Flynn’s attorneys alleged in a filing last week their client was trapped by Obama administration holdovers such as former FBI Director James Comey and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe in an effort to hobble newly elected President Trump, that Strzok and the other agent “ambushed” Flynn, and that Strzok and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page manipulated the FBI interview notes so they could claim Flynn had lied when he hadn’t.
“Each contention is divorced from the facts,” federal prosecutors said in a 46-page filing Friday.
The dispute, which has long simmered in pro-Trump circles, centers around an interview of Flynn by Strzok and an unnamed FBI investigator at the White House during the chaotic first days of the Trump administration in which Flynn allegedly misrepresented conversations he’d had with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak about Russian sanctions and a vote at the United Nations. Flynn pleaded guilty later that year to lying to investigators during special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and had cooperated with the government until June, when he fired the legal team who cut his plea deal. Flynn’s new attorneys include conservative former federal prosecutor Sidney Powell, who said the DOJ “extorted” Flynn’s plea.
“The interviewing agents repeatedly sought to prompt the defendant to provide a truthful response,” wrote U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu, who detailed the interaction in the filing.