End of Russiagate? DOJ drops case against Trump adviser Flynn that started ‘witch hunt’

Thursday - 07/05/2020 19:41
File photo of former national security adviser Michael Flynn © REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo
File photo of former national security adviser Michael Flynn © REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo
Charges against US President Donald Trump’s first national security adviser, General Michael Flynn, have been dropped due to new evidence showing they were baseless. Flynn was the first to be targeted in the ‘Russiagate’ probe.

 

The FBI’s interview of Flynn in January 2017 was “untethered to, and unjustified by, the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation” into the former head of military intelligence, and conducted “without any legitimate investigative basis,” the US Department of Justice said in a court filing on Thursday.

Attorney Jeffrey Jensen, who was charged by Attorney General William Barr to review the case, recommended this course of action in a document last week, the AP reported – presumably after Flynn’s attorneys made public FBI documents that unequivocally showed that the general had been targeted for entrapment by a group of Bureau officials who had privately discussed an “insurance policy” in case of a Trump victory.

Asked about the news on Thursday afternoon, Trump called Flynn “an innocent man.”

He also called the Obama administration holdovers in the FBI and the Justice Department who orchestrated Flynn's prosecution, “human scum” and their conduct “treason.”

“What they’ve done is a disgrace, and I hope a big price is going to be paid,” the president added.

It was disgraced agent Peter Strzok who intervened to keep Flynn’s case open, and who later interviewed Flynn and apparently heavily edited the notes from that interview, with the help of Bureau lawyer – and his extramarital partner – Lisa Page. The interview was ordered by then-FBI Director Jim Comey, by his own admission.

The news of the charges being dropped comes just hours after the DOJ notified US District Judge Emmet Sullivan that prosecutor Brandon Van Grack was withdrawing from the Flynn case – as well as others linked to the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into allegations that Trump’s campaign had “colluded” with Russia in the 2016 election.

More documents showed that Van Grack, Mueller’s handpicked prosecutor, apparently coerced Flynn into pleading guilty by threatening to indict his son, then allegedly conspired with Flynn’s attorneys to keep that secret. Flynn ultimately pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about the content of his conversations with Russian ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak, during the transition period between the election and Trump’s inauguration.

The former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency was the first feather in the cap of the 'resistance' to the Trump administration. Flynn was forced to resign less than a month into the job, after the Washington Post accused him of lying about his conversations with Kislyak, apparently based on FBI leaks. His prosecution has long been held up as proof there was something rotten within the Trump campaign, and the fact he pleaded guilty has been repeatedly used in political and media attacks on the administration, and even the impeachment hearings.

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