DOJ Drops Case Against Former Trump Security Adviser Michael Flynn

(PoliticalLookout.Com)- In an unprecedented move, the Department of Justice has dropped all charges against Michael Flynn, who served as President Donald Trump’s first national security adviser.
Flynn pleaded guilty two different times to lying to the FBI about conversations he had with a Russian diplomat during Trump’s transition period between being elected and inaugurated in 2016. Despite pleading guilty, Flynn’s lawyers uncovered documents that proved prosecutorial misconduct. Those documents and others were turned over to an outside prosecutor that Attorney General William Barr assigned to review the case.
Flynn, who was fired by Trump before he pleaded guilty, was the first significant victory for those who backed the Robert Mueller special investigation into ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia during the 2016 presidential election.
As part of a guilty plea in December 2017 and then again one year later, Flynn said he lied to FBI agents about dealings with a Russian ambassador, and also about making false statements about other officials in Trump’s transition team regarding a United Nations resolution that condemned Israel. He also admitted to signing filings under the Foreign Agent Registration Act that had false statements regarding his lobbying and advocacy work for a project related to Turkey.
But in January of this year, Flynn retained new lawyers and asked that he be able to withdraw his guilty plea. He claimed the FBI and prosecutors “double-crossed” him, and that his original attorneys didn’t give him proper legal advice about all his potential defenses in court.
Flynn was originally scheduled to be sentenced February 27, but a district court judge delayed that sentencing indefinitely earlier that month “until further order of the court.”
The federal judge in Washington who is overseeing the case can now dismiss the case entirely, removing the possibility Flynn could be tried again for the exact same crime, or ask for written submissions and hold a hearing on the topic.
In dropping the charges, the DOJ took particular issue with how the FBI interviewed Flynn in 2017. Timothy Shea, the acting U.S. attorney in Washington who wrote the motion to dismiss the charges, said the agents’ questioning “was untethered to, and unjustified by, the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into Mr. Flynn.”
Prosecutors further said the case fell short of the legal standard that Flynn’s lies be “materially” relevant to the matter they were investigation. Shea wrote:
“The government is not persuaded that the January 24, 2017, interview was conducted with a legitimate investigative basis and therefore does not believe Mr. Flynn’s statements were material even if untrue.”
Following the announcement Thursday, Trump proclaimed Flynn “an innocent man” and said officials in the Barack Obama administration were targeting him to “take down a president.” He especially took issue with prosecutors in the case, though, saying:
“I hope a lot of people are going to pay a big price because they’re dishonest, crooked people. They’re scum — and I say it a lot, they’re scum, they’re human scum. This should never have happened in this country.”