What is an FBI 302 form, and what part have they played in DOJ/FBI corruption?

in informationwar •  2 years ago 

What is the FBI 302?

This is a system for conducting interviews that the FBI has used throughout it's history...before video recorders even existed.

Sara Kropf, from Grand Jury Target, explains the basics...

FBI form FD-302 has space to list the name of the agents, the date of the interview, the name of the interviewee, the place of the interview and so forth. Then it allows the agent to draft a memo—in paragraph form—of what the witness said. It can be one page long or twenty pages long, depending on the length of the interview.

The memo section of a 302 is the key part. This is a combination of what the agent was able to write down during the interview and his recollection. It may list the questions and the answers or simply be a narrative of what the witness said.

The witness generally doesn’t see the 302 or get a chance to correct any mistakes he thinks are in it before it is finalized.
What is an FBI 302? The Problematic Nature of FBI Agents’ Interview Memos

This last point is key, as you're going to read about through the rest of this blog.

How it works in person follows:

The process is thus: two FBI agents ask questions and listen to the answers—without tape recording or obtaining a certified transcript. Instead, they return to their office and, based on their recollection and any notes they may have taken during the interview, write up a summary of what transpired. Summaries are, in most cases, written hours later, sometimes even the following day.
FBI’s Amazing Trick to Avoid Accountability

Harvey Silverglate (see the 3 Felonies A Day meme, this is Silverglate's baby) points out the bottom line of the process.

Without an objectively accurate, verbatim record of the interview, the witness is compelled, forced even, to follow the script of the 302 report if it is presented in a court of law
Silverglate, 2014, DOJ's New Recording Policy: The Exceptions Swallow The Rule

There was a change in policy in 2014, however, the "change" left many loopholes...Silverglate explains that more at the link.

What are the problems with the 302?

Kropf summarizes some basic problems that would interfere with justice, even before we start talking about issues of State corruption:

  • People talk faster than a human recorder can understand, write, and summarize
  • Memos created on memory are not reliable
  • Summarizing is hard for many reasons. Conversations meander from topic to topic. It's the nature of human speech. Witnesses blather on while answering or don’t even answer the question directly. They don’t understand the question or they answer a different question. And that is assuming the witness is NOT evading questions (cough, cough, Clinton)
  • There’s no requirement that the FBI agent write down everything the witness says or that the agent take any notes at all...nothing to prevent the agent from stopping the note-taking if the witness says something helpful to the target of the investigation. It is practically impossible to obtain the handwritten notes underlying a 302 during discovery, so the FBI is not worried that anyone can prove a conflict between the handwritten notes and the final 302 anyway.
    What is an FBI 302? The Problematic Nature of FBI Agents’ Interview Memos

This reflects an issue that Silverglate discussed years ago...

For Obama at least, that “gold standard” has apparently retained its sheen despite a fundamental flaw in the FBI’s truth-gathering apparatus that Mueller (and, to be fair, his modern predecessors as well) supports: the long-defended Bureau-wide policy of not recording interrogations and interviews, a practice that allows the FBI to manipulate witnesses, manufacture convictions, and destroy justice as we once knew it.
Silverglate, 2011, Constructing Truth: the FBI's (non)recording policy

Let's point out a couple of court cases


Wolf quotes Edwin O. Guthman, who once served as press secretary to Attorney General Robert Kennedy: “You can have a conversation with an agent… and when it is over he will send a memo to the files. Any relation between the memo and what was said in the conversation may be purely coincidental. You would think you were at different meetings.

O’Toole advised jurors that FBI 302 reports are not “verbatim transcriptions of the conversation, but summaries, and they may be made from the agents’ notes and then put together in a report either that day or perhaps the next day.”

Federal resistance

Despite the benefits in terms of justice in the practice of recording statements, the Federal government has fought against doing so...to the point of firing their own employees that protected suspects!
Benefits of video recording

One benefit is that recording aids justice in providing accuracy to testimony.

The notion of recording interrogations is not new, nor is it uncommon. Indeed, less than a decade after Miranda the American Law Institute proposed recording of interrogations as a way to eliminate disputes over statements made during interrogations.
Sullivan, The Department of Justice’s Misguided Resistance to Electronic Recording of Custodial Interviews, The Federal Lawyer, 2012

Sullivan's name keeps popping up into research on this idea...maybe he is an expert on the subject or something. He fruther argues that recording stops coercive tactics used by law enforcement...and lying by law enforcement.

literature on this subject has an invariable theme: recording custodial questioning is necessary to prevent police from using coercive tactics during unrecorded interrogations and misstating what the suspect said
Sullivan, Police Experiences with Recording Custodial Interrogations

These benefits are apparent to many judges, as we read a minute ago...

It’s intolerable in any society under any government that values the rights of its citizens to a fair trial. ... But quite simply, somebody has to tell the Bureau, there’s at least one federal judge in whose estimation the FBI diminishes when it comes in the courtroom and it says, we didn’t record the statement. I was tempted to ask the simple question, what would have been the indisputable proof of what was said in that room? And
you would have had to answer, a recording.
District Judge James G. Carr, Northern District of Ohio, 2011, U.S. v. Cook

And yet, the policy is fiercely resisted by the Feds

Paul K. Charlton, an EX Federal Attorney in Arizona,understood these basic reasons for recording interrogations/interviews when he ordered the mandatory recording of any statements in cases undertaken by his office.

Charlton’s policy was resisted, and he was fired soon after instituting it.
Silverglate, 2011, Constructing Truth: the FBI's (non)recording policy

The FBI issued a memo concerning the issue.

FBI Memo, 2006, Subject: Electronic Recording of Confessions and Witness Interviews

FBI Memo, 2006, Subject: Electronic Recording of Confessions and Witness Interviews

  • The presence of recording equipment may interfere with and undermine the successful rapport-building interviewing technique which the FBI practices.
  • FBI agents have successfully testified to custodial defendants’ statements for generations with only occasional, and rarely successful, challenges.
  • A requirement to record all custodial interviews throughout the agency would not only involve massive logistic and transcription support but would also create unnecessary obstacles to the admissibility of lawfully obtained statements, which through inadvertence or circumstances beyond control of the interviewing agents, could not be recorded.
  • Perfectly lawful and acceptable interviewing techniques do not always come across in recorded fashion to lay persons as proper means of obtaining information from defendants. Initial resistance may be interpreted as involuntariness and misleading a defendant as to the quality of the evidence against him may appear to be unfair deceit.

Silverglate contends these "justifications"; see link for a detailed fisking.

listing four separate justifications for the non-recording policy. Two of these arguments, it turns out, are weak, a third is laughably weak, and a fourth is terrifying in its practical implications for the fair, and truthful, functioning of the federal system of criminal justice.
Silverglate, 2011, Constructing Truth: the FBI's (non)recording policy

Why would it be resisted?

Because there is a law combined with use of the 302 that is used to squeeze, I mean coerce, witnesses.

18 USC 1001

Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001 makes it a crime to: 1) knowingly and willfully; 2) make any materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or representation; 3) in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative or judicial branch of the United States. Your lie does not even have to be made directly to an employee of the national government as long as it is "within the jurisdiction" of the ever expanding federal bureaucracy.
How to Avoid Going to Jail under 18 U.S.C. Section 1001 for Lying to Government Agents

The built-in process makes it two against you...

Agents usually work in pairs as well, so in any later dispute over what was said in the interview, guess whose version is likely to prevail? Yours, or the two FBI agents who dictated the 302?
How to Avoid Going to Jail under 18 U.S.C. Section 1001 for Lying to Government Agents

If you don't cooperate now, you have been set up for failure at trial, or you can be hit with a process crime...or a crime related to the investigation of a crime.

Thus, the 302 reports are not there just to help the FBI report on interrogations; they are key tools for later manipulating witness testimony in a courtroom.
Silverglate, 2011, Constructing Truth: the FBI's (non)recording policy

How were 302s used in the Clinton email crime coverup?

It's not really new news that the 302s were used to protect Clinton. As early as 2016, American Thinker did a piece, FBI's 302 Report Proves Complicity in Clinton Email Scandal, hashing out this crime and coverup.

The fake interview thus suited both parties. It allowed Hillary to appear forthcoming, even though she did nothing but provide the same talking points and evasions she had all along, without being confronted with effective questioning or truly compromising documents. The FBI facilitated this not only by failing to question her aggressively, and refusing to confront her with the documents relating to the Clinton foundation, but finally by providing her with an official forum to repeat her outright denials of intent.

I presumed that the FBI did just this here, and the proof is contained on p. 10, part 2 of the Form 302 at the conclusion of the interview, where the agents, obviously having asked her a series of canned questions to elicit just such responses, list her denials of guilt as if they were fact.

American Thinker

And it is not just that abuses are inherent in the inaccurte nature of the 302s, but that they are very subject to political tampering

Sara Carter: IG Report & FISA Abuse Memo Shocked FBI Director Wray "To His Core"

SARA CARTER: Correct. 1.2 million pages. But there are indicators right now that McCabe may have asked FBI agents to actually change their 302s. Those are interviews with witnesses. So basically, every time an FBI agent interviews a witness they have to go back and file that report.

SEAN HANNITY: Changing that would be what, obstruction of justice?

SARA CARTER: Exactly, obstruction of justice. This is something the Inspector General is investigating. If that is the case, if this is true, and not just alleged, if this is true, McCabe will be fired. I hear they are considering firing him within the next few days if this turns out to be true.

We've talked about the political abuses committed by Strzok before, so it should come as no surprise that he also centers in the abuse scandals involving the 302s.

If the FBI was legitimately conducting an investigation, and providing the subsequent evidence from within that investigation, the FOIA would include all material relevant to the investigation, which would include all 302 (essentially Q&A) pages. However, the set of questions and answers the FBI released on Sept. 2nd 2016 was not the full set of Questions and Answers. They withheld something, likely “inflammatory”, per FBI Agent Strzok.

Image Source - “Obstruction of Justice” – Special Agent Strzok Text Message Highlights FBI Investigative Intent…

302 Abuses also occurred during the DOJ/FBI effort to subvert the 2016 election results

Andrew McCabe Altered Peter Strzok’s 302 Notes on General Flynn interview – Then Destroyed Evidence

Strzok again? This is Steve's shocked face...

According to Mike Cernovich, former Deputy Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Andrew McCabe altered Peter Strzok’s 302 for his interview with General Flynn...then destroyed the evidence.

Remember, earlier in the year, former FBI Director James Comey told lawmakers Flynn did not lie under oath.

Later that same year, Flynn was indicted by Mueller... for lying...using the same notes from the same inteveriw that Comey already cleared Flynn from.


According to Cernovich, McCabe changed Strzok’s form 302.


Remember, earlier I described how the 302s could be used to nail you for a process crime...even more so when they are changed after the fact, and there is no objective record of the interview itself!

Other problems with exposing this flawed and corrupt technique

Mafiosos, terrorists, cartel hitmen...everybody that the FBI convicted via 302 interviews can call on the proven dishonesty of the FBI to call for a re-trial.

That's what tolerating the corruption and subversion of the DOJ and FBI by leftist hacks has cost the security community...and the country they are sworn to protect.

This is Steve's contemptuous face

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Remember, earlier in the year, former FBI Director James Comey told lawmakers Flynn did not lie under oath.

Asking a liar to tell the truth - and because of the office he holds, it makes him more truthful?

What a bizarre system we have found ourselves in...

this quote was more to show that something happened in the time between Comey's statement and Mueller's indictment of Flynn with those 302s

Curated for #informationwar (by @openparadigm)
Relevance:"I Don't Answer Questions", "This seems like a complicated legal situation, I'll defer to my legal counsel and let them handle any communications. Do you mind submitting your questions in written form?"

What a thorough article @stevescoins. It is clear that the tools of the trade for interrogation have been tampered with, leaving any reasonable person to then ask the real question: "Can the intelligence community and those plugged into it simply craft a self-serving narrative to suit each situation?"

I think we all know the answer, but unfortunately many struggle with accepting it.

many struggle with accepting it.

I certainly did; took me a long time to recognize not just how deep the problem the is, but that the problem existed.

Hopefully, that the Deep State isnt bothering to hide it's presence is a sign that they are drowning, and grasping for air

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