AG Bill Barr insists he is NOT doing Trump's bidding by dropping charges against Mike Flynn and says 'history is written by the winners' as the general posts pic of his grandson saying 'justice for all'

Attorney General Bill Barr said he doesn't know how history will judge him because 'history is written by the winners' hours after the Justice Department said Thursday it was dropping its criminal case against fired Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
Barr on Thursday defended the decision not to pursue charges against Flynn, who had pleaded guilty in court to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia's ambassador during the Trump transition.
The attorney general told CBS News that while Flynn did lie, the false statement was not 'material to a legitimate investigation.'
'It's on the question of materiality that we feel really that a crime cannot be established here because there was not, in our view, a legitimate investigation going on,' Barr said. 
'They did not have a basis for a counterintelligence investigation against Flynn at that stage, based on a perfectly legitimate and appropriate call he made as a member of the transition.'
Attorney General William Barr said on Thursday that he decided to dismiss the case against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn spoke to him about the change in posture, which Barr agreed with. He told CBS Evening News he was trying to ensure 'one standard of justice' but Democrats accused him of protecting Trump cronies
Michael Flynn
Attorney General William Barr (left) said on Thursday that he decided to dismiss the case against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn (right) because the lies he told the FBI were 'not material to a legitimate investigation'
Barr said that at the time Flynn pleaded guilty, he did not have information that has since come to light that 'has a bearing on whether there was a legitimate investigation.'
The attorney general said that FBI investigators 'essentially' entrapped Flynn so that he would lie.
The stunning turnaround drew immediate praise from Trump, who has long claimed Flynn was railroaded and had kept alive the possibility of a presidential pardon while attacking prosecutors he said were on a 'witch hunt.'
Flynn celebrated by tweeting a picture of his toddler grandson Travis reciting the pledge of allegiance with the words 'justice for all.'  
The Justice Department filed a motion to dismiss the charges with U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, who has presided over the case and has a reputation for fierce independence. 
Judges generally grant such motions, but Sullivan could demand answers from the department about its reversal or even deny the motion and sentence Flynn, a less likely scenario.
Sullivan at a 2018 hearing expressed 'disgust' and 'disdain' toward Flynn's criminal offense, saying: 'Arguably, you sold your country out.' 
On CBS Evening News Barr claimed that he wanted to uphold 'one standard of justice' and that he was not doing Donald Trump's bidding. 
FILE - In this July 10, 2018, file photo, former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn leaves the federal courthouse in Washington, following a status hearing. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
FILE - In this July 10, 2018, file photo, former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn leaves the federal courthouse in Washington, following a status hearing. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
'There's only one standard of justice. And I believe that this case, that justice in this case requires dismissing the charges against General Flynn,' he said.
'I'm doing the law's bidding. I'm doing my duty under the law, as I see it.' 
Donald Trump reacted in the Oval Office by saying Flynn 'was an innocent man.' 
'Now in my book he's an even greater warrior,' the president said. Trump said he would reach out to Flynn at the 'appropriate' time.   
'I think he's a hero. It's a scam. It was a scam and a hoax. I think he's a hero, the general,' Trump said. 
'I hope a lot of people are going to pay a big price because they're dishonest, crooked people. They're scum and I say it a lot, they're scum, they're human scum. This should never have happened in this country,' Trump inveighed after hearing the news.  
Trump cast the Flynn prosecution in terms of investigations of himself. 
'He is a great gentleman. He was targeted by the Obama administration and he was targeted in order to try and take down a president,' Trump said. 
He lashed out at the Obama administration over the prosecution, which was begun by career prosecutors before he took office and continues.
'The Obama administration Justice Department was a disgrace and they got caught. They got caught. Very dishonest people. But much more than - it's treason, it's treason,' Trump said. 
Celebration: The former three-star general marked the Justice Department move by posting a video of his grandson reciting the pledge of allegiance
Celebration: The former three-star general marked the Justice Department move by posting a video of his grandson reciting the pledge of allegiance
Mike Flynn shares video of his grandson reciting the pledge of allegiance
Loaded: 0%
Progress: 0%
0:00
Previous
Play
Skip
Mute
Current Time0:00
/
Duration Time0:24
Fullscreen
Need Text
Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his Russia contacts during the Russia probe. 
He also admitted to failing to register as a foreign agent due to his lucrative work for the Turkish government while serving as a campaign advisor to the Trump campaign. 
Trump said of Flynn, whom he fired and who cooperated with Mueller's investigators while facing prosecution: 'I'm very happy for General Flynn. He was a great warrior and he still is a great warrior. In my book, he's an even greater warrior.' 
Democrats however slammed the move. 
'President Trump doesn’t care about you. He doesn’t care about your health. He doesn’t care about your family. He doesn't care about testing. He just cares that his cronies are taken care of,' Schumer tweeted. 
Adam Schiff, who led the impeachment of Donald Trump, said that Flynn was not exonerated by the move and added: 'But it does incriminate Bill Barr. In the worst politicization of the Justice Department in its history.' 
Nadler tweeted: 'Flynn PLEADED GUILTY to lying to investigators. The evidence against him is overwhelming. Now, a politicized DOJ is dropping the case.'
And Rep. Eric Swalwell said: 'The decision to overrule the special counsel is without precedent and warrants an immediate explanation.'  
The move is a sudden reversal for one of the signature cases brought by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Mueller's prosecutors pressed the case against Flynn, which had attracted special interest from Trump since the beginning. He asked former FBI director James Comey about letting the case go, Comey testified in Congress.
According to Comey's notes, Trump also said of his national security advisor: 'The guy has serious judgment issues.'
The move, which must still be approved by the judge overseeing the case, comes even though prosecutors for the last three years had maintained that Flynn had lied to the FBI about his conversations with the Russian ambassador in a January 2017 interview. 
President Trump said Thursday that Flynn was an 'innocent man'
President Trump said Thursday that Flynn was an 'innocent man'
Flynn himself admitted as much, and became a key cooperator for Mueller as he investigated ties between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign.
In court documents being filed Thursday, the Justice Department said it is dropping the case 'after a considered review of all the facts and circumstances of this case, including newly discovered and disclosed information.' 
The documents were obtained by The Associated Press.
The Justice Department said it had concluded that Flynn's interview by the FBI was 'untethered to, and unjustified by, the FBI's counterintelligence investigation into Mr. Flynn' and that the interview on January 24, 2017 was 'conducted without any legitimate investigative basis.'
The U.S. attorney reviewing the Flynn case, Jeff Jensen, recommended the move to Attorney General William Barr last week and formalized the recommendation in a document this week.
'Through the course of my review of General Flynn's case, I concluded the proper and just course was to dismiss the case,' Jensen said in a statement.
'I briefed Attorney General Barr on my findings, advised him on these conclusions, and he agreed.'
But the lead career prosecutor on Thursday abruptly withdrew from handling the case.
Prosecutor Brandon Van Grack did not provide an explanation for why he was withdrawing from the case in a court filing.
Van Grack also on Thursday withdrew from handling other cases for the Justice Department, according to court filings. A DOJ spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Van Grack's departure comes less than three months after Attorney General William Barr said he was appointing Jensen, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, to review the Justice Department's handling of the case.

Flynn pleaded guilty in late 2017 to lying to the FBI about interactions with Russia's ambassador to the United States in the weeks before Trump took office, marking one of the first cases to emerge from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.
Flynn's defense team, led by conservative lawyer Sidney Powell, had frequently attacked Van Grack's integrity as part of a broader effort to convince a judge that the FBI framed and entrapped Flynn.
That pressure increased last week, after partially redacted documents turned over to Flynn's defense and then made public in the court record showed more about the FBI's thinking ahead of its interview with Flynn.
The decision is certain to be embraced by Trump, who has relentlessly tweeted about the case and last week pronounced Flynn 'exonerated,' and energize supporters who have taken up the retired Army lieutenant general as something of a cause celebre. 
But it may also add to Democratic concerns that Attorney General William Barr is excessively loyal to the president, and could be a distraction for a Justice Department that for months has sought to focus on crimes arising from the coronavirus.
'This is outrageous!' fumed House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Jerold Nadler on Twitter. 'Flynn PLEADED GUILTY to lying to investigators. The evidence against him is overwhelming. Now, a politicized DOJ is dropping the case.' 
Tweeted former FBI director James Comey: 'The DOJ has lost its way. But, career people: please stay because America needs you. The country is hungry for honest, competent leadership.' 
Although the prosecutor did not reveal his reasons for withdrawing, the case echoed developments in the Roger Stone case in February. Four federal prosecutors took themselves off the case after Barr and the Justice Department to lower a prison sentence of up to nine years.
Barr is also saying a broader look at the origins of the Russia probe and alleged FBI misconduct. 
Robert Mueller's team retraced Flynn's contacts with the Russian ambassador during the presidential transition, and what he told Trump officials about them
Robert Mueller's team retraced Flynn's contacts with the Russian ambassador during the presidential transition, and what he told Trump officials about them
According to the Mueller report, Flynn had multiple contacts with Russia's then-ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, during the presidential transition, when the Obama administration was still steering foreign policy. 
They communicated on the explosive topic of U.S. sanctions but in place over election interference and the invasion of Crimea. 
'On December 31, 2016, Kislyak called Flynn and told him that Flynn's request had been received at the highest levels and Russia had chosen not to retaliate in response to the request,' according to the report. 
Flynn after public denied having discussed sanctions with Kislyak. According to the Mueller report, 'Flynn repeated that claim to Vice President-Elect Michael Pence and to incoming press secretary Sean Spicer.'
It was his lie to Pence that Trump and the White House cited as the reason Trump fired him after just weeks on the job.  The false statements 'alarmed senior DOJ officials, who were aware that the statements were not true.'
'Those officials were concerned that Flynn had lied to his colleagues—who in turn had unwittingly misled the American public—creating a compromise situation for Flynn because the Department of Justice assessed that the Russian government could prove Flynn lied,' according to the report. 
FBI documents related to the investigation of Michael Flynn reveal that the bureau was planning to close a probe in early 2017 of whether he was a Russian asset due to a lack of 'derogatory' evidence. 
Documents unsealed late last month show FBI officials discussed whether to get Flynn 'to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired' during a bureau interview with the former Trump national security advisor about Kislyak. 
A January 4, 2017 FBI memo described an FBI look at Flynn to see if he was 'wittingly or unwittingly' involved in activity on behalf of Russia. It noted pubic reporting on Flynn's trip to Russia where he attended a dinner with Vladimir Putin.
The FBI reached out to another agency whose name was blacked out, and it found 'no derogatory information' on Flynn. An additional agency also turned up no derogatory information.
Barr's approval is just the latest time when the loyalist has acted to facilitate Trump's moves against the Russia probe and its fallout. 
He infuriated Democrats by issuing his own letter summarizing the Mueller report after obtaining it, while Trump described it as a complete exoneration. 
Barr tapped a career US attorney to look at FBI conduct. 
And although he urged Trump to stop commenting publicly on the Flynn case, the department's actions provided a result in line with what the president wanted. 
Barr defended the move on Flynn in an interview with CBS to air Thursday night. 'I want to make sure that we restore confidence in the system. There's only one standard of justice. And I believe that ... justice in this case requires dismissing the charges against Gen. Flynn,' he said. 
AG Bill Barr insists he is NOT doing Trump's bidding by dropping charges against Mike Flynn and says 'history is written by the winners' as the general posts pic of his grandson saying 'justice for all' AG Bill Barr insists he is NOT doing Trump's bidding by dropping charges against Mike Flynn and says 'history is written by the winners' as the general posts pic of his grandson saying 'justice for all' Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 01:39 Rating: 5

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.