‘Trump was right’ about ginned-up Russia probe, FBI text messages show
“Trump was right,” an FBI agent declared shortly after the then-president-elect suggested that officials delayed a White House transition briefing on Russian meddling in the 2016 election because they needed time “to build a case.”
The bombshell admission is contained in a text message exchange that took place on Jan. 5, 2017, and was among several that lawyers for former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn said were turned over to them late Thursday night.
During the conversation on the FBI’s “Lync” messaging system, unidentified employees discussed a briefing that day of then-President Barack Obama, according to the court filing.
“What’s the word on how O’s briefing went,” one fed asked.
“Dont know but people here are scrambling for info to support certain things and its a mad house,” another wrote.
The next message was the one-word response, “jesus,” followed by an apparent reference to a Trump tweet from two days earlier.
“trump was right. still not put together….why do we do this to ourselves. what is wrong with these people,” another FBI agent wrote.
In a Jan. 3, 2017, tweet, Trump wrote, “The ‘Intelligence’ briefing on so-called ‘Russian hacking’ was delayed until Friday, perhaps more time needed to build a case. Very strange!”
The identities of the FBI employees involved in the conversation are blacked out in the District of Columbia federal court filing, and it’s not clear how many took part or what their roles were at the bureau.
But five days later, court papers say, the “same employees” had another text message exchange in which one revealed how “we all went and purchased professional liability insurance.”
“all the analysts too?” another asked.
“yep,” was the reply.
A subsequent message added, “all the folks at the Agency as well.”
Flynn’s lawyers included the conversations in a filing to support dismissal of the case against the retired US Army general, who pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI about his conversations with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
“This evidence shows outrageous, deliberate misconduct by FBI and [the Department of Justice] — playing games with the life of a national hero,” Flynn’s lawyers wrote.
Although the Justice Department in May agreed to drop its prosecution of Flynn — citing “newly discovered and disclosed information” obtained by the defense — presiding Judge Emmett Sullivan declined to dismiss the case and appointed former Brooklyn federal Judge John Gleeson to offer advice as a “friend of the court.”
In a filing earlier this month, Gleeson said the Justice Department’s decision “rests on pure pretext” and “reflects a corrupt and politically motivated favor unworthy of our justice system.”
Sullivan has scheduled oral arguments on the matter for Tuesday morning, hours before the first debate between President Trump and his Democratic challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden.
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