Former Vice President Joe Biden admitted Tuesday morning that he had known about efforts to investigate incoming National Security Advisor Michael Flynn in January 2017 — after initially claiming that he did not know about it.
Biden, appearing on ABC’s Good Morning America, was asked by host George Stephanopoulos whether he had known about the investigation, and what was discussed at a crucial Jan. 5, 2017 meeting with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office. (Biden had been at that meeting, along with then-FBI Director James Comey and intelligence and law enforcement officials.)
The former Vice President sighed audibly as Stephanopoulos quoted President Donald Trump claiming that the Flynn investigation was “the biggest political crime in U.S. history.” Stephanopoulos also quoted Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) asking, “What did Obama and Biden know, when did they know it.”
“So what did you know about those moves to investigate Michael Flynn and was there anything improper done?” Stephanolpoulos asked.
“I know nothing about those moves to investigate Michael Flynn,” Biden said, before accusing Trump of using the issue as a “diversion” from the coronavirus crisis.
Stephanopoulos followed up: “I do want to press that. You say you didn’t know anything about it, but you were reported to be at a January 5th, 2017, meeting where you and the president were briefed on the FBI’s plan to question Michael Flynn over those conversations he had with the Russian ambassador, [Sergey] Kislyak.”
That seemed to refresh Biden’s memory.
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“No, I thought you asked me whether or not I had anything to do with him being prosecuted,” Biden said. “I’m sorry. I was aware that there was — that they had asked for an investigation. But that’s all I know about it and I don’t think anything else.”
He went on to attack the president for allegedly “focusing” on the Flynn issue in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Department of Justice announced plans to drop its prosecution of Flynn for lying to the FBI, even though he pleaded guilty in 2017, because of new exculpatory evidence that emerged to suggest he had been targeted by senior FBI officials, and that he made a plea bargain under threats from prosecutors that they would indict his son if he did not capitulate.
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