News & Politics

AG Barr Blames Comey for Flynn Perjury Trap, Says a 'Pattern' of Anti-Trump Conduct Existed at FBI

Attorney General William Barr appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee to face lawmakers' questions for the first time since releasing special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia report, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 1, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Former FBI Director James Comey laid a perjury trap for Trump’s national security adviser Michael Flynn, and it was part of a pattern of anti-Trump conduct in the FBI, according to Attorney General William Barr.

Barr made the claim during an interview with CBS News investigative reporter Catherine Herridge that aired Thursday.

“Does the new evidence show that the counterintelligence case against General Flynn was simply left open to lay a trap for lying?” asked Herridge.

“Yes. Essentially,” Barr replied. “They had started a counterintelligence investigation during the summer, as you know, related to the campaign. But in December, the team, the Crossfire Hurricane team, was closing that and determined they had found nothing to justify continuing with that investigation against Flynn.”

“On the very day they prepared the final papers, the seventh floor, that is the director’s office and the deputy director’s office up there sent down word they should keep that open, so that they could try to go and question Flynn about this call he had with the Russian ambassador,” Barr continued.

According to Barr, questioning Flynn on his discussions with the Russian ambassador was a bogus justification.

“At that point, he was the designated national security advisor for President-elect Trump, and was part of the transition, which is recognized by the government and funded by the government as an important function to bring in a new administration. And it is very typical, very common for the national security team of the incoming president to communicate with foreign leaders.”

“So there was no mystery about the call,” Barr added. “But they initially tried some theories of how they could open another investigation, which didn’t fly. And then they found out that they had not technically closed the earlier investigation. And they kept it open for the express purpose of trying to catch, lay a perjury trap for General Flynn.”

When asked about the consequences for Comey or the agents behind the railroading of Flynn, Barr didn’t want to get into specifics, but mentioned the investigation of U.S. Attorneys John Durham and Jeff Jensen. “I’m gonna wait till all the evidence is, and I get their recommendations as to what they found and how serious it is.”

_____

Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis