By Robert Willmann
Sure enough, the office of "special counsel" Robert Mueller continued its practice of hiding the ball until forced to disclose something, at which time it is usually filed with the court clerk "under seal". They have filed some documents under seal regarding the FBI's interview of Gen. Michael Flynn (ret.) after the court's order of 12 December 2018. Out of whatever was filed, the public has no idea of even the number of documents or the title or general type of document, because no index or log is required to be filed, something Congress or the federal judicial council should change.
The FBI form FD-302 was presented under seal, probably both with and without redactions, since the court's order written yesterday on the clerk's docket sheet says: "… the Court finds that the January 24, 2017 FD-302, which was drafted immediately after Mr. Flynn's FBI interview, is relevant to Mr. Flynn's sentencing. The Court also finds that the government's proposed redactions to that document are appropriate …."
The letter filed with the redacted report says that two versions of the form are presented, each one is 5 pages. The first one had a headline saying "draft document/deliberative material", and when that "error was recognized", the header was removed and a "corrected version", without the header but with the same contents, was re-signed and re-certified on 31 May 2017. Robert Mueller was appointed the special counsel on 17 May 2017.
Flynn's sentencing hearing is set for 11:00 a.m. today in a federal district court in Washington D.C.
P.S. and update. The original notes and original note material taken during the Flynn interview have not been disclosed, and they are supposed to be retained. Most likely, they were not filed with the court clerk under seal, although they are relevant because they, and the agents' memories, are used to write the 302 form, which is obviously not a verbatim transcript. Usually, an interview is done by two FBI agents, and one takes notes. With excellent high fidelity audio recording equipment available today, the interviews should be recorded.
The name of the other FBI agent at the Flynn interview has been blacked out in the reports, but two letters of earlier this year from Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley reveal who it likely is, as the FBI and Justice Department have refused to let him testify for a transcribed interview with the judiciary committee staff.
In a letter dated 11 May 2018 from Grassley to deputy AG Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray, Grassley notes that the Justice Department has withheld documents related to Flynn, and asks that the "302s memorializing their interview of Flynn and 1A supporting docs, including agents' notes", be provided to the committee by 25 May 2018, and also that FBI Special Agent Joe Pientka be made available for a transcribed interview a week after that–
Then in a letter of 6 June 2018 to Rosenstein, Grassley observes that the DOJ's reply to his 11 May letter is baloney and that no documents were provided. He makes an interesting statement that: "Additionally, former Director McCabe was fired for lack of candor regarding a leak to the Wall Street Journal, and Lt. General Flynn was an adverse witness in a pending sexual discrimination case against Mr. McCabe at the time Mr. McCabe was supervising a criminal inquiry targeting Lt. General Flynn". Grassley describes Agent Pientka as a "fact witness", and again requests that the documents be given to the committee and that Pientka come in for an interview–
The DOJ and FBI turned over nothing to the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Agent Pientka is being kept under wraps.