The Justice Department on Thursday dropped its case against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, in a stunning development that comes after internal memos were released raising serious questions about the nature of the investigation that led to Flynn’s late 2017 guilty plea of lying to the FBI.
The announcement came in a court filing, with the department saying 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 first obtained by The Associated Press. DOJ sources confirmed the decision to Fox News.
The retired Army lieutenant general for months has been trying to withdraw his plea, aided by a new attorney who has aggressively challenged the prosecution’s case and conduct. But the case has been plodding through the court system with no resolution ever since his original plea, even amid speculation about whether President Trump himself could extend a pardon.
The DOJ decision would appear to put an end to that process.
Earlier Thursday, the top prosecutor on the case, Brandon Van Grack, abruptly withdrew from the case, without explanation, in a brief filing with the court.
Breadcrumbs were being dropped in the days preceding the decision that his case could be reconsidered. Documents unsealed a week ago by the Justice Department revealed agents discussed their motivations for interviewing him in the Russia probe—questioning whether they wanted to“get him to lie” so he’d be fired or prosecuted, or get him to admit wrongdoing. Flynn allies howled over the revelations, arguing that he was essentially set up in a perjury trap. In that interview, Flynn did not admit wrongdoing and instead was accused of lying about his contacts with the then-Russian ambassador – to which he pleaded guilty.