I realize doing a post on Brock's article may seem, by now, a bit like beating a dead horse--we've been going over the basic points about predication and FBI authority on a regular basis. Nevertheless, although Brock is in one sense going over familiar ground, he explains it well and gathers a lot of important points in one place. Moreover, the basic point is absolutely fundamental--both for understanding what went down in the Russia Hoax as well as for understanding where Barr and Durham are headed.
Do yourself a favor and read the entire article:
How would you like to be investigated by the FBI because you disagreed with the president’s policies? Sounds a little KGB-ish, you might think — and you’d be right, because the FBI has zero authority to conduct such an investigation. But the more we learn about the FBI’s investigation of Michael Flynn, the more it appears he was targeted precisely because, as the national security adviser to the incoming Trump administration, he signaled that the new administration might undo Obama administration policies — which is kind of what the American people voted for in 2016.
Some will say that Gen. Flynn was investigated for legitimate criminal or national security reasons. Yet, the FBI’s ultimate interview of Flynn addressed none of the grounds that the FBI used to open the original case against him. For those of us who have run FBI investigations, that is more than odd.
As you'll see, when Brock says "more than odd" what he means is: potentially criminal. The pattern of FBI conduct that has emerged is actually important evidence that will go toward proving the big conspiracy that Durham is working on.
For the record, Flynn clearly exercised poor judgment as a result of being interviewed by the FBI. The larger question is whether the team under then-Director James Comey had a legitimate basis to conduct the interview at all.
FBI documents show that a Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) case was opened against Flynn. The stated reasons, in rank order, for initiating the investigation were that he was a member of the Trump campaign; he had “ties” to various Russian state-affiliated entities; he traveled to Russia; and he had a high-level top-secret clearance — for which, by the way, he was polygraphed regularly to determine if he was a spy.
These are all the reasons that I went over, one by one, in Opening And Closing The Flynn Case. The conclusion to be drawn is clear to Brock.
None of the listed reasons is unusual activity for the kind of positions he held. ... Yet, most chillingly, the Crossfire Hurricane team stated it was investigating Flynn “specifically” because he was “an adviser to then Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump for foreign policy issues.”
Let me be clear: That is not a legitimate justification to investigate an American citizen.
On Jan. 4, 2017, two weeks before the Trump inauguration, FBI agents at a lower level — where the real work is done — prudently tried to close the Flynn investigation, citing the absence of any derogatory information or other facts that would enable the bureau to keep the case open.
Shockingly, the closing document also stated that there never had been any facts that indicated Flynn was possibly acting as an agent of a foreign power. In other words, there was no basis for investigating Flynn in the first place, and therefore no justification for any further actions. Despite this, the Comey team intervened, halted the case closure, and started laying plans to confront Flynn. The only problem was, they had no legal basis to conduct an investigative interview with him.
This is an important point that Brock is making. Again, just last night (Victoria Toensing On Predication--And Me On The Logan Act) I noted that "the FBI never had any grounds to interview Michael Flynn--no predication for any investigation, and an interview is an investigative act." IOW, the FBI was acting outside their authority. That might be one thing if those who made the decision to investigate and then to interview Flynn were acting with a good faith belief that they had a legitimate reason for doing so, but as we have seen--and Brock once again makes clear--it's well nigh impossible to credit that, given what we've learned.
Flynn’s participation in the Kislyak conversation was not illogical, given his new role as incoming national security adviser. The call contained no reasonable criminal or national security violation on his part. Nevertheless, Comey, McCabe and others appeared anxious to find a way to justify interviewing Flynn. Four pages of FBI notes and emails released within the past week seem to indicate that the Comey team strategized around an interview approach that might elicit false statements from Flynn, which could be used to damage him.
... They had no legal basis for being in Flynn’s office and confronting him.
The people who sent Strzok and Pientka to interview Flynn were almost all lawyers--even highly experienced former DoJ lawyers. I don't believe Priestap is a lawyer, but McCabe is. Comey, Baker, and Lisa Page all had combined many years of DoJ experience at high levels. The legal problems with what they decided to do--interview the Flynn, the National Security Adviser without any official authority--couldn't possibly have been missed by them. There couldn't possibly have been an oversight or misunderstanding of such a basic issue as: Do we have any authority for doing this? What that means is that the FBI--or, these FBI officials--were knowingly acting outside the scope of their authority, but under color of official authority. That's a crime, and especially when the object is to deprive a citizen of his constitutional rights. That's a conspiracy.
The FBI 302 documenting the interview of Flynn shows that it did not probe possible violations of any criminal statute or examine counterintelligence issues. Instead, it focused on exploring what the Trump administration might do differently than the Obama administration. In other words, it was an interview about policy differences between two presidencies.
A politically manipulated FBI is a threat to the nation. An independent FBI is and has been a blessing to the nation, and is one of the key reasons America is different from totalitarian regimes. That is why the Comey legacy must be thoroughly examined and reforms enacted as needed. It is vital to all of us.