This does seem to be a never-ending bounty, does it not? In the course of Jeffrey Jensen’s internal review of the prosecution of Michael Flynn, the US Attorney and his team keep finding more and more discovery evidence that never made its way to his defense teams. CBS’ Catherine Herridge broke the news on the latest court filing in the case, which appears headed for dismissal anyway, which raises new questions about what else may be left to find:
#FLYNN BREAKING: More handwritten notes uncovered by US Attorney Jensen @USAO_EDMO now under protective order in Flynn case. Includes Agent Strzok, DAG Gauhar (National Security Division/FISA/Clinton emails) notes from 1/25/2107 meeting, internal DOJ doc + AAG Boente @CBSNews pic.twitter.com/XBBgUMsgU4
— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) July 7, 2020
Herridge then offered some tantalizing context. Powell had asserted that the Department of Justice had a memo exonerating Flynn, a point that first emerged this spring. Could this be among the documents now in court custody?
..though relevance not clear @SidneyPowell1 told court, “We’ve also learned that there was a letter dated January 30, 2017 or an internal (DOJ)memo..that completely exonerates Mr. Flynn of being an agent of Russia and that document has not been produced to us yet.” @CBSNews pic.twitter.com/Oqfi6vVWGh
— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) July 8, 2020
It’s worth noting that Flynn wasn’t charged with the crime of being an agent of Russia. The court transcript in the first tweet shows Judge Emmet Sullivan reminding Sidney Powell of that fact. However, the investigation of Flynn was predicated on a potential Logan Act violation and suspicion of providing assistance to Russia. If the DoJ concluded in January 2017 that there was no basis for that suspicion, then the predicate for the charge they did level against Flynn — lying to investigators in a material manner on a properly predicated investigation — would then disappear. That certainly makes it a discoverable item, if in fact such a memo exists.
Was that memo in this tranche of documents? That’s not clear, as the documents are still under seal:
The Justice Department announced that it has unearthed further information related to the FBI’s investigation of retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, including more notes taken by fired special agent Peter Strzok.
Michael Sherwin, the acting U.S. attorney in the nation’s capital, said Tuesday that the documents handed over to Flynn’s defense team included handwritten notes from Strzok taken at a meeting on Jan. 25, 2017; notes from former Deputy Assistant Attorney General Tashina Gauhar at the same meeting; an internal DOJ document dated Jan. 30, 2017; and handwritten notes from then-acting Attorney General Dana Boente which were dated March 30, 2017. The notes remain sealed by the court.
Thus far there seems to be little media interest in this new revelation. Even CBS News hasn’t produced a full report from Herridge’s scoop, perhaps waiting to see what the notes actually say first. Sidney Powell herself seems unusually quiet since this broke yesterday, so perhaps this doesn’t have much impact on the case — which Sullivan will have to formally dismiss soon, under the writ of mandamus issued by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, unless Sullivan himself appeals that decision to the Supreme Court.
Still, this new revelation about Strzok’s notes on the Flynn probe does have its own meaning. It demonstrates — again — that the DoJ and Robert Mueller’s special-counsel probe had a very strange idea of discovery when trying to twist arms of targets in its probe. The notes themselves might have even more meaning when we finally get a chance to see their contents, and perhaps that might be sooner than later if Sullivan wraps this up as expected.