In an amazing departure from the Justice Department’s normal handling of criminal cases, the Donald Trump- selected management of the Justice Department on Thursday dropped charges against Michael Flynn, the former White House national security advisor who formerly pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia.
In a court filing, Trump- selected U.S. Lawyer Timothy Shea stated that even if Flynn lied about his contact with the Russian ambassador to the United States ahead of Trump’s 2017 inauguration, that Flynn’s lies were unimportant to the FBI’s counterintelligence probe into his interactions with Russia.
Shea composed that the FBI’s interview with Flynn was “untethered to, and unjustified by, the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation” into Flynn, which the DOJ “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.”
Shea composed that the FBI appeared “eager” to interview Flynn “irrespective of any underlying investigation” which the examination “seems to have been undertaken only to elicit those very false statements and thereby criminalize Mr. Flynn.”
The relocation followed an extended media campaign by Flynn’s lawyer Sidney Powell, who has actually railed against Robert Mueller’s unique counsel probe into Russian disturbance in the 2016 election.
Flynn, who formerly informed a federal judge that he had in reality lied to the FBI, had actually attempted to withdraw his guilty plea in current months.
So why would Flynn, a male of significant methods, plead guilty to a criminal activity he didn’t commit? “In the Government’s assessment,” Shea composed “he did so without full awareness of the circumstances of the newly discovered, disclosed, or declassified information as to the FBI’s investigation of him.”
The news came quickly after Brandon Van Grack, a former district attorney on the Mueller team whom the Justice Department in 2015 called to lead a system concentrated on foreign lobbying, stepped down from the Flynn case. The Associated Press first reported the news on Thursday.
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