News & Politics

The Curious Case of Michael Flynn's '302' FBI Report

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

A few days ago, Donald Trump tweeted:

The FBI’s 302 report is supposedly a record of agents’ interview with Flynn in January of 2017. But as Andrew McCarthy pointed out on “Fox and Friends Weekend,” that record is not a verbatim transcript of what Flynn said.

Fox News:

McCarthy said that while the FBI’s methodology may have made sense in the 60s and 70s, with the technology that is available now there is “no reason” they couldn’t just record Flynn’s interview electronically — eliminating any debate or dispute over what the witness had told them.

Instead, McCarthy pointed out that the FBI has one agent lead the questioning and one as a witness and transcriptionist. Within five days following the interview, the pair of agents congregate and write up a report of the interview using notes and their memory.

“Notes and memory”? And based on that, Michael Flynn was charged with “lying to the FBI.” Unreal.

McCarthy told Hegseth what likely happened in Flynn’s case is that the agents wrote a draft of a report on January 24 — the day they conducted the interview — but the actual “302” was not completed until three weeks later. He noted that texts between agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page show that Flynn’s “302” went through “major revisions and edits.”

“So, they looked at [it] and somebody wrote it and they said, ‘Gee, we don’t like how that came out.’ So, one guy edits it and then the next person — Lisa Page says to Strzok: ‘What a piece of garbage you gave me.’ And, Strzok says to her, ‘You’ve seen it when I got it,'” he continued. “So, you know, who knows how many iterations there are of this thing?”

Back in the day, they used to refer to the FBI as “The Greatest Law Enforcement Agency in the World.” And this is the best they can do?

McCarthy points out the obvious: after going through several revisions, who knows if the 302 report accurately reflects what Flynn told the FBI?

“But, whether it’s representative of what Flynn said by the end is questionable,” he told Hegseth. “And then, the other thing, Pete, that you have to bear in mind is the agents who interviewed him didn’t think he lied. So, that’s like the cherry on top.”

The two agents responsible for overseeing that 302 report are known to be rabid anti-Trump partisans. Did that have anything to do with how the report was eventually interpreted?

And why did the report go missing? Was it a bureaucratic blunder, a paperwork sanfu, or something more sinister? Or mundane?

Just as an aside, it seems incredible that any paperwork associated with interviewing the president’s national security advisor wasn’t tracked with a little extra care.

It may be that AG Barr has more cards to play, thinks McCarthy. If so, the Flynn drama will play out over the summer and probably spill into the fall.