The American public has been told a lot of stories about the “Russia” investigation, about the intel community’s work, about investigations into those associated with President Trump’s campaign, and his transition, and his administration — and often, stories about the same thing told by two different people don’t line up.
But Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has told Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray to send him some key information from FBI interviews because he wants to know why stories from one person – fired FBI chief James Comey – don’t line up.
There were reports just days ago that Comey, on a tour promoting his book, repeatedly has denied that agents who interviewed former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn thought the top Trump aide was actually being truthful when they interviewed him about his contacts with the Russian ambassador.
Yet Comey told Fox, “I didn’t believe that and didn’t say that.”
However, a new version of a congressional report on Russian interference in the last presidential race found “previously redacted paragraphs” in which Comey, in fact, states FBI interviewers “saw nothing that indicated to them that (Flynn) knew he was lying to them.”
The result? Doubt cast on special counsel Robert Mueller’s case against Flynn, who mysteriously entered a guilty plea to a count of lying to investigators.
Reports speculate he might have entered the plea to get a pass for his son, Mike Jr., who worked for his dad.
Now Grassley wants to know what’s really going on.
He asked the federal officials for “Flynn-related documents” and said he expects them, since “with Flynn’s plea, the investigation appears concluded.”
“We presume that all related records already have been provided to the defense pursuant to Judge Sullivan’s February 16, 2018, order requiring production of all potentially exculpatory material,” he wrote. “Thus, although the case is not yet adjudicated, the committee’s oversight interest in the underlying documents requested more than a year ago now outweighs any legitimate executive branch interest in withholding it. So too does the committee’s interest in learning the FBI agents’ actual assessments of their interview of Lt. Gen. Flynn, particularly given the apparent contradiction between what then-Director Comey told us in March 2017 and what he now claims.”
Grassley pointed out that according to an FBI agent’s “contemporaneous notes,” “Comey specifically told us during that briefing that the FBI agents who interviewed Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn ‘saw nothing that led them to believe [he was] lying.’
“Our own committee staff’s notes indicate that Mr. Comey said the ‘agents saw no change in his demeanor or tone that would say he was being untruthful,'” the letter added.
“Contrary to his public statements during his current book tour denying any memory of those comments, then-Director Comey led us to believe during that briefing that the agents who interviewed Flynn did not believe he intentionally lied about his conversation with the ambassador.”
Grassley specifically wants transcripts of “the reportedly intercepted calls and any FBI repots summarizing them” and “the FBI agents’ 302s memorializing their interview of Flynn.”