Friday, May 8, 2020

Make no bones about it, Attorney General Barr "pardoned" Trump ally Michael Flynn

Make no bones abut it, U.S. Attorney General William Barr "pardoned" Micheal Flynn for the President, although he has absolutely no Constitutional authority, or any other type of authority, to so act. Barr’s move to abandon the Flynn prosecution after he had twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI was widely lambasted as a partisan decision benefiting an ally of President Trump and one that would further erode public confidence in the institution of the U.S. Justice Department, reported the National Law Journal.
The Flynn prosecution in Washington’s federal trial court had long been a rallying flashpoint for conservatives who argued the case was an example of prosecutorial overreach, despite that Flynn had admitted to misconduct and agreed to cooperate with Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Barr, speaking with CBS News on Thursday, disputed the notion he was doing the bidding of Trump—who had regularly assailed the Flynn case and championed his disgraced former national security adviser as a hero—when the Justice Department said it was moving to drop the prosecution with prejudice. “No, I’m doing the law’s bidding,” Barr insisted.
Flynn’s lawyer, Sidney Powell, called the Justice Department’s decision “a victory for truth, justice, the president, and millions of Americans who want the rule of law restored across the land.”
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan now will weigh the Justice Department’s motion to dismiss the Flynn case. U.S. Attorney Timothy Shea argued Thursday there was no basis for the FBI to interview Flynn in 2017 in the first place, and therefore his statements about his conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak were not material. Sullivan could decide to hold a hearing about the government’s push to drop the case, or the judge could enter an order quickly ending the prosecution.
A career prosecutor assigned to the Flynn case, Brandon Van Grack, withdrew from the case shortly before Shea filed papers to end it. Van Grack has not commented publicly about his decision, which mirrored the moves by career lawyers who quit the Roger Stone case after Barr intervened to argue for a lighter prison sentence for the Trump confidante.
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