Newly disclosed text messages and internal notes show FBI agents were so concerned about their agency’s effort to undermine President Trump that they bought personal liability insurance to protect themselves, the Federalist reported.
The agents bought the insurance less than two weeks before the 2017 inauguration, according to court filings submitted by Sidney Powell, the lawyer leading Michael Flynn’s defense team.
Text messages between FBI agents included:
- “[W]e all went and purchased professional liability insurance.”
- “Holy crap. All the analysts too?”
- “Yep, all the folks at the agency as well.”
- “[C]an I ask who are the most likely litigators? [A]s far as potentially suing y’all[?]”
- “[H]aha, who knows….I think [t]he concern when we got it was that there was a big leak at DOJ and the NYT among others was going to do a piece.”
The Federalist reported the texting was going on the same day CNN leaked information that FBI Director James Comey had “briefed” Trump, who then was president-elect, on the now-debunked Steele dossier.
The briefing then was used as a pretext to “legitimize” the dossier, the opposition-research document funded by the Clinton campaign based on anonymous Russian sources.
The texts, the Federalist reported, show the agents “were worried about how a new attorney general might view the actions taken against Trump during the investigation. Shortly after then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) was confirmed to be Trump’s new attorney general, congressional Democrats, media, and Obama holdovers within DOJ immediately moved to force Sessions to recuse himself from overseeing the department’s investigations against Trump.”
The Federalist reported the messages in the court filing also showed the agents were “consumed with conspiracy theories rather than evidence.”
One agent said: “I’m tellying [sic] man, if this thing ever gets FOIA’d, there are going to be some tough questions asked. [A]nd a great deal of those will be related to Brian having a scope way outside the boundaries of logic[.]”
Another agent called a colleague “one of the worst offenders of the rabbit holes and conspiracy theories.”
Another text revealed the outright guessing that was going on: “This guy traveled with that guy, who put down 3rd guy as his visa sponsor. 3rd guy lives near a navy base, therefore…..’
Flynn’s case now is before a federal judge in Washington, Emmet Sullivan. Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to investigators but withdrew the plea because of newly discovered evidence he had been set up in a “perjury trap.” The DOJ asked the court to dismiss the case against Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, because the interview in which he allegedly lied had no legal foundation.
Sullivan refused and solicited another judge to appear in court to argue against the motion to dismiss.
The Federalist reported the documents released by the DOJ show the FBI was using “national security letters” to spy on Flynn’s finances. Unlike subpoenas, they do not require judicial review.
“One of the agents noted in a text message that the NSLs were just being used as a pretext by FBI leadership to buy time to find dirt on Flynn after the first investigation of him yielded no derogatory information,” the report said.
The Federalist reported the text message “show agents believed the investigation was being run by FBI officials who were in the tank for Hillary Clinton.”
“[D]oing all this election research – I think some of these guys want a [C]linton presidency,” one agent said only a short time after the FBI started its investigation of the Trump campaign.
“Trump was right,” one agent texted about Trump’s claim that the FBI delayed briefings “so they could cook up evidence against him.”
Another agent noted when Barack Obama was briefed on the investigation that “people here are scrambling for info to support certain things and its a mad house.”
There also was concern about insider information being given to reporters.
The Federalist note that to date, “not a single person has been charged with illegally leaking that information to the Washington Post as a way of damaging Flynn and the incoming Trump administration.”