The Flynn Investigation: McCabe's Personal Retaliation?
As I noted here on June 30, 2017 Michael Flynn and Andrew McCabe have a past that predates the Trump presidency, one that provides ample motivation for the perjury trap that McCabe and James Comey set up after Flynn’s illegal unmasking. McCabe had a personal grudge against Flynn and the perjury trap was his revenge.
It explains why McCabe would entrap Flynn in a seemingly harmless interview about contacts with Flynn’s Russian counterparts, advising Flynn he didn’t need to bring a lawyer along to complicate things:
The federal judge who will sentence Lt.-Gen. Michael Flynn for lying to the FBI has ordered the FBI to give him, by today, the notes written by the two FBI agents who interviewed Flynn in January 2017.
Judge Emmet Sullivan also wants to see a January 24 memo that former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe wrote about his own telephone conversation with Flynn, a conversation that happened just two hours before the FBI agents arrived at Flynn's West Wing office.
This follows information in Flynn's sentencing memo to the court, which suggests that Flynn was deliberately set up:
The sentencing memo says at 12:35 p.m. on January 24, 2017, McCabe called Flynn at his West Wing office to discuss a security training session the FBI had recently conducted at the white [sic] House. McCabe's written memo detailing that phone conversation says McCabe told Flynn "that we needed to have two of our agents sit down" with Flynn to talk about his communications with Russian officials.
McCabe wrote: "I explained that I thought the quickest way to get this done was to have a conversation between [General Flynn] and the agents only. 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. [General Flynn] stated that this would not be necessary and agreed to meet with the agents without any additional participants.”
To help cover up the setup, it also appears that multiple 302s, or FBI interview summaries, were created:
The sentencing memorandum reveals for the first time concrete evidence that the FBI created multiple 302 interview summaries of Flynn’s questioning by now-former FBI agent Peter Strzok and a second unnamed agent, reported to be FBI Special Agent Joe Pientka…
While Flynn’s sentencing memorandum methodically laid out the case for a low-level sentence of one-year probation, footnote 23 dropped a bomb, revealing that the agents’ 302 summary of his interview was dated August 22, 2017. As others have already noted, the August 22, 2017 date is a “striking detail” because that puts the 302 report “nearly seven months after the Flynn interview.” When added to facts already known, this revelation takes on a much greater significance.
Indeed, the existence of multiple 302s and the seven-month gap lends credence that the Flynn investigation was a setup motivated in large part by Andrew McCabe’s desire for personal revenge for Flynn’s past actions impacting McCabe at a personal level.
The unmasking of Flynn in the Russia probe may indeed be retaliation against Flynn for perceived political sins, but not for what and by whom you might think, if reports from investigative watchdog site Circa News are correct. As Sara A. Carter and John Solomon of Circa News report:
The FBI launched a criminal probe against former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn two years after the retired Army general roiled the bureau’s leadership by intervening on behalf of a decorated counterterrorism agent who accused now-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe and other top officials of sexual discrimination, according to documents and interviews.
Flynn’s intervention on behalf of Supervisory Special Agent Robyn Gritz was highly unusual, and included a letter in 2014 on his official Pentagon stationary, a public interview in 2015 supporting Gritz’s case and an offer to testify on her behalf. His offer put him as a hostile witness in a case against McCabe, who was soaring through the bureau’s leadership ranks.
The FBI sought to block Flynn’s support for the agent, asking a federal administrative law judge in May 2014 to keep Flynn and others from becoming a witness in her Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) case, memos obtained by Circa show. Two years later, the FBI opened its inquiry of Flynn…
McCabe eventually became the bureau’s No. 2 executive and emerged as a central player in the FBI’s Russia election tampering investigation, putting him in a position to impact the criminal inquiry against Flynn.
Three FBI employees told Circa they personally witnessed McCabe make disparaging remarks about Flynn before and during the time the retired Army general emerged as a figure in the Russia case.
In legal circles, that’s called "motive". We have to factor in as well that McCabe and Flynn come from different ends of the political spectrum. Flynn became a key Trump supporter after accusing President Obama of facilitating the rise of ISIS through his policies and inaction. McCabe is a Democratic loyalist whose wife campaigned for state office in Virginia as a Democrat with heavy Democratic financial support. In fact, McCabe’s efforts on behalf of his wife became the subject of multiple federal probes:
Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a central player in the Russia election case, is the focus of three separate federal administrative inquiries into allegations about his behavior as a senior bureau executive, according to documents and interviews.
The allegations being reviewed range from sexual discrimination to improper political activity, the documents show…
Circa reported Monday that former supervisory special agent Robyn Gritz, a decorated counterterrorism agent, has filed a sexual discrimination and retaliation complaint that names McCabe and other top FBI officials…
Gritz also filed a complaint against McCabe with the main federal whistleblower agency in April, alleging social media photos she found show he campaigned for his wife’s Virginia state senate race in violation of the Hatch Act…
In addition, the Justice Department Inspector General is investigating allegations from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, that McCabe may not have properly disclosed campaign payments to his wife on his ethics report and should have recused himself from Hillary Clinton's email case.
McCabe certainly had no love lost on Michael Flynn, who was a potential witness on behalf of one of McCabe’s accusers. As PJ Media reports:
In 2014, Flynn, then director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, personally intervened on behalf of Supervisory Special Agent Robyn Gritz by writing a letter vouching for her on his official Pentagon stationary and offering to testify on her behalf. He also supported her case in a radio interview in 2015…
The FBI, for its part, claimed that Gritz had become "underperforming, tardy to work, insurbordinate, possibly mentally ill or emotional and deserving of a poor performance review."…
Flynn argued just the opposite in his May 9, 2014 letter: “SSA Gritz was well-known, liked and respected in the military counter-terrorism community for her energy, commitment and professional capacity, and over the years worked in several interagency groups on counter-terrorism targeting initiatives.”
McCabe did not disclose Democratic contributions to his wife’s campaign in Virginia in financial disclosure forms, donations that raised questions about both his integrity and objectivity. As Fox News Politics reports:
The records, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, show FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe left the box blank for wife Dr. Jill McCabe's salary, as a doctor with Commonwealth Emergency Physicians. And there is no documentation of the hundreds of thousands of campaign funds she received in her unsuccessful 2015 Virginia state Senate race.
As first reported by The Wall Street Journal, Clinton confidant and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe urged McCabe’s wife to run for statewide office shortly after news reports were published that Hillary Clinton used a private email server and address for all her government business while serving as secretary of State.
For the reporting period of October through November 2015, McCabe's campaign filings show she received $467,500 from Common Good VA, a political action committee controlled by McAuliffe, as well as an additional $292,500 from a second Democratic PAC.
Connect those dots, Democrats and others looking for Russians hiding under Republican beds. We have a former Deputy FBI Director, Andrew McCabe, campaigning for his wife who receives huge sums of money from the Democratic Party of Clinton political ally Terry McAuliffe. After Clinton blames Russia for her election loss, Flynn becomes a target of an FBI probe in which his identity is illegally unmasked. He was a character witness on behalf of one of McCabe’s accusers. Was the largesse to Mrs. McCabe a quid for a future quo? Is all this just the result of McCabe’s lust for personal revenge?
Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.