Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has been exonerated in a stunning turn of events on Thursday, May 7, when the Department of Justice dropped its case against retired Lt. Gen. Flynn.
Earlier in the day, Brandon Van Grack one of the lead prosecutors in the case against the retired general abruptly withdrew from the case, offering no explanation.
Flynn had entered a guilty plea on Dec. 1, 2017, to making false statements to the FBI during an interview on Jan. 24, 2017.
For months Flynn has been trying to withdraw his plea, assisted by a new attorney who aggressively challenged the prosecution’s case and conduct.
The FBI turned over a Jan. 4, 2017, memo which recommended closing a counterintelligence investigation into whether Flynn was working as a Russian agent. Peter Strzok, the deputy chief of counterintelligence, intervened to keep the case open, reported BPR. Flynn’s lawyers were also given a handwritten note by prosecutors from Jan. 24, 2017, in which Bill Priestap the FBI’s former head of counterintelligence, inquired if the aim of an interview with Flynn was to get him to lie to the FBI.
Thursday’s new court filing announced, “After a considered review of all the facts and circumstances of this case, including newly discovered and disclosed information,” as the department put it, DOJ officials said they concluded that Flynn’s interview by the FBI was “untethered to, and unjustified by, the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into Mr. Flynn” and that the interview was “conducted without any legitimate investigative basis.”
The decision was made after the Justice Department discovered FBI documents that proved to be evidence investigators had laid a perjury trap for Flynn. In 2017, Flynn had pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI during an interview.
Flynn defended his guilty plea in January 2020, admitting he hadn’t lied and entered a guilty plea after prosecutors had used threats to prosecute his son. Flynn said he regretted his guilty plea.
Late on Thursday, Flynn tweeted a video of his grandson reciting The Pledge of Allegiance, along with the message, “and JUSTICE for ALL.”
My grandson Travis…“and JUSTICE for ALL” ⚖️❤️🙏🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/IuOGugjOC3
— General Flynn (@GenFlynn) May 7, 2020
Last week Jeff Jensen, the U.S. attorney involved in reviewing Flynn’s case made the recommendation to Attorney General William Barr that the case be dropped, formalizing his recommendation this week. “Through the course of my review of General Flynn’s case, I concluded the proper and just course was to dismiss the case,” Jensen said in a statement. “I briefed Attorney General Barr on my findings, advised him on these conclusions, and he agreed,” reports Fox News.
President Trump’s reaction came swiftly from the Oval Office just minutes after the DOJ filing was announced. “He was an innocent man … Now, in my book, he’s an even greater warrior,” Trump said while criticizing Obama administration officials. “They’re human scum. … It’s treason.”
The federal judge overseeing the case would have to make the final determination to dismiss it.