Top Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee are demanding that FBI Director Christopher Wray review the FBI’s’s handling of the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn after newly released documents exposed serious misconduct in the case.
The letter, written by Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Mike Johnson (R-La.), is seen as a direct rebuke of the embattled FBI director and a sign that Republicans have become extremely frustrated with his lack of action amid growing evidence of corruption at the Bureau.
“We write to request that you immediately review the actions of the FBI in targeting LTG Flynn,” the lawmakers wrote in the May 4 letter. “The American people continue to learn troubling details about the politicization and misconduct at the highest levels of the FBI during the Obama-Biden Administration. Even more concerning, we continue to learn these new details from litigation and investigations—not from you. It is well past time that you show the leadership necessary to bring the FBI past the abuses of the Obama-Biden era.”
Jordan and Johnson go on to ask Wray when he “personally knew of the FBI’s misconduct” and why the public “is learning of the FBI’s misconduct with respect to Flynn from court filings rather than from you.”
The lawmakers are also seeking to question FBI agent, Joe Pientka, one of the agents who questioned Flynn, and former FBI counterintelligence director Bill Priestap, who ran the Crossfire Hurricane and Clinton email investigations.
Pientka, who along with disgraced FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok, conducted the January 2017 White House interview that led to Flynn’s prosecution, was also intimately involved in the investigation of former Trump aide Carter Page. The DOJ inspector general last December determined that the FBI’s surveillance applications to spy on Page were riddled with fundamental errors and heavily relied on the discredited, Democrat-funded Steele dossier.
Although Pientka was removed from the FBI’s website, he reportedly remains employed at the FBI in a senior role at the agency’s San Francisco field office.
The four-page document included one page of handwritten notes, believed to be written by former Priestap. The notes were taken in January 2017, following a meeting with former FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, according to Fox News.
In addition to a Pientka interview, the Republicans — Johnson is the ranking member on the House Subcommitee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties; and Jordan heads up the House Oversight Committee — sought a sit-down with Bill Priestap, the former assistant director of the FBI Counterintelligence Division.
Explosive handwritten notes that surfaced last week — written by Priestap after a meeting with then-FBI Director James Comey and then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, Fox News is told — suggested that agents planned to get Flynn “to admit to breaking the Logan Act” when he spoke to then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition period.
The Logan Act has never been used in a criminal prosecution and has a questionable constitutional status; it was enacted in 1799 in an era before telephones, and was intended to prevent individuals from falsely claiming to represent the United States government abroad.
Even more damning, the notes revealed that Priestap openly questioned whether the FBI’s “goal” in questioning Flynn was “to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired.”
The former counterintelligence director stepped down from his position at the end of 2018 and left the FBI entirely in early 2019. Priestap landed at the Georgetown Walsh School of Foreign Service where he is currently listed as a “2019-2020 Centennial Fellow.”
Jordan and Johnson argued that the dirty cops were only using the outdated Logan Act as a pretext to go after Trump’s experienced and highly qualified national security advisor.
“Any criminal investigation grounded in Logan Act questions is an obvious political pretext to attack the Trump Administration. FBI attorney Lisa Page admitted to Congress the Justice Department saw the Logan Act as an ‘untested’ and ‘very, very old’ statute,” the lawmakers wrote to Wray.
A newly unsealed January 4, 2017 “Closing Communication” from the FBI Washington Field Office recommended that the FBI close its investigation of Flynn, after its exhaustive investigation into Flynn “did not yield any information on which to predicate further investigative efforts,” but Strzok intervened to keep the probe open long enough for the Bureau to set up their perjury trap later that month.
Van Grack also failed to provide evidence to Flynn’s attorneys that anti-Trump former FBI agent Peter Strzok then immediately intervened and instructed the FBI case manager handling the Flynn investigation to keep the probe open, followed by indicators that the bureau would seek to investigate Flynn for possible violations of an obscure 18th century law known as the Logan Act — which has never been utilized in a modern prosecution.
Brandon Van Grack, a Justice Department prosecutor and former member of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Team, is now under fire for withholding this and other evidence in violation of a court order to produce favorable evidence to Flynn.
The president “has never felt like Wray was his guy” and does not trust him to “change the culture” at the FBI, a source told the outlet.
Sources said Trump was unlikely to to fire the embattled FBI director before the election because of the controversy he would cause by sacking a second FBI director so close to the election.