(National Sentinel) Testimony: For months there have been renewed questions regarding why retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, POTUS Trump’s first national security advisor pleaded guilty to one count of lying to FBI agents.
According to various reports, the two agents who interviewed Flynn in January 2017 as he and the rest of Trump’s transition team were preparing to take the reins of power never thought he was being dishonest with them regarding conversations he had the previous month with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak.
Reports have said that Flynn was interviewed without a lawyer present. Some have suggested that Flynn had no idea he was being interrogated has part of a Deep State probe into the Trump campaign.
“According to two sources familiar with the meetings, Comey told lawmakers that the FBI agents who interviewed Flynn did not believe that Flynn had lied to them, or that any inaccuracies in his answers were intentional,” reported by the Washington Examiner‘s Byron York in February. “As a result, some of those in attendance came away with the impression that Flynn would not be charged with a crime pertaining to the Jan. 24 interview.”
However, nine months later — with Comey having been fired by Trump and special counsel Robert Mueller now in charge of the Russia-Trump probe — Flynn wound up pleading guilty to making false statements to the FBI during his Jan. 24 questioning.
And as of yet, there are no answers as to why.
Investigative journalist Sara A. Carter writes that the agent who accompanied Peter Strzok to interview Flynn, Joe Pientka, may soon be able to provide some of those answers.
She also notes that some parts of the Pientka tale as it pertain’s to Comey’s role in all of this are not accurate. She writes:
FBI Special Agent Joe Pientka, if subpoenaed, will provide testimony regarding the circumstances surrounding his interview with former National Security Advisor Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, sources with knowledge have been telling this reporter for more than a year.
And recent reports scattered across social media and some news outlets claiming that Pientka’s testimony will bring down former FBI Director James Comey, are not true. For nearly a year, I have reported that Pientka, who at the time I addressed as the second agent in the interview with Flynn, would testify if subpoenaed. But so far Pientka, has not been subpoenaed for his testimony. Pientka and embattled FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok, interviewed Flynn on Jan. 24, 2017 about his conversation with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, as first reported here.
Pientka, who has never spoken to a journalist, according to several sources with knowledge, is expected to speak to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee if subpoenaed to discuss the circumstances regarding his role in the investigation into Flynn and the interview that he was a part of at the White House. Highly classified information regarding Flynn’s conversation with Kislyak was leaked to columnist David Ignatius of the Washington Post in January, 2017 which spurred the controversy around Flynn and eventually led to his firing in February, 2017.
It’s this reporters understanding that Pientka will account for what Flynn said in the interview and will give context to the FBI’s accusation that he lied during the interview. If asked, Pientka will also give his personal opinion as to whether or not that was actually the case. He will also discuss how forthcoming Flynn was about very specific sensitive information that Flynn could not have possibly known the investigators already knew, which may give additional insight into Flynn’s veracity and willingness to tell the truth.
It’s worth noting that despite Flynn’s guilty plea, his court date for sentencing has been pushed back on more than one occasion, leading to even more speculation as to what’s going on with Flynn and his case.
Is he cooperating with Mueller? If so, what information is he providing? Mueller already has a guilty plea so it’s not a matter of going to court and losing.
Is Mueller pushing back Flynn’s sentencing because he knows the accusation is bogus, and thus the plea is bogus?
Time will tell.
Fed up with stonewalling by the Justice Department and FBI, Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Charles Grassley has demanded that the agencies comply with requests made over a year ago for all documents related to their investigation into Flynn.
The Committee has also requested that Pientka be made available “for a transcribed interview with Committee staff no later than one week following the production of the requested documents.”
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