Joe Biden invoked the 18th century "Logan Act" during a controversial 2017 Oval Office meeting to discuss the Michael Flynn investigation, less than two weeks before President Trump was sworn into office, according to newly released notes taken by former FBI special agent Peter Strzok.
According to Flynn's legal team, "it appears" that Biden "personally raised the idea" of using the obscure law to prosecute Flynnn over his communications with the former Russian Ambassador to the United States - in which he asked Moscow to "reciprocate moderately" in response to sanctions placed on Russia over election meddling.
It's unclear what Biden specifically said about the Logan Act during the January 5 meeting which included former President Obama, former FBI Director James Comey, national security adviser Susan Rice, and Deputy AG Sally Yates.
The notes were disclosed in a court filing Wednesday to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia around the same time a federal appeals court ruled in a 2-1 decision that the judge presiding over the case against Flynn grant the Justice Department's motion to dismiss the criminal charges against him. U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Jensen of Missouri, who was picked by Attorney General William Barr to review the government's case against Flynn, "obtained and analyzed" the document. Biden's comment about the Logan Act are the only words that appear in quotation marks. -Washington Examiner
Elsewhere in the notes, Strzok wrote that Money said the calls between Flynn and Sergey Kislyak "appear legit," while Obama stressed that "the right people" should investigate Flynn. This is in sharp contrast to an email Susan Rice sent to herself in which she said everything was done "by the book."
This is very troubling. The Susan Rice email to herself clearly didn’t give an accurate portrayal of the meeting.— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) June 24, 2020
The “right people” is fundamentally different than “by the book”. https://t.co/AYs3oZ7qaX
Rice and Strzok's accounts comport with each other over Obama asking if there was anything information he should withhold from the Trump transition team, to which Comey responded (according to Rice) "Potentially," adding that he doesn't know if Flynn has passed any classified information to the Russians, but that the "level of communication is unusual."
According to Strzok's notes, Obama said "these are unusual times," with Biden saying "I've been on the Intel Committee for ten years and I never..." before the notes trail off.
Flynn pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his conversations with former Russian Ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak, during the presidential transition following the 2016 US election. He later withdrew his plea after securing new legal counsel, while evidence emerged which revealed the FBI had laid a 'perjury trap' - despite the fact that the agents who interviewed him in January, 2017 said they thought he was telling the truth. Agents persisted with the case despite the FBI's recommendation to close it.