~by Jamie Lynn Sawyers and Lynn Matthews
FBI Crossfire Hurricane team was playing a game of Crossfire Clue in an effort to find evidence of illegal activity in which to indict General Michael Flynn.
September 17, 2020, FBI Special Agent William Barnett was interviewed by US Attorney eastern district of Missouri Jeffrey Jensen. Barnett and his lawyer Berger both understood the interview was voluntary and that Barnett was not the subject of an investigation.
The following is a timeline of the interview with relevant information regarding the Crossfire Hurricane and Crossfire Razor.
In August of 2016, Barnett was assigned to work as a case manager for the FBI on Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort investigations. The Michael Flynn Investigation was named Crossfire Razor.
The investigation was "based on information alleging that members of the Trump Presidental campaign had compromising information on the Hillary Clinton campaign and that Trump campaign had been penetrated by the Russians."
Initially believing that the case theory was "supposition on supposition, Barnett attributed his initial impressions as a lack of understanding concerning the case, and that he needed to become familiar with the case.
Barnett believed that the predication in the RAZOR investigation was not great. "One fact used for predication was a speech that Flynn gave in Russia several years prior." Barnett believed the speech may have been ill-advised but was not illegal. An (NSL) National Security Letter had been obtained for phone records pertaining to Flynn however, was later pulled back by Peter Strzok for reasons not explained to Barnett.
November 8, 2016, there was a message regarding the closing of the RAZOR investigation. Barnette began to ask what they thought the "end game' was in the investigation. He suggested an interview with Flynn to be conducted and that the case be closed unless they were able to find derogatory information. Barnett was cautioned against an interview with Flynn as they were concerned that an interview would cause Flynn to become suspicious as to an investigation. Barnett believed Flynn's position in the administration offered an opportunity for the FBI to conduct the interview. Thinking they could conduct an interview and Flynn would think it is standard procedure. Barnett believed that the interview would be the last step in closing the case.
Barnett was told that Strzok the lead agent on crossfire RAZOR wanted the case closed between Christmas and New Years 2016. Barnett began working on the document to close the investigation and wanted to include everything they had done that was significant on the case. Including his interview request that was denied.
On January 4th, an analyst (analyst 3) emailed Barnett with information that was to be included in the closing document.
At 2:21 pm Barnett received a message from special agent 2 (SA2) not to close the RAZOR investigation that agent Strzok had information to add to the file. Barnett was provided with some additional information, (classified) about Flynn, but still did not believe General Flynn to be compromised by Russians. At that time he was told about a potential Logan Act violation, Barnett did not believe a Logan Act violation was a major issue concerning the RAZOR investigation.
The next communication Barnett received regarding RAZOR was on 1/25. At that time he was informed that on 1/24 the FBI had interviewed General Flynn. SSA 1 told Barnett that it was a last-minute decision to interview Flynn.
After the 1/24 interview with Flynn, there was a reorganization of Crossfire Hurricane. Agent Strzok was supervising the RAZOR investigation along with the FBI-HQ program manager (classified).
Department of Justice and FBI continued to have meetings regarding RAZOR, but no line agents were invited to attend.
In response to an article by David Ignatius of the Washington Post where he published the leaked conversation of General Flynn and Ambassador Kislyak, the momentum of Crossfire RAZOR picked up.
"Barnett was not at the meeting on 1/30/17 during which the FBI told the DOJ they did not believe Flynn was an agent of Russia.
February 2017 Barnett saw no evidence of collusion between the Trump Campaign and Russia and believed the investigation was a formality to ensure all bases were covered.
2/7/2017 Barnett said, "the Lync messages discussed special agent 3 providing information to the Whitehouse regarding information gathered during the RAZOR investigations."
February 1, 2017, Barnett asked Clinesmith whether the predication information was still acceptable since it contained the same information from the original NSL in 2016. Clinesmith advised the information was acceptable and could be used for any additional NSL's. Clinesmith then physically walked the NSL request to reviewers for their initials.
"The information obtained through the NSL's did not change Barnett's mind that Flynn was not working with the Russian government.
"Barnett was asked about a Lync message on 4/6/2017 from analyst 1 to Barnett regarding analyst 1 being removed from the RAZOR investigation. Barnett said analyst 1 was very skeptical of the Flynn collusion investigation. Barnett also thought it was a "dumb theory" that did not make sense."
Barnett was told go give an overview of Flynn to a group that included Jean Rhee who sat on Mueller's special counsel. Barnett said that he briefly went over the RAZOR investigation in which he included the assessment that there was no evidence of a crime. Rhee halted the briefing and wanted to "drill down" on a speech Flynn gave in Russia. "Barnett thought Rhee was obsessed with Flynn and Russia and she had an agenda."
Following his meeting with Rhee, he told attorney 1 he wanted nothing more to do with the RAZOR investigation.
The following day Barnett was contacted by Strzok who really wanted Barnett to work with the special counsel office despite a problem with Jean Rhee. That Strzok would run interference between Barnett and Strzok, and that he could work on things that Rhee was not looking into. Barnett emphasized that he did not want to pursue the collusion investigation as it was "not there."
May 9 Comey was fired, which triggered a flurry of activity around Crossfire Hurricane and the appointment of a special counsel. "The appointment of special counsel changed everything. Mueller was leading the SCO search warrants were being drafted and executed on a regular basis. Attorneys in the SCO were very aggressive and were directing things. Barnett described the SCO situation as upside down with attorneys drafting search warrants and getting agents to simply ask affiants. Barnett thought there was a "GET TRUMP" attitude by some at the SCO."
There was a "show me the man, and I'll find you the crime" attitude. Where Barnett said there was a competition between investigators as to whom would be the first to uncover a crime. "There was a lack of letting the evidence lead the investigation and more the attitude of "the evidence is there, we just have to find it."
Barnett believed the special counsel was "not" asking proper follow-up questions to clarify statements made by people they were interviewing. Andrew Goldstein SCO attorney went so far as to call a "time out" and cautioned Barnett by saying "if you keep asking these questions, we will be here all day."
Barnett said there was always someone at the SCO who claimed to have a lead on information that would prove collusion. Only to have that information prove to be a dead end.
Barnett said working with the SCO was a very unique environment for him. Typically investigators push for the legal process and have to explain the need for requests to attorneys. Barnett said SCO attorneys were pushing for the legal process and just wanted investigators to sign affidavits they prepared. Everything was "green-lighted" by the SCO, ie., you could get whatever legal process you wanted.
Barnett overheard agents comically discussing them wiping their cell phones. One agent even joked about having a cell phone that was previously used by Strzok. Barnett even joked with other agents about playing the game collusion clue, where any character placed in a specific place could have possible ties with another character and interpreted as evidence of collusion.
Our writers at WECU believe the FBI and Special Counsel Office were running a rogue agency. They were using whatever tools they had on hand to target American citizens in an attempt to prove a sitting president of colluding with the Russian government.