DOJ drops prosecution of Michael Flynn in Major Victory for Trump

Per AP, the Justice Department on Thursday said it is dropping the criminal case against President Donald Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, abandoning a prosecution that became a rallying cry for the president and his supporters in attacking the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation.

Axios Reports the Justice Department moved Thursday to drop its prosecution of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in the Mueller investigation in 2017 to lying to FBI agents about his conversations with the former Russian ambassador.

Why it matters: The politically explosive decision follows accusations by Flynn’s attorneys and conservative media that prosecutors entrapped the former top Trump aide into lying. The case had become part of a broader campaign by the president and his allies to discredit the Russia investigation, which consumed the first two years of the Trump presidency.

The state of play: The Justice Department said in its filing, first reported by the AP, that it made its decision “after a considered review of all the facts and circumstances of this case, including newly discovered and disclosed information.”

  • It concluded that the interview in which Flynn lied to the FBI “was untethered to, and unjustified by, the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into Mr. Flynn” and “conducted without any legitimate investigative basis.”
  • In February, Attorney General Bill Barr appointed an outside prosecutor, U.S. attorney Jeff Jensen, to review the government’s prosecution of Flynn for evidence of prosecutorial misconduct.
  • Jensen said in a statement: “Through the course of my review of General Flynn’s case, I concluded the proper and just course was to dismiss the case. I briefed Attorney General Barr on my findings, advised him on these conclusions, and he agreed.”

The big picture: It’s a major victory for Trump, who has railed against the Flynn prosecutors and teased a pardon for his former national security adviser.

  • Last week, Trump said he would consider bringing Flynn back into the administration, calling him “essentially exonerated” after the revelation of new FBI documents that were released as part of Flynn’s effort to withdraw his guilty plea.