How the Trump Justice Department overturned and dropped its case against Michael Flynn

How the Trump Justice Department overturned and dropped its case against Michael Flynn
How the Trump Justice Department overturned and dropped its case against Michael Flynn

The Justice Department did not drop its case Thursday against former President Donald Trump's national security adviser Michael Flynn. He reversed course on several key points about the case and left years of legal arguments presented by special counsel Robert Muller and career prosecutors.

After leaving those positions, political appointees in the Department of Justice offered new justifications for withdrawing the case. The end result is closely associated with Trump's opinion; The president has repeatedly said that Flynn did nothing wrong and was misbehaved by the FBI.

The Justice Department announced the bomb in a court filing signed by United States Attorney Timothy Shea in Washington, DC. Attorney General William Burr appointed Xi for the year after the departure of his predecessor, Jesse Liu. CNN reported that Liu was marginalized because Trump was unhappy with dealing with politically sensitive matters.

The Department of Justice attributed several of its reversals to the "newly discovered" information that emerged during a bar-ruled review of the case. After some material surfaced last week, Trump took advantage of the development, tweeting about Flynn dozens of times, and publicly stated that Flynn deserved to be exaggerated.

Here are the main ways the Department of Justice changed its views on Flynn:

Why did the FBI investigate Flynn?

The FBI was investigating Flynn's communications with Russian government officials as part of a broader investigation into relations between the Trump presidential campaign and the Russians. The general investigation was launched in July 2016 and eventually became the Muller investigation.

The then FBI director James Comey first told Congress that he sent agents to question Flynn "to find out if there was anything we were missing about his relationship with the Russians." The FBI was prepared to close its complicity investigation into Flynn, but then Trump's top officials began spreading false information in television interviews about Flynn's contacts with Russia.

Justice Department lawyers previously said the "sanctions issue," which Flynn discussed with the Russian ambassador, "was the heart of the FBI's retaliatory investigation." In his phone call, Flynn urged the Russians not to retaliate against the new US sanctions imposed by then President Barack Obama as a punishment for Russian interference in the 2016 election.

What the Justice Department says now:

In Thursday's new filing, the Justice Department says that Flynn's investigation no longer had a warrant when Comey sent FBI agents to interview him on January 24, 2017.

"After a review of all the facts and circumstances of this case, including recently discovered and disclosed information ... the government has concluded that Mr. Flynn's interview was not tied to or warranted by the FBI's counterclaim investigation. Mr. Flynn, "the department wrote in its formal request to dismiss the criminal case.

After Flynn was fired by Trump, he repeatedly defended his former ally, saying that Flynn was "doing his job" by talking to the Russians.

For the first time in Flynn's legal case, the Justice Department agreed with that approach, which says in Thursday's filing that "the calls on his face were completely justified." Barr told CBS News in an interview that Flynn's call was "praiseworthy".

Did Flynn lie to the FBI about Russia?

According to documents filed in court in the past, Flynn lied at least four during his interview with the FBI.

He accepted a plea agreement in December 2017 and accused him of lying. (As part of their cooperative agreement, Flynn also admitted other illegal conduct in relation to his lobbying for Turkey.)

Flynn said under oath that he was guilty of lying to the FBI. He made this affidavit in 2017 and again in 2018, before two federal judges who handled various parts of his case.

Federal Judge Emmett Sullivan, who is currently overseeing the case, previously stated that Flynn's lie was "material" or relevant to the Russia investigation. Materiality is one of the major elements of the crime: prosecutors must demonstrate that the lie was relevant to the investigation.

What the Justice Department says now:

The Department of Justice now states that Flynn was not materialized to investigate the lies, and he may not have been lying at first. Among other things, the presentation quoted comments from FBI agents who interviewed him, who later said they were unsure whether Flynn actually lied.

"The government believes Mr. Flynn's statements were not material, even if they were not true," the presentation says, reversing its position since 2017. "We do not believe the government can prove relevant false statements or its materiality beyond a reasonable doubt."

Did the FBI catch Flynn?

Trump, Flynn's lawyers, and his colleagues in the right-wing media have fueled a conspiracy that Flynn was caught by anti-Trump supporters within the FBI and Justice Department, who tricked him into lying because he wanted to put him inside. Jail and weaken Trump.

Flynn testified in 2018 that she knew that lying during the interview was a crime, that she did not believe her rights had been violated, and that she did not want to question the circumstances of the interview.

But Flynn changed course last year, hired new lawyers and tried to withdraw his guilty plea. Sometimes, relying on conspiracy theories, he said investigators "suppressed the evidence" and that "they practically bankrupted him and put his entire family under unimaginable stress."

Justice Department lawyers defended the way the interview was handled, noting that FBI agents gave Flynn "many opportunities" to correct his lies. The judge ruled that there was no secret government conspiracy against Flynn and that "the record proves" that Flynn was not ambushed.

What the Justice Department says now:

His position now aligns more with the vision of the Trump case.

He added, "The fragile and changing justification for Mr. Flynn's ongoing investigation, as well as the irregular process preceding his interview, suggests that the FBI was eager to interview Mr. Flynn regardless of any underlying investigation, "He said on Thursday. Justice Department.

The new filing also states that FBI agents did not warn Flynn against lying, although this is not mandatory. He also said that Flynn was prohibited from bringing in a lawyer, which raises serious questions, but often happens when people are questioned by the police.

In an interview with CBS News, Barr said Thursday that he believed the FBI held the 2017 Flynn investigation "for the express purpose of trying to survive, setting a dangerous trap for General Flynn." "

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