Grassley Presses Rosenstein on Lack of Transparency, Withholding of Exculpatory Evidence in Flynn Case
Jun 03, 2020
WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), former chairman and senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today slammed the withholding of information from Congress and the public in the Flynn case and pressed former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on these decisions in light of recent exculpatory evidence released by the Justice Department.
“Thanks to [Attorney] General Barr, Brady material relating to Flynn has finally been released. So, too has the Flynn transcript with the Russian ambassador.
“Those materials include records that show 1) the FBI planned to close the Flynn case until Strzok interceded; 2) FBI notes that show the FBI may have deliberately set Flynn up to prosecute him or get him fired; 3) the FBI had no derogatory information on Flynn; and 4) there was no legitimate factual predicate to interview him.
“Mr. Rosenstein, you and Mueller withheld these records from Congress and Flynn’s legal team. In June 2018, I met with you to discuss the Flynn case and my other oversight requests. You suggested to me that Congress should be satisfied with the facts contained in the plea agreement. In light of all the Brady material that has finally been released, it’s clear you were misleading me, Congress and the American people when you suggested we should be satisfied with Flynn’s plea agreement,” Grassley said at today’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
In response, Rosenstein indicated he was unaware of exculpatory evidence, which raises serious questions about the investigators and prosecutors who reported to the deputy attorney general in Flynn’s case, and about whether Rosenstein ever looked into the concerns Senator Grassley raised about inconsistencies in the Flynn case.
“Thank you, senator. First of all, I certainly did not intend to mislead you or anybody else. If I could just address that briefly, because I do recall that conversation, senator. My view was that the case was pending in court. There’s a longstanding principle in the department that when a case is pending in court, we let the judicial process work through. We don’t engage with Congress about pending cases. And that’s the only reason I was reluctant to disclose information, not that I was concealing anything. I obviously didn’t know that there was exculpatory evidence. And with regard to the evidence that’s in the record now, because it was filed by the department, I’m not going to express an opinion about that. I’m going to wait and hear what [Attorney] General Barr has to say about that, but much of that, senator, was news to me,” Rosenstein said.
Grassley raised questions about potential inconsistencies and exculpatory evidence directly to Rosenstein on May 11, 2018, calling on him to provide relevant material to Congress. In a May 29, 2018, response, Rosenstein and the department failed to address the issues raised and declined to provide the material, which is now central to the department’s motion to dismiss its case against Flynn. On June 6, 2018, Grassley wrote a second letter to Rosenstein which resulted in the June 2018 meeting.
Full video of Grassley’s remarks and questions of Rosenstein can be found HERE.