Flynn case update October 22, 2020, USDOJ response to discovery request for “the original 302 and later drafts”, “1984” passage “original copy destroyed”
“The past, he reflected, had not merely been altered, it had
actually been destroyed. For how could you establish, even
the most obvious fact when there existed no record outside
your own memory?”...George Orwell, “1984”
“And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed,
if all records told the same tale, then the lie passed into
history and became truth. “Who controls the past,” ran the
Party slogan, “controls the future, who controls the present
controls the past.”…George Orwell, “1984”
“We are being lied to on a scale unimaginable by George Orwell.”…Citizen Wells
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
MICHAEL T. FLYNN
NOTICE OF DISCOVERY CORRESPONDENCE
October 22, 2020.
“You also requested “the original 302 and later drafts . . . , or the data evidencing their destruction.” The Federal Bureau of Investigation has a well-documented record management program and retention plan that provides specific instructions for the collection of information, the maintenance of documents, and the retention or disposal of documents. Those guidelines state that
“[w]orking files, such as preliminary drafts, notes, and other similar materials, are to be destroyed when the final documents have been approved by the FBI official with authority to do so.” The policy applies to “all drafts created in any medium.” See Records Management Policy Guide, at p. 31, available at https://vault.fbi.gov/records-management-policy-guide-0769pg-part-01-of01/Records%20Management%20Policy%20Guide%200769PG%20Part%2001%20of%2001/view#document/p4.
Here, the FD-302 of your client’s January 24, 2017, interview was created in SENTINEL, which is the FBI’s electronic records management system for all criminal and intelligence gathering activities:
SENTINEL provides FBI employees the ability to create case
documents and submit them through an electronic workflow
process. Supervisors, reviewers, and others involved in the approval
process can review, comment, and approve the insertion of
documents into the appropriate FBI electronic case files. Upon
approval, the SENTINEL system serializes and uploads the
documents into the SENTINEL repositories, where the document
becomes part of the official FBI case file. SENTINEL maintains an
auditable record of all transactions.
See Privacy Impact Assessment for the SENTINEL System, May 28, 2014, at p. 1, available at https://www.fbi.gov/services/information-management/foipa/privacy-impactassessments/sentinel.
In this this case, SSA 1 began drafting the FD-302 on the evening of January 24, 2017. The FD-302 was electronically accessed by SSA 1 and former DAD Peter Strzok in SENTINEL on several occasions. The FD-302 was electronically approved by FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence E.W. Priestap on February 15, 2017. Our review of SENTINEL’s audit trail establishes that no other FBI personnel accessed the FD-302 electronically prior to its approval
and serialization. Consistent with the FBI’s records retention policy, no prior drafts of the FD-302 were maintained within SENTINEL.”
I was immediately reminded of the following passage from “1984.”
“As soon as all the corrections which happened to be necessary in any particular number of the Times had been assembled and collated, that number would be reprinted, the original copy destroyed, and the corrected copy placed on the files in it’s stead. This process of continuation alteration was applied not only to newspapers, but to books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, sound tracks, cartoons, photographs–to every kind of literature or documentation which might conceivably hold any political or ideological significance. Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to be correct; nor was any item of news, or expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to be on record.”