(National Sentinel) Set Up: In February GOP lawmakers told Washington Examiner correspondent Byron York that fired FBI Director James Comey told lawmakers former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn that he didn’t lie under oath when the FBI interviewed him in January 2017.
Flynn was blindsided at the time by FBI agents including counterterrorism official Peter Strzok shortly after President Donald J. Trump was inaugurated in an interview in which Flynn did not know he was being investigated and did not have a lawyer present.
Eventually, Flynn pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the FBI, though it became clear through subsequent reporting in the months afterward that the former Army three-star general gave an honest accounting of conversations he had with a Russian diplomat during the transition.
Flynn was fired by the president for being dishonest about those talks with Vice President Mike Pence.
Now, York is reporting that Republican lawmakers are telling him Deep State operatives redacted the information, including Comey’s statements, in their final report regarding the bogus “Trump-Russia” collusion allegations.
Which means, say critics, that operatives are still protecting Comey and former Deputy Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe, who was fired for lying multiple times to FBI investigators looking into the Hillary Clinton email probe.
York reports there is a “showdown” forming between the House and Comey:
There’s an intense conflict brewing between some Capitol Hill Republicans and fired FBI Director James Comey. The Republicans say Comey has been lying about what he told them in a March 2017 meeting. Comey says he never said what the Republicans say he said.
The Republicans say there’s a transcript — not just of Comey’s testimony but of fired top FBI deputy Andrew McCabe, too — that will prove them right. But so far, the intelligence community has prevented that proof from seeing the light of day. A resolution to the matter might come as soon as the next few days.
The same sources for my original story say their original statements are correct — that Comey said the agents did not think Flynn lied. In addition, Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy, in a Thursday appearance with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, revealed that there is a transcript of the Comey session and that, yes, the transcript shows Comey telling lawmakers what the FBI agents thought.
“Director Comey’s recollection is flawed,” Gowdy told York. “If he does not remember telling Congress that his agents told him they didn’t think Flynn was lying, then he needs to get his lawyers to go back and look at the transcript. We did not miss here. Maybe he misspoke, but that’s in the transcript.”
Sources say the Comey quotes in question are included in the newly-released House Intelligence Committee Republicans’ final report on the Trump-Russia investigation, but that they were blacked out by the Intelligence Community. In addition, the sources say a quote from McCabe making the same point — that the agents who questioned Flynn did not believe he had lied — was also in the report and was also redacted.
When the report was issued, committee chairman Devin Nunes complained that the Intelligence Community had gone overboard with its redactions, and that he, Nunes, would fight to remove some of those redactions.
“We object to the excessive and unjustified number of redactions, many of which do not relate to classified information,” Nunes said in a statement. “The committee will convey our objections to the appropriate agencies and looks forward to publishing a less redacted version in the near future.”
Republicans noted further that intelligence community operatives very quickly removed proposed redactions from the House Intel Democrats’ counter-report.
“The Democrats got all the redactions on their minority views lifted within a day,” said House Intel spokesman Jack Langer Sunday evening, “while we’re still struggling to get our concerns addressed.”