GOP Reps. Jordan, Johnson demand answers from Wray on Flynn case in new letter
Monday afternoon the House Judiciary GOP tweeted:
#BREAKING: @Jim_Jordan and @RepMikeJohnson write to FBI Director Christopher Wray demanding answers on case against General Michael Flynn.
🚨 #BREAKING: @Jim_Jordan and @RepMikeJohnson write to FBI Director Christopher Wray demanding answers on case against General Michael Flynn.— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) May 4, 2020
Fox News reports Reps. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Mike Johnson, R-La., on Monday demanded that FBI Director Christopher Wray provide a slew of information after last week’s bombshell revelations in the case of former national security adviser Michael Flynn — and the lawmakers are specifically seeking to question a mysterious FBI agent, Joe Pientka, who participated in the January 2017 White House interview that led to Flynn’s prosecution.
Fox News has previously determined that Pientka was also intimately involved in the probe of former Trump aide Carter Page, which the DOJ has since acknowledged was riddled with fundamental errors and premised on a discredited dossier that the bureau was told could be part of a Russian disinformation campaign.
Pientka was conspicuously removed from the FBI’s website after Fox News contacted the FBI about his extensive role in Crossfire Hurricane Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) matters — a change first noticed by Twitter user Techno Fog — but sources say Pientka remains in a senior role at the agency’s San Francisco field office.
The FBI, speaking to Fox News last December, asserted that reporting on Pientka’s identity would potentially endanger his life and would serve no legitimate journalistic purpose. Republicans have previously sought to question Pientka, however, beginning in 2018. On Monday, the FBI declined to provide any additional comment.
Wray, earlier this year, suggested in testimony that several agents could be under internal investigation by the FBI.
“As for current employees, there are what I would call more line-level employees who were involved in some of the events in the report, all of those employees … were referred to our Office of Professional Responsibility, which is our disciplinary arm,” Wray wrote. He did not elaborate.
In addition to a Pientka interview, the Republicans — Johnson is the ranking member on the House Subcommitee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties; and Jordan heads up the House Oversight Committee — sought a sit-down with Bill Priestap, the former assistant director of the FBI Counterintelligence Division.
Explosive handwritten notes that surfaced last week — written by Priestap after a meeting with then-FBI Director James Comey and then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, Fox News is told — suggested that agents planned to get Flynn “to admit to breaking the Logan Act” when he spoke to then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition period.
The Logan Act has never been used in a criminal prosecution and has a questionable constitutional status; it was enacted in 1799 in an era before telephones, and was intended to prevent individuals from falsely claiming to represent the United States government abroad.
Any criminal investigation grounded in Logan Act questions is an obvious political pretext to attack the Trump Administration,” Jordan and Johnson wrote to Wray. “FBI attorney Lisa Page admitted to Congress the Justice Department saw the Logan Act as an ‘untested’ and ‘very, very old’ statute.”
The notes revealed that top bureau officials discussed their motivations for sending agents to interview Flynn in the White House on January 24, 2017 — and openly questioned if their “goal” was “to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired.”
“The American people continue to learn troubling details about the politicization and misconduct at the highest levels of the FBI during the Obama-Biden Administration,” Jordan and Johnson wrote. “Even more concerning, we continue to learn these new details from litigation and investigations—not from you. It is well past time that you show the leadership necessary to bring the FBI past the abuses of the Obama-Biden era.”