90 Miles From Tyranny : Declassified transcripts add to evidence that FBI had no legal basis to interview Michael Flynn

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Saturday, May 30, 2020

Declassified transcripts add to evidence that FBI had no legal basis to interview Michael Flynn

In call with Russian ambassador, Flynn urged 'we need cool heads to prevail' on sanctions. That's a policy dispute, not a crime, FBI expert says.

In the end, the words that Michael Flynn uttered to Russia's ambassador that landed the former Trump national security in a three-year legal nightmare were simply this: "We need cool heads to prevail."

That was the message Flynn delivered to Sergey Kislyak on Dec. 29, 2016, the day outgoing President Barack Obama imposed sanctions on Russia for meddling in the U.S. election, according to newly declassified transcripts of the conversation.

Yes, Flynn talked sanctions. But his message not to escalate a sanctions war was similar to what his future boss, Donald Trump, presented the next day and what many other experts recommended. And it was hardly words worthy of a crime or a counterintelligence threat, a fact that the career agents who worked the Flynn case concluded on their own before their bosses meddled in the matter.

The long-awaited release of the transcripts by new Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe adds to a growing body of evidence that shows the FBI had no basis to interview Flynn, a retired general, in January 2014 or to continue investigating him at the start of the Trump presidency, experts told Just the News.

"Bottom line: the phone call was a foreign policy discussion on behalf of an incoming president. It is of zero counter intelligence interest or any legitimate concern for the FBI,” former FBI assistant director for intelligence Kevin Brock said.

"The fact that Flynn later misrepresented to the VP [Mike Pence] what he said about sanctions during the call is immaterial to the question of whether the FBI had any legal right to interview him in the first place," he added. "It appears that the FBI interviewed Flynn because he signaled that the new administration might go in a different policy direction than the outgoing administration. That is not the FBI's role."

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Ron Johnson agreed. "All of the innuendo about Lt. General Flynn this whole time was totally bunk. There was nothing improper about his call, and the FBI knew it," Grassley said late Friday.

You can read the transcripts here:

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