Mueller Prosecutor Andrew Weissmann: ‘Nothing New’ in FBI’s Flynn Documents

“I was in the Department of Justice for over 20 years, and I think the way I look at this is from the parochial point of view of what I think the department is doing, which I think the department is trying to soften the blow and make it politically easier for the president to pardon Gen. Flynn. The disclosure of documents from a purported neutral team that is reviewing the Flynn case, it seems kind of laughable to me,” Weissmann told MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace on Thursday.

Weissmann’s subtle jab at the Justice Department was in reference to Jeffrey Jensen, a U.S. attorney in Missouri, who was appointed by Attorney General William Barr to review the Flynn investigation. Flynn pleaded guilty in 2017 for making false statements to the FBI about his conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the United States during the Trump transition period.

“As far as I can tell, what was disclosed was really similar to what’s already been disclosed,” Weissmann added. “There’s nothing new there, so I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a pardon.”

Weissmann then argued that a Flynn pardon would represent the first instance where an individual “in bed with the president” is relieved of a criminal conviction.

The Mueller investigator said: “In other words, this is one — we’ve seen pardons which I think were fairly outrageous. I’ve seen that not just from this president but from other presidents in the past, but here, it’s somebody who he really has no business being involved in that process because he’s obviously not going to be objective in deciding what to do here.”

The documents that prompted Weissmann’s comments did reveal new information — particularly, that an FBI agent wrote one possible goal for an interview with Flynn was “to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired.” Disney Powell, Flynn’s defense counsel, said the notes were evidence of a “perjury trap.”

The documents also revealed that the Bureau drafted a document to formally close the case against Flynn more than two weeks before Trump’s inauguration, but then-agent Peter Strzok intervened to keep it going. Strzok told a colleague that the reason they should not drop the investigation was that “7th floor [is] involved” — a reference to senior leadership in the FBI. The very next day, then-FBI Director James Comey met with Barack Obama and Joe Biden, discussing the investigation of Russian election interference and the salacious “Steele dossier” accusing Trump of being a Russian agent. That dossier, famous for its claim that Putin blackmailed Trump with a tape of urinating prostitutes, has since been exposed as Russian disinformation.

In another part of the interview, Weissmann accused President Trump of fomenting bigotry against Chinese people for directing his administration to investigate whether the coronavirus — which has resulted in 64,742 American deaths — originated in a virology lab in Wuhan, China.

“He does not face reality or the facts,” he said. “Coming up with a conspiracy theory to try and foment his xenophobia with respect to the Chinese has just as much factual support as taking Clorox and other detergents internally as a cure for a virus.”

President Trump has said U.S. officials are working to determine whether the virus came from a lab in Wuhan, while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said the communist regime “needs to come clean.”

“America needs to hold them accountable. I have been heartened to see Australia, other countries joining this demanding an investigation because while we know this started in Wuhan, China, we don’t yet know from where it started. And in spite of our best efforts to get experts on the ground, they continue to try to hide and obfuscate. That’s wrong,” Pompeo told Fox & Friends on Wednesday. “It continues to pose a threat to the world, and we all need to get to the bottom of what happened here not only for current instant but to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again. There are still many labs operating inside of China today, and the world needs to know that we’re not going to see a repeat of this in the days and weeks and months ahead.”

President Trump did not advise Americans to ingest or inject household cleaners like Clorox if they believe they are infected with the Wuhan coronavirus.