The Justice Department is dropping criminal charges against Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser.
In documents filed Thursday in federal court in Washington, D.C., the Justice Department said it was recommending the judge dismiss the criminal case “after a considered review of all the facts and circumstances of this case, including newly discovered and disclosed information.”
“The Government has concluded that the interview of Mr. Flynn was untethered to, and unjustified by, the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into Mr. Flynn,” the filing said.
Flynn pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI as part of its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
The filing said, “The Government is not persuaded that the January 24, 2017 interview was conducted with a legitimate investigative basis and therefore does not believe Mr. Flynn’s statements were material even if untrue.”
The filing was put in hours after the original prosecutor on the case, Brandon Van Grack, filed papers withdrawing from the matter.
Trump told reporters in the Oval Office he was happy about the Justice Department’s move.
“He was an innocent man,” Trump said. “Now in my book he’s an even greater warrior.”
Trump said in March he was “strongly considering” pardoning Flynn, who initially cooperated with former special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election before later contending he’d been railroaded.
— NBC News