The DOJ filed the request to drop the case with U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington, DC, on Thursday. Flynn, who Trump fired after only weeks on the job, pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents in 2017 and agreed to cooperate in Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
The Justice Department filing cited “newly discovered and disclosed information” as the reasons for dismissing the case.
“A review of the facts and circumstances of this case, including newly discovered and disclosed information, indicates that Mr. Flynn’s statements were never ‘material’ to any FBI investigation,” the filing read.
Federal prosecutor Jeffrey Jensen, who, according to Politico, was assigned by Barr to review Flynn’s case in January, urged the attorney general to move ahead with a dismissal. “Through the course of my review of Gen. 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.”
However, Politico goes on to report that the top prosecutor in the case, Brandon Van Grack, “withdrew abruptly and without explanation” moments before Thursday’s filing.
In arguing for a dismissal, Flynn’s lawyers cited previously undisclosed FBI emails and notes that they allege show that the FBI did not have a legitimate reason to interview Flynn. But former FBI director Andrew McCabe said in a statement that Flynn had “high-level interaction with Russian officials” and that the FBI was “obligated to interview him to better understand why.” McCabe concluded by saying the DOJ’s move to dismiss the case was “pure politics designed to please the president.”
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler blasted the filing on Twitter, writing, “This is outrageous!” The Democratic congressman went on to call the DOJ’s move “politicized” and “without precedent.”
This is outrageous!
Flynn PLEADED GUILTY to lying to investigators. The evidence against him is overwhelming. Now, a politicized DOJ is dropping the case.
The decision to overrule the special counsel is without precedent and warrants an immediate explanation.
— (((Rep. Nadler))) (@RepJerryNadler) May 7, 2020
Judge Sullivan will still need to sign off on the Justice Department’s filing, but that move is seen as a formality, so its approval is expected.