The Justice Department is dropping its case against former Army Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Michael Flynn, in an astounding victory for the former Trump national security adviser.
The Justice Department made the decision, laid out Thursday in court documents obtained by Breitbart News, “after a considered review of all the facts and circumstances of this case, including newly discovered and disclosed information.”
The DOJ said it had concluded that Flynn’s interview by two FBI agents in January 2017 that led to the one criminal charge of lying to investigators 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 comes after the DOJ submitted documents to Flynn’s defense team that showed that senior FBI officials discussed before interviewing Flynn whether the goal was to get him to admit to violating the obscure 1799 Logan Act, or get him to lie so that they could prosecute him or get him fired.
“What’s our goal? Truth/admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?” an FBI official scribbled in notes before the interview.
Flynn tweeted a picture of an American flag waving in the wind after the documents were released.
Flynn had previously pleaded guilty to the charge of lying to investigators, but later requested to withdraw that plea, indicating that he had only done so under pressure from prosecutors who threatened to go after his son, as well as financial pressures.
The decision was recommended by U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen, whom Attorney General William Barr appointed to review the FBI’s case against Flynn, the AP reported. The recommendation was formalized in a document 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 to the AP. “I briefed Attorney General Barr on my findings, advised him on these conclusions, and he agreed.”
The FBI was allegedly investigating Flynn for potentially violating the 1799 Logan Act, an obscure law prohibiting private citizens from conducting foreign policy. The law had never been prosecuted before.
However, former officials at the DOJ and FBI wanted to investigate Flynn for violating it after he had several phone calls with then-Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak in December 2016, after the election and as Flynn was incoming as national security adviser.
The Washington Post first reported that Flynn had discussed sanctions against Russia put into place by the Obama administration.
Flynn at first said he did not discuss the topic, and Vice President Mike Pence backed his claims. Later, Flynn said he could not be sure, and resigned from his position.
At the time, Democrats had begun ramping up their accusations that the Trump campaign had colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election.
Other recently released documents showed that just weeks before the January 2017 interview, the FBI was ready to drop their case into whether Flynn was a Russian agent but then allegedly became alarmed after Flynn publicly denied talking about sanctions with Kislyak.
Former Deputy Attorney Sally Yates has testified that she believed Flynn could be vulnerable to blackmail by the Russians, since the topic had come up and the Russians would know he was lying.
The FBI agents who interviewed Flynn, however, wrote in notes after the interview, that they did not detect that Flynn was lying or believed he was lying.
The case against Flynn was one of the “signature cases” brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, as noted by the AP.
Mueller would later find that there was no evidence of a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia.