Brandon Van Grack

November 5, 2019 – DOJ prosecutors overseeing the Flynn case, Jessie K. Liu and Brandon Van Grack, admit to “mistakenly” attributing wrong notes to wrong FBI agents

Prosecutor Brandon Van Grack sends a letter to Flynn’s defense team today containing a stunning, almost impossible to comprehend, admission of a mistake central to the claims of the prosecution.  In March 2018 the FBI presented notes taken by agents Pientka and Strzok, now they say they made a ‘mistake’.

For almost two years the DOJ misidentified, misattributed, and never corrected that the authors of the Flynn interview notes were actually reversed.  All of the notes attributed to FBI Agent Peter Strzok actually were taken by FBI Agent Joseph Pientka, and vice-versa:

What kind of f**kery is this?  The DOJ never confirmed the authorship of the FBI notes that are central to the FD-302, upon which the entire prosecution claim of Flynn lying to investigators is based? …Seriously?

The entire FBI case against Flynn; meaning the central element that he lied to FBI investigators (he didn’t); is predicated on the FD-302 interview reports generated by the two FBI agents; later discovered to have been edited, shaped and approved by Andrew McCabe….  And for almost two years the entire outline of their documented evidence has been misattributed?

C’mon man.  This is sketchy as heck.

Obviously what triggered this re-review of the notes was a smart sur-surreply from the defense that highlighted how Peter Strzoks notes were far too neat, organized and well constructed to have been written during an actual interview. [SEE HERE]

For the prosecution to now reverse course and say the agent attribution was transposed, is either the biggest screw-up in a high profile case…. OR, the prosecution now needs to reverse the note-takers due to the exact, and common sense, reasons highlighted by the defense.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 11/05/2019)  (Archive)

UPDATE:

Michael Flynn’s attorney, Sidney Powell, appears on Fox Late Night to discuss the stunning letter from the DOJ that for the past two years they have attributed the wrong notes to the wrong FBI agent. – Conservative Treehouse

October 15, 2019 – The DOJ has possession of Joseph Mifsud cell phones

(Credit: Conservative Treehouse)

“Inside an otherwise innocuous court filing (full pdf below), General Mike Flynn’s attorney, Sidney Powell, files a motion to compel (MTC) in an effort to gain discovery of the content from two cell phones belonging to Joseph Mifsud.   [Hat Tip Techno Fog]

Apparently, according to the information within the filing, the DOJ has somehow gained custody of two cell phones belonging to Mr. Mifsud:

The filing notes that “Western intelligence” likely tasked Mr. Mifsud against General Flynn as early as  in order to set up “connections with certain Russians” for later use against him.  Essentially, an intelligence entrapment scheme.

Unfortunately, the filing only identifies the cell phones along with the request for the production of the content therein.  However, the fact the DOJ has two cell phones belonging to Joseph Mifsud opens up a whole bunch of questions:

#1)  How did the US Dept of Justice gain custody of Mr. Mifsud’s cell phones?

#2) Were these Blackberry cell phones issued by U.S. intelligence? (unknown agency)

#3) Why has the U.S. DOJ taken custody of those cell phones?

#4) If #2 is yes, wouldn’t that automatically destroy the “Mifsud as a Russian intelligence asset” narrative?

#5) [Less important] How the heck did Sidney Powell find out about them?

Something is certainly happening here. The cell phone models are from 2011 and 2014.

With U.S. Attorney John Durham and U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr traveling to Italy to listen to the taped deposition of Joseph Mifsud last month…and now the discovery that the DOJ has his cell phones from a period of keen interest in the Russia collusion-conspiracy framework…it would appear Mr. Mifsud might just be the Maltese Fulcrum.

In response to the defense Motion to Compel, the U.S. Dept of Justice told Ms. Powell: “if they determine the information is discoverable or relevant to sentencing” they will produce them.

(View complete document on Scribd)

(Conservative Treehouse, 10/15/2019)

October 1, 2019 – Prosecution responds to Flynn discovery motion – refuses to provide any additional evidence

“The DOJ responds today to the Flynn motion for additional evidence; ie. Brady material requested by Flynn’s defense.   In the governments’ response filing (full pdf below), the DOJ rejects any additional efforts to provide evidence, and requests Judge Emmet Sullivan proceed directly to sentencing:

Additionally, the government filed a weird appendix, intended to highlight the amount of Brady material the prosecution has turned over to the defense team.  However, it is notable the appendix is full of “summaries of” instead of the raw underlying evidence. (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 10/01/2019)

(Timeline editor’s note: Of the 40 document requests listed by Sidney Powell and ordered by Judge Sullivan, the prosecutor’s response deemed half of the items on the list to be either “not relevant” or “not helpful.” We are curious as to whether it is the prosecutor’s responsibility to make that kind of determination.)

September 10, 2019 – Attorney Sidney Powell argues General Flynn’s case should be dismissed over ‘egregious government misconduct’

General Michael Flynn and Sidney Powell (Credit: Conservative Treehouse)

“An attorney for Michael Flynn said in federal court Tuesday she may seek a dismissal of charges against the former national security adviser, citing “egregious conduct and suppression” of exculpatory information in the case.

Prosecutors handling the case had a surprise of their own, telling Judge Emmet Sullivan that they are now reserving the option of recommending jail time for Flynn, instead of just probation. Prosecutors with the special counsel’s team last year recommended that Flynn receive probation without jail time because of his substantial cooperation in several investigations.

But Flynn’s situation has changed dramatically since then. He no longer has to meet with the special counsel’s team since the Russia probe has ended. And in Junehe hired a new legal team that has aggressively challenged the government’s investigation of Flynn.

Flynn’s defense attorney, Sidney Powell, told Judge Emmet Sullivan that the legal team has no plans to pull out of a plea deal that Flynn struck with the special counsel on Dec. 1, 2017. Instead, Powell is questioning the basis of the government’s case against Flynn and may seek to have charges thrown out altogether. (Read more: The Daily Caller, 9/10/2019)

August 30, 2019 – Flynn attorney Sidney Powell walks through the history of the DOJ, FBI and intelligence apparatus weaponization against Mr. Flynn

“In an explosive response filing today, which includes the phrase ”sunlight is the best disinfectant,” attorney Sidney Powell has outlined the soup-to-nuts construct of the malicious government action taken during their targeting her client Michael Flynn.

(Credit: Conservative Treehouse)

Clip from Attorney Sidney Powell’s filing on behalf of Lt. General Michael Flynn.

In the 19-pages (full pdf below), Ms. Powell walks through the history of the DOJ, FBI and intelligence apparatus weaponization against Mr. Flynn and lays out the background behind everything known to have happened in 2016, 2017 through today.

From the corrupt DOJ lawyers who were working with Fusion-GPS and Chris Steele, including Mr. Weissmann, Mr. Van Grack and Ms. Zainab Ahmad; to the 2015/2016 FISA database search abuses; to the CIA and FBI operation against Flynn including Nellie Ohr; to the schemes behind the use of DOJ official Bruce Ohr; to the corrupt construct of the special counsels office selections; to the specifics within the malicious conspiracy outlined by hiding FBI interview notes of Mike Flynn,… all of it…is a stunning filing that many CTH readers are well prepared to understand.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 8/30/2019)

 

June 24, 2019 – DOJ confirms Flynn defense team never received a transcript of Flynn/Kislyak phone call

“When General Michael Flynn entered into the seemingly coerced plea agreement with the special counsel team and prosecutor Brandon Van Grack (November 30, 2017), he gave up the right to defense discovery in his case.  In hindsight this will likely be viewed a mistake.

Lt. General Michael Flynn and his new attorney, Sidney Powell. (Credit: Megan Meneiro/Courthouse News)

(h/t Techno Fog) During a court appearance today by new attorney Ms. Sidney Powell, the topic of needing a classified security clearance -to review documents- was raised.  The DOJ responded to the assertion by saying no classified information was provided to the prior Flynn defense team, therefore Ms. Powell doesn’t need not carry that concern.

However, by admitting the DOJ provided no classified information to the defense, the prosecution is simultaneously admitting they never provided Flynn with a copy of the phone call transcript (December 29, 2016) between President-elect Trump’s incoming National Security Advisor and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.  The content of that phone call lies at the heart of the FBI interview that took place on January 24th, 2017.

Judge Emmet Sullivan originally asked for the Flynn/Kislyak transcript; however, the prosecution said it was irrelevant to their case.  The judge accepted the non-production.

It is suspected Flynn may have been under a FISA surveillance warrant which seems confirmed by the Weissmann/Mueller report. The FBI intercepted, recorded, and later transcribed the December 29, 2016, conversation.

This is why the issue of how the FBI agents write the 302 summary of the Flynn January 24, 2017, interview becomes such an important facet.

On June 6, 2019, the DOJ released the FBI agent report (FD-302) written after their interview of Michael Flynn on Jan 24th, 2017. (Full pdf below) From prior testimony we know that FBI Agent Peter Strzok did the questioning and FBI Agent Joe Pientka took notes.

Lt. General Michael Flynn (Credit: public domain)

For some reason, within the DOJ release of the report they are continuing to redact the name Joe Pientka. [Could be due to ongoing employment]

It’s worth noting according to Mark Meadows the Office of Inspector General Michael Horowitz has interviewed Joe Pientka extensively; prior attempts by congress to gain testimony from Pientka were blocked by the FBI and Rod Rosenstein.

FBI Agent Joseph Pientka was never interviewed by the joint House judiciary and oversight committees (Goodlatte and Gowdy). The reason, as explained by Meadows, was simple; Pientka was on Weissmann and Mueller’s special counsel team. Congress was not allowed to interfere in the Mueller probe. In hindsight this looks like Weissmann, Mueller & Rosenstein strategically using the investigation as a shield from sunlight.

The interview took place on January 24, 2017. The report was written Jan 24th, 2017. The wording was then deliberated by the small group, approved by FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, and entered into the record on February 15th, 2017. (Read much more: Conservative Treehouse, 6/24/2019)

December 17, 2018 – Mueller filing highlights lengthy deliberative process between FBI investigators and Andrew McCabe on Flynn report

“Prosecutor Brandon Van Grack filed a cover letter attempting to explain the reason for the Flynn interview on January 24th, and the official filing of the interview notes (FD-302) on February 15th, and then again on May 31st.  To explain the delay, he claims the report “inadvertently” had a header saying “DRAFT DOCUMENT/DELIBERATIVE MATERIAL”  (screen grab)

What the special counsel appears to be obfuscating to the court is that there was factually a process of deliberation within the investigative unit, headed by FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, surrounding the specific wording of the 302 report on the interview.

Prosecutor Brandon Van Grack is attempting to hide the length of the small group deliberations. It seems he doesn’t want the court to know Andrew McCabe was involved in shaping how the fd-302 was written.

We know there was a deliberative process in place, seemingly all about how to best position the narrative, because we can see the deliberations in text messages between Lisa Page and Peter Strzok:  See below (note the dates):

The text message conversation above is February 14th, 2017.   The Michael Flynn FD-302 was officially entered into the record on February 15th, 2017, per the report:

Obviously the interview took place on January 24th, 2017.  The FD-302 was drafted on January 24th, and then later edited, shaped, and ultimately approved by McCabe, on February 14th, then entered into the official record on February 15th.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 12/17/2018)

October 2, 2018 – Two more prosecutors leaving Mueller team

Kyle Freeny (l) and Brandon van Grack (Credit: LinkedIn/MSNBC)

“Two Justice Department prosecutors assigned to special counsel Robert Mueller‘s ongoing investigation are leaving the office to return to previous postings.

Peter Carr, a spokesman for the special counsel’s office, confirmed in an email to The Hill that Kyle Freeny and Brandon Van Grack are leaving the probe.

The two prosecutors had worked on the criminal cases involving former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, according to CNN.

Van Grack recently left the probe to return to the agency’s national security division while Freeny will remain on until mid-October before returning to the agency’s criminal division.

Carr said that Van Grack will continue to contribute to the special counsel investigation “on specific pending matters that were assigned to him during his detail.” (Read more: The Hill, 10/02/2018)

January 31, 2018 – Robert Mueller requests postponement of General Mike Flynn sentencing

“Against a newly discovered likelihood the Robert Mueller investigation began under false pretenses; and against the backdrop that FBI surveillance and wiretaps were obtained through materially (intentionally) false representations to the FISA court; and against the backdrop the original Flynn plea judge (Contrereas) was also the approving FISA judge; and that judge ‘was summarily recused’ from the case; and against increasing evidence that Mike Flynn was set up by a terminal animus, and politically-motivated investigative rogue unit, operating within the FBI; and against surfacing IG Horowitz evidence that FBI investigators manipulated (lied on) their FD-302 interrogation documents; and understanding those falsified 302’s were used in the Mueller/Flynn charging document…

…Special Counsel Robert Mueller now asks for postponement of sentencing:

Both parties did not ‘request‘ a postponement; both parties ‘agreed‘ to a postponement. The motive for the request (Mueller) is entirely divergent from, yet complimentary to, the motive to agree to the request (Flynn).

It is not coincidental that Brandon L Van Grack is the signatory to the delay request by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s request to the new Judge, Emmet G Sullivan.

If, as has been reported, Inspector General Michael Horowitz now has evidence the FBI manipulated their FD-302 (interrogation and questioning) documents, as also admitted by FBI agent Peter Strzok in related matters regarding Clinton…

…and those manipulated or falsified FBI 302’s (containing FBI investigative notes of Michael Flynn’s questioning during the January 2017 interview), were used in the actual Flynn charging documents.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 1/31/2018)

October 20, 2017 – Rod Rosenstein issues a second scope memo to Robert Mueller, giving his team ammunition and authority to investigate specific targets

“The second scope memo was issued by Rod Rosenstein to Robert Mueller on October 20th, 2017.  The transparent intent of the second scope memo was to provide Weissmann and Mueller with ammunition and authority to investigate specific targets, for specific purposes.  One of those targets was General Michael Flynn’s son, Michael Flynn Jr.

As you review the highlighted portion below, found on pages 12 and 13 of the Weissmann report, read slowly and fully absorb the intent; the corruption is blood-boiling:

This second scope memo allowed Weissmann and Mueller to target tangentially related persons and entities bringing in Michael Cohen, Richard Gates, Roger Stone, and Michael Flynn Jr.  Additionally and strategically (you’ll see why), this memo established the authority to pursue “jointly undertaken activity“.

With Paul Manafort outlined as an investigative target in the original authorization and the first scope memo, the second scope memo authorizes expansion to his business partner Richard Gates and their joint businesses.   This memo also permits the investigation of Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen and all of his interests; and in ultimate weasel sunlight, Rosenstein authorizes an investigation of his boss, AG Jeff Sessions.

Before getting to more targets, notice the underlined passage about starting with a lot of investigative material because the special counsel was picking up a Russian interference  investigation that had been ongoing for “nearly 10 months.”

I would also note that our CTH research indicates all of the illegally extracted FISA-702(16)(17) database search results would be part of this pre-existing investigative file available immediately to Weissmann and Mueller.  However, in order to use the search-query evidence, Weissmann and Mueller would need to backfill some alternate justification; or find another way to “rediscover” the preexisting results….. I digress

The four identified targets within the original  investigation, “Operation Crossfire Hurricane”, were George Papadopoulos, Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort and Carter Page. (See HPSCI report):

General Flynn was under investigation from the outset in mid-2016. The fraudulent FBI counterintelligence operation, established by CIA Director John Brennan, had Flynn as one of the early targets when Brennan handed the originating electronic communication“EC” to FBI Director James Comey.

The investigation of General Flynn never stopped throughout 2016 and led to the second investigative issue of his phone call with Russian Ambassador Kislyak in December 2016:

Back to the Page #12 October 20th Scope Memo:

The first redaction listed under “personal privacy” is unconfirmed; however, the second related redaction is a specific person, Michael Flynn Jr.

In combination with the October timing, the addition of Flynn Jr to the target list relates to the ongoing 2016/2017 investigation of his father, General Michael Flynn, for: (1) possible conspiracy with a foreign government; (2) unregistered lobbying; (3) materially false statements and omissions on 2017 FARA documents; and (4) lying to the FBI.

This October 20th, 2017, request from Weissmann and Mueller aligns with the time-frame were special counsel team lawyers Brandon LVan Grack and Zainab N. Ahmad were prosecuting Michael Flynn and attempting to force him into a guilty plea

Getting Rosenstein to authorize adding Mike Flynn Jr. to the target list (scope memo) meant the special counsel could threaten General Flynn with the indictment of his son as a co-conspirator tied to the Turkish lobbying issue (which they did) if he doesn’t agree to a plea. Remember: “jointly undertaken activity“.

The October 20th, 2017, expanded scope memo authorized Mueller to start demanding records, phones, electronic devices and other evidence from Mike Flynn Jr, and provided the leverage Weissmann wanted.  After all, Mike Flynn Jr. had a four-month-old baby. 

The amount of twisted pressure from this corrupt team of prosecutors is sickening.  A month later, General Flynn was signing a plea agreement:

The IG Report on James Comey Memos Outlined the Fraud of Mueller Probe Origination.

All of this information backstops the 19-page filing from last week (full pdf below), where Flynn’s attorney Sidney Powell walked through the history of the DOJ, FBI and intelligence apparatus weaponization against Mr. Flynn and lays out the background behind everything known to have happened in 2016, 2017 through today.

From the corrupt DOJ lawyers who were working with Fusion-GPS and Chris Steele, including Mr. Weissmann, Mr. Van Grack and Ms. Zainab Ahmad; to the 2015/2016 FISA database search abuses; to the CIA and FBI operation against Flynn including Nellie Ohr; to the schemes behind the use of DOJ official Bruce Ohr; to the corrupt construct of the special counsels office selections; to the specifics within the malicious conspiracy outlined by hiding FBI interview notes of Mike Flynn,… all of it…. is bolstered by the IG Horowitz report on how the FBI “small group” was manipulating the media, and hiding Comey memos.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 9/02/2019)