President Trump, responding to new allegations that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was coerced into forgoing a lawyer during an interview with the FBI, claims “he didn’t lie” and it was Special Counsel Robert Mueller who pushed the claim.
“Well, the FBI said Michael Flynn, a general and a great person, they said he didn’t lie,” Trump said at a White House meeting with governors-elect.
“And Mueller said: ‘Well, maybe he did,'” he continued. “And now they’re all having a big dispute, so I think it’s a great thing that the judge is looking into that situation. It’s an honor for a lot of terrific people.”
It is the strongest defense of Flynn coming from the President since new court filings have forced people to look at the handling of the case with fresh eyes. Trump stated last year that he had to fire Flynn for lying to the FBI, but new revelations suggest the general wasn’t afforded a right to counsel and wasn’t aware that he was being officially interviewed.
The President also noted special counsel Robert Mueller has recommended no prison time for Flynn, suggesting this was a sign they couldn’t recommend jail after the way they treated him – or that he didn’t really commit any crimes.
They gave General Flynn a great deal because they were embarrassed by the way he was treated – the FBI said he didn’t lie and they overrode the FBI. They want to scare everybody into making up stories that are not true by catching them in the smallest of misstatements. Sad!……
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2018
Flynn didn’t lie to the FBI – according to the FBI
President Trump seems to be hearkening back to a report issued by the House Intelligence Committee in which then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe testified that agents who interviewed Flynn “didn’t think he was lying.”
Officials, though, later stated they thought his statements were “inconsistent,” according to McCabe.
Additionally, according to agents, former FBI Director James Comey said Flynn “discerned no physical indications of deception” and he saw “nothing that indicated to them that he knew he was lying to them.”
Comey would alter that description, saying that while agents saw “none of the common indicia of lying — physical manifestations, changes in tone, changes in pace,” the FBI still “concluded he was lying.”
The question is – how did they travel in their thought process from ‘not lying’ to ‘he was lying?’
The interview would eventually lead to Flynn admitting to a guilty plea on one count of making false statements.
Court filing says Flynn was trapped
The other portion of President Trump’s statement referring to a judge’s review are based on a court filing by Flynn’s lawyers, who argue that the FBI went well out of their way to create a perjury trap for their victim.
According to the filing, Flynn wasn’t told that he could have a lawyer present, was given no warning that his statements were part of an official review, and officials discussed they “would not warn Flynn that it was a crime to lie during an FBI interview because they wanted Flynn to be relaxed.”
General Flynn’s sentencing memo filed tonight.
An account of what occurred when McCabe sent Strozk and another agent after Flynn: pic.twitter.com/uZUvEHYsYy
— Techno Fog (@Techno_Fog) December 12, 2018
In light of that information, a federal judge requested a review of FBI documents related to the fateful White House interview that Flynn gave to the agents.
.@RepMattGaetz: “I believe President @realDonaldTrump should pardon Michael Flynn. Michael Flynn is largely dealing with a plea deal as a consequence of process, not as a consequence of some nefarious affirmative action he took” @weartv #C2C pic.twitter.com/8UJtkp1hTz
— C2C Sinclair (@SBGC2C) December 12, 2018
Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz has claimed there is evidence to suggest that there was no criminal activity on the part of the former National Security Adviser.
It’s increasingly clear that Mueller has nothing.