Obama says DOJ's Dropping of Michael Flynn Case Risks Rule of Law

Obama says DOJ's Dropping of Michael Flynn Case Risks Rule of Law

A former federal prosecutor who worked on Roger Stone's case unloaded on Attorney General Bill Barr for doing favors for Donald Trump's friends in light of the Department of Justice dropping its case against Michael Flynn.

Amid growing public calls by outside watchdogs and other lawmakers for the resignation or possible impeachment of U.S. Attorney General William Barr, members of the House Judiciary Committee late Friday afternoon called on Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz to open an official probe into the politicization of the DOJ under Barr's leadership.

The big picture: The Flynn filing - signed by acting U.S. Attorney for D.C. Timothy Shea, a close confidante of Attorney General Barr - notes that the FBI had meant to close its counterintelligence investigation of Flynn but extended it upon learning about his conversations with then-Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

The filing cites a summary of McCord's interview with the Federal Bureau of Investigation more than 25 times to show that Justice Department leadership wanted to notify the incoming Trump administration of the Flynn-Kislyak communications, but that the Federal Bureau of Investigation refused.

Barr also said the FBI "did not have a basis for a counterintelligence investigation against Flynn at that stage", adding that "people sometimes plead to things that turn out not to be crimes". She said in an interview on Fox News' Sunday Morning Futures that Obama, in a January 5, 2017, meeting with top intelligence officials, had conspired to take down Flynn.

Trump vs. Obama
Trump vs. Obama

"Americans expect and deserve an Attorney General who enforces the law impartially, not one who abuses his office to accommodate the whims of a president who believes he has unlimited power", Hobert Flynn said.

'I feel compelled to write because I believe the the department's handling of these matters is profoundly misguided, because my colleagues who still serve the department are duty-bound to remain silent and because I am convinced that the department's conduct in the Stone and Flynn cases will do lasting damage to the institution, ' Kravis wrote. Nonetheless, nearly 2,000 DOJ alumni have signed onto a letter posted on Medium, decrying Barr's decision and comparing it to how he seemed to fulfill President Donald Trump's wishes by intervening in Roger Stone's sentencing months ago. However, the Justice Department announced on Thursday they were moving to drop the criminal case against Flynn. Last week, Trump heaped praise on his attorney general for intervening. In a May 7 interview with CBS reporter Catherine Herridge, Barr said the decision was a good one because it "upheld the rule." As the group of Justice Department alumni acknowledged, their letter is unlikely to convince him to step down. "And the groups that usually worry about civil liberties and making sure that there's proper procedures followed and standards set seem to be ignoring it and willing to destroy people's lives and see great injustices done".

The former justice employees ask the judge overseeing the Flynn case to reject the government's motion to throw out the charges.

A judge has to sign off on the Justice Department request to drop the charges. "Attorney General Barr's repeated actions to use the Department as a tool to further President Trump's personal and political interests have undermined any claim to the deference that courts usually apply to the Department's decisions about whether or not to prosecute a case".

Kravis meanwhile bashed Barr not just for the Department's legal reversal in the Flynn case, but for how Barr "disparaged" career DOJ prosecutors in media interviews after the Stone and Flynn moves.

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