DOJ Throws Out Case Against Michael Flynn, Undermining Results Of Russia Investigation
The Justice Department on Thursday dropped its case against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, the first major move in the Trump administration’s work to rectify the fallout from the Russia investigation.
Flynn pleaded guilty twice to lying to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents about conversations he had with a Russian ambassador during late 2016.
His attorneys argued that Flynn was a victim of entrapment and was tricked into lying.
Attorney General William Barr‘s decision to throw out the case is the latest way in which the administration is working to undo former Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s probe into collusion with Russia.
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President Donald Trump and his allies have argued that the investigation was politically motivated, although an Inspector General report cleared the FBI of having any political bias in opening the investigation.
Flynn’s lawyers presented new evidence, that was released by a judge on Wednesday, demonstrating prosecutorial misconduct.
Included in the evidence was a handwritten note from FBI agents figuring out how to approach the 2017 interview with Flynn.
“What’s our goal? Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?” a handwritten note reads. “If we get him to admit to breaking the Logan Act, give facts to DOJ & have them decide. Or, if he initially lies, then we present him [redacted] & he admits it, document for DOJ, & let them decide how to address it.”
“If we’re seen as playing games, WH will be furious,” it continues. “Protect our institution by not playing games.”
The acting United States attorney in Washington, Timothy Shea, indirectly referenced the new evidence in his motion to dismiss the charges.
Agents’ questioning “was untethered to, and unjustified by, the F.B.I.’s counterintelligence investigation into Mr. Flynn,” Shea wrote. “The government is not persuaded that the Jan. 24, 2017, interview was conducted with a legitimate investigative basis and therefore does not believe Mr. Flynn’s statements were material even if untrue,” meaning Flynn’s lies were irrelevant to the overall Russia investigation.
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