The Justice Department dropped its case against Michael Flynn on Thursday, citing “newly discovered” information from the investigation of the former national security adviser.
“Based on an extensive review and careful consideration of the circumstances, that continued prosecution of this case would not serve the interests of justice,” Timothy Shea, the U.S. attorney in Washington, D.C., said in a court filing.
Flynn pleaded guilty on Dec. 1, 2017, to making false statements to the FBI during an interview on Jan. 24, 2017 regarding his conversations a month earlier with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the U.S.
The investigation of Flynn stemmed from an FBI counterintelligence probe against the retired lieutenant general and several other advisers on the Trump campaign. But Shea cited an FBI memo recommending that the investigation of Flynn be closed on Jan. 4, 2017.
“The Government has concluded that the interview of Mr. Flynn was untethered to, and unjustified by, the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into Mr. Flynn — a no longer justifiably predicated investigation that the FBI had, in the Bureau’s own words, prepared to close because it had yielded an ‘absence of any derogatory information.’”
The Justice Department turned over that memo and other FBI documents to Flynn’s lawyers last week.
Prosecutors also provided Flynn’s lawyers with a handwritten note from Jan. 24, 2017, in which Bill Priestap asked whether the goal of a Flynn interview was to get him to lie to the FBI.
Flynn broke his silence in his case on Jan. 29, 2020, saying in a court filing that he did not lie to the FBI and that he “regret[s]” pleading guilty in his case. He said he entered the plea deal because prosecutors had threatened to prosecute his son.
Brandon Van Grack, a lead prosecutor on the Flynn case, withdrew from the case earlier on Thursday.
– CHUCK ROSS
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