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In her brief but agonizing stint as Deputy National Security Advisor under General Michael Flynn, K.T. McFarland played a key role in helping the new Trump team get organized following the 2016 election. I wrote a post a few weeks ago about the efforts of the FBI to destroy Gen. Michael Flynn and McFarland, who had never participated in these types of interviews, and I was horrified at the methods of the FBI. Besides the fact that they really had no legitimate reason to investigate Gen. Flynn, they had even less reason to entrap McFarland. While many of us have generally discussed the inappropriate and radical methods of the FBI in their investigations, I had no way of knowing specifically just how insidious and unprofessional they were.
In her new book, McFarland takes us back to the interviews that the FBI conducted with her. Their actions were shocking and, as I said in my original post, could have destroyed her life. Since literally any American could be subject to their methodologies, unless key FBI leaders are discredited and punished, anyone could be victimized in the same way at any time, for any reason. I felt her specific story should be more widely told as a cautionary tale regarding the abuse of power in general, and the unethical and immoral actions of a government agency unchecked.
McFarland describes her first unexpected encounter with FBI agents:
When they arrived, I was at home alone since my husband had left to run some errands right after I walked in the door. (It as only later that I realized the FBI agents had probably already been waiting outside our house, parked out of sight, and only phoned when they saw me drive in and my husband drive out.)
I asked the agents if I needed to have a lawyer present, or have someone with me to take notes. They said while they couldn’t tell me not to have a lawyer present, the only thing they wanted from me was to get a sense of what happened during the transition and at Trump Tower. I naively took them at their word. Nevertheless, I called my husband and asked that he come home . . .
The FBI ended up scheduling three more interviews with her over several hours. Each time when she asked about her status, they insisted she was only a fact witness. She realized fairly early in the process they were setting her up for a perjury trap. Here’s her description of the methodology:
As with the three previous FBI interviews, I found the challenge was in following their format. They would ask rapid fire questions, switching back and forth from one topic to another, and one time period to another, and then circle back to the same questions again, but worded slightly differently. I forced myself to remain on high alert for hours on end, knowing that one slip-up might prove fatal.
After these general topics they zeroed in on what I had done hour by hour, sometimes minute by minute, during four specific days—the day before Obama imposed sanctions, the day the White House officially sanctioned Russia, the day Putin announced the Russian response, and the day afterward when Flynn called me after I returned home to Long Island to say the Russian Ambassador told him their call had made a difference in Russia’s response. Who did I talk to at Mar-a-Lago? On the Transition team? On the outside? What did we discuss? Why did I call them?
Since she had volunteered to cooperate, the actions of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence “took the cake”:
They subpoenaed me to appear before their staffers in February 2019, the week my husband was scheduled for surgery for aggressive prostate cancer in New York. Only after my lawyers provided them with signed letters from doctors and surgeons did they agree to a three-week delay. When my husband’s post-surgical recovery developed complications, Giuffra [her attorney] asked if we could delay the interview again. They refused. Giuffra asked if we could conduct the interview in New York, which they had originally offered to do. They refused. We offered to have the interview conducted via video conference, or with written questions—all under oath—so I could remain in New York with my husband during this period. They again refused.
McFarland had to fly to Washington with her attorneys to comply. Prior to that interview, the FBI confirmed that she was no longer just a fact witness and recommended she get legal counsel. Once they charged Gen. Flynn, they lost interest in her. She was never accused of anything.
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Keep in mind that McFarland was no novice to the workings of government; she had served in four administrations. Also, there was no crime involved with either Flynn or McFarland. For the FBI to use its investigatory tools against political enemies, without “serious or verified grounds” was unconscionable. There were many more manipulative and deceptive actions taken by the FBI that McFarland describes in her book.
McFarland is appearing on TV once again. She is offering commentary about the events of the day. Her comments are always professional, direct, and insightful. She appears to have found her bearings, and is still very supportive of Trump and his populist approach to governance (although like many, she wishes he would be less extreme in his actions and rhetoric). But she knows that we, as a people, must persist. One concluding statement she made:
If anything, I am now more convinced than ever that what we are experiencing now is not just a group of Democrats, Never-Trumpers, and the liberal media who have made common cause in their efforts to get rid of Trump. It is an entrenched self-perpetuating Washington Establishment locked into a battle with the American people over who is sovereign. Is it the American electorate who voted for populism and nationalism with Donald Trump as their flagbearer? Or does the ultimate power rest in the hands of the entrenched Administrative State and the governing class who are using the system to get rid of Trump and everything he stands for?
It is time, against at all levels of government, for us to take back our country!Published in