Clearly, telling an FBI agent something untrue during an interview at FBI headquarters as you face criminal charges subjects you to charges of making false statements. Equally clearly, if an FBI agent friend of yours asks to borrow a dollar and you lie and say you don’t have any cash, that’s not going to get you taken away in handcuffs. But where is the line drawn between the two?
In what we would take as an astonishing move if PolitiFact was an objective and impartial fact checker, its PolitiSplainer explains none of that.
After Attorney General William Barr asked Jeff Jensen, the U.S. attorney in St. Louis, to review the case, Jensen concluded that a dismissal of the case was warranted. Barr agreed.
In its filing, the Justice Department argued that the FBI had no basis to continue investigating Flynn after failing to find illegal acts. Flynn’s answers during the interview were equivocal, not false, and weren’t relevant to the investigation, the department said.
"A crime cannot be established here," the attorney general told CBS, saying "people sometimes plead to things that turn out not to be crimes."
None of the experts PolitiFact quoted for the story had anything to say about it, either. Only two of the four had records of giving to Democrats this time (Barbara McQuade, James Robenalt). Open Secrets had no record of political giving from the other two.
PolitiFact also curiously failed to
Oh, for what might have been!:
It's as though PolitiFact's PolitiSplainer was designed to keep people in the dark, or at least support a rapidly eroding media narrative.
The filing said that a key interview of Flynn did not have "a legitimate investigative basis" and therefore the department does not consider Flynn’s statements from the interview to be "material even if untrue."
We also note that this part of PolitiFact's article undercuts the "expert" testimony discussed in our critique. If only "a key interview of Flynn" did not have the legitimate investigative basis then what of the other parts of the Flynn investigation? PolitiFact's Louis Jacobson should have noticed the discrepancy.