brady material as far as FBI misconduct goes. But I also stand by my statement that the involvement of personnel who give the appearance of impropriety is troubling. For that, I think we'll need to agree to disagree.
Except of course their conduct was explicitly investigated and found to be above board. I’m not sure why someone would have to worry about the appearance of bias when we literally investigated it and found none. Case closed.

The judge also ruled on the material and found it not discoverable under Brady.

The whole Flynn thing is really just the corrupt DOJ leadership attacking federal law enforcement for having the temerity to treat the president’s associates the same they would anyone else.
 

imported_tajmahal

Diamond Member
Jul 9, 2009
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So are the actions of the DoJ that provoked it.
No they are not, in fact the DOJ under Obama and Holder did the took the same actions in a previous case.

you remember it right?

 

HurleyBird

Platinum Member
Apr 22, 2003
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Except of course their conduct was explicitly investigated and found to be above board. I’m not sure why someone would have to worry about the appearance of bias when we literally investigated it and found none. Case closed.
The justice department decided they couldn't prosecute. Case closed?

But for serious, audits are hardly infallible, and bias always affects how we conduct ourselves even when we try to control for it. Oftentimes it doesn't rise to the level where a plausible alternative explanation can't be conjured. None of that changes the fact that having individuals who appear to be extremely politically biased conducting political investigations is troubling.

The judge also ruled on the material and found it not discoverable under Brady.
Sullivan ruled specifically on the recently disclosed material? When? Can you give me that link?

I mean, I don't recall that he has, but even if so the US criminal justice system is generally one sided when it comes to Brady, especially when it occurs after the fact (eg. after a conviction, sentencing, plea, etc.), so in the event you are able to find that I'll likely end up disagreeing with both you and Sullivan.

The whole Flynn thing is really just the corrupt DOJ leadership attacking federal law enforcement for having the temerity to treat the president’s associates the same they would anyone else.
See, I agree with you here. The way the DOJ is interpreting 1001 now is the way it should be interpreted in general for everyone. If somehow they remain consistent about it, that would be great. But it's obvious that they changed their interpretation specifically for Flynn. In an ideal world they would let him take back his plea, make him go through a trial, drop the stupid Logan Act bs and go after him on FARA, where it seems that he's so obviously guilty.
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
67,759
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The justice department decided they couldn't prosecute. Case closed?

But for serious, audits are hardly infallible, and bias always affects how we conduct ourselves even when we try to control for it. Oftentimes it doesn't rise to the level where a plausible alternative explanation can't be conjured. None of that changes the fact that having individuals who appear to be extremely politically biased conducting political investigations is troubling.
They didn’t decide they couldn’t prosecute, they determined that no misconduct had occurred. Far more expansive exoneration.

As far as the idea that agents shouldn’t have the appearance of bias I suspect if the average FBI agent’s texts were leaked we would see tons of stuff exactly like this. Personal communications are easy to mine.

Sullivan ruled specifically on the recently disclosed material? When? Can you give me that link?

I mean, I don't recall that he has, but even if so the US criminal justice system is generally one sided when it comes to Brady, especially when it occurs after the fact (eg. after a conviction, sentencing, plea, etc.), so in the event you are able to find that I'll likely end up disagreeing with both you and Sullivan.
Yes, much of the ‘new’ information was not even new.
See, I agree with you here. The way the DOJ is interpreting 1001 now is the way it should be interpreted in general for everyone. If somehow they remain consistent about it, that would be great. But it's obvious that they changed their interpretation specifically for Flynn. In an ideal world they would let him take back his plea, make him go through a trial, drop the stupid Logan Act bs and go after him on FARA, where it seems that he's so obviously guilty.
That requires the law to be changed, which it should. Also he’s not being prosecuted for Logan Act violations.
 

Jhhnn

No Lifer
Nov 11, 1999
58,853
10,927
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No they are not, in fact the DOJ under Obama and Holder did the took the same actions in a previous case.

you remember it right?

So dishonest. Barr's writ does not allege prosecutorial misconduct as in Steven's case. It alleges that the FBI didn't have reason to interview Flynn at all, an entirely different thing & an outright lie. Holder inherited the Stevens case & kicked ass on previous prosecutors' malfeasance after Sullivan cited them for contempt-

 

HurleyBird

Platinum Member
Apr 22, 2003
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They didn’t decide they couldn’t prosecute, they determined that no misconduct had occurred. Far more expansive exoneration.
I was being a bit tongue in cheek there. Point being, an official stamp isn't necessarily the be-all-end-all.

As far as the idea that agents shouldn’t have the appearance of bias I suspect if the average FBI agent’s texts were leaked we would see tons of stuff exactly like this. Personal communications are easy to mine.
I'm sure you would find dirt. I'm skeptical much if any of it would read as poorly as the Stzork-Page correspondence does, but if it did I'd maintain the same position.

Yes, much of the ‘new’ information was not even new.
"Much," or all? Still waiting on those links.

That requires the law to be changed, which it should. Also he’s not being prosecuted for Logan Act violations.
As far as I remember, and correct me if I'm wrong, he was only ever officially being prosecuted on a single charge of 1001, because they worked out a plea before officially laying charges. Absent the plea, he would have undoubtedly been charged with more. Maybe Logan, but certainly FARA. That said, Logan seems pretty key... from the FBI correspondence, it appears they would have closed the case entirely had Stzork not come up with the Logan angle.

The one thing I don't understand is why they came so close to closing the investigation in the first place, given that the FARA violation looks like it's more than strong enough to stand on its own.
 
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ivwshane

Lifer
May 15, 2000
26,884
6,351
136
I was being a bit tongue in cheek there. Point being, an official stamp isn't necessarily the be-all-end-all.



I'm sure you would find dirt. I'm skeptical much if any of it would read as poorly as the Stzork-Page correspondence does, but if it did I'd maintain the same position.



"Much," or all? Still waiting on those links.



As far as I remember, and correct me if I'm wrong, he was only ever officially being prosecuted on a single charge of 1001, because they worked out a plea before officially laying charges. Absent the plea, he would have undoubtedly been charged with more. Maybe Logan, but certainly FARA. That said, Logan seems pretty key... from the FBI correspondence, it appears they would have closed the case entirely had Stzork not come up with the Logan angle.

The one thing I don't understand is why they came so close to closing the investigation in the first place, given that the FARA violation looks like it's more than strong enough to stand on its own.

They closed the investigation because they didn’t find anything, however the trump-Russia investigation was still going on and when new information came out they again interviewed Flynn who then lied to them.
 

HurleyBird

Platinum Member
Apr 22, 2003
2,033
440
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They closed the investigation because they didn’t find anything, however the trump-Russia investigation was still going on and when new information came out they again interviewed Flynn who then lied to them.
No, the investigation was never closed. It was close to being closed, and it's asserted in the recently public Stzork-Page correspondence that at one point it should have been except for FBI incompetence:

Page
“Phew. But yeah that’s amazing that he is still open. Good, I guess.”

Stzork
"Our utter incompetence actually helps us. 20% of the time, I’m guessing :)

At that point, Stzork messaged the case manager to keep it open, presumably to explore the Logan act angle.

The DOJ claims that the only predicate for the interview was Logan Act violations, and that being a silly reason, invalidates everything after that point and makes 1001 violations immaterial. Opponents argue that the interview was for the larger Russia Collusion investigation. The FBI notes that we've seen from just before the interview are more supporting of the DOJ's record of events:

“What’s our goal? Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired? If we get him to admit to breaking the Logan Act, give facts to DOJ & have them decide."

...But as far as I understand materiality under 1001 that typically shouldn't matter, even if it looks a bit bad.

What I still don't understand though is why the FBI needed to do the whole runaround of invoking some absurd dusty law which would never succeed at court, and then attempt to get Flynn to lie about it when the FARA violation sounds like a such a slam dunk in and of itself. Flynn took a lot of money from bad people, lobbied for them, and failed to disclose it until after he was discovered. So why were the FBI on--and possibly over excepting "helpful incompetence"--the verge of closing the investigation in the first place?
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
67,759
15,165
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No, the investigation was never closed. It was close to being closed, and it's asserted in the recently public Stzork-Page correspondence that at one point it should have been except for FBI incompetence:

Page
“Phew. But yeah that’s amazing that he is still open. Good, I guess.”

Stzork
"Our utter incompetence actually helps us. 20% of the time, I’m guessing :)

At that point, Stzork messaged the case manager to keep it open, presumably to explore the Logan act angle.

The DOJ claims that the only predicate for the interview was Logan Act violations, and that being a silly reason, invalidates everything after that point and makes 1001 violations immaterial. Opponents argue that the interview was for the larger Russia Collusion investigation. The FBI notes that we've seen from just before the interview are more supporting of the DOJ's record of events:

“What’s our goal? Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired? If we get him to admit to breaking the Logan Act, give facts to DOJ & have them decide."

...But as far as I understand materiality under 1001 that typically shouldn't matter, even if it looks a bit bad.

What I still don't understand though is why the FBI needed to do the whole runaround of invoking some absurd dusty law which would never succeed at court, and then attempt to get Flynn to lie about it when the FARA violation sounds like a such a slam dunk in and of itself. Flynn took a lot of money from bad people, lobbied for them, and failed to disclose it until after he was discovered. So why were the FBI on--and possibly over excepting "helpful incompetence"--the verge of closing the investigation in the first place?
You are being ridiculous. The predicate for the investigation was that the FBI saw suspicious interactions between Trump associates and the Russian government. Flynn was a Trump associate and he was talking to the Russian government.

This isn’t even close. You would have to be insane to think the investigation wasn’t warranted.
 

HurleyBird

Platinum Member
Apr 22, 2003
2,033
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I said the predicate for the interview, not the investigation, and that the available FBI notes more support the DOJ's assertion, which for the ones I've seen, they do. If you can find in the interview notes where they talk about uncovering Russian collusion being a goal, then you can direct me to those. As far as I'm aware, the FBI knew all the answers to the questions they asked of Flynn ahead of time. Again, from what I know, even if the DOJ is completely correct in its assertion, this wouldn't be enough to drop the 1001 charge.
 
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