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White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said newly released notes about the FBI’s investigation into retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn “should scare every American citizen.”
The matter was brought up Friday during McEnany’s first press conference as President Trump’s chief spokeswoman.
“I am glad that you brought up justice, because, look, there’s again a case of injustice that has yet to be brought up today, but I certainly would like to bring it up,” McEnany said. “And that’s the case of Gen. Michael Flynn. What we have all learned from that should scare every American citizen.”
On Thursday, unsealed documents suggested former agent Peter Strzok blocked the FBI from closing its investigation into Flynn in early January 2017, during the transition period, after the agency found no “derogatory information.” It was later that month that Flynn spoke to Russian diplomat Sergey Kislyak about sanctions on Russia and a United Nations resolution on Israel, after which he pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about those conversations.
Flynn, 61, is now fighting to dismiss the government’s case against him. Flynn told the court earlier this year that he was “innocent of this crime.” He filed to withdraw his guilty plea after the Justice Department asked the judge to sentence him to up to six months in prison — though afterward, the department said probation would also be appropriate. His lead attorney, Sidney Powell, is pressing for the dismissal of his case by arguing that the FBI unfairly treated Flynn.
McEnany directed her ire at former FBI Director James Comey, who publicly admitted he took advantage of the chaos in the early days of Trump’s administration when he sent Strzok and another FBI agent to talk to Flynn.
“The fact that you had Jim Comey admitting in December of last year that he violated a protocol by directing agents to confront Flynn, something that he ‘would not have gotten away with under previous administrations.’ The FBI told Flynn he didn’t need a lawyer when they came to meet with him,” McEnany said.
“Andrew McCabe told FBI agents that he didn’t think that Flynn was lying,” McEnany added, referring to Comey’s former deputy. “All of that information that we’ve learned over the last few months and years culminates in the fact that we have a handwritten FBI note that says, ‘We need to get Flynn to lie, and get him fired.’ That was an unfair target on the back of Gen. Michael Flynn. It should concern every American any time there’s a partisan pursuit of an individual.”
On Thursday, Republican Sen. Rand Paul and other allies of the president have called for Trump to pardon Flynn. Trump told reporters on Thursday he “would certainly consider” bringing Flynn back into his administration. He also said he did not think he should have to pardon him because Flynn was “in the process of being exonerated.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said new disclosures about the FBI’s investigation into Flynn were “disturbing,” telling Fox News on Thursday: “It’s been interesting to watch, and if all of this proves to be true, you will have, certainly, a major, major error on the part of top leadership at the FBI, which could well warrant additional charges against them.”