The Justice Department said Thursday that it is dismissing the criminal case against President Donald Trump’s national security adviser Michael Flynn, filing the criminal case that became the stone in the shoe for the president and his supporters in the investigation of the FBI on the so-called “Russian plot”.
Upon learning of the Justice Department’s decision, the president said he was happy for Flynn. “He was an innocent man. Now in my book he is an even greater warrior,” he emphasized.
Trump insisted that Flynn was “targeted” by the Obama Administration to try to “overthrow a president.” He said “a great price must be paid” for doing that. The president affirmed that it is “more” than dishonest: “it is treason”. He was later asked if he would contact General Flynn and the President said, “I will” at the “appropriate time.” He added: “I think he is a hero.”
The Justice Department measure is a surprising twist to one of the distinctive cases filed by special counsel Robert Mueller. It comes despite the fact that prosecutors for the past three years had maintained that Flynn had lied to the FBI about his conversations with the Russian ambassador in a January 2017 interview.
Flynn himself admitted it and became a key cooperator for Mueller while investigating ties between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign.
In court documents filed Thursday, the Justice Department said it is withdrawing the case “after a considered review of all the facts and circumstances, including the newly discovered and disclosed information.” The documents were obtained by The Associated Press.
The Justice Department said it had concluded that the FBI’s interview with Flynn was “unwarranted by the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation of Mr. Flynn” and that the January 24, 2017 interview was conducted “without any basis for legitimate investigation. “
Trump would accept it
Last week Trump assured that he would have Flynn in his government again, who was awaiting sentencing for lying to the FBI, a crime of which he pleaded guilty.
Asked by journalists about the possibility of reinstating his former adviser, Trump replied: “I would certainly consider it, yes I would.”
“I think,” he added, “that he is a great man. I think what they did to him is terrible. What happened to General Flynn should never have happened to a citizen of this country.”
Flynn was forced to resign days after arriving at the White House after leaking that he had spoken to then-Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak about the sanctions of then-President Barack Obama against Moscow for alleged electoral interference. .
In late 2017, Flynn admitted to Justice that he had lied to the FBI Bureau about those contacts with Moscow and began to collaborate with prosecutors investigating the Russian plot under the orders of Robert Mueller.
However, months later, the former adviser stopped collaborating with investigators and accuses the government of cheating on him. Trump had always been open to pardoning Flynn if he had been convicted, although last Wednesday he opined that Justice will “exonerate” him and that there is no need to ask for forgiveness.
Flynn’s case returned to the covers last week as internal FBI documents related to the investigation were released, which according to his lawyers showed that there was misconduct by the Bureau; some documents that Trump also echoed.
Flynn should have been sentenced last February, but the hearing was suspended indefinitely until now that the case was dismissed.