So CNN has a “bombshell” report out tonight that an FBI lawyer is under investigation for altering a document in the 2016 Russia probe. What is fascinating is how they are not naming the lawyer involved here, even though the circumstances are widely known to anyone who is following General Flynn’s sentencing (which will perhaps become a non-sentencing).
CNN describes the FBI employee as “a line attorney, is no longer working at the bureau, said a person familiar with the matter. A line attorney is a lower level lawyer within the FBI.”
I think this person is Lisa Page, but I could be wrong. She has been accused – with significant evidence – of having altered Flynn’s 302 (the official record of an interview with a subject). The lie that the Mueller team accused Flynn of making never appears in agents’ handwritten notes, and one of those agents was Peter Strzok. In fact, the notes themselves appear exculpatory.
Her text messages with then-lover Strzok discuss her going into a superior’s office and getting Flynn’s 302, then going in and changing language to make him seem culpable, obviously thinking that no one will go back and check the physical notes. This has been a core accusation in Flynn’s sentencing, which hinges on the Department of Justice withholding Brady evidence, which is a form of serious misconduct by a prosecutor – in this case, the Mueller team.
It is not helping the Mueller crowd that Andrew Weissmann, Mueller’s No. 2, is now an MSNBC hack who is going full Rachel Maddow with Russia conspiracy theories. The man is outing himself on a routine basis on prime time television as an epic fucking quack. And everyone who watched Mueller’s testimony understands he’s as senile as Joe Biden. Special interests have been walking all over these people from day one.
The FISA report is due to be released by the Department of Justice Inspector General on December 9th, and it apparently already involves criminal referrals. The Page developments emerged out of Flynn’s trials, but they overlap.
My baseline assumption is that the Department of Justice will actively bury evidence of its own wrongdoing. So I try to temper any expectations that some report will be as bad as people play it up to be. But who knows. I find the outing of Lisa Page tonight rather interesting, however.
So far, the Lawfare blog folks have been a moneygood contrarian indicator of what the government is doing. You knew Comey was toast when they embraced him fully. A couple weeks ago, they started going on the offensive trying to redeem Page’s reputation. It’s like being on the cover of Time. You know the wolves are coming for you.
UPDATE: I have received a number of messages from friends who think this article applies to someone else at the FBI and admonishing me for jumping to conclusions. (A low-level attorney who had a role in the FISA application had correspondence similar to that of Strzok – Page.) And that’s fine. I wrote this to say this seems a lot like what is happening in Sullivan’s court right now.
The only thing that made me think of Page is that she has been directly accused of altering documents submitted to the court in the Flynn case, and it is a notable case because she was allegedly altering the official record of an FBI interview that she herself was not physically present for.
I would submit to you that if I am wrong about whom this report if referring to, things are actually worse over there. Because that would make this the second accusation of FBI personnel falsifying documents that were to be submitted to a court in roughly a month. I’m not sure how you fix this behavior if this behavior has been normalized at the FBI.
And if you think they are falsifying records on cases this huge – cases that were sure to be highly scrutinized – imagine what these individuals were doing in “lesser” cases.
In general, I think characterizations like “low-level official” or “senior official” in the media are worthless. When the media wants to downplay something, someone has a small role in an agency. When they want to play up something, someone is far more important than they are in reality. The “whistleblower” in the Ukraine drama is a low-level employee. That’s not my opinion; he’s on the five-digit pay scale, which means he’s a nobody in Washington. But if you listen to the media talk about the case, he’s James Bond. This garbage is what they do.
At any rate, I am amending this post to clarify that this is my educated guess at whom they are talking about.