'Nothing Improper, And FBI Knew It': Flynn Transcripts Released

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) released the transcripts between then-incoming National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergei Kisliak, which revealed that Flynn asked Russia to take "reciprocal" against sanctions levied by the Obama administration over interference in the 2016 US election.

"I ask Russia to do is to not, if anything, I know you have to have some sort of action, to only make it reciprocal; don’t go any further than you have to because I don’t want us to get into something that have to escalate tit-for-tat," Flynn told Kisyak.

Despite clear evidence to the contrary, Former FBI agent Peter Strzok used that conversation as a basis to continue his investigation into whether Flynn was a potential Russian agent, according to recently unsealed court documents. The agency used the call as leverage to try to get the retired general to admit to a violation of the Logan Act - an obscure old law nearly a quarter-century old which prohibits private citizens from interfering in diplomacy (which, as it turns out, is standard practice among members of transitioning administrations).

FBI agent Joe Pientka, who interviewed Flynn with agent Strzok, wrote in his interview notes that he did not believe Flynn was lying to them during the interview - while other recently unsealed notes revealed that the FBI considered a perjury trap against Flynn to "get him fired."

After the FBI's malfeasance came to light, the DOJ moved to drop the case against Flynn - which US District Judge Emmet Sullivan has refused to do - instead asking a retired federal judge, John Gleeson, to provide legal arguments as to whether Sullivan should hold Flynn in criminal contempt for pleading guilty to FBI agents - which he now says he did not do.

Following the release of the transcripts, Sen. Grassley said in a statement: "Lt. General Flynn, his legal team, the judge and the American people can now see with their own eyes – for the first time – that all of the innuendo about Lt. General Flynn this whole time was totally bunk. There was nothing improper about his call, and the FBI knew it."

Earlier Friday, DNI John Ratcliffe declassified the transcripts and released them to Congress. See below: