In a new editorial, the NY Post Editorial Board argues the case against General Michael Flynn is in “full collapse.”
Fox News reports the Department of Justice backed down from seeking jail time Wednesday and made clear that prosecutors would accept mere probation in the case of former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn — a shift that comes as Flynn moves to withdraw his guilty plea leveraging accusations of government misconduct.
Just weeks ago, the DOJ said it would seek up to six months of prison time for the retired Army lieutenant general who spent just 24 days at his post in the Trump administration. Represented by an aggressive new attorney, Flynn days later had moved to withdraw his guilty plea for making false statements to two FBI agents in 2017 — statements that eventually wrapped him up in former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
“In truth, I never lied,” Flynn wrote in a new supplemental motion to withdraw his guilty plea filed Wednesday. “My guilty plea has rankled me throughout this process, and while I allowed myself to succumb to the threats from the government to save my family, I believe I was grossly misled about what really happened.”
Flynn also blamed his former lawyers for providing him with bad information that led him to plead guilty.
The NYPost Editorial board writes:
Here’s another black eye for the Justice Department’s Obama-era leadership: The case against Gen. Michael Flynn is in full collapse.
Federal prosecutors just backed down from their demand that Flynn — President Trump’s first, short-lived national security adviser — serve jail time for lying to FBI investigators, telling a court Wednesday that probation would be a “reasonable” sentence.
In fact, Justice had long wanted leniency, since Flynn cooperated fully with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigations. But last month it started seeking up to six months of confinement — mainly because he’s no longer taking responsibility for his crime.
“I am innocent,” he writes in a new filing, explaining that he pleaded guilty in 2017 to making false statements to the FBI because he felt helpless to fight the charges: He’d already had to sell his home to pay legal costs and was told his son could be indicted, too.
The “crime” came days after the inauguration, when FBI agents Peter Strzok and Joe Pientka questioned Flynn at the White House about his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
Yet the FBI had already reviewed transcripts of the calls and found nothing illicit. The visit was a fishing expedition: The agents even skipped the customary heads-up to the president’s Office of Legal Counsel — aiming to avoid having a lawyer present for the talk.
Even so, Strzok and Pientka wound up finding “no indication” that Flynn had lied to them. But then FBI lawyer Lisa Page (Strzok’s mistress at the time) instructed them to alter their official writeup of the conversation to say otherwise. And that’s the entire basis of the charges against him.
This wasn’t even the only abuse of power here: Before the inauguration, National Security Adviser Susan Rice ensured that the fact of Flynn’s conversations with Kislyak would leak to the media. Then holdover Justice official Sally Yates talked up ridiculous charges that he’d violated the never-enforced, and plainly irrelevant, Logan Act.
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