An FBI agent who served under Robert Mueller said the special counsel team was more interested in taking down President Trump than uncovering the truth.
Agent William J. Barnett made several comments about the Mueller team’s practices during an interview with the Justice Department on September 17. According to Barnett, the special counsel only prosecuted former White House national security advisory Michael Flynn to “get Trump” was its mission. He was not in favor of pursuing the Trump-Russia collusion investigation because it was “not there,” Barnett said. Also, he believed the case was a “dead end.”
The agent’s comments from the September interview recently became public through government document releases. Also, the revelation lends more credibility to critics who claim the Mueller investigation was the result of a politically-motivated vendetta.
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Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri Jeffrey Jenson conducted the September interview with Barnett. It came after Attorney General William Barr tasked him with reviewing the case against Flynn. Jenson is also working with U.S. Attorney John Durham’s team to review the origins of the now-defunct Trump-Russia probe.
During the interview, Barnett provided background on his FBI career and described his experiences with the special counsel’s office (SCO). Barnett worked on the bureau’s original case against Flynn, and he also assisted in the case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
Barnett has first-hand access to the cases against the two Trump allies. However, he never bought into the prosecutorial team’s Russian collusion narrative. He told investigators he believed the entire collusion probe was “opaque” and had “little detail concerning specific evidence of criminal events.”
He also cited multiple instances of special counsel office investigators twisting President Trump’s words in order to fit a criminal narrative. On one occasion, Trump said investigators “needed to get to the bottom” of a matter. Then, later, one of the SCO attorneys said the president wanted them to “cover it up.”
Barnett told investigators he immediately corrected the attorney. He said, “No, he said get to the bottom of it,”
It’s one example of how the SCO’s anti-Trump bias affected the investigation, but Barnett says the problems went much deeper. He said the SCO attorneys “wanted to be part of something ‘big,’ a successful prosecution,” and they let that agenda distort their interpretation of the facts.
According to Barnett’s statement, “There was a lack of letting the evidence lead the investigation and more the attitude of ‘the evidence is there we just have to find it.’”
Evidence to Fit a Narrative
Barret also saw numerous examples of SCO attorneys aggressively pursuing evidence to fit their collusion narrative. “Barnett said it seems there was always someone at SCO who claimed to have a lead on information that would prove collusion, only to have the information be a dead end,” investigators wrote in their interview notes.
Mueller’s team eventually convicted Flynn of lying to investigators. However, Barnett doesn’t believe he lied in order to further a cover-up. “Barnett believed Flynn lied in his interview to save his job, as that was the most plausible explanation and there was no evidence to contradict it,” according to interviewer notes.
Federal prosecutors moved to dismiss the case against Flynn. This came after FBI records emerged that raised concerns about the circumstances surround the bureau’s interview with the former national security advisor. Justice Department officials maintain the FBI conducted investigation “without any legitimate investigative basis.”
No Russian Connection
The Mueller probe uncovered no evidence of Russian collusion or any other crimes. Although, the special counsel’s office specifically declined to exonerate the president of any wrongdoing. Given the team’s obvious investigatory bias, one can safely assume that politics motivated the decisions to withhold a final opinion on the case. The SCO attorneys very likely aimed to keep the issue alive. It wanted to do this so that Trump opponents could continue using the collusion narrative as a political weapon.
Flynn was a casualty of the Deep State legal team’s seemingly malicious investigation. However, he hopes to find redemption through the court system. The former national security advisor will appear before a federal court in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, September 29. Additionally, his legal team hopes that the judge will dismiss the case.