Former Vice President Joe Biden appears to have “personally raised the idea” of investigating Michael Flynn for potentially having violated the obscure Logan Act during his phone calls with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, according to newly filed court papers Wednesday.
The previously sealed document also says that former President Barack Obama told top members of his administration that “the right people” should investigate Flynn.
But then-FBI Director James Comey acknowledged during the meeting — which also involved Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and possibly national security adviser Susan Rice — that Flynn’s conversations with Kislyak “appear legit,” according to the Washington, DC, federal court filing by Flynn’s defense lawyers.
The revelations are contained in handwritten notes prepared by disgraced ex-FBI Agent Peter Strzok that Flynn’s lawyers called “stunning and exculpatory evidence” in the government’s since-abandoned case against President Trump’s former national security adviser.
A partially blacked-out copy of Strzok’s notes is attached to the filing and includes a mention that appears to say: “VP: ‘Logan Act.’”
“According to Strzok’s notes, it appears that Vice President Biden personally raised the idea of the Logan Act,” defense lawyers Jesse Binnall and Sidney Powell wrote.
”That became an admitted pretext to investigate General Flynn.”
The revelation contradicts Biden’s claim of total ignorance regarding the Flynn probe when he was vice president, which he was asked about during a May 12 interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.
“I know nothing about those moves to investigate Michael Flynn,” he said at the time.
The Logan Act, which dates to 1799, bars unauthorized Americans from engaging in “any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government.”
The law has only led to two indictments — in 1803 and 1852 — but neither resulted in a conviction.
Strzok’s notes, apparently written on Jan. 4, 2017, were “previously withheld from General Flynn” until finally being turned over on Jan. 23 of this year, his lawyers wrote.
Wednesday’s four-page court filing, which was submitted in secret on Jan. 24, was made public following Wednesday’s blockbuster ruling by a federal appeals court that ordered the judge in Flynn’s case to let him withdraw his guilty plea for lying to the FBI about his conversations with Kislyak.
Biden later claimed he misunderstood the question, adding, “I was aware that there was — that they asked for an investigation, but that’s all I know about it, and I don’t think anything else.”