Retired U.S. Army Gen. Mike Flynn filed a $50 million damage claim against the U.S. Department of Justice, Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the FBI and the office of former President Barack Obama for “malicious prosecution” in their Russia collusion investigations. The claim is a prelude to a possible further lawsuit.
In a civil claim form first reported by Just The News on Sunday, Flynn assessed $5 million in property damages and $45 million in personal injury as a result of a lengthy investigation and prosecution for allegedly lying to the FBI — a claim he has adamantly denied.
The filing states Flynn, who briefly served as a national security advisor to former President Donald Trump, is seeking damages for “lost past and future earnings/revenue, emotional distress, lost opportunity to be President’s National Security Advisor, significant restraints of personal liberty, attorney fees/expenses and court costs in defending against malicious prosecution, abuse of process, false arrest, et al. activities of FBI, DOJ, and the White House.”
Jesse Binnall, an attorney representing Flynn, told Just The News that the civil claim is a prelude to a formal lawsuit. Binnall said Flynn is prepared to sue the DOJ if his claim is rejected.
Flynn was charged with lying to the FBI about a conversation he had with a Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak. Flynn initially plead guilty but requested to withdraw his guilty plea after belated evidence emerged that supported Flynn’s innocence. In May of 2020, the Trump-era DOJ moved to drop the case, but the judge presiding over the case made the rare move to invite outside opinions on whether he should allow them to dismiss the case. Flynn’s legal team at the time argued courts asking for outside opinions, known as Amicus Curiae briefs, are common in civil cases but have no analog in federal criminal cases like Flynn and that the authority to prosecute such cases rests with the DOJ alone, not the judge or outside opinions.
Trump ultimately issued Flynn a full pardon in his case during his last few weeks in office, while Flynn’s case was still tied up in federal court.
Flynn’s lawsuit now argues that the prosecution should have never happened to begin with and was the product of a politically motivated investigation.
In a supplemental filing, Flynn’s team argued he first drew the ire of FBI leadership in 2014 after he intervened on behalf of counterterrorism official Robyn Gritz, who specifically named and accused then-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe and other top FBI officials of sexual discrimination. Gritz also accused McCabe of violating the Hatch Act by campaigning for his wife’s Virginia state senate race.
Flynn’s team further alleged McCabe and Obama’s administration disliked him for differences in political views. Flynn’s filing noted a report by the Associated Press shortly after the 2016 U.S. elections that said, “Of all the Trump’s choices, White House officials said it was the selection of Flynn that felt like the most devastating blow, given the immense authority the national security adviser has over matters of war and peace.” A 2016 American Enterprise Institute (AEI) blogpost further said the Obama administration disliked Flynn “because he warned them about the danger of Obama’s Iraq withdrawal and predicted rise of ISIS – and then, after leaving office, called Obama out for failing to heed that advice.”
Flynn’s team argued the Obama administration’s disdain for Flynn was so great “that they calculatingly, and with actual malice and corrupt motives, conspired to and did use the tremendous power of their positions in the Executive Office of the President (and their influence of the DOJ and FBI) to personally oppress and harm Flynn.”
Flynn’s team argued the out-going Obama administration’s efforts to harm Flynn were combined with a broader effort to undermine the incoming Trump administration.
Flynn’s team argues the effort to harm Flynn came to a head when FBI agents Peter Strzok and Joe Pientka interviewed Flynn in January of 2017 about a call he had with Kislyak. Flynn’s team alleged that though the two FBI agents’ notes showed they didn’t believe Flynn was lying during the interview, Special Counsel Robert Mueller ultimately charged Flynn with lying to the FBI in November of 2017.
“Flynn was falsely and maliciously painted by the conspirators as a
traitor to his nation who acted in concert with a foreign power, and the SCO even threatened Flynn’s son with prosecution unless Flynn were to plead guilty,” the filing reads.
Flynn did plead guilty to the lying charge, but his team argued the FBI hid their assessment that he wasn’t lying, as well as notes from an Oval Office meeting in which then-FBI Director James Comey said Flynn’s calls with Kislayk were “legit” and then-Vice President Joe Biden suggested using the Logan Act to prosecutor Flynn “despite the fact that the Logan Act has never been used to prosecute any individual in the United States since its enactment in the eighteenth century.”