In my original post regarding the fascinating 302 of USA Jensen's Flynn Team interview of SA William Barnett, I briefly made the point that this 302 may actually not be the full story on Barnett's cooperation with the Barr led DoJ investigation of all things Russia Hoax--an investigation that has expanded now to include at least three aggressive and very competent US Attorneys: John Durham, Jeff Jensen, and John Bash. Jensen has been making a lot of waves in the last few months, because--among other aspects of the Russia Hoax--he has the lead on the Michael Flynn case, which has gone very public with the lurid details of government misconduct.
Here's that brief point I made--with the surrounding paragraphs for a bit more context:
The result was that very little real investigation of Flynn ever took place. Instead, the open case appeared to Barnett to be a sort of placeholder--a case without real predication that was being kept open "just in case". Just in case Flynn became a target of opportunity (as in fact happened) and the FBI could then say, Oh yeah, we've been investigating him as a foreign agent all along--to provide added credibility to the setup interview of Flynn.
That, of course, is not how investigations are supposed to be managed. In this regard, there are signs in the 302 that this write-up may be only one of several. For example, regarding the lack of predication and the lack of actual investigative activity, the 302 briefly notes that Barnett mentions a "very frank discussion" on that score with "Analyst 1." But no details. I suspect a more detailed account of that aspect exists.
This perspective on how the Flynn investigation was managed is important, because it narrows down USA Jensen's focus on the Flynn case. Presumably, Barnett's account will also be supported by or will confirm what Joe Pientka has already told investigators regarding who directed it all. This in turn will help Jensen to pin the decision on opening a basically unpredicated Full Investigation of Flynn on Strzok--and possibly others above Strzok.
I probably should have gone into a bit more detail on my thinking here. However, Shipwreckedcrew has done more on that. After citing him, I'll make one additional point that I think indicates that Barnett's 302--as we've seen it--may only be a small part of the whole picture. That will also illustrate why there's reason to believe that the "sprawl" of this investigation could be quite extensive. So, here's SWC, retweeting Sidney Powell and offering his take:
Something very significant mentioned by the author here -- I noted it somewhere else.
This is not a full 302. The only subject covered is FLynn -- because it had to be produced to SPowell. Other subjects are not yet subject to discovery obligations.
Sidney Powell ￼￼￼￼
Important read--from perspective of former #FBI agent--on the recent evidence disclosed by the Govt in the #Flynn case
11:53 PM · Sep 26, 2020·
There is a more comprehensive 302 with all the other subjects discussed, and likely more views about various people involved where the comments aren't in relationship to Powell/Razor as is the case here. Barnett mentions Rhee with re to her interest in Flynn speech and ....
he was suspicious of her motives. And he mentions Weissmann in connection with interviews of KT McFarland where he thinks Weissman and others wanted to force her to change her story about Flynn-Trump without Barnett in the room.
But Rhee also architect of Troll Farm and GRU Officer cases, and Weissmann lead the Manafort team. So if Barnett had more to say about either of those, that info doesn't need to be given to SPowell and could be culled out into a separate 302.
Obviously, I agree with all of the above. Now, here's what I should have added.
As I pointed out in my original post, Barnett is quoted in the 302 regarding three very high profile Team Mueller attorneys: Jeannie Rhee, Andrew Weissmann, and Andrew Goldstein. What I should have added was this. If you read through the 302 it quickly becomes apparent that multiple Team Mueller attorneys (in addition to the named three) are actually being cited--but their names are all redacted. So the question is: Why are those three named, but the others are not named?
I maintained in the original post that this almost certainly means that those three are, at the very least, the focus of intense scrutiny. To be realistic, USA Jensen is almost certainly targeting them. And that suggests a very broad scope to this investigation. As I've maintained all along, the Flynn case is the direct investigative road to the heart of Team Mueller itself, probably even more direct than the final Carter Page FISA renewal. But from there Jensen can also work backwards through the FBI personnel--and, while Barnett and Pientka are prime examples, there may well be more--toward the origination of the Russia Hoax cases in Crossfire Hurricane. In the meantime, John Durham is working forward, starting from the origination of it all, through Crossfire Hurricane and its sub-cases, to intersect with Jensen. Call it a squeeze play, if you like. That approach is likely to be far more productive in the long run than a uni-directional approach.
Finally, note the one name we would expect to see--but don't: Brandon Van Grack. Hmmm.
UPDATE: Shipwreckedcrew has weighed in on the topic of why there may not be any indictments between now and the election. His reasoning is, on its face, plausible--but, to my mind, ultimately unsatisfactory. The basic idea is that Barr has only just recently learned exactly how crooked the Team Mueller witchhunt was. SWC sketches out this scenario:
AG Barr sent US Attorney Jeffrey Jensen on a “recon” mission to look more closely at the handling of the Special Counsel’s prosecution of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. I do not believe that either AG Barr or US Attorney Jensen were prepared for what Jensen would eventually uncover regarding the “political” calculations that were behind the Flynn investigation in the first instance, and the Flynn prosecution after the SCO took over. What Jensen found has kicked into high gear an investigation that I think is nearly as important to AG Barr as is the Durham investigation into the origins of the Russia Hoax investigation launched against Pres. Trump and his campaign.
I think “Priority 1A” for AG Barr is a hard look at the conduct of the Special Counsel’s Office. The interview of Special Agent William Barnett, the original case agent on the Flynn and Manafort investigations begun in August 2016, took place only 10 days ago. That interview was done by US Attorney Jensen, not Durham. But that interview covered events from the beginning of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation to a point beyond the entry of a guilty plea by General Flynn — Barnett discusses interviews done with General Flynn after he pled guilty.
Certainly that scenario would explain a lot, but here's why I find the explanation unsatisfactory.
First of all, go back to Barr's famous 19 page memo to Rod Rosenstein, before Barr was even nominated. Barr correctly surmised the obstruction theory that was driving Team Mueller by that point (having long since realized they had no collusion case). Barr called BS on that obstruction theory--but that means that he understood that the whole investigation might well be illegal at that point, regardless of the origins.
Second, once Barr took office he almost immediately began casting doubt--publicly--on the predication for the Russia Hoax. He did so repeatedly and, as is his wont, in no uncertain terms. But that means that if there was no predication for Crossfire Hurricane and the Russia Hoax then, ipso facto, there could be no predication for Team Mueller. And Barr is plenty smart enough to have connected those fairly obvious dots.
Third, by setting John Durham loose on the whole hoax Barr had to have known that he was weaponizing an experienced and determined prosecutor who--as I have repeatedly argued--would have felt he had unfinished business with Robert "Bob" Mueller. All these three reasons are why I've repeatedly argued that, from the day Barr set foot in the AG's office, the real target was Team Mueller. And the fact that Team Mueller almost overnight closed its doors is a strong indicator that they knew it, too.
So, in these circumstances, I just don't find it convincing that it took Barr this long to figure out the centrality of Team Mueller to the criminality that we've all been aware of. He's a helluva smart guy, and it's been there for him to see all along--and certainly expected to find it before he was even confirmed. It was there in the Horowitz FISA report, and it's been in pretty much plain view in the evidence provided by declassifications and investigative reporting.
I have no completely satisfactory explanation of my own to justify the delay, only speculation. My best guess is that, having started unraveling the ball of yarn that is the Russia Hoax, Barr and company have been delayed because so much of it is turning out to be interconnected. The delay in indictments is caused by the fear of the various prosecutors stepping on each others toes, and the need to coordinate their activity. Once you indict you start the clock running for trial. In a series of complex and interrelated cases you don't want to start that clock and then find out that you're constrained by significant new evidence in a related case.
My best guess.