Strzok notes: Comey deemed Flynn calls with Kislyak 'legit,' but investigated anyway
Notes also suggest Obama asked for 'the right people' to look into the matter.
June 24, 2020 - 3:09pm
The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook
New notes disclosed in a federal court filing this week appear to suggest that former FBI Director James Comey believed Gen. Michael Flynn's calls to a Russian ambassador were "legit" several weeks before federal agents interviewed him about those calls anyway.
The partially redacted notes, disclosed by the Department of Justice on Tuesday, appear to refer to a meeting between President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Comey, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, and National Security Adviser Susan Rice during the waning days of the Obama administration.
Rice in an email she sent to herself had previously referenced a meeting that took place on Jan. 5 with those individuals.
The notes, authored by former FBI special agent Peter Strzok, appear to suggest that Comey at the time believed that Flynn's phone calls to then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak were "legit."
Yet the FBI would nevertheless interview Flynn later in the month regarding the calls; the interview was part of the bureau's investigation into the ultimately disproven Trump-Russia collusion theory.
A day before the Jan. 5 meeting, the FBI had planned to close its investigation into Flynn before higher authorities, possibly Comey himself, intervened and pushed for its continuance.
The notes also suggest that President Obama during the meeting asked that "the right people" be assigned to the Flynn case.
They also appear to indicate that Vice President Biden at some point brought up the Logan Act, an obscure 1799 law that prohibits unauthorized American citizens from negotiating official national business with foreign countries in dispute with the U.S. Only two people have ever been charged under the law — one in 1802, the other in 1852 — with neither case resulting in a conviction.
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