Storm accumulates around Barr following the Flynn crash

Storm accumulates around Barr following the Flynn crash
Storm accumulates around Barr following the Flynn crash

Democrats and other critics take advantage of the DOJ's decision to close the case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn, saying it shows how politicized she became under the Attorney General William Barr.

Anger over Justice's extraordinary decision to drop the charges, even after a guilty plea was obtained, created a new political storm around Barr, who had previously angered Democrats for his management of the law. investigation of the ex. special advisor Robert Mueller.

Barr's latest surprise decision makes him even more of a political lightning rod in Washington.

"The politicization of justice by Attorney General Barr is limitless," spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi (California Democrat) said on Thursday evening.

Critics see abrupt change in Flynn case as another example of Barr's desire to circumvent the rules of justice to appease Trump, who criticized the case against his former national security adviser during the investigation Mueller.

"The overtaking of the special council is unprecedented and does not respect the rule of law," Pelosi said in repeated statements by other Democrats.

Trump, for his part, welcomed the move and called Barr "a man of incredible credibility and courage."

Flynn pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to federal agents about conversations he had with a Russian diplomat during the presidential transition. But earlier this year, he decided to withdraw his guilty plea, saying his case had been marred by "bad faith, revenge and breach of the agreement".

According to Trump and Flynn's allies, the recently discovered FBI documents provide a behind-the-scenes look at how his prosecutions revealed angry Conservatives and bolstered the record that he had been wrongfully prosecuted.

But it was surprising to many that Justice dropped his charges against Flynn.

In a court case, attorneys for the Department of Justice argued that the new documents showed that the agents had mishandled the investigation and had private doubts as to whether Flynn had actually lied during his interview.

Barr called the dismissal an "easy decision".

"I wanted to make sure I restored confidence in the system," he told CBS News on Thursday. "There is only one standard of justice. And I believe that in this case, this justice demands that the charges against General Flynn be dismissed."

Barr argued that Trump does not influence his decisions as attorney general, but critics are skeptical.

Eyebrows rose when career attorney Brandon Van Grack, who had helped get Flynn's plea agreement, abruptly pulled out of the case less than an hour before the charges were dropped. He also reportedly withdrew from other business, but did not resign.

He quickly compared the decision of prosecutors in the case against Trump's political ally, Roger Stone, to withdraw from the case, after senior Justice Department officials canceled career prosecutors and asked for a barely lighter. against Stone.

"I think we have lost 50 years of ground to solidify the independence of the justice ministry after the Watergate," MSNBC chairman of the House of Representatives' intelligence committee Adam Schiff, D-California, said on Thursday evening. ). "The common denominator between these two cases, Roger Stone and Mike Flynn, is as follows: the two men lied on behalf of the president."

Former federal prosecutors have widely criticized the decision to drop the case against Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about his contacts with Russian officials.

Elie Honig, a legal analyst and former federal prosecutor in New York who criticized Barr, said that Justice was wrong to say that the FBI interview with Flynn was not warranted. He argued that the office had "wide bases" to speak to Flynn based on the information it had when communicating with the Russian ambassador.

He also questioned the claim that documents released last week showed that Flynn was the victim of procedural misconduct, saying that the notes showed what would be a routine discussion between the police about an interview.

"If you don't strategize this way, you're not doing your job," said Honig. "There is nothing outrageous about this."

Barr's critics focused on Trump's public comments to forgive Flynn, claiming that Barr had essentially taken this step for him.

House of Representatives Judge Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler (D-New York) promised to ask the Department's Inspector General to investigate the matter and asked Barr to testify about his Flynn decision as soon as possible.

But we don't know when it will happen. A hearing with the Attorney General was postponed during the coronavirus pandemic, and the House has no immediate plans to return to the Capitol.

It is also unclear what steps the Democrats could actually take to verify Barr's actions. While Democrats may try to despise Barr if he refuses to honor his demands, there has been mixed success on this path in the past.

During the Obama Administration, the House of Representatives cited Attorney General Eric Holder for contempt for failing to provide documents related to the Justice Department's mismanagement of the "Fast and Furious" gun-finding operation . Shortly after, the White House and Justice Department said it was not going to lay criminal charges against Holder because of contempt of Congress.

The House, then chaired by Republicans, filed a lawsuit that led to a year-long legal battle over the issues in which President Barack Obama had claimed executive privilege, and finally resolved last year that the two parties reached an agreement and agreed to withdraw their appeals. .

The act of formally dismissing Flynn's criminal case is now the responsibility of federal district judge Emmet Sullivan, a person appointed by Clinton who has presided over federal proceedings since the end of 2017.

Legal analysts say the judge has several likely options: he could either grant the Department of Justice's dismissal motion with little fanfare, or give him broader treatment with a written opinion or a hearing.

However, if Sullivan made an unorthodox decision, he would not be the first. In 2009, the judge dismissed an ethics conviction against former senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and appointed a special advocate to investigate the prosecutor's misconduct.

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