Washington, D.C. (PPD) — The U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) dropped its case against former National Security Adviser Lt. General Michael Flynn. The development comes after “newly discovered and disclosed information” in the form of newly unsealed documents of internal memos.
The evidence raised serious questions about the nature of the investigation, which began at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and inevitably led to the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen recommended dropping the case after review. A federal judge will have to sign off, but events are moving quickly.
“Through the course of my review of General Flynn’s case, I concluded the proper and just course was to dismiss the case,” Mr. Jensen stated. “I briefed Attorney General Barr on my findings, advised him on these conclusions, and he agreed.”
The two trances of documents totaling 15 pages were unsealed by U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan. The first four unsealed pages contained clear evidence the investigation and prosecution — code name “Crossfire Razor” — was a setup for a perjury trap.
The documents — inappropriately withheld from the defense — contained handwritten notes. While not initially revealed, multiple sources now identify the note-taker as Bill Priestap, then-Assistant Director of the Counterintelligence Division. Those notes state agents investigating Lt. Gen. Flynn aimed “to get him to lie so we can prosecute him or get him fired.”
On January 24, 2017, federal agents interviewed Lt. General Flynn under false pretenses and without counsel about a conversation he had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. At the time of the conversation, Lt. General Flynn was the top foreign policy adviser to then-President-elect Donald Trump.
The note-taker wrote that one objective of the interview was to “get [Flynn] to admit breaking the Logan Act,” a 1799 law widely viewed as unconstitutional.
The law intends to prohibit private citizens from speaking with foreign governments about official U.S. policy. It has never been successfully used in a prosecution against anyone, ever.
“I have been a criminal defense attorney for decades. I have seen abusive tactics. However this is one of the most thuggish records I have seen,” famed liberal attorney Jonathan Turley said after reviewing the documents. “Most concerning is that they were trying to create a crime, not investigating a crime.”
“The use of Logan only highlights that bias.”
The agents who conducted the interview initially stated they believed he told them the truth. However, Special Counsel Robert Mueller still charged Lt. General Flynn with “willfully and knowingly” making false statements to federal investigators in late 2017.
Newly unsealed documents contain text messages that refer to the original FBI 302 interview, which was never turned over to the defense. In those text messages, former FBI attorney Lisa Page and FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok discuss the interview conducted at the White House.
They even insinuate the document was altered. In sum, the evidence also provides the most clearest evidence the Russia investigation was a persecution aimed at the president.
An email from Mr. Strzok to Mr. Priestap dated January 21, 2017, which was sent only days before the ambush interview with Lt. General Flynn, details how a defensive briefing for an incoming president was used to spy on the advisor and members of the campaign.
Disgraced and fired former FBI director James Comey would later brag about using a defense briefing to spy on the incoming president’s team during an interview on December 9, 2018.
Special Prosecutor Mueller and his team — composed of Democrats and Democratic supporters with a long history of prosecutorial misconduct — leaned on Lt. General Flynn to accept a plea deal. That included threatening his son with prosecution.
Brandon Van Grack — who was hired by Mr. Mueller, threatened his son and withheld evidence — was removed from the case.
In December 2017, Lt. General Flynn was forced to put his home in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia located just outside Washington D.C. According to Zillow, the townhouse sold for $819,995 in September 2018, far below the asking price of $895,000 and insufficient to pay mounting legal bills.
Covington & Burling, the law firm who initially defended Lt. Gen. Flynn, was paid roughly $3.5 million. Last year, it was reported that he had more than $4.6 million in unpaid legal bills at that time.
Lt. Gen. Flynn, the former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) under Barack Obama, hired Sidney Powell and withdrew his initial plea. Ms. Powell is a defense lawyer known for fighting corruption and prosecutorial misconduct at the DOJ.
“The Obama Justice Department did some very bad things. They got caught,” President Trump said in response. “It’s a disgrace. It’s treason.”
In May, Attorney General William Barr assigned U.S. Attorney John H. Durham in Connecticut to investigate the origins of and potential wrongdoings in the Russia probe.
In October, he expanded that investigation from the genesis of the probe through the election, the post-election timeline through the spring of 2017, up to when Robert Mueller was appointed Special Counsel by then-Acting Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
On April 9, Attorney General Barr said in an interview with Laura Ingraham on Fox News that the evidence shows “we’re not just dealing with mistakes and sloppiness,” adding it was a travesty of historic proportions intended to sabotage the presidency.