BY Ole Braatelien, The Western JournalMarch 3, 2023
1 year ago
BY 
 | March 3, 2023
1 year ago

Read the Entire Explosive $50 Million Gen. Flynn Lawsuit Against the US Government

Michael Flynn is suing the federal government for $50 million over the Justice Department's criminal prosecution of him in 2017.

The retired three-star general and former Trump national security advisor sent a draft of the lawsuit to The Western Journal. Flynn officially filed the suit on Friday afternoon.

What follows is the unedited text of a late-stage draft filing:

1. On May 7, 2020, the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) moved to dismiss the criminal information that had been filed on November  30, 2017, against Plaintiff Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, U.S. Army, Retired (“General Flynn”), charging him with one count of willfully and knowingly making false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements in a matter within the jurisdiction of the executive branch of the government of the United States. In this motion, the DOJ admitted, through Timothy Shea, then United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, that:

The Government is not persuaded that the January 24, 2017 interview was conducted with a legitimate investigative basis and therefore does not believe Mr. Flynn’s statements were material even if untrue. Moreover, we [sic] not believe that the Government can prove either the relevant false statements or their materiality beyond a reasonable doubt.

2. The DOJ therefore admitted that they should never have brought this prosecution against General Flynn because the interview that formed the basis of the criminal information should never have happened and, even though it did happen, it was not a proper basis for the felony charge.

3. Of particular relevance, the DOJ, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and the Office of the Special Counsel (“SCO”) personnel knew or should have known of the lack of basis for the investigation, interview, and charge before the criminal information was ever filed. Therefore, agents and agencies of the United States of America, utilized their official positions and offices to initiate a baseless investigation, keep that investigation open, undertake illegitimate investigative steps, and bring unjustified criminal charges to maliciously prosecute General Flynn.

4. This lawsuit seeks accountability and damages against the United States for these wrongs committed against General Flynn through its agents and agencies. Specifically, General Flynn seeks relief herein for Defendant’s agents and agencies’ violations of his constitutional and other legal rights in connection with this wrongful and malicious prosecution and gross abuse of process.

5. Defendant improperly and politically targeted General Flynn because of his lawful association with the 2016 Presidential campaign of  Donald J. Trump and his position as National Security Advisor in the Trump Administration. General Flynn is entitled to relief for Defendant’s unjustified and illegal actions, including but not limited to malicious prosecution and abuse of process.

6. The official misconduct occurred in connection with FBI  investigations Crossfire Hurricane and Crossfire Razor, both fraught with egregious legal and ethical misconduct admitted by DOJ, lacked investigative predicate, and part and parcel to the unfounded criminal information brought against General Flynn by the SCO on behalf of the DOJ.

7. The FBI Crossfire investigations and the DOJ and SCO criminal case against General Flynn were brought without probable cause, based on deficient information, and caused substantial and irreparable harm to General  Flynn. Defendant’s conduct, which began not later than August 2016 and continued until at least December 2020, constituted violations of General  Flynn’s constitutional and other rights.

8. These devastating damages, not just to General Flynn personally,  but to the reputation and public trust of the FBI, were forewarned. On the fateful day of January 24, 2017, when the FBI was to dispatch counterintelligence agents to interview General Flynn, Assistant Deputy Director E.W. (“Bill”) Priestap had second thoughts. He asked whether their  goal was to get to the truth, or to “get [Flynn] to lie, so we can prosecute him  or get him fired?” He ominously wrote: “Protect our institution by not playing  games.” What followed has been the fall of a once-venerable institution. The only way back to public trust, and for justice to be done for General Flynn, is to hold accountable the United States, whose agents and agencies ignored their statutory and constitutional duties.

PARTIES

9. Plaintiff Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, U.S. Army, Retired, is an individual who is a resident and citizen of the State of Florida. At the time of the events and allegations in this Complaint, General Flynn was director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in the Obama Administration and then the  U.S. National Security Advisor in the Trump Administration.

10. Defendant United States of America includes all government agencies and departments responsible for the wrongful acts of its employees acting within the scope or office of their employment while investigating and bringing false allegations of Gen. Flynn, and is sued under 28 U.S.C. § 1346  and 5 U.S.C. §§ 702–703.

WRONGDOERS ON BEHALF OF THE UNITED STATES

11. The United States Department of Justice is an executive department of the United States with its headquarters office at 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20530, including its Office of  Inspector General (“DOJ OIG”). References to any actions taken by the DOJ or the DOJ OIG in this Complaint encompass their officials, appointees,  employees, agents, and/or contractors, both known and unknown to Plaintiff.

12. The Federal Bureau of Investigations is the investigative agency for the DOJ with its headquarters office at 935 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.,  Washington, D.C. 20535. References to any actions taken by the FBI in this  Complaint encompass its officials, appointees, employees, agents, and/or contractors, both known and unknown to Plaintiff.

13. The Special Counsel’s Office is an investigative and prosecutorial office of the DOJ which at the time of the events and allegations in this  Complaint had its headquarters office at 950 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.,  Room B-103, Washington, D.C. 20530. References to any actions taken by the  SCO in this Complaint encompass its officials, appointees, employees, agents,  and/or contractors, both known and unknown to Plaintiff.

14. The Executive Office of the President (“EOP”) is an agency within the White House that has its headquarters office at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue  N.W., Washington, D.C. 20500. References to any actions taken by the EOP in this Complaint encompass its officials, appointees, employees, agents, and/or contractors, both known and unknown to Plaintiff.

15. James Comey was the Director of the FBI from September 2013 to  May 2017. Comey verified under penalty of perjury three false FISA warrant affidavits, participated in and approved the initiation and continuation of the investigation into General Flynn, as well as the decision to send agents to interview General Flynn without notice to White House counsel, and assisted in the decision to prosecute General Flynn without proper basis or probable cause. The President of the United States dismissed Mr. Comey on May 9,  2017.

16. Andrew McCabe was the Deputy Director of the FBI from  February 2016 to January 2018. He was an original and primary participant in the Crossfire Hurricane investigation. McCabe was the FBI’s lead signatory of the final FISA renewal affidavit in June 2017, and was a key participant in the initiation and continuation of the investigation into General Flynn, as well as the decision to send agents to interview General Flynn without notice to White House counsel.

17. Peter Strzok was a career FBI agent until August 2018 and served as Deputy Assistant Director of Counterintelligence. He supervised the investigation of General Flynn and was involved in the decision to start the investigation, continue the investigation, and initiate the prosecution of  General Flynn. The FBI dismissed Strzok stating “your repeated selfishness  has called into question the credibility of the entire FBI.” See Exhibit A.

18. Lisa Page is a former attorney at the FBI.

19. Joe Pientka, III, during the relevant period, served as a  Supervisory Special Agent of a Foreign Counterintelligence Squad at the FBI’s  Washington Field Office.

20. Robert S. Mueller, III, was the Special Counsel in charge of the  Special Counsel’s Office responsible for the prosecution of General Flynn. He was also the Special Counsel appointed to lead the SCO’s continuation of the  Crossfire Hurricane and attendant investigations, including the Crossfire  Razor investigation. He is responsible for overseeing and approving the filing of the criminal information against General Flynn.

21. Brandon Van Grack was Senior Assistant Special Counsel in the  SCO and is responsible for filing the criminal information against General  Flynn.

JURISDICTION AND VENUE

22. This Court has original subject matter jurisdiction over General  Flynn’s federal claims under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1346(b)(1) because they  arise under federal law and because the United States is a defendant.

23. This Court has personal jurisdiction over the federal government  defendant pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1346(b)(1).

24. This Court is the proper venue pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1402(b) as  Plaintiff resides within this judicial district.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

History of General Flynn

25. In 1981, General Flynn was commissioned as a second lieutenant  in military intelligence in the United States Army. From 1981 until September  30, 2014, General Flynn honorably served his country in a variety of posts.

26. On April 17, 2012, President Barack Obama nominated General  Flynn as the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (“DIA”) and the  United States Senate subsequently confirmed that appointment. In this role,  General Flynn was responsible for overseeing the DIA’s mission to provide  military intelligence to warfighters, defense policymakers, and force planners  in the Department of Defense and the United States’ broader Intelligence  Community in support of United States military planning and operations and  weapon systems acquisition.

27. General Flynn served as DIA Director until stepping down from  that role on August 7, 2014, and subsequently retiring from the Army on  September 30, 2014. Admiral Mike Rogers, then President Obama’s director of  the NSA, praised General Flynn as “the best intelligence officer of the past 20  years.” Following his retirement, General Flynn opened a successful  international consulting business that he operated with his son, Michael  Flynn, Jr. In 2016, General Flynn began consulting for several of the  Republican candidates for president.

28. In or around February 2016, General Flynn became a foreign  policy advisor to then-Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump.  General Flynn continued to serve in this role through the election and on the  transition team when it was announced that he would be incoming President  Trump’s selection for National Security Advisor (“NSA”).

FBI Opens Crossfire Hurricane Investigation of Donald J. Trump without Legitimate Investigative Predicate

29. On July 31, 2016, the FBI, under the direction and supervision of  Comey, McCabe, Priestap, and Strzok, opened a counterintelligence  investigation named Operation Crossfire Hurricane, putatively concerning the  Foreign Agent Registration Act (“FARA”), to determine whether “individual(s)  associated with the Trump campaign are witting of and/or coordinating  activities with the Government of Russia.”

30. According to the FBI, the basis for opening this investigation was  a tip from Andrew Downer, an Australian diplomat, who recalled a months prior conversation with George Papadopolous in a bar. As Downer recalled,  Papadopolous had said something about being told by someone else that Russia  had information damaging to Hillary Clinton and would be willing to release  it during the campaign to damage Clinton. Purportedly based on this vague  hearsay within hearsay—and the fact that, two months after that alleged  barroom conversation, WikiLeaks released emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee (“DNC”) that showed the DNC’s preference for Clinton  over her primary opponent Bernie Sanders—the FBI opened one of the most  consequential investigations in its history.

31. On or about August 15, 2016, Strzok and Page exchanged text  messages about then-Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump,  explicitly stating that they needed to have an “insurance policy” in case he won  the election. See Exhibit B.

32. Subsequently, on or about August 16, 2016, the FBI opened a sub investigation specifically into General Flynn as part of the Crossfire Hurricane  investigation named “Crossfire Razor.” The purported purpose of the  investigation was to determine if General Flynn knowingly or unknowingly  was “involved in activity on behalf of the Russian Federation which may  constitute a federal crime or threat to national security.” See Exhibit C. As  discussed below, Crossfire Razor also had no legitimate investigative  predicate, and was politically and maliciously initiated as part of the  “insurance policy” to derail and discredit then-presidential candidate Donald  J. Trump.

33. As part of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, the FBI and the  DOJ worked to obtain search warrants from the Foreign Intelligence  Surveillance Court (“FISC”) to investigate the actions of persons in the Trump  presidential campaign.

34. According to the DOJ OIG, the FBI was originally told they did not  have probable cause to lawfully obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act  (“FISA”) warrant by DOJ.

35. In September 2016, the FBI and DOJ received information from  Christopher Steele, a Confidential Human Source (“CHS”). As the Crossfire  Hurricane team knew, Steele had been paid by the national Democratic Party  and/or the Hillary Clinton Democratic presidential campaign to perform  political opposition research and dig up dirt on any connections between the  Trump Republican presidential campaign and Russia to damage President  Trump’s campaign and divert attention from the investigation of Clinton’s  “extremely careless” email practices while she was Secretary of State.

36. In addition to payment by democratic political operatives, Steele  was also paid for his work by the FBI.

37. The FBI was so intent on obtaining a FISA warrant to enable it to  spy on the Trump campaign that it did not fully and accurately disclose to the  FISC the evidence it had obtained as to whether any target of the probe was a  Russian agent. To persuade the FISC that there was probable cause to believe  that the investigation had merit, Defendant’s agents and agencies provided  false or misleading information to the FISC to obtain approval for the first  FISA warrant.

38. The FBI did not advise the FISC that Steele had been paid by the  national Democrat party and/or the Clinton presidential campaign to provide  opposition research on Republican candidate Donald J. Trump and his  campaign. The FBI also did not advise the FISC that Steele’s primary subsource contradicted critical information that Steele attributed to him. Instead,  the FBI represented to the FISC that the primary sub-source was credible,  without disclosing to the FISC that what the primary sub-source had credibly reported to the FBI was that the information Steele attributed to him was  inaccurate and misleading.

39. The four FISA warrants ultimately issued by the FISC were  obtained unlawfully because there was no probable cause to seek them. The  warrants were issued only because of the FBI’s omissions and  misrepresentations to the FISC.

40. The DOG OIG report released in December 2019 established  numerous material failures by the FBI to follow the Woods Procedures and  other DOJ and FBI policies in obtaining the FISA warrants. Among other  things, the FBI failed to verify the accuracy of the information included in the  warrant applications. In many instances, the FBI either had no supporting  documentation, misrepresented what the supporting documentation stated, or  the supporting documentation showed that the factual assertion made in the  application was incorrect. Moreover, Michael Gaeta, the career FBI Agent assigned to handle Steele as a CHS, said that it was obvious Steele’s work was  politically motivated.

41. Indeed, the DOJ temporarily held up an initial FISA warrant  application because of the DOJ’s concerns that Steele’s bias may need to be  disclosed to the FISC. Ultimately a footnote was added to the application,  which stated:

Source #1 [Steele], who now owns a foreign business/financial  intelligence firm, was approached by an identified U.S. person,  who indicated to Source #1 that a U.S.-based law firm had hired  the identified U.S. person to conduct research regarding Candidate  #1’s ties to Russia (the identified U.S. person and Source #1 have  a long-standing business relationship). The identified U.S. person  hired Source #1 to conduct this research. The identified U.S.  person never advised Source #1 as to the motivation behind the  research into Candidate #1’s ties to Russia. The FBI speculates  that the identified U.S. person was likely looking for information  that could be used to discredit Candidate #1's campaign.

42. This misleading and virtually incomprehensible footnote ignores  the fact that Steele was being paid with Democratic National Committee  funds, which its law firm, Perkins Coie, funneled to Steele through the political  opposition research firm Fusion GPS.

43. The FBI knew that fully and accurately disclosing the motivations  behind Steele’s critical allegations on which it relied would undermine any  finding of probable cause and would prevent it from obtaining a FISA warrant.  The FBI intentionally left out this information in the initial application for a  FISA warrant submitted by the DOJ to the FISC on October 21, 2016. The same misleading information was used in the three subsequent FISA warrant  applications.

44. Without the FISA warrants, the Crossfire Hurricane investigation  would likely have been closed in its entirety, and the prosecution of General  Flynn likely would never have occurred.

FBI Opens Crossfire Razor Investigation of General Flynn without Legitimate Investigative Predicate

45. The Crossfire Razor investigation of General Flynn was a sub investigation within the Crossfire Hurricane umbrella. Crossfire Razor  stemmed from Crossfire Hurricane, contained many of the same personnel,  and involved the same investigative strategy and issues.

46. Leaving aside the lack of probable cause and other manifest  deficiencies of the umbrella Crossfire Hurricane investigation, the Crossfire  Razor sub-investigation itself lacked a legitimate investigative predicate. The  FBI’s reported justifications for opening Crossfire Razor were (i) General  Flynn’s position as advisor to presidential candidate Donald J. Trump, (ii)  “open source” reporting on General Flynn’s “ties to various state-affiliated  entities of the Russian Federation,” (iii) the fact that General Flynn traveled  to Moscow where he famously sat at a table with Vladimir Putin, and (iv) that  General Flynn has a top secret/sensitive compartmented information  (“TS/SCI”) clearance. Exhibit C.

47. Based on the FBI’s draft closing communication, these purported  justifications—in isolation and in combination—reveal the baseless and  malicious nature of the investigation. Moreover, they were in violation of the  FBI’s own policies, which prohibit the investigation of a U.S. citizen solely for  the purpose of monitoring activities protected by the First Amendment or the  lawful exercise of other rights secured by the Constitution or laws of the United  States, and require a factual investigative predicate.

48. An FBI predicated investigation may be opened if a criminal action  or threat to national security has or may have occurred, will be occurring, or is  occurring, or if a target is or may be the object of an attack, victimization,  acquisition, or recruitment in connection with such actions and the predicated  investigation would protect against such threat. To open a preliminary  predicated investigation, there must be an allegation of a violation of the above.  Based on publicly available information, the FBI’s apparent predicate is  incredible.

49. General Flynn’s status as an advisor to a presidential candidate is  not a proper justification to investigate him as a Russian spy. General Flynn  is a widely respected three-star general, recognized as one of the United States’  greatest intelligence officers. Unsurprisingly, he was sought out by and  advised multiple presidential candidates prior to joining the Trump campaign.  Again, as discussed, there was no credible information to investigate Donald Trump as a Russian spy, so affiliation with President Trump—a First  Amendment protected activity—was not a legitimate basis for investigation.

50. The supposed “ties” to “state-affiliated entities,” apparently  amounted to speaking fees that General Flynn received as part of his speaking  circuit after leaving government service. As the FBI was well aware, speaking  fees are common for high-level military personnel after they leave government  service. General Flynn appeared at over two dozen events after leaving  government service, all arranged by his speaking bureau, not by him  personally, and all were lawful exercises of his First Amendment rights. 51. Among General Flynn’s many speeches, given at corporate events  for many companies, the supposed “ties” apparently amounted to three  appearances. One was at a U.S.-based subsidiary of a Russian company.  Another was at a U.S. company that happened to be owned by a Russian. The  third was his appearance on a panel at a RT gala in Russia, where he sat at a  table with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The fact that a notable retired  general was invited to speak at these events was not unusual, the fees received  were not unusual, and there was nothing specific about any of these  appearances or speeches that was improper. These “ties” could be found with  any number of retired, high-level government officials, and did not warrant  investigating General Flynn as a Russian asset.

52. General Flynn’s attendance of the RT gala in Russia is even less of  a basis for investigation than already discussed. As the FBI was fully aware— yet conscientiously omitted from its closing memo—General Flynn briefed the  U.S. government before and after the RT trip. Therefore, General Flynn was  acting as an information-gathering agent for the United States, not for Russia.  The inclusion of this trip (twice) as a justification for investigating General  Flynn as a Russian spy was facially incredible. Making it even more incredible,  is the fact, known to the FBI, that Vladimir Putin did not actually sit with  General Flynn for an extended period of time, instead appearing briefly to  address the attendees, posing for photos, and leaving.

53. General Flynn’s possession of TS/SCI clearance, one of the highest  levels of security clearance, was a reason not to suspect General Flynn as a  Russian spy. TS/SCI clearance holders undergo rigorous background  investigations and polygraph examinations. In other words, General Flynn’s  TS/SCI clearance meant that he had already been thoroughly vetted by the  U.S. government and was subject to ongoing investigation and polygraph  examination to maintain his clearance. The FBI was fully aware at the time of  opening Crossfire Razor that General Flynn had undergone a complete  background investigation in spring of 2015, which included a full scope  polygraph examination. The FBI’s inclusion of General Flynn’s TS/SCI  clearance as a justification for investigating him was also facially incredible.

54. Even in combination, these factors could not possibly have formed  a proper factual predicate for investigation. It would require the FBI to  fantasize that a three-star general had betrayed his country on the basis of a  few thousand dollars in speaking fees—a bare fraction of what generals make  on the speaking circuit—and his position as foreign policy advisor to  presidential candidate Donald J. Trump. This was incredible.

55. The real reason for Crossfire Razor was part of the “insurance  policy” discussed by FBI agents Strzok and Page the day before Crossfire Razor  was opened. Exhibit B.

FBI Continues Crossfire Razor Even After Clearing General Flynn

56. Even ignoring the previously discussed problems with opening the  Crossfire Hurricane and Crossfire Razor investigations, and assuming for  argument that these investigations could have been opened in good faith, the  FBI wrongfully and maliciously chose to continue Crossfire Razor even after it  had completed its investigation and cleared General Flynn of any improper ties  to Russia.

57. The Crossfire Razor investigation was slated to be closed in  December of 2016 because the investigation found no derogatory information  on General Flynn. Importantly, the draft of the FBI memorandum closing the  investigation found that no interview of General Flynn was required before the  investigation was closed. Exhibit C.

58. This closing memorandum described the specific goal and  predication for the investigation and laid out the numerous searches of  holdings and investigative steps that had, at each step, yielded no derogatory  information.

59. The closing communication stated that the FBI’s Crossfire Razor  investigation had failed to produce any information upon which to predicate  further investigative efforts regarding General Flynn. And it noted that no  interview of General Flynn was warranted before concluding that the FBI was  closing the investigation. Exhibit C.

60. The closing memorandum had not been implemented, however, as  of January 4, 2017. At some point before that date, but after the closing memo  had already been drafted, FBI senior staff became aware of phone calls  between General Flynn and Russian Ambassador Kislyak. In fact, the FBI had,  in their possession, transcripts of the relevant calls, and they knew or should  have known that the phone calls were legitimate.

61. Knowing that the counterintelligence investigation of General  Flynn was slated to be closed, FBI leadership considered opening a new  criminal investigation based solely on a potential violation of the Logan Act,  18 U.S.C. § 953. Discussions with the DOJ, however, resulted in the general  view that the Logan Act was not viable, and the FBI never opened an  independent FBI criminal investigation. This is unsurprising, as the Logan Act is a relic of the John Adams administration, the dubious constitutionality of  which has never been tested because it has never been successfully prosecuted.  Therefore, FBI leadership determined to continue its Crossfire Razor  counterintelligence investigation of General Flynn on the sole basis of the  Kislyak calls.

62. On January 4, 2017, FBI Deputy Assistant Director Strzok  urgently reached out to another FBI agent, demanding to know if the Crossfire  Razor investigation had been closed, as previously intended, and if not,  ordering that it remain open. It had not been closed. Relieved, Strzok  immediately relayed the news to Lisa Page, the Special Counsel to FBI Deputy  Director Andrew McCabe, remarking that “our utter incompetence actually  helps us” and calling it a “serendipitously” good development. Exhibit D at 5.

63. The reason that Strzok was so relieved at this serendipitous  incompetence, is that he knew there was no legitimate grounds for opening  another investigation into General Flynn. The FBI cannot simply investigate  an incoming NSA because he communicated with a foreign leader; it is common  during the transition to a new administration. Moreover, Strzok, McCabe, the  FBI, and the EOP were fully aware that Flynn’s statements to Kislyak were  perfectly appropriate diplomatic talks, which sought to—and apparently  succeeded in—persuading Russia not to take drastic retaliatory steps against the United States in response to President Obama’s recent expulsion of  Russian diplomats.

64. It is only because of Defendant’s agents and agencies’ malicious,  partisan, and unethical intent to investigate their political opponents generally  and to destroy General Flynn specifically that senior officials and political  leadership of the FBI, DOJ, and EOP continued the Crossfire Razor  investigation.

65. Strzok instructed agents to keep the investigation open at the  behest of FBI leadership. Therefore, as of January 4, 2017, the FBI kept open  its counterintelligence investigation into General Flynn based solely on his  calls with Kislyak—the only new information to arise since the FBI’s  determination to close the case—calls which they knew to be legitimate.

Defendant’s Improper and Malicious Motivations for Investigating and Prosecuting General Flynn

66. On or about November 10, 2016, only two days after the  presidential election, President-elect Trump met with President Obama in the  Oval Office. During this meeting, President Obama singled out General  Flynn—and only General Flynn—warning President-elect Trump against  appointing him to any high-level national security positions. President Obama  made this statement despite himself having appointed General Flynn to the  position of Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2012.

67. President-elect Trump ignored that advice. On or about November  18, 2016, General Flynn accepted the once-in-a-lifetime honor of becoming the  next National Security Advisor.

68. The Obama White House held special contempt for General Flynn.  As the Associated Press reported, “Of all the [sic] Trump’s choices, White  House officials said it was the selection of Flynn that felt like the most  devastating blow.” NPR also reported, “Flynn clashed with President Barack  Obama’s White House about how the U.S. was waging its wars.” General Flynn  had publicly lambasted President Obama for not being aggressive enough with  Iran, for lying to the American public, and for politicizing intelligence.

69. Top brass at the FBI also had reason to resent General Flynn. In  2012, a decorated counterintelligence agent at the FBI filed an EEOC  complaint for sexual discrimination and retaliation, which implicated Andrew  McCabe. General Flynn, who had worked closely with this agent, wrote a letter  vouching for her in 2014 and volunteered to be a witness for her case. The FBI  fought to prevent General Flynn from being a witness in this EEOC case.

70. These issues—while they provide background on Defendant’s  vindictiveness and would be grounds enough to establish the calculated malice  directed at General Flynn in their wrongful prosecution and abuse of process— are a side-show to the bigger, and truly despicable motivations at play in the U.S. Government’s targeting of a U.S. citizen and decorated three-star general  for destruction and disgrace.

71. General Flynn was the only senior member of President Trump’s  incoming administration—not subject to Senate confirmation—with  experience in the intelligence community: the same intelligence community  that had colluded with Clinton Campaign operatives to create the Russia collusion hoax; the same intelligence community that had been spying on the  Trump campaign; the same intelligence community that intended to continue its spurious Crossfire Hurricane “investigation” into President Trump’s  supposed Russian collusion. General Flynn—who already had a reputation as  a hands-on disruptor at DIA, who had publicly excoriated the politicization of  the intelligence community, and who had made clear his desire to overhaul the  national security structure and the “interagency process”—was a direct threat,  not only to the self-interest of entrenched intelligence bureaucracies and the  federal officials involved, but to exposing their prior and ongoing efforts to  derail and discredit President Trump.

72. Defendant’s agents were acutely aware that General Flynn was  one of few people in the Trump White House with the authority and the  intelligence background to uncover and expose the Crossfire Hurricane  debacle.

73. The EOP, under President Obama, was so distraught by General  Flynn’s selection as NSA that they calculatingly, and with actual malice and  corrupt motives, conspired to and did use the tremendous power of their  positions in the Executive Office of the President (and their influence over the  DOJ and FBI) to investigate, entrap, and prosecute General Flynn.  Defendant’s agents executed these actions knowingly, purposely, and in  complete disregard of General Flynn’s constitutional and other legal rights.

74. To do this, the named FBI employees first had to prevent the  closure of the Crossfire Razor investigation, which had already determined  that General Flynn had no ties to Russia. As discussed, on January 4, 2017,  the FBI, in coordination with the EOP, chose to extend the Crossfire Razor  investigation on the pretext of the legitimate Kislyak calls.

75. The next day, January 5, 2017, FBI Director Comey and FBI  Deputy Director Andrew McCabe (“McCabe”) met in the Oval Office with  President Obama, Vice President Biden, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates  (then, the acting attorney general), CIA Director John Brennan, ODNI  Director James Clapper, and National Security Advisor Susan Rice.

76. During this meeting, the participants agreed to try to damage  incoming President Trump and his new Administration, including by trying to  prosecute General Flynn, to force General Flynn to resign as NSA, and cripple  President Trump’s ability to implement national security and foreign affairs policy changes, and potentially turn General Flynn against President Trump.  They also agreed to withhold this agreement from President-elect Trump’s  transition team.

77. Withholding information about the Crossfire Hurricane  investigation from the incoming administration was a paramount goal, as  documented by Susan Rice in her infamous CYA memo about this meeting,  which she wrote to herself on January 20, 2017: “President Obama said he  wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful  to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it  relates to Russia” (emphasis added).

78. Immediately after that meeting, President Obama asked that  Sally Yates and James Comey stay back for a private meeting, in which Obama  and Comey spoke knowingly about the Flynn-Kislyak calls, discussed the  Logan Act, and indicated the President’s special interest in General Flynn.

Defendant Plans Perjury Trap for General Flynn

79. Between the Oval Office meeting on January 5, 2017, and January  24, 2017, Comey and Yates met to discuss the General Flynn matter, and  thereafter Comey and McCabe discussed and developed a specific plan to  interview Flynn about alleged Russian influence.

80. On or about January 10, 2017, another Oval Office meeting took  place involving a discussion of the Crossfire Razor investigation and General Flynn. According to notes taken by Strzok, during this meeting, the group  agreed that General Flynn’s actions were “legit.” A common shorthand for  legitimate.

81. At or around that time, an unnamed “senior U.S. government  official” feloniously leaked details about General Flynn’s phone call with  Kislyak to the Washington Post, which published about it on January 12,  2017.1 In a follow-up piece, the Washington Post reported that nine officials  “who were in senior positions at multiple agencies” spoke anonymously, and  illegally, about the Kislyak calls. Information about the calls was also leaked  to the New York Times, whose reporting confirmed that the FBI and the  Obama administration were aware at the time of the legitimate nature of the  communications:

Obama officials asked the F.B.I. if a quid pro quo had been  discussed on the call, and the answer came back no, according to  one of the officials, who like others asked not to be named  discussing delicate communications. The topic of sanctions came  up, they were told, but there was no deal. 2

82. Despite the consensus that General Flynn’s actions, including the  Kislyak calls, were legitimate, Vice President Biden suggested a potential  prosecution of General Flynn under the Logan Act. The DOJ, however, indicated in subsequent meetings that such a prosecution would be unlikely to  succeed, especially since no prosecution has ever occurred pursuant to the  Logan Act.

1 David Ignatius, Why did Obama dawdle on Russia’s hacking?, WASHINGTON  POST, Jan. 12, 2017.

2 Peter Baker, Flynn’s Downfall Sprang From ‘Eroding Level of Trust’, THE  NEW YORK TIMES, Feb. 14, 2017.

83. This, however, did not stop the high-level leakers from suggesting  this possibility to the media, who breathlessly repeated the potential for a  Logan Act violation. Importantly, the FBI would later use these leaks, and the  media’s discussion of the Logan Act, as a justification for not putting the White  House or DOJ on notice prior to sending agents to “interview” General Flynn.

84. FBI Director Comey decided that the FBI would not notify the  incoming Trump administration of the actual contents of the Flynn-Kislyak  communications, despite possessing the transcripts. Deputy Attorney General  Sally Yates and other senior DOJ officials, however, were of the opposite  opinion and believed that the incoming administration should be notified.

85. Comey’s reasoning for not disclosing the information to the Trump  administration changed several times to the chagrin of DOJ leadership. The  Deputy Attorney General, Director of National Intelligence, and Director of the  Central Intelligence Agency all agreed that the FBI should notify the Trump  administration of what had actually been said on the calls.

86. In the interim, Strzok and Page sought advice from an FBI  attorney regarding a potential interview of General Flynn. On January 22,  2017, an FBI attorney emailed Strzok and Page to state that if the FBI would usually tell the White House about the interview of someone such as General  Flynn, then the FBI should do what the FBI would normally do.

87. Per the internal discussions of the FBI leading up to the interview  of General Flynn, however, they believed that any notification to the White  House or DOJ leadership about the interview or its purpose would surely result  in a denial of permission to conduct the interview. At the very least, it would  result in General Flynn being accompanied by White House counsel. In either  case, their goal would be thwarted.

88. The apparent goal was to ambush General Flynn with a perjury  trap to remove him as an obstacle to the continuing Crossfire Hurricane  investigation and as a threat to their own jobs and the entrenched intelligence  apparatus.

89. At an FBI meeting held on the morning of January 24, 2017, FBI  Assistant Director Bill Priestap expressed second thoughts about the perjury  trap. In his hand-written (and heavily redacted) notes from that day, he  describes having previously agreed with the plan to not show General Flynn  [redacted, but likely, the transcripts of the Kislyak calls]. He asks, however,  whether the FBI’s goal in this case is to get the truth, or to “get [Flynn] to lie,  so we can prosecute him or get him fired?” Priestap recognized the grave  danger these kind of “games”—as he diplomatically calls them—posed to the  credibility of the FBI as an institution. His warnings were ignored. Exhibit E.

90. By apparent happenstance, Sally Yates attempted to contact  Comey that same day, January 24, 2017, to demand that the FBI notify the  White House of the Kislyak communications. Perhaps unsurprisingly, she was  unable to get through. Comey waited until Strzok and Pientka were already  en route to the White House before calling Yates back to tell her that it was too  late, advising her that FBI agents were already on their way to interview General Flynn.

91. Yates was flabbergasted and dumbfounded by Comey’s actions,  and other DOJ leadership hit the roof upon hearing of this development, as  any interview of General Flynn should have been coordinated with at least the  DOJ and the White House Counsel’s Office.

92. Comey had determined that the FBI would interview General  Flynn without notifying anyone at either the DOJ or the White House  Counsel’s Office. During a December 2018 publicly televised interview with  MSNBC and NBC News analyst Nicolle Wallace, Comey glibly admitted—indeed, bragged—that sending FBI agents to the White House to interrogate a  senior official without notice, was something he probably wouldn’t have done  or gotten away with in a more organized administration. Comey admitted that  he took an improper course of conduct in continuing the investigation and  allowing the interview of General Flynn, and that he got away with it because  it was “early enough” in the administration that he could take advantage of the disorder. But for this interview of General Flynn, there would have been  no criminal charges brought against General Flynn.

93. On January 24, 2017, Deputy FBI Director McCabe called General  Flynn requesting a meeting, to which Flynn agreed, not knowing he was being  set up. During this call, McCabe advised that if General Flynn wished to have  anyone else at the meeting, including the White House Counsel, the FBI would  have to elevate the issue to the DOJ. Such a comment was designed by the  Deputy FBI Director to get the target of an investigation to speak with federal  agents without any counsel present. McCabe further downplayed the need for  counsel by telling General Flynn that this was an informal meeting, just to put  the Kislyak calls being discussed in the press to bed.

94. Later that same day, FBI counterintelligence agents Peter Strzok  and Joe Pientka interviewed General Flynn at his office in the White House.  Neither agent informed General Flynn prior to or during this meeting that  General Flynn’s statements could, and likely would, be used against him in a  criminal prosecution. Neither of them informed General Flynn that he was the  subject of an investigation. The agents acted casual and friendly toward  General Flynn, never putting him on notice of the dire consequences of any  misstatement he might make, however innocent or immaterial.

95. During this interview, FBI agents Strzok and Pientka were  attempting to trap General Flynn in a misstatement or omission so that they could charge him with a false statement violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001. This  malicious intent continued throughout the FBI’s investigation and the  subsequent investigation and prosecution by the Special Counsel’s office.  Exhibit D at 8 n.2.

96. Despite this intent, neither of the FBI agents warned General  Flynn before the beginning of the interview about the possible penalties  involved with misstatements, omissions, or lies to an FBI agent. Reports  indicate that whether to give General Flynn such a warning was specifically  discussed amongst FBI leadership prior to General Flynn’s interview, but FBI  leadership did not want to tip off General Flynn to the true purpose of the  interview. They wanted him fully at ease and without legal counsel.

97. The intentional decisions by FBI leadership to manipulate General  Flynn to have the interview without counsel and not to warn him of the  potential penalties emphasize the malicious nature of the improperly  continued Crossfire Razor investigation into General Flynn.

98. Additionally, prior to the interview, the FBI engaged in internal  discussions about whether to show General Flynn the transcripts of his calls  with Kislyak.

99. Because the FBI already had these transcripts, General Flynn’s  answers during an interview would have shed no light on whether and what  he communicated with Kislyak. Due, at least in part, to these highly unusual and deliberately irregular procedures, the DOJ ultimately admitted—as  indeed it had no choice but to admit—that it could not explain, much less prove  to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt, how the allegedly false interview  statements by General Flynn could be “material” to an investigation that—as  explained above—was continued with the purpose of eliciting those false  statements and to thereby entrap General Flynn.

100. Because the FBI possessed the transcripts, the only explanation  for not providing them to General Flynn during the interview—as was  standard protocol—was that the purpose of the interview was not to get to the  truth (which they knew) but to trap General Flynn in a misstatement or  omission, as indicated by Bill Priestap that very morning.

101. General Flynn’s statements could not have conceivably influenced  an investigation that no longer had either a legitimate counterintelligence or  criminal purpose. Moreover, even if they could be material, the DOJ did not  believe it could prove that General Flynn knowingly and willfully made a false  statement beyond a reasonable doubt.

102. Tellingly, when asked by the National Security Division of the DOJ  whether the FBI would like to conduct a follow-up interview with General  Flynn, Deputy Director McCabe emphatically said no. Sally Yates was  apparently surprised by this, but the reason was obvious. McCabe did not want  a follow-up interview because the mission had been accomplished. General Flynn had been neutralized and would no longer be an obstacle to continuing  the Crossfire Hurricane investigation into President Trump.

103. The White House was briefed on the supposed misstatements  made by General Flynn to the FBI, and as a result, on February 13, 2017,  General Flynn was forced to resign from his position as NSA. That, however,  was only the beginning of the torment in store for General Flynn at the hands  of Defendant’s agents and agencies, in their crusade to destroy President  Trump and his allies.

Defendant Initiates Prosecution of General Flynn without Any Legitimate Legal or Factual Basis

104. Following the spurious January 24, 2017 interview, Strzok and  Pientka took three weeks to submit their notes. FBI regulations, however, require notes about interviews to be submitted five days after the interview.  United States v. Harrison, 524 F.2d 421, 425 (D.C. Cir. 1975). In the interim,  Strzok consulted with FBI lawyer Lisa Page—with whom he was having an  extra-marital affair at the time—about how to best draft the notes of the Flynn  interview. FBI regulations again, however, suggest that the notes be submitted  by the agent that did the interview based on their recollection and notes, not  outside sources. Id.

105. Despite the improper delay, and multiple revisions, the notes  submitted by Strzok and Pientka did not support a prosecution of General Flynn. The notes indicated that General Flynn was unguarded in the interview  and clearly viewed the agents as allies. The notes also indicated that General  Flynn exhibited a very sure demeanor and did not give any indicators of  deception.

106. Both of the agents had the impression at the time that Flynn was  not lying or did not think he was lying. After reviewing the case notes, FBI  Director Comey even stated that there was only an argument to be made that  General Flynn lied.

107. Despite the obvious knowledge that the interview was not material  to the Crossfire Razor investigation’s purpose and that the interviewing agents  and Comey believed that General Flynn either did not lie or only may have  lied—and at that, unintentionally—the FBI used these doctored notes, submitted far past their deadline, to prosecute Flynn, not for any real  underlying misconduct, but for allegedly lying to the FBI during the interview  that the FBI completely botched according to the DOJ’s own regulations.

108. On May 17, 2017, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein  appointed Robert S. Mueller to serve as Special Counsel to oversee the  investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. This resulted in  the creation of the SCO within the DOJ. The SCO assumed the investigation  and took over the DOJ’s role in working with the FBI investigative teams  assigned to the relevant investigations.

109. Strzok and Page investigated General Flynn as a way to “stop  Trump” and in an attempt to get false testimony from General Flynn that  President-elect Trump was a Russian asset, and they continued their scheme  when the investigation moved from the DOJ more broadly to the SCO. As part  of their efforts to “stop Trump,” FBI agents, including Pientka, made false  statements to the FISA court during the investigation into General Flynn.

110. On November 30, 2017, the SCO filed a criminal information  against General Flynn, officially initiating a false, reckless, abusive, and  malicious felony criminal prosecution against him. The information improperly  charged General Flynn with one count of making false statements in violation  of 18 U.S.C. §1001(a)(2). The SCO falsely asserted in the information that  General Flynn had intentionally omitted and denied speaking with Russian  Ambassador Kislyak during an interview with FBI agents Strzok and Pientka  on January 24, 2017.

111. The SCO initiated the prosecution despite knowing General Flynn  had not made false statements, that even if he did make false statements, they  were unintentional and were not material to the Crossfire Razor investigation.  SCO had no reasonable belief that General Flynn had committed the criminal  offense and therefore had no probable cause to bring this information.

112. At the time, the DOJ, by the SCO through Senior Assistant Special  Counsel Brandon Van Grack, filed the information, it was aware that Strzok and Pientka wrote, in their interview notes, they did not believe General Flynn  had lied during their January 24, 2017, interrogation. The DOJ was further  aware that the FBI only kept the Crossfire Razor investigation into General  Flynn open to investigate the Flynn-Kislyak calls, which were not within the  scope of the Crossfire Razor investigation, and there was no independent  criminal investigation opened into the Flynn-Kislyak calls.

113. Further, at the time the SCO filed the information, the SCO was  in possession of Strzok’s notes that described the January 10, 2017, meeting in  the Oval Office, wherein President Obama, Vice President Biden, Comey, and  others described General Flynn’s conversations with Kislyak as “legit.” “Legit”  in this context meant that General Flynn’s conduct was legitimate and, therefore, not criminal or improper. It was this meeting where the DOJ  disregarded Vice President Biden’s suggestion to use the Logan Act.

114. Additionally, any charge under 18 U.S.C. 1001(a)(2) must be a  false statement that is material to the underlying investigation or proceeding  before a tribunal. As previously discussed, even if General Flynn’s statements  could qualify as false, they were not material.

115. At the time the information was filed, the SCO knew that General  Flynn was innocent of any illegal contacts with any foreign power or any  material misstatements to the FBI. Still, it commenced the prosecution of  General Flynn.

116. The DOJ, through its officers and employees in the SCO, with the  assistance of the other named wrongdoers, had malicious intent when it  unlawfully investigated and prosecuted General Flynn despite knowing his  legal innocence of the charges brought.

117. The named wrongdoers were all aware of the fact that General  Flynn was not a Russian agent, and there was no basis for any further  investigation or initiating any prosecution. Nevertheless, the individual  federal employees and officials decided to prosecute General Flynn anyway,  destroy General Flynn professionally, block General Flynn from holding a  position of influence in the government, and thwart President Trump’s agenda.

118. Strzok and Page had a stated motive to stop Trump at least as  early as August 15, 2016, and they endeavored through their work in the  Crossfire Razor investigation and subsequent SCO prosecution of General  Flynn to advance that purpose. Page participated and assisted Strzok in his  partisan, malicious actions. They conceived of the initial investigation into  General Flynn as an insurance policy should Presidential candidate Hillary  Clinton lose the 2016 election. When Clinton lost the election, Strzok put this  insurance policy into motion.

119. The named wrongdoers knew that General Flynn’s calls with  Kislyak were “legit,” and instead of closing the Crossfire Razor investigation, they tried to think of new, even unprecedented, ways to investigate and  prosecute General Flynn.

120. Strzok and Pientka continued to participate in the investigation  and prosecution of General Flynn despite having certified that they did not  believe General Flynn intentionally lied. Intent is a necessary element of a  Section 1001 conviction.

121. During the improper prosecution of General Flynn, the SCO  willfully failed to disclose exculpatory evidence in violation of its constitutional  obligations under Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963). The exculpatory  evidence the SCO failed to disclose included, but is not limited to, the notes  from Strzok and Pientka showing the FBI believed General Flynn did not lie  during his January 24, 2017, interview, and the notes describing the Oval  Office meeting wherein Comey stated General Flynn’s calls with Kislyak were  “legit,” and wherein Vice President Biden suggested using the Logan Act as a  basis for prosecuting General Flynn. The SCO and one of its lead prosecutors,  Van Grack, possessed these documents and actually prosecuted General Flynn.  Further, Van Grack refused to disclose this plainly and fully exculpatory  material in violation of his Brady obligations.

122. Each of these examples are plainly exculpatory, either because  they directly tend to show General Flynn’s innocence of the §1001 violation, or because they indirectly tend to show his innocence by revealing the nefarious  motivation behind the prosecution.

123. The SCO prosecuted General Flynn despite knowing his factual  and legal innocence and the abuse of process engaged in during the  investigation and prosecution of General Flynn. The FBI continued  investigating General Flynn even when it knew that General Flynn was not a  Russian agent.

124. After General Flynn was deliberately, knowingly, maliciously, and  falsely charged with the §1001 criminal violation, the United States District  Court for the District of Columbia severely limited General Flynn’s liberty to  travel freely within and without the United States. The District Court imposed  travel restrictions on General Flynn, against his will, within the boundaries  fixed by the United States and even to boundaries within the United States.  As a result of General Flynn’s unlawful prosecution and detention, General  Flynn was unable to travel freely inside and outside of the United States.

125. Not only was his reputation permanently stained by Defendant’s  unlawful investigation and prosecution, but he was unable to carry on his  international consulting business personally. For the above reasons, the  restrictions severely curtailing General Flynn’s movements were unlawful, just as the prosecution that created General Flynn’s movement restrictions  was unlawful.

126. Further, the SCO and the FBI misled the FISA court, proceeded  with an investigation into General Flynn’s supposed “Russian ties” when they  knew he had none, and threatened his son, Michael Flynn, Jr., with  prosecution unless he pled guilty to a §1001 offense. All of these facts and  others demonstrate that Defendant acted with malice in investigating and  prosecuting General Flynn.

127. As discussed above, on May 7, 2020, the DOJ, through United  States Attorney O’Shea, moved to dismiss the prosecution against General  Flynn. In doing so, the DOJ stated that the government does not have a  substantial federal interest in penalizing a defendant for a crime that it is not  satisfied occurred or that it does not believe it can prove beyond a reasonable  doubt. The DOJ motion to dismiss laid out in great detail the underlying facts  and legal circumstances surrounding the unjustified and unsupported  prosecutions of General Flynn and why the case should never have been  brought.

128. Proof of a false statement to federal investigators under  § 1001(a)(2) requires more than a lie, and the FBI and the DOJ were not even  sure that General Flynn had lied when the prosecution was brought. It also  requires demonstrating that such a statement was material to the underlying  investigation. Section 1001 prohibits “knowingly and willfully . . . mak[ing] any  materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation” in a “matter within the jurisdiction of the executive . . . branch of the Government  of the United States.” 18 U.S.C. § 1001.

129. Based on an extensive review of its investigation and prosecution  of General Flynn, the DOJ determined that continuing the prosecution of  General Flynn would not serve the interests of justice. Under the Principles of  Federal Prosecution, the government should not prosecute an individual unless  the attorney for the government believes that the admissible evidence is  sufficient to obtain and sustain a guilty verdict by an unbiased trier of fact.

130. In General Flynn’s prosecution, the evidence showed his  statements, regardless of whether any were false, were not material to any  viable counterintelligence investigation—or any investigation—initiated by  the FBI. The FBI itself recognized that it lacked any sufficient grounds to  sustain its initial counterintelligence investigation when it sought to close that  very investigation without an interview of General Flynn.

131. With its counterintelligence investigation no longer justifiably  predicated, the communications between General Flynn and Kislyak—the  FBI’s sole basis for resurrecting the investigation on January 4, 2017—did not  warrant continuing the existing counterintelligence investigation, reopening  or redirecting the existing counterintelligence investigation, or opening a new  criminal investigation.

132. Notably, the FBI considered, but did not open, a criminal  investigation based on General Flynn’s calls with Kislyak. Indeed, the FBI  never even attempted to open a new investigation of General Flynn on these  grounds.

133. In dismissing its prosecution against General Flynn, the DOJ  determined that General Flynn’s calls with the Russian ambassador—the only  new information to arise after the FBI’s decision to close out his investigation— did not constitute a sufficient articulable factual basis to re-open any  counterintelligence investigation or open a criminal investigation into General  Flynn.

134. In addition to the FBI’s changing justifications for the FBI’s  ongoing probe of General Flynn, the FBI’s irregular procedure that preceded  his interview also proves the FBI was eager to interview General Flynn  irrespective of any legitimate investigative purpose. It is undisputed the FBI  agents breached standard procedure of arranging interviews of White House  personnel through the White House Counsel’s Office and did not notify DOJ  leadership or White House personnel about the interview in advance.

135. In addition, Deputy FBI Director McCabe affirmatively and  effectively discouraged General Flynn from procuring the assistance of White  House or personal counsel during the interview, or even notifying the White  House Counsel’s Office about the interview at all.

136. The interviewing agents also failed to issue the standard § 1001  admonitions about the consequences of false statements to investigators. Nor  did the FBI even notify Acting Attorney General Yates that the interview was  happening until the interviewing agents were already en route to General  Flynn. Even worse, before the FBI’s interviewing agents even scheduled and  left for the interview, the FBI deliberately ignored a preexisting request for  information about the Crossfire Razor investigation from the Acting Attorney  General. In other words, FBI Director Comey knew that Acting Attorney  General Yates would not approve of the interview of Flynn and deliberately  waited to inform her until it was too late to prevent the interview—a knowing,  willing, and deliberate violation of the legal and political chain of command.

137. The FBI agents, who actually interviewed General Flynn, had the  impression that General Flynn was not lying or at least did not think he was  lying. Moreover, the statements in question were not, by their nature, easily  falsifiable. During his interview with the FBI agents, General Flynn offered  either equivocal (“I don’t know”) or indirect responses or stated that he did not  remember the matter in question.

138. Considering the vague substance of General Flynn’s answers, the  FBI’s estimation of General Flynn’s truthfulness, the inconsistent FBI records  as to the actual questions and statements made, FBI Director Comey’s own  sentiment that the case was, at best, a close one, and the information available to the DOJ and the SCO at the time it chose to file the criminal information  indicated that there was not only no probable cause to support their claim that  General Flynn knowingly and willingly lied to investigators during the  interview, but it wasn’t even close.

139. U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan, however, refused to  approve the DOJ’s dismissal of its prosecution, necessitating an appeal to the  D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals by General Flynn. The D.C. Circuit initially  ordered Judge Sullivan to dismiss the charges and case against General Flynn  in its entirety. In response, Judge Sullivan—the supposedly disinterested  judge, who mused aloud about whether the Department of Justice could charge  General Flynn for treason (it could not), and who stated on the record to  General Flynn that “[a]rguably, you sold your country out”—retained counsel,  literally becoming an interested party, and petitioned for en banc review from  the D.C. Circuit. After en banc review, the D.C. Circuit remanded the case to  Judge Sullivan for appropriate dispatch, who continued to drag his feet on  dismissal of the case.

140. On November 25, 2020, after having suffered nearly three years of  wrongful prosecution and torment by the U.S. Government, General Flynn  received a presidential pardon. On December 8, 2020, the criminal case against  General Flynn was finally dismissed by Judge Sullivan in its entirety.

141. Judge Sullivan in his dismissal colloquy could not resist taking a  few parting partisan jabs at General Flynn, but he ultimately dismissed the  entire criminal information filed against General Flynn.

142. General Flynn was the target of a politically motivated FBI  investigation and the DOJ and the SCO prosecution that had no merit when it  began, no merit during its course, and no merit in the end when the charges  were withdrawn and dismissed by the DOJ and ultimately dismissed by Judge  Sullivan after General Flynn received a full presidential pardon.

143. During that meritless and unlawful FBI investigation and the DOJ  and the SCO prosecution, General Flynn was falsely and maliciously painted  by the Defendant as a traitor to his nation, alleging that he was engaged in  illicit actions with a hostile foreign power. These malicious allegations were so  pervasive and so widely disseminated in the news and in political circles, that  even the sitting judge regurgitated them at General Flynn’s sentencing  hearing.

144. Defendant’s agents and agencies’ targeting of a United States  citizen for baseless counterintelligence investigation and criminal prosecution  and eliciting a plea bargain through threatening family members is dangerous  and outrageous conduct of the highest order. The fact that it was orchestrated  and carried out at the highest levels of the FBI, DOJ, SCO, and EOP makes it  all the more outrageous. That it was done intentionally, purposefully, deliberately, and with reckless and total disregard for the rights, reputation,  and position of General Flynn—the President’s highest-ranking national  security advisor, a retired United States Army Lieutenant General with 33  years of honorable military service to our country, and a citizen of the United  States—makes Defendant’s agents and agencies’ conduct despicable, even by  partisan Washington standards.

145. Unsurprisingly, General Flynn has suffered greatly from the  Defendant’s agents and agencies’ politically driven, personally motivated,  baseless, and outrageous investigation and prosecution. This harm is  exacerbated by the fact that General Flynn has dedicated his entire adult life  to serving the United States through military service and his civilian service  as the National Security Advisor to a President.

146. The betrayal and persecution he suffered, by the country he spent  decades defending and serving, has caused General Flynn severe emotional  distress, as it would anyone in his position. Moreover, because of the improper  EOP and DOJ coordinated prosecution, General Flynn lost the once-in-a lifetime and priceless honor to serve as the highest-ranking national security  advisor to a President of the United States.

147. General Flynn was injured in other ways due to the vicious, false  attacks on his character, including but not limited to compensatory and  financial damages, including attorney’s fees and expenses, court costs and other legal expenses, reputational damages, loss of goodwill, and the loss of  earnings and future earnings from his international consulting business, and  the loss of earnings and future earnings resulting from being denied the  opportunity to serve an entire term as the President’s National Security  Advisor.

148. Overall, the harm to General Flynn has been and is immense. As  a result of this unjustifiable, outrageous, and malicious prosecution of General  Flynn and the abuse of process engaged in to carry it out by FBI agents, FBI  leadership, Justice Department prosecutors, and the highest-ranking EOP  officials in the Obama administration, punitive damages are not only  warranted but essential to deter any present or future FBI, DOJ, SCO, and  EOP official from harming anyone else like they harmed General Flynn. Even  if punitive damages are not allowed in this case, General Flynn is entitled to  be fully compensated for each and every one of his pecuniary and non-pecuniary losses resulting from Defendant’s malicious and outrageous conduct  against him.

CAUSES OF ACTION

COUNT I

FEDERAL TORT CLAIMS ACT

Malicious Prosecution

149. Plaintiff incorporates by reference the above paragraphs as though  set forth fully herein.

150. The Federal Tort Claims Act provides “[t]he United States shall be  liable, respecting the provisions of this title relating to tort claims, in the same  manner and to the same extent as a private individual under like  circumstances.” 28 U.S.C. § 2674.

151. Plaintiff has exhausted his administrative remedies under 28  U.S.C. § 2675 of the Federal Tort Claims Act as a prerequisite to instituting a  claim against the United States for money damages for injury or loss of  property or personal injury caused by the negligent or wrongful act or omission  of any employee of the United States government while acting within the scope  of his or her office or employment.

152. By letter dated February 24, 2022, Plaintiff presented his  administrative claim to the DOJ.

153. The DOJ has not responded within the prescribed statutory  deadline to General Flynn’s Form 95 submission and, therefore, General  Flynn’s Form 95 is, as of the filing of this Complaint, deemed denied,  exhausting General Flynn’s administrative remedies and granting him the  right to sue in this Court.

154. The named wrongdoers Defendant is responsible for are  investigative or law enforcement agencies, or agencies with supervisory  authority over such agencies, whose agents are investigative or law  enforcement officers within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 2680(h).

155. Defendant maliciously investigated and prosecuted General Flynn  by initiating and continuing a baseless counterintelligence investigation and  by filing a criminal information lacking probable cause. Defendant’s acts were  willful, knowing, deliberate, and malicious, as explained above.

156. As a direct and proximate result of Defendant’s actions, General  Flynn suffered harm. He was falsely branded as a traitor to his country, lost  at least tens of millions of dollars of business opportunities and future lifetime  earning potential, was maliciously prosecuted and spent substantial monies in  his own defense, and has suffered and will continue to suffer mental and  emotional pain for the rest of his life, in addition to other pecuniary harms such  as costs, fees, attorneys’ fees, and other losses.

COUNT II

FEDERAL TORT CLAIMS ACT

Abuse of Process

157. Plaintiff incorporates by reference the above paragraphs as though  set forth fully herein.

158. The named wrongdoers Defendant is responsible for abused their  official positions and authority to bring process against General Flynn for an  improper motive.

159. Defendant attempted to utilize their ability to bring process  against General Flynn’s son to coerce General Flynn into pleading guilty to a  Section 1001 charge. Defendants further sought to use process against General Flynn to coerce General Flynn into testifying against other members of the  Trump administration or Trump Campaign, including President Trump,  despite the process brought having no legitimate basis in law or fact.

160. As a direct and proximate result of Defendant’s actions, General  Flynn suffered harm. He was falsely branded as a traitor to his country, lost  at least tens of millions of dollars of business opportunities and future lifetime  earning potential, was maliciously prosecuted and spent substantial monies in  his own defense, and has suffered and will continue to suffer mental and  emotional pain for the rest of his life, in addition to other pecuniary harms such  as costs, fees, attorneys’ fees, and other losses.

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

161. Plaintiff respectfully requests this Court enter a judgment in his  favor and grant relief against the Defendant as follows:

a. Compensatory damages in an amount to be determined at trial but  expected to exceed $50,000,000.00, pursuant to Plaintiff’s claims  against Defendant United States of America;

b. Reasonable attorneys’ fees with respect to all of Plaintiff’s causes  of action against the Defendant; and

c. Any other relief the Court deems proper.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Ole Braatelien, The Western Journal

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