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The collapse of the Obama administration’s dogged pursuit of retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn has come to represent a broader assault on the Trump campaign, transition and presidency that Attorney General William P. Barr has concluded amounted to FBI “sabotage.”

From July 31, 2016, to deep into the Trump presidency, the FBI littered its investigative trail with questionable conduct that led the president to believe that agents had been after him all along.

“It was an attempted overthrow of the government of the United States of America and duly elected president,” Mr. Trump told The Washington Times in an Oval Office interview last week. “And we caught them.”

Notes taken by FBI agent Peter Strzok filed Wednesday in the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington show that President Barack Obama took a keen interest in probing Mr. Flynn, Mr. Trump’s first national security adviser. Mr. Obama said in early January 2017 to make sure the FBI had the right people investigating.

At the time, White House officials on their way out the door asked the intelligence community to unmask Mr. Flynn in scores of secret intelligence reports from the National Security Agency so they could read what he was up to.

Overall, FBI agents embraced a sketchy 35-page collection of anti-Trump claims called the dossier. Using the dossier as a basis, they acquired a year of wiretaps on campaign volunteer Carter Page, with agents misleading judges in the process, and cited conspiracy allegations to fuel their Crossfire Hurricane investigation.

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