President Donald Trump has branded former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation ‘a failed coup’ after new documents revealed that one investigator on Mueller’s team admitted that a ‘get Trump’ attitude pervaded the effort.
‘A three year HOAX. A failed COUP!’ Trump tweeted on Friday, sharing a link to a Fox News report revealing explosive remarks made by FBI agent William J. Barnett in an interview with DOJ officials.
‘A great scam against our country!’ added Trump in another tweet.
In the report, newly declassified government documents reveal Barnett’s bombshell remarks in an interview earlier this month with an investigator working for U.S. Attorney John Durham, who is reviewing Mueller’s probe for any potential misconduct.
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President Donald Trump has branded former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation ‘a failed coup’ after new documents revealed that one investigator on Mueller’s team admitted that a ‘get Trump’ attitude pervaded the effort
In the interview, Barnett detailed his work at the FBI, including his assignment to the bureau’s original cases against Michael Flynn and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
The Flynn investigation was given the code-name CROSSFIRE RAZOR, and was a sub-investigation of the FBI’s Russian collusion probe, dubbed CROSSFIRE HURRICANE.
Barnett said in the interview that the Russia probe was ‘”opaque,” with little detail concerning specific evidence of criminal events,’ according to the interview summary.
The veteran FBI agent told Durham’s investigator that the case was built upon ‘supposition on supposition’.
Barnett said that the Flynn investigation was ‘unclear and disorganized’ and that after six weeks of working on the case, he was ‘still unsure of the basis of the investigation concerning Russia and the Trump Campaign working together, without a specific criminal allegation.’
He said that the investigation floundered due to the lack of new information, and was nearly closed on January 4, 2017, and that he was working on a document to close the case that day when former FBI counterintelligence chief Peter Strzok sent him a message saying he had new information on Flynn.
The new information sent by Strzok is redacted from the declassified interview summary, but Barnett relates that he did not see the ‘rub’ of the new info, and remained unconvinced that Flynn was compromised by the Russians.
The case against former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn (above) was built upon ‘supposition on supposition,’ the lead investigator revealed in new documents
On January 24, days after Flynn was sworn in as Trump’s national security advisor, two FBI agents interviewed him at the White House. He later pleaded guilty to making false statements in that interview, but then attempted to withdraw the plea, and the case is on hold after the Justice Department withdrew the charges.
Mueller took over the Russian collusion investigation after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey in May 2017.
Barnett says that he briefed Mueller’s team on the Flynn investigation, but did not want to join the special counsel’s probe, describing one attorney on the team as ‘obsessed’ and having ‘an agenda.’
In the end, Barnett says that Strzok pleaded with him to join Mueller’s team, and that he did so reluctantly, believing he could help counter ‘group think’ on the team.
He describe the environment on Mueller’s team as ‘upside down,’ with attorney’s directing the investigation and drafting search warrants and getting agents to simply sign off as affiants.
Barnett said that some members of the Mueller probe had a ‘get Trump’ attitude.
FBI agent William J. Barnett reluctantly joined Robert Mueller’s (above) team in May, 2017. He describes it as ‘a very unique environment’ pervaded by a ‘get Trump’ attitude
He explained that some members of the probe appeared to interpret Trump’s every move in the most negative light possible, at times even reversing their obvious implication.
In one case, after Trump made a public remark that investigators should ‘get to the bottom’ of a matter, one of Mueller’s attorneys remarked that he wanted to ‘cover it up,’ Barnett said.
Barnett says he responded: ‘no, he said get to the bottom of it.’
Barnett also said that Mueller’s team interpreted Trump’s firing of Comey as obstruction of justice, while he believed it could just as easily be due to Trump’s personal dislike for Comey.
As another example of the ‘get Trump’ attitude, Barnett said that attorneys on Mueller’s team were desperate to be part of something ‘big’ and were undeterred by the lack of evidence.
He said attorneys believed there was ‘something criminal here’ and competed intensely to be the ‘all star’ who could dig up the evidence, with the attitude of ‘the evidence is there, we just have to find it.’
Barnett revealed that privately, he and some other investigators joked that Mueller’s probe could be made into a fun game called ‘Collusion Clue.’
‘In this hypothetical game, investigators are able to to choose any character conducting any activity, in any location, and pair this individual with another character and interpret it as evidence of collusion,’ the interview summary states.
Barnett described his work with the special counsel’s office as ‘a very unique environment.’
He said that in the end, he viewed Flynn’s prosecution as a means to ‘get Trump.’
Durham’s investigation, which is looking into whether there was adequate and legal predicate to launch the Trump-Russia probe, is ongoing.