Monday May 11, 2020
‘Legal to Lie to the FBI’
“Michael Flynn made false statements to FBI agents interviewing him about his December 2016 telephone conversation with a Russian diplomat. Flynn had previously traveled to Russia; received payments from Russia-related companies, including more than $40,000 from a Russian state-backed entity; dined with the Russian president; intervened in sanctions levied by the outgoing Obama administration punishing Russia for its 2016 election interference; and then lied to the incoming vice president—among other senior White House officials—about his intervention.
”When he repeated similar lies to the FBI during a January 2017 interview, he was charged with a federal crime and subsequently pleaded guilty in federal court.
“Were his lies material, as required by the statute to which he pleaded guilty? Absolutely. For those of us who spent a professional lifetime as prosecutors and in the Justice Department, this is not a close call.
”Had Flynn been asked his favorite ice cream flavor by FBI agents and told them it was vanilla when he preferred chocolate, that would be immaterial. But lying to the FBI about his conversation with a Russian diplomat, given his financial and other ties to Russia, in the wake of massive Russian interference in our 2016 election, and during an FBI counterintelligence investigation concerning Russia? That is material—plain and simple.“
Chuck Rosenberg, a former U.S. attorney, former senior FBI official, and acting head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, in an Op-Ed, ”The long list of people who thought Flynn's lies were material.“ Out of fairness, he also includes the list of people who thought Flynn's lies were immaterial. They include William Barr, Donald Trump ... and no one else.
Or to put it in layman's terms, via my friend Josh Karp, ”Now it's legal to lie to the FBI, so have at it."