The U.S. Department of Justice is dropping its case against former national security advisor and retired Army general Michael Flynn, according to new court documents on Thursday.
The DOJ filed new documents on Thursday to drop the case, “after a considered review of all the facts and circumstances of this case, including newly discovered and disclosed information.”
The DOJ further contended that Flynn’s Jan. 24, 2017 interview was “conducted without any legitimate investigative basis” and was “untethered to, and unjustified by, the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into Mr. Flynn.”
During a White House meeting with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Trump called Flynn “an innocent man,” according to Fox News. “Now in my book he’s an even greater warrior,” he added.
U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen, who reviewed the Flynn case, recommended that Attorney General Bill Barr dismiss the case last week.
“Through the course of my review of General Flynn’s case, I concluded the proper and just course was to dismiss the case,” Jensen said in a statement obtained by The Associated Press. “I briefed Attorney General Barr on my findings, advised him on these conclusions, and he agreed.”
The reports come just hours after DOJ prosecutor Brandon L. Van Grack filed documents to withdraw himself from the case. The withdrawal was sudden and no reason was given.
Flynn, 61, had pleaded guilty in federal court in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 1, 2017, for providing a false statement to the FBI about his contact with Moscow’s then-ambassador to the United States, Sergei Kislya, during President Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Flynn was an advisor on the Trump campaign.
Internal FBI notes unsealed last week suggest agents deliberated a “goal” of getting Flynn to lie during an interview that ultimately resulted in his firing from the White House and prosecuted by Robert Mueller’s special counsel team.
The notes, handwritten by the FBI’s former head of counterintelligence Bill Priestap after a meeting with then-FBI Director James Comey and then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, suggest the FBI wanted to draw Flynn into a lie if they couldn’t get him to admit to a violation of the Logan Act, which forbids U.S. citizens from conducting foreign diplomacy without authorization.
“What is our goal? Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?” said the note, which was shared on Twitter.
#FLYNN docs just unsealed, including handwritten notes 1/24/2017 day of Flynn FBI interview. Transcript: “What is our goal? Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?” Read transcript notes, copy original just filed. @CBSNews pic.twitter.com/8oqUok8i7m
— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) April 29, 2020
Last week, Trump tweeted, “What happened to General Michael Flynn, a war hero, should never be allowed to happen to a citizen of the United States again!”
What happened to General Michael Flynn, a war hero, should never be allowed to happen to a citizen of the United States again!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 30, 2020
Trump previously tweeted on March 15 that he was “strongly considering” pardoning Flynn.
He wrote: “So now it is reported that, after destroying his life & the life of his wonderful family (and many others also), the FBI, working in conjunction with the Justice Department, has ‘lost’ the records of General Michael Flynn. How convenient. I am strongly considering a Full Pardon!”
So now it is reported that, after destroying his life & the life of his wonderful family (and many others also), the FBI, working in conjunction with the Justice Department, has “lost” the records of General Michael Flynn. How convenient. I am strongly considering a Full Pardon!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 15, 2020