Former acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Mary McCord said top officials were “disingenuous” with words she used to explain the DOJ’s motion to dismiss the case against General Mike Flynn, in an op-ed to the New York Times on Sunday.
U.S. AG Bill Barr and acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Timothy Shea cited an interview with McCord more than two dozen times to suggest that the FBI was unwarranted in questioning Flynn.
McCord says that her account of the interview does not support the conclusion the DOJ suggests.
“What the account of my interview describes is a difference of opinion about what to do with the information that Mr. Flynn apparently had lied to the incoming vice president, Mr. Pence, and others in the incoming administration about whether he had discussed the Obama administration’s sanctions against Russia in his calls with” then-Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak, McCord continued.
McCord said that she believed the FBI mishandled investigation by not coordinating his interview with the DOJ, but said she did not believe the agencies had no reason to suspect Flynn of possible criminal activity.
“It has no bearing on whether Mr. Flynn’s lies to the F.B.I. were material to the clear counterintelligence threat posed by the susceptible position Mr. Flynn put himself in when he told Mr. Pence and others in the new administration that he had not discussed the sanctions with Mr. Kislyak. The materiality is obvious,” she concluded.
Mary McCord, a career prosecutor for more than 20 years, was serving as acting assistant attorney general at the National Security Division since an Obama appointee had resigned. She had joined the NSD in 2014 and resigned in 2017. The position is one of the more demanding jobs within the department, as the national security division handles counterterrorism and counterespionage prosecutions, as well as Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants. Unlike some other sectors, the NSD is widely considered one of the least political divisions within the DOJ.