Newly unsealed documents from the FBI's case against retired Gen. Michael Flynn show that Peter Strzok and Lisa Page may have manipulated and rewritten a key interview form used to charge Flynn with lying to federal agents.
According to RealClearInvestigations, former FBI agents and federal prosecutors are reporting that the documents point to "suspiciously irregular handling and editing" of Flynn's FD-302 form, which is an official document used to summarize the interviews that agents conduct.
In this case, the FD-302 form in question is the record of Flynn's Jan. 24, 2017 interview with FBI agents Peter Strzok and Joe Pientka. This is the interview in which the incoming national security adviser was alleged to have lied about a December phone call with the Russian ambassador.
Flynn had pleaded guilty to the charge a month earlier but had been attempting to withdraw the plea, alleging that he was "deliberately set up and framed by corrupt agents at the top of the FBI."
Here's more from RealClearInvestigations:
FBI policy requires 302 forms to be submitted within five working days of an interview. The FBI took three weeks to deliberate on and compose Flynn's 302 form, and it was mislabeled a "DRAFT DOCUMENT," requiring a resubmission of the form three months later. A prosecutor working in the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, which eventually charged Flynn, was required to submit a separate document to a federal judge to explain that irregularity.
The new Flynn documents shed light on what happened during the unusual three weeks composing the 302. They include texts between Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who were communicating extensively during an extramarital affair in which they revealed an anti-Trump bias resulting in their later dismissal from Mueller's investigation.
In one text, dated February 10, Strzok tells Page he is heavily editing Pientka's 302 form to the point he's "trying not to completely re-write" it. Other messages reveal that Page, who did not attend the interview, reviewed the 302 form and made editing suggestions. On February 14, Page texts Strzok, "Is Andy good with the 302?" – presumably referring to FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe. The next day, February 15, the Flynn 302 was officially submitted and filed with the FBI.
The report notes that it's against FBI protocol for supervisors to rewrite agents' FD-302 forms or for agents not present during the interview, such as Lisa Page, to edit them — both of which happened in the Flynn case.
"I've probably written in the close to the low thousands of 302s. I've probably supervised or overseen thousands upon thousands of more of those," James Gagliano, a retired FBI agent, told RealClearInvestigations. "This is not how we do business as an FBI supervisor. I never, ever materially altered a 302."
Another former special agent, Thomas J. Baker, added: "We never changed an agent's 302. An agent would fight a supervisor who wanted him to change the 302 ... what's documented in this new material ... that Peter Strzok said he virtually rewrote the whole thing — it damned them with their own words."
The revelation follows news last week that shows that Strzok ordered the Flynn investigation to be reopened after the FBI had closed it.
Following the public release of the documents, the Department of Justice dropped its criminal case against Flynn.
The unsealed documents, which include the texts between Strzok and Page have been made available by the Federalist: