Friday, May 8, 2020

DOJ Moves to Drop Charges Against Michael Flynn ↦

Spencer S. Hsu, Devlin Barrett, and Matt Zapotosky reporting for The Washington Post:

The Justice Department moved Thursday to drop charges against President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn, a stunning reversal that prompted fresh accusations from law enforcement officials and Democrats that the criminal justice system was caving to political pressure from the administration.


Shortly before the Justice Department abandoned Flynn’s prosecution, the line prosecutor on the case, Brandon Van Grack, formally withdrew — just as the Stone prosecutors had.

In the new filing, Timothy Shea, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, wrote that “continued prosecution of this case would not serve the interests of justice,” but current and former law enforcement officials said the decision was a betrayal of long-standing Justice Department principles. Shea, who was tapped by Barr to lead the U.S. attorney’s office, was the only lawyer to sign the filing; no career attorneys affixed their names to it.

It’s quite telling that the motion to dismiss was signed by a political appointee and not by any of the career attorneys who had been working the case previously. This is obviously a political decision to appease President Trump and the lies about a “lack of a legitimate investigative basis for the interview of Mr. Flynn” are a particularly flimsy excuse.

Under Attorney General William Barr, the Department of Justice has abandoned the pursuit of impartial justice and has instead devolved into an extension of Trump’s misguided will.