Was PUTIN Name Redacted From Flynn FBI 302 Just Released?

“Investigators have learned that Mr. Flynn and Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, took the lead in those efforts. Mr. Mueller’s team has emails that show Mr. Flynn saying he would work to kill the vote [on UN Resolution 2334].”

New York Times (December 1, 2017)

In January 2017, two FBI agents interviewed the then- US National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. On December 1 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI during that interview. On December 17 2018, at the request of Judge Emmet Sullivan, the Special Counsel’s Office released a redacted version of their report — known as a FBI 302 — regarding this event. I strongly believe that the word PUTIN was redacted in a key paragraph of that document. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

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On December 1 2017, General Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s ex-national security adviser, pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI in January 2017.

According to one of the charges against him, Flynn lied when he stated that, on December 22 2016,  he did not ask Russian ambassador Kislyak either to delay the vote [on UN Resolution 2334] or to defeat the pending United Nations Security Council Resolution.

On that day (Dec. 22 2017), the United Nations Security Council was about to vote on whether to condemn Israel’s building of settlements.

At the time, the Obama administration was preparing to allow a Security Council vote on the matter.

The vote was NOT delayed and UN Resolution 2334 passed 14-0 on December 23 2016, with the United States abstaining.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators learned through witnesses and documents that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel had asked the Trump transition team to lobby other countries to help Israel.


December 22 2016— A “very senior” Trump transition team official [Jared Kushner] tells Michael Flynn to contact foreign governments including Russia to discuss a pending UN Security Council vote on Israeli settlements.

December 22 2016 — Mr Flynn urges Sergei Kislyak to vote against or delay the resolution

December 23 2016 — Mr Kislyak says Russia would not vote against such a resolution

December 23 2016 — 14 delegations  vote in favour of UN Resolution 2334 and United States abstains.

Document: Special Counsel Releases Flynn FD 302

At the request of Judge Emmet Sullivan, the Special Counsel’s Office has filed a redacted version of the report—known as an FD-302 or simply 302—produced by FBI agents following their January 2017 interview of then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.

Today, I will only comment on a single paragraph. (More, much more, at a later time. Tiny steps for tiny feet…)

Text Analysis

Fonts have 2 characteristics that will affect character spacing: width and kerning.

Kerning determines when two adjacent characters can overlap. For instance, when you write AT, the leftmost part of the T bar may actually be positioned LEFT of the lowest part of the right branch of the A.

Although fixed width fonts may allow kerning, it is rarely the case.

In Microsoft Word 2007 on Windows, Courier New is — as far as I can tell — a fixed-length, no kerning font. And it may very well be the font used by the FBI agents who wrote the FD 302.

There is a good reason for intelligence agencies to use this kind of monospace fonts.

The Guessing Game

I thus typed this section with that font (Courier New) and here is the result.

Historical Context

I believe that the second redacted word is almost certainly “Egyptians”. Why? Let us look at the historical context of this event.

“The draft was originally presented by Egypt on the basis of a document prepared by British legal and diplomatic figures working together with the Palestinians, with Britain regarded as the key player in formulating the resolution and pressing for a vote.

High pressures were exerted to avoid the vote.

On 22 December, United States President-elect Donald Trump called on Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to withdraw the proposal, and Egypt withdrew the nomination after what its ambassador called an intense pressure.

Then on 23 December, the draft was taken up and proposed again by Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal and Venezuela.

Following a telephone conversation between Netanyahu and Vladimir Putin, the Russian ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin requested that the vote be postponed until after Christmas. His proposal failed to gain any support.

The resolution was passed 14 to 0.

All members voted for the resolution except for the United States, which abstained.” [Wikipedia]

Considering the context, and the fact that the redacted word is 9 letters long, it is highly likely that the word is indeed Egyptians.

But, what is the first redacted word?

Many people have assumed that it was SISI [Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi ]. It certainly sounds plausible.

Actually, until I worked out — as explained above —  the exact spacing (and type of font used), I had also assumed that it was indeed the correct answer.

However, unless I made a mistake, the first redacted word is five letters long.

And the context strongly suggests that the word is: “PUTIN”.

“Flynn heard through other channels” certainly means that he did not learn the information from Kislyak… and therefore almost certainly refers to a Russian key politician. Would you agree?

Why on earth was the word PUTIN redacted?


Trump-Russia: Michael Flynn charged over false statements to FBI — BBC (Dec 1 2017)

United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 — Wikipedia

United Nations Security Council resolution — Wikipedia

The Black Holes in the Mike Flynn 302: The Back Channel Discussion May Be Most Sensitive Investigative Detail — Emptywheel

Monospaced font — Wikipedia


Was PUTIN Name Redacted from Flynn FBI 302 Just Released?

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