Barnett provided a second opinion on Comey’s narrative. His interview summary says that after reviewing the transcripts of Flynn’s conversation, he did not “see what the significant issue or ‘rub’ was.” It says the transcript of Flynn’s phone calls did not change Barnett’s view that Flynn “was not compromised by the Russians.”
This is not surprising. In June the Trump administration released the classified transcripts of Flynn’s phone calls with the Russian ambassador. They show that Flynn’s behavior was in keeping with the duties of an incoming national security adviser, who is expected to contact foreign diplomats and leaders during the presidential transition. Most of the conversation was about exploring possible cooperation between the U.S. and Russia in the Syrian civil war and Flynn’s firm request for Russia not to escalate its response to outgoing administration’s actions. As the Justice Department’s motion to drop the Flynn prosecution notes, asking an adversary not to escalate tensions supports the U.S. national interest.
There is also good reason to believe the FBI at the time did not think the interview with Flynn was incriminating. The bureau, according to the interview summary, briefed the Justice Department on Jan. 30, 2017, that it did not suspect Flynn was a Russian agent.