Why the Justice Department Dropped the Michael Flynn Case

Yeah, our utterly corrupt Justice Department just dropped the Michael Flynn case.

The Justice Department moved Thursday to drop charges against former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts during the presidential transition.

The unraveling of Flynn’s guilty plea marked a stunning reversal by the Justice Department in the case of the former three-star Army general, who was convicted in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

In court documents filed Thursday, the Justice Department said “after a considered review of all the facts and circumstances of this case, including newly discovered and disclosed information… the government has 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 on January 24, 2017 was “conducted without any legitimate investigative basis.”

I guess we should have seen this coming. Lying scumbag and faux attorney general William Barr has been making noises about how the entire investigation into Russian interference of the 2016 election was just a witch hunt perpetrated by “deep state” operatives opposed to Donald Trump. Well, he didn’t say that exactly, but he was hinting at it loudly.

Barr has been investigating the Russian investigation for nearly a year now, at Donald Trump’s request. This is from May 24, 2019:

President Trump has handed Attorney General William Barr the keys to the vault.

Trump has authorized Barr to “declassify, downgrade, or direct the declassification or downgrading of information or intelligence” related to the origins of the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, according to an official order.

The White House says that will mean he can be freer to reveal wrongdoing if he finds it. Democrats call it a bid to scare up political “weapons.”

The memo signaled how much Trump wants Barr to not only go ahead with the efforts he has discussed to review the early period of the inquiry — and officials’ use of the law and their investigative powers — but to also get what Barr uncovers out into the open quickly.

The argument has been that the entire Russian interference investigation was not lawful because whatever warrants or authorities being used to conduct it were obtained under false pretenses. The Steele dossier gets dragged into this part of the claim a lot.

Apparently Barr wasn’t finding anything resembling a smoking gun. Then a few days ago some new FBI documents breathed some life into the conspiracy theories. Quinta Jurecic and Benjamin Wittes wrote at Lawfare a week ago:

Why the sudden interest in the Golden Oldies of the Trump scandals? The reason is the release of some documents from inside the FBI dealing with Flynn’s original interview by agents from the bureau, back from the period when the Trump administration was just coming into power. Flynn’s sentencing on his guilty plea for lying in that interview has been serially delayed. According to some commentators, the documents supposedly show that he was somehow set up, framed or entrapped. A lot of people seem to be expecting his sudden vindication. And a lot more people, some of whom should know better, seem remarkably credulous of Flynn’s new claims.

They should take a deep breath.

The president may well pardon Flynn, as he has long hinted. It’s possible—though for reasons we’ll explain, we think unlikely—that Judge Emmet G. Sullivan will allow Flynn to withdraw his plea. And it’s possible as well that Attorney General William Barr, who has already intervened in the case once before and has asked a U.S. attorney to review its handling, will intervene once again on Flynn’s behalf.

So far, however, nothing has emerged that remotely clears Flynn; nothing has emerged that would require Sullivan to allow him to withdraw his plea; and nothing has emerged that would justify the Justice Department’s backing off of the case—or prosecuting it aggressively if Flynn were somehow allowed out of the very generous deal Special Counsel Robert Mueller cut him.

Jurecic and Wittes go into detail about things going on with Flynn and FBI documents and whatnot that I’m still digesting myself.  Lots of names that will be familiar from the days of the Mueller Report come up. Although there’s not much to the newly released documents, my guess is that Barr is dropping the case to give the appearance that this is some significant new evidence showing that the entire Russian interference story was a hoax.

See also Trump says new FBI notes exonerate Michael Flynn, analysts say that’s not the case.

I’m sure there will be more commentary on this as the day goes on.

4 thoughts on “Why the Justice Department Dropped the Michael Flynn Case

  1. Mourning in America, a play on Reagan’s “Morning in America”. This was put up by George Conway’s Lincoln Project and drove Tweeto crazy (many late night tweets). I think it’s why Trump has been babbling about Lincoln.

  2. What the hell does US AG John Mitchell think he's doi..


    Oh, sorry.  I had a flashback that took me back my youth, and another blindly loyal and corrupt AG who lied, cheated, stole, and covered-up for a half-mad, corrupt Authoritarian wannabe POTUS!    

    Bill (Dis)Barr is another cancer in "our" government.  He's a jumbo cluster conjoined to the fascist metastatic melanoma that is our POTUS.  (Dis)Barr's setting the Justice Department back 50 years!

    OT, but relevant:  If anyone's thinking that voting by mail is the cure for voter suppression this year, maybe think again!

    tRUMP has put in as Postmaster General an apparatchik named Louis DeJoy (No Joy at all in this sycophantic asshat!), a prominent NC Republican contributor, whose wife was Ambassador to Estonia under Dumbaya, and was nominated by tRUMP to be the next Ambassador to Canada. 

    He's taking the place of Megan Brennan, who had planned to retire in… wait for it…  wait… wait…  OCTOBER!!!

    I guess tRUMP and NoJoy have decided not to wait until then October, but to get a head start on telling mail delivery personnel to quietly dispose of any ballots mailed from Democratic-leaning districts.




  3. Me again.

    I'm watching Rachel's show, and a thought occurred to me (check for a Blue Moon, folks):

    The true genius of the tRUMP maladministration is simple:  They load a Gatling Gun full of scandals, and then rapidly fire all barrels, all day, every day.

    The Dumbaya & Dick maladministration was the prior record holder for the frequency of their scandals.

    But tRUMP's makes that corrupt bunch look like pikers! 

    I won't list all of the scandalous and corrupt bullshit today, but take a look at a list of them tomorrow, in retrospect.

    By slamming us with daily atrocities, they assure that the non-corrupt news outlets can't spend time investigating any one atrocity, let alone putting the info into a form that viewers/readers can understand.

    Genius.  Evil, but genius!

  4. What will history books say about the legitimacy of Trumps election?  Will there be a cloud of doubt large enough that Russian influence will be discounted in tilting election results and coordination between Trump and Putin forever buried?  It seems Trumps obsession with this matter is having the results he desires.  

    It does not take but a small journey into military history, according to military manuals on that subject, that history is open to bias.  Those who get to write history are the winners, as is commonly said.  In this case those who get to bias history usually have an agenda. 

    Is it not amazing that historical facts such as the existence of the holocaust are disputed in some circles?  The history was written and well documented by the victors.  Still, holocaust deniers persist, and no wooden stake can be found to quash their zombie ideas.  It is fairly easy to see the agenda of the deniers here.  One has to wonder what holocaust history would be like if Hitler would have prevailed.  Let us hope American history will have no permanent Trumpian distortions.  It looks, unfortunately, as if that hope is rapidly fading.  Another reason Trump must not be reelected, as if we need more. 

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