The FBI set Flynn up to take a fall

Unsealed internal FBI documents reveal that top FBI officials conspired to set up General Michael Flynn to "get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired."  The fact that these documents turned up only now is just one part of the DOJ's and FBI's Russia hoax, an ongoing effort to stage a coup against the Trump administration.  The DOJ's and FBI's malicious prosecution against Flynn consisted of withholding exculpatory information (including the material discussed here), threatening without cause to prosecute Flynn's son to force Flynn to plead guilty, and blackmailing Flynn's attorneys into working against him.

Bombshells appear in notes that Bill Priestap, the former head of counterintelligence at the FBI, wrote down after meeting with then–FBI director James Comey and then–FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, and in emails among McCabe, Peter Strzok, and Lisa Page.

Priestap, in his notes, stated explicitly that the goal of the upcoming interview with General Flynn, which took place on January 24, 2017, was either to get him to confess to something or to "get him to lie."  Either a lie or a confession would serve the endgame, which was "so we can prosecute him or get him fired."

What this unholy trio tried to do was get Flynn to admit to violating the Logan Act.  This 1799 law was intended to prevent people from fraudulently telling foreign governments that they represented the United States and deriving financial benefits from that fraud.  No one has ever been prosecuted under the Logan Act.

Priestap had some concerns, but not about doing something unethical or illegal.  Instead, he worried that "[i]f we're seen as playing games, WH [i.e., the Trump White House] will be furious[.]"

In addition, in an email exchange that included agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page, the FBI conspired about how to "slip" a "1001 warning" to Flynn without his being aware of it.  The phrase "1001 warning" refers to 18 USC §1001, which creates a felony for "knowingly" making false statements to the FBI.  John Solomon explains:

"I have a question for you," Page wrote in an email that included Strzok. "Could the admonition re 1001 be given at the beginning at the interview? Or does it have to come following a statement which agents believed to be false? Does this policy speak to that? 

She added: "It seems to be if the former then it would be an easy way to just casually slip that in, Of course you know sir federal law makes it a crime to..."

A while later, Page gets an emailed response: "I haven't read the policy lately, but if I recall correctly, you can say it any time. I'm 90 percent sure about that, but I can check in the a.m."

The mere fact that FBI agents were using phrase like "slip that in" when talking about a warning designed to protect someone's constitutional rights is certain to give Flynn's lawyers more fodder to argue in court that his January 2017 interview was a set up as Powell has argued.

James Comey later boasted about advancing this nefarious scheme.  According to him, he was able to take advantage of the White House's disorganization (he forgot to tell his audience this was only three days after the inauguration) to blindside Flynn without bothering to go through ordinary White House channels:

Within days or weeks of this concerted attack on Trump's chosen national security adviser, the DOJ and FBI knew that there had not been any Russian collusion — yet they pressed on, destroying General Flynn's life and leaving Trump (and America) without a trusted adviser.

Decent people reacted with horror to these revelations:

Some have tried to dismiss the issue by saying it's standard operating procedure for the FBI to try to trap people during interviews.  In this case, though, the FBI tried to hide the 1001 warning, which is unconscionable.  Also, given how ludicrous Steele's documents were, the DOJ and FBI knew, or should have known, that there was no crime.  Finally, even after knowing with certainty that there was no Russia collusion and after the FBI agents reported that Flynn was telling the truth as he knew it, the DOJ still prosecuted Flynn. 

This is pure Soviet-era stuff ("Show me the man, and I'll show you the crime").  In a just world, everyone involved should be doing a perp walk.