© Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post Then-National Security Adviser Mike Flynn at a White House meeting with cyber security experts.

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

The U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday moved to drop its charges against former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Flynn originally pled guilty for lying about undermining U.S. sanctions on Russia along with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, but has since withdrawn his guilty plea. Flynn claims he was pressured by the FBI to lie, and that federal prosecutors withheld key details from his case.  President Trump has since stated that he is “strongly considering a full pardon” for Flynn, citing frustration with how the FBI handled the case.

Attorney General William Barr dismissed the charges against Flynn in light of a newly presented note written by an FBI official prior to interviewing Flynn.

“What’s our goal? Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired? If we get him to admit to breaking the Logan Act, give facts to DOJ & have them decide,” the note reads. “Or, if he initially lies, then we present him [redacted] & he admits it, document for DOJ, & let them decide how to address it.”

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

House Republicans Demand Answers From FBI Director Over Latest Michael Flynn Revelations – The Daily Wire – 5/7/20 Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee are demanding answers from FBI Director Christopher Wray regarding recent revelations that FBI officials discussed getting former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to lie and to “get him fired.” At the end of April, unsealed court records revealed that FBI agents considered using their January 24, 2017 interview with Flynn to get him fired by getting “him to lie.” “What is our goal? Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?” an FBI agent wrote on the day of the interview.

Trump Justice Department Dropping Charges Against Michael Flynn: Report – HuffPost -5/7/20 In an extraordinary departure from the Justice Department’s typical handling of criminal cases, the Donald Trump-appointed leadership of the Justice Department on Thursday dropped charges against Michael Flynn […] Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney Timothy Shea said that even if Flynn lied about his contact with the Russian ambassador to the United States ahead of Trump’s 2017 inauguration, that Flynn’s lies were irrelevant to the FBI’s counterintelligence probe into his communications with Russia.

After Evidence Of Corruption, DOJ Prosecutor Withdraws From Flynn Case – The Federalist – 5/7/20 Explosive new developments in the Flynn case reveal government corruption indeed. The case began to crumble as evidence surfaced suggesting the Federal Bureau of Investigation had set a perjury trap for Flynn. Newly released handwritten FBI notes, withheld inappropriately from Flynn’s defense team, reveal a main objective of the agents investigating him was “to get him to lie so we can prosecute him or get him fired.”

The Justice Department has dropped Michael Flynn’s case – Vox – 5/7/20 As part of that review, FBI documents came to light last week that revealed some of the Bureau’s internal deliberations ahead of its January 2017 interview with Flynn in which agents questioned him about his Russian contacts. Flynn’s attorneys — as well as Trump and his allies — saw these documents as somehow vindicating Flynn.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

Adam Schiff on Twitter, 5/7/20: Flynn pled guilty to lying to the FBI about his illicit Russian contacts. His lies do not now become truths. This dismissal does not exonerate him. But it does incriminate Bill Barr. In the worst politicization of the Justice Department in its history.

Jonathan Turley on Twitter, 5/7/20: The DOJ just did what I called in my prior column in dismissing the Flynn case. This is an extraordinary decision but we are living in extraordinary times. It is very rare for such a dismissal to be sought based on its own misconduct…

Renato Mariotti on Twitter, 5/7/20: We’re not supposed to have one system of justice for the President’s friends and another system for the rest of us. That’s the sort of corruption you’d expect in a banana republic, not the United States of America.

Ed Morrissey on Twitter, 5/7/20: Get ready for lots and lots of palace-intrigue coverage of this major bombshell.

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