Earlier today Sidney Powell filed a new supplemental brief (#2) [pdf here] in support of the unopposed motion to dismiss. The supplement covers the defense position on the newly released information from USAO Jeff Jensen which includes: notes taken by Tash Guahar at a January 25, 2017 briefing; the FBI work product that was an outcome of that briefing; and later notes by acting DAG Dana Boente.
The notes and FBI briefing summary are also on pdf here and embedded below. It’s a lot of granular information to consider – so it’s worth beginning with the filing by Sidney Powell to see how the evidence released pertains to the current status of the case.
On January 25, 2017, the day after Flynn was interviewed by FBI Agent Peter Strzok and FBI Agent Joe Pientka (he’s the redacted name per his status under an ongoing protective order) the DOJ and FBI group assembled to discuss the Flynn interview and what steps they would take to frame Michael Flynn as part of their ongoing resistance operation.
Tashina Guahar from the DOJ-National Security Division was taking the notes.
Notes of then Deputy Assistant Attorney General Tashina Gauhar, reveal a January 25, 2017, meeting of ten officials including FBI General Counsel James Baker, Bill Priestap, Agent Peter Strzok, and [redacted]; from the National Security Division of DOJ: Mary McCord, George ZT, and STU; from the Office of the Deputy AG: Tash, Scott [Schools], and [redacted].
Additionally, when reviewing the notes and FBI briefing summary it’s worth remembering the release only covers the information pertinent to Michael Flynn; hence the non-Flynn material is redacted (even though some of the non-Flynn material we previously found). [Thanks to Techno Fog for that reminder]
One of the key aspects to the notes taken by Tashina Guahar relates to the group discussion of their own leaking of information to the media, which they worried had now alerted the Trump administration to the nature of their intelligence surveillance.
The resistance group’s media leaks, intended to undermine the Trump administration, “changed the dynamic” by informing the White House that FBI agents were intercepting communication from White House officials.
“Media leaks – re intercepts” pertains to the group telling their allied resistance operatives in media about the Flynn calls. The leak of the Flynn-Kislyak call was one of the more dominating narrative headlines at the time. Yes, it’s quite a surprising admission to admit their own leaks pushed the “investigation in the open” which “changed the dynamic”.
First here’s the supplemental filing (#2) that outlines the Flynn defense position:
Here’s the attachment with three segments: (1) the Tashina Guahar notes; (2) The typewritten FBI summary of the meeting; (3) the handwritten notes of Dana Boente.
The release is in that order. Tash notes, FBI summary work product, then Boente notes.
The FBI summary of the briefing is an interesting, albeit troubling, dive into the mindset of a resistance group determined to make something unlawful out of ordinary contact between the incoming National Security Advisor and foreign officials.
The basic conflict, the fulcrum upon which they ended up deciding to move forward, surrounded the definition of the word “sanctions.” Flynn never discussed ‘sanctions’, or ongoing punitive policy positions, in his call with Kislyak. However, he did discuss not escalating tensions by reacting -beyond a reciprocal manner- to the expulsion of Russian officials; that is an entirely distinct difference between the “sanctions” imposed by the Obama administration.
In order to advance their “Flynn lied” narrative; the group merged the expulsion of the Russian officials into the ongoing “sanctions” against Russia. In essence, they called the expulsions ‘sanctions’, and then set about saying Flynn lied when he said he never discussed those sanctions. It was a strategic lawfare approach to parse words and meaning in order to advance their legal attack.
Four years of this bullshit over the word “sanctions.” Think about it.