After 3-Plus Years of Wrangling, Transcripts at Heart of Flynn Controversy See Sunlight
May 29, 2020
WASHINGTON – Transcripts of Lt. General Michael Flynn’s December 2016 conversations with the Russian ambassador were released today following more than three years of bipartisan requests from Congress and overtures from Flynn’s own legal team. Though the transcripts are at the heart of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s charges that Flynn had lied to the FBI, they were never made available to his legal team despite repeated requests to evaluate the claim against him.
“Lt. General Flynn, his legal team, the judge and the American people can now see with their own eyes – for the first time – that 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.
“It’s a shame it’s taken nearly three and a half years for everyone to see the underlying evidence against Flynn that Rosenstein and the Mueller team went to great lengths to keep hidden. Our justice system doesn’t work when one side holds all the cards. But this isn’t just about safeguarding access to justice; it’s also about exposing shenanigans and abuses of power by those entrusted to uphold and defend the law. After all the screw-ups and malicious behavior by FBI and DOJ officials during the Russia investigation, we simply cannot take them at their word anymore. We need oversight and transparency to sort out this mess. I’m grateful that former acting DNI chief Grenell took the important steps of properly declassifying this material and letting some sunlight in. Transparency brings accountability. Keep it coming,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said.
Flynn was terminated from his National Security Advisor post shortly following President Trump’s inauguration after the FBI alleged that he falsely denied discussing sanctions with the Russian ambassador. To better understand what transpired, then Judiciary Committee Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) initially requested records related to the FBI’s Flynn investigation in February 2017. Grassley renewed the request in May and June of 2018, as Justice Department’s excuses to withhold the material evolved.
Earlier this month, following the Justice Department’s motion to dismiss the Flynn case, Grassley again called for transparency, including a request to declassify the underlying transcripts and still-classified Defense Intelligence Agency material, as well as to provide copies of the FBI’s summaries of its interview with Flynn.
The transcripts are available HERE.
Mar 15, 2017: Comey briefs Grassley & Feinstein on Flynn case & Carter Page surveillance
May 26, 2017: Grassley, Feinstein, Graham & Whitehouse to IC: Preserve unmasking records Aug. 25, 2017: Grassley to DNI: Declassify Flynn Material
May 29, 2018: DOJ Declines May 11, 2018 Request
April 28, 2020: Grassley Calls DOJ to Unseal New ‘Exculpatory’ Material