Mueller Report Vol. II
Obstruction – Bribing Trump team member with job in order to help clear his name
Around the time Flynn was being investigated in early 2017, Trump requested a private dinner with Comey, one in which he promised his Transition Team official that he would not talk about Russia. According to Comey’s account, Trump asked for Comey’s loyalty at the dinner. Trump would later deny this in spite of the evidence supporting Comey’s account.
“On February 2, 2017, Eisenberg reviewed the underlying information relating to Flynn’s calls with Kislyak. Eisenberg recalled that he prepared a memorandum about criminal statutes that could apply to Flynn’s conduct, but he did not believe the White House had enough information to make a definitive recommendation to the President. Eisenberg and McGahn discussed that Eisenberg’s review of the underlying information confirmed his preliminary conclusion that Flynn was unlikely to be prosecuted for violating the Logan Act. Because White House officials were uncertain what Flynn had told the FBI, however, they could not assess his exposure to prosecution for violating 18 U.S.C. § 1001.” Therefore, the impact of Flynn’s actions was still uncertain.
“The week of February 6, Flynn had a one-on-one conversation with the President in the Oval Office about the negative media coverage of his contacts with Kislyak. Flynn recalled that the President was upset and asked him for information on the conversations. Flynn listed the specific dates on which he remembered speaking with Kislyak, but the President corrected one of the dates he listed. The President asked Flynn what he and Kislyak discussed and Flynn responded that he might have talked about sanctions “
White House Counsel Donald McGahn and White House chief of staff Reince Priebus decided to fire Flynn when they realized that he had lied to the FBI, and that the FBI was investigating whether Flynn had violated the Logan Act. Priebus brought the news to Flynn and the Trump Team told the press that the firing was due to trust issues and not legal issues.
After his firing, Trump had a private meeting with Comey about Flynn, in which he tells Comey, “I hope you can let this go,” referring to Flynn’s possible treason. Comey took this statement ” ‘as a direction’ because of the President’s position…”
“Shortly after meeting with the President, Comey began drafting a memorandum documenting their conversation. Comey also met with his senior leadership team to discuss the President’s request, and they agreed not to inform FBI officials working on the Flynn case of the President’s statements so the officials would not be influenced by the request. Comey also asked for a meeting with Sessions and requested that Sessions not leave Comey alone with the President again.”
President wanted Kathleen McFarland to resign as Deputy National Security Advisor and wanted her to draft an internal email confirming that Trump did not tell Flynn to talk to Kislyak about Russian sanctions. McFarland was uncomfortable with this and spoke to Eisenberg, who told her she had been fired but was offered the ambassadorship in Singapore and that the aforementioned email draft was required of her. She questioned the idea since the quid pro quo (bribing with a new job) would be obvious to any potential investigation.