I have a few leftover stories from the past few days; blogging everything interesting is tough in an election season. This is one of them.
This seems . . . not good:
The Justice Department is already facing sharp questions from a judge about altering sensitive documents in the case of former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Now, two lawyers connected to the case say DOJ has made new mischaracterizations in its attempt to clean up the mess.
The department claimed late Monday that it had consulted with lawyers for former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe and former FBI agent Peter Strzok and confirmed that two sets of handwritten notes — key evidence in Flynn’s case — were valid and free of any alterations.
But correspondence between the two attorneys and DOJ reveal that neither vouched for the accuracy of the documents. In fact, McCabe’s lawyer Michael Bromwich and Strzok’s lawyer Aitan Goelman affirmatively refused to do so, according to a review of their email exchanges with Assistant U.S. Attorney Jocelyn Ballantine.
There certainly seems to be a direct discrepancy here:
“We are unable to certify the authenticity of all of the attachments or the accuracy of the transcriptions,” Goelman wrote to Ballantine Sunday afternoon. “To do so, we would need both more time and access to the original notes, particularly given that U.S. Attorney Jensen’s team has already been caught altering Pete’s notes in two instances.”
Yet in DOJ’s filing, Ballantine said both attorneys had “confirmed” the accuracy of the notes taken by McCabe and Strzok.
“The government reiterates, however, that the content of those exhibits was not altered in any way, as confirmed by attorneys for both former FBI employees,” Ballantine wrote in the filing, which was submitted just before a midnight deadline.
This has the potential to be very, very bad for Ballentine.
Keep in mind: Jocelyn Ballentine is the one lawyer from the original prosecution who stayed on the case after Bill Barr decided to throw it to make Trump happy. The fact that she signed some of the briefs supporting dismissal was trumpeted by the Flynndication crowd as proof that the dismissal motion was totally honest and above-board.
The dismissal motion has always been openly and nakedly corrupt. This is just further evidence of the Government’s dishonesty on behalf of a guy who’s about to get his rear end tossed out of office by the people.
UPDATE: Speaking of DoJ corruption . . .