The Justice Department on Thursday dropped its case against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, in a stunning development that comes after internal memos were released raising serious questions about the nature of the investigation that led to Flynn’s late 2017 guilty plea of lying to the FBI, Fox News reported.
Following the announcement, former FBI Director James Comey and Democratic lawmakers vented their frustration at Attorney General William Barr over the DOJ’s decision to withdraw its case against Army Lt. General Flynn.
The announcement came in a court filing, with the department saying it is dropping the case “after a considered review of all the facts and circumstances of this case, including newly discovered and disclosed information.”
The retired Army lieutenant general for months has been trying to withdraw his plea, aided by a new attorney who has aggressively challenged the prosecution’s case and conduct.
Documents unsealed a week ago by the Justice Department revealed FBI agents discussed their motivations for interviewing Flynn in the Russia probe– questioning whether they wanted to“get him to lie” so he’d be fired or prosecuted, or get him to admit wrongdoing. “What is our goal?” one of the notes read. “Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?”
On Thursday, the top prosecutor on the case, Brandon Van Grack, abruptly withdrew from the case, without explanation, in a brief filing with the court. Continued Below
Van Grack has been under scrutiny for claiming to a federal court that he had turned over all relevant exculpatory informing involving Flynn — even though a slew of “exculpatory” documents surfaced last week, Fox News reported.
President Donald Trump reacted Thursday at the White House while taking questions from reporters, saying that General Flynn is “a hero”, but pointed out, “what the Obama administration did is unprecedented.” Continued Below
Following the DOJ’s decision to withdraw its case against General Flynn, Democrats vented their frustration at Attorney General William Barr.
The DOJ has lost its way. But, career people: please stay because America needs you. The country is hungry for honest, competent leadership.
— James Comey (@Comey) May 7, 2020
Play this video of Comey bragging about setting a perjury trap for Michael Flynn as Nicolle Wallace giggles like a schoolgirl on repeat
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) May 7, 2020
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 emergency, I worked with DOJ to postpone our scheduled hearing with AG Barr as attentions and resources appropriately went to responding to the pandemic. But rest assured, we are going to reschedule that hearing, ASAP, and demand answers! 2/2 https://t.co/OywQR41khM
— (((Rep. Nadler))) (@RepJerryNadler) May 7, 2020
President Trump doesn’t care about you. He doesn’t care about your health. He doesn’t care about your family. He doesn’t care about testing. He just cares that his cronies are taken care of.https://t.co/SfYJcPBWkK
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) May 7, 2020
Flynn pled guilty to lying to the FBI about his illicit Russian contacts.
His lies do not now become truths.
This dismissal does not exonerate him.
But it does incriminate Bill Barr.
In the worst politicization of the Justice Department in its history.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) May 7, 2020
The Justice Department filing does not show Michael Flynn is innocent. He still lied to the @FBI, a felony. He still violated FARA, a federal offense.
AG Bill Barr made a transparently political decision that further shreds the credibility of the Justice Dept. https://t.co/ZAhaBknTZA
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) May 7, 2020
William Barr is not the President’s lawyer – he is the country’s lawyer. His political interference is blatantly corrupt and he should resign.
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) May 7, 2020
Never mind that Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to investigators, AG Barr’s DOJ will drop the case. Democracies become autocratic when officials in power use crises to cover up their flagrant disrespect for the rule of law. https://t.co/LcGN1MVucT
— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) May 7, 2020
AG Barr is the poster child of Trump’s complete contempt for legal norms. He gives face & voice to a cover-up—enough is enough.
— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) May 7, 2020
If you don’t want America to be a tin-pot dictator’s playground, vote him out! https://t.co/11YkYqnCGx
— Eric Swalwell (@ericswalwell) May 7, 2020
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) May 7, 2020
As I said during Bill Barr’s confirmation, the Attorney General needs to be the people’s lawyer. Yet again, Barr’s Department of Justice is not treating all Americans equally under the law, but instead acting like the President’s personal attorney.
That is unacceptable. https://t.co/MQe3QoVT2t
— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) May 7, 2020
Bill Barr has consistently done Donald Trump’s bidding and corrupted our justice system. I called for it last year and I’ll say it again: he must resign. pic.twitter.com/atbmMMQRLw
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) May 7, 2020