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Former national security adviser Michael Flynn reacted to the news that the Justice Department has moved to drop its case against him by tweeting a video of his grandson reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
“And JUSTICE for ALL,” Flynn tweeted.
Flynn pleaded guilty of lying to the FBI in late 2017, but the DOJ announced plans to drop the case Thursday after internal memos were released and raised serious questions about the nature of the investigation.
“After a considered review of all the facts and circumstances of this case, including newly discovered and disclosed information,” as the department put it, DOJ officials said they 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 was “conducted without any legitimate investigative basis,” the DOJ filing said.
The federal judge overseeing the case still would have to make the final determination to dismiss it.
The retired Army lieutenant general for months has been trying to withdraw his plea, aided by a new attorney aggressively challenging the prosecution’s case and conduct. But, the case has been plodding through the court system with no resolution ever since his original plea, even amid speculation about whether President Trump himself could extend a pardon.
Earlier Thursday, the top prosecutor on the case, Brandon Van Grack, abruptly withdrew from the case, without explanation, in a brief filing with the court.
Documents unsealed a week ago revealed agents discussed their motivations for interviewing him in the Russia probe – questioning whether they wanted to “get him to lie” so he’d be fired or prosecuted, or get him to admit wrongdoing.
The latest DOJ filing noted Flynn’s false statement plea pertained to a crime that required a statement “to be not simply false, but ‘materially’ false with respect to a matter under investigation.” The filing showed that the government “is not persuaded that the January 24, 2017 interview was conducted with a legitimate investigative basis and therefore does not believe Mr. Flynn’s statements were material even if untrue.”
Trump critics immediately decried the decision Thursday.
Former FBI Director James Comey tweeted: “The DOJ has lost its way.”
House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler called the decision “outrageous.” “A politicized and thoroughly corrupt Department of Justice is going to let the president’s crony simply walk away,” said Nadler.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D.-Calif., tweeted that the decision to drop the case “incriminates” Attorney General William Barr.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.