House Intelligence Committee Republicans, in their newly released report concluding their Russia investigation, seemed to back up reports that FBI agents did not think ex-White House national security adviser Michael Flynn lied to them – despite his eventual guilty plea for making false statements.
Among the 44 findings in the report was a line stating that “Federal Bureau of Investigation agents did not detect any deception during Flynn's interview.”
The Washington Examiner’s Byron York first reported earlier this year that fired FBI boss James Comey had briefed lawmakers amid allegations Flynn had lied to Vice President Pence about conversations with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and speculation he may have misled FBI agents who questioned him in January 2017. Comey reportedly told lawmakers at the time that agents who interviewed Flynn did not believe he lied in that Jan. 24 meeting, and that any inaccuracies in his account were unintentional.
Fast-forward to December, after the probe takeover by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and Flynn would plead guilty to one count of making false statements to the FBI during that meeting.
The House Intelligence Committee report, which was disputed by Democrats and released over their objections, provides virtually no public information to back up its conclusion about Flynn’s interactions with the agents – as most of the section explaining that finding is redacted. (Committee Republicans have blasted the intelligence community over heavy redactions throughout the report.)
The public portion of the report does not make clear where that information came from – whether from Comey or another source.
Comey, however, denied that he ever told lawmakers agents didn’t believe Flynn intentionally lied