House Democrats reacted furiously to the Department of Justice (DOJ) dropping its criminal case against retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn on Thursday, May 7.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) slammed the DOJ’s move, accusing Attorney General William Barr of trying to “cover up” for President Donald Trump.
“Attorney General Barr’s politicization of justice knows no bounds,” Pelosi said in a statement.
“Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators in the face of overwhelming evidence—but now, Attorney General Barr’s Justice Department is dropping the case to continue to cover up for the president,” she added.
In December 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty in making false statements to the FBI in the Russia probe, but eventually withdrew his plea, citing “bad faith” by the government.
On Thursday, the Justice Department moved to drop Flynn’s case after internal memos were released raising serious questions about the nature of the investigation that led to Flynn’s guilty plea of lying to the FBI.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) called the move “outrageous,” pledging to summon Barr to the Capitol.
“This is outrageous! Flynn PLEADED GUILTY to lying to investigators,” Nadler tweeted. “The evidence against him is overwhelming. Now, a politicized DOJ is dropping the case.”
“The decision to overrule the special counsel is without precedent and warrants an immediate explanation,” he added.
This is outrageous!
Flynn PLEADED GUILTY to lying to investigators. The evidence against him is overwhelming. Now, a politicized DOJ is dropping the case.
The decision to overrule the special counsel is without precedent and warrants an immediate explanation.
— (((Rep. Nadler))) (@RepJerryNadler) May 7, 2020
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) joined his fellow Democrats to criticize Barr, claiming the DOJ’s decision does not exonerate Flynn, but rather incriminates Barr.
“Flynn pled guilty to lying to the FBI about his illicit Russian contacts. His lies do not now become truths,” Schiff wrote on Twitter. “This dismissal does not exonerate him. But it does incriminate Bill Barr.”
“In the worst politicization of the Justice Department in its history,” Schiff added.
Flynn pled guilty to lying to the FBI about his illicit Russian contacts.
His lies do not now become truths.
This dismissal does not exonerate him.
But it does incriminate Bill Barr.
In the worst politicization of the Justice Department in its history.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) May 7, 2020
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called on Barr to resign over the DOJ’s decision, saying, “William Barr is not the President’s lawyer—he is the country’s lawyer. His political interference is blatantly corrupt.”
William Barr is not the President’s lawyer – he is the country’s lawyer. His political interference is blatantly corrupt and he should resign.
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) May 7, 2020
Speaking to CBS News, Barr defended the DOJ’s decision to drop the charges against Flynn, stressing that he was “doing the law’s bidding.”
“A crime cannot be established here. They did not have a basis for a counterintelligence investigation against Flynn at that stage,” Barr said in reference to the FBI.
Barr added that he is “prepared” to face backlash from Democrats.
“I also think it’s sad that nowadays these partisan feelings are so strong that people have lost any sense of justice,” he said. “And the groups that usually worry about civil liberties and making sure that there’s proper procedures followed and standards set seem to be ignoring it and willing to destroy people’s lives and see great injustices done.”
#Flynn Speaking exclusively with the Attorney General on the decision to dismiss the case — Herridge: Are you doing the President’s bidding?
Barr: I am doing the law’s bidding. @CBSNews @ClareHymes22 https://t.co/HB9Z5oUiw9
— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) May 7, 2020