Former Deputy National Security Adviser K.T. McFarland told "The Story" Thursday that then-FBI Director James Comey "thought he was going to get away with" setting up then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn in January 2017.
"That’s the great tragedy in all this," McFarland told host Martha MacCallum. "Enough people were spying on the national security adviser. They were setting him up for a fall, setting him up to blackmail him, setting him up to bankrupt him, setting him up to turn on President Trump."
The documents released by the Justice Department late Wednesday include handwritten notes in which FBI officials debated whether their "goal" was "to get him [Flynn] to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired."
"Flynn and I were collateral damage. The goal was to get Trump and stop his administration dead in its tracks."
Flynn has previously claimed that top FBI officials, including then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, pressed him not to have an attorney present while he was questioned by two agents. That questioning ultimately led to Flynn's guilty plea on a single charge of lying to federal authorities about conversations with Russia's then-ambassador to Washington, Sergey Kislyak.
McFarland, who was also subjected to FBI questioning at the time, echoed Flynn's concerns, saying she was told that the FBI was simply on a "fact-finding mission" and that having a lawyer present would be unnecessary.
"This is what the FBI said to me when they interviewed and really interrogated me," she said. "First of all, their implications: 'You don’t really need a lawyer ... we’re just on a fact-finding mission ... you’re not the general target.' That's exactly what they said to Flynn."
Unbeknownst to Flynn, a phone conversation with Kislyak in December 2016 had been intercepted by the FBI. Flynn was questioned the following month on the communications and his answers were used as the basis for a charge of making false statements to federal investigators.
"They seized everybody's files and then they take the files, like they did with General Flynn in the White House interview ... and they have the transcript sitting in front of them and then they quiz him on it," McFarland recalled, "and if he gets something wrong, he's obviously lying. It’s not just that he makes a mistake in memory ... It's obviously a lie and we’re going to charge him for perjury."
"Flynn and I were collateral damage," McFarland added. "We didn’t matter. The goal was to get Trump and stop his administration dead in its tracks."
"When Flynn didn't do it," she went on, "when I didn’t do it, they said [to] Flynn, 'Well, we are going to go after your son.' He pled guilty to a crime he didn't commit to save his son."
Last month, President Trump said he was considering a full pardon for Flynn, but McFarland predicted a full exoneration in light of the new documents and encouraged officials to shift their focus to "the people who thought that they were better than the voters of the United States of America."
"I think the judge should throw this thing out, but not just exonerate Flynn, go after the people who thought that they were better than the voters of the United States of America and get those people who decided they were going to undo an election result that they didn't like by going after a president and hold them accountable."
McFarland said it would be only fair to make the agents involved personally fund their legal expenses noting that Flynn racked up millions of dollars in legal bills, was forced to sell his house, lost his job, and saw his reputation sullied.
"Make them pay for their own legal expenses," she said. "It's cost General Flynn millions of dollars to defend himself. None of that’s reimbursed. It's cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars and a lot of other people that kind of money. Maybe the people who abuse power in the first place should not only have to be held responsible for it but should have to pay for their own defense.
"I think it would be just desserts."
Fox News' Brooke Singman and Gregg Re contributed to this report.