Finality For Flynn: Justice Delayed But Not Wholly Denied
Today the Department Of Justice filed a motion with the US District Court for the District of Columbia to dismiss with prejudice the entirety of its case against Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, who previously had pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the FBI, and has in recent months been seeking to withdraw that guilty plea.
This one motion marks an abrupt and final end to one of the more notorious legal controversies in recent memory. The Department of Justice' rationale for the dismissial was fittingly blunt.
The Government has determined, pursuant to the Principles of Federal Prosecution and based on an extensive review and careful consideration of the circumstances, that continued prosecution of this case would not serve the interests of justice.
The DoJ moved to dismiss because it admitted it had no case, which it acknowledged in the body of the motion.
No Crime, So No Case
For those who have followed the Flynn case from the beginning, the dismissal is merely the DoJ arriving at the same conclusion many reached quite some time ago: Flynn had been persecuted, not prosecuted.
Almost from the moment of Flynn's abrupt resignation as President Trump's National Security Advisor, the published facts of the Flynn case simply did not square with either Robert Mueller's dogged pursuit or Flynn's ultimate guilty plea.
There was the inconvenient fact that the leaks of Flynn's conversation with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak were themselves a crime.
There was the inconvenient fact that neither Peter Strzok nor James Comey initially believed General Flynn had lied. This was James Comey's sworn testimony to Congress prior to his being fired by President Trump.
There was the curious reticence by the Mueller team to actually have General Flynn sentenced.
There was the strange disappearance of Peter Strzok's Form 302 Interview notes.
These were the facts of the case as far back as 2018. These were the facts that made plain Mueller's pursuit of Flynn was a persecution rather than a prosecution. Mueller had coerced General Flynn to plead guilty to a crime even the FBI had freely acknowledged never happened.
Even to the lay person, where there is no crime there can be no case for prosecution.
Crimes Committed Against Flynn, Not By Him
Recent disclosures have made clear that indeed crimes were committed, but they were committed against Michael Flynn rather than by him.
Internal FBI correspondence unsealed by the courts show that FBI agents approached the initial interview not only as a legally dubious "perjury trap", but as a calculated effort to get him ousted as National Security Advisor.
A U.S. district judge last month unsealed several pages of FBI emails and handwritten notes about the January 2017 interview with Flynn. The notes indicated FBI officials knew Flynn might lie to them, and one note asked whether the goal of the interview should be to "get him to lie so we can prosecute him or get him fired?"
As spelled out in 18 USC §241, it is a crime for government officials to conspire to deprive any person of their rights under the Constitution. It is a crime under 18 USC §242 to deprive a person of their rights under color of law--meaning Mueller, Strzok, Comey, and probably others within the FBI and DoJ committed serious felonies by engaging in a sham prosecution of Michael Flynn over a crime that had been well established never occurred.
While the DoJ motion to dismiss does not accuse any FBI agent or DoJ lawyer of specific malfeasance, it does acknowledge that even the initial interview of Flynn was itself an unjustifiable predation upon General Flynn's civil liberties.
...the Government has concluded that the interview of Mr. Flynn was untethered to, and unjustified by, the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into Mr. Flynn—a no longer justifiably predicated investigation that the FBI had, in the Bureau’s own words, prepared to close because it had yielded an "absence of any derogatory information."
The Motion To Dismiss An Admission Of Flynn's Innocence
In many ways, the DoJ motion to dismiss is anti-climactic. The many pieces of evidence exculpatory of General Flynn that have emerged since his guilty plea have served to conclusively establish within the public record the reality of his fundamental innocence. There simply was no crime committed by General Flynn, and the FBI knew that full well.
Exculpatory documents concealed by the FBI and federal prosecutors for more than three years showed that the retired Army lieutenant general never lied or committed a crime.
By the time Robert Mueller's investigation of presumed "Russian collusion" collapsed last summer, it was clear that Flynn was the victim, not the perpetrator. The lies were told by the FBI, by Mueller's team, and even by Congressional Democrats, but not by General Flynn.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and his sycophants in the media propagated the Russia hoax by insisting there was “solid evidence” that Trump was a secret Kremlin asset and predicting the imminent demise of his presidency. Except no such evidence ever existed. Collusion was nothing more than an illusion and a delusion.
The dismissal establishes General Flynn's innocence, but that does not undo the financial ruin the FBI and the DoJ inflicted on him. His finances have been drained, and he has been forced to sell his home just to pay the costs of his defense attorneys. He continues to be vilified and slandered in the legacy media. Congressional Democrats continue to attack him on social media. All this continues, despite an overwhelming abundance of evidence of innocence.
Fox News Commentator Gregg Jarrett argues passionately for Flynn to sue everyone involved in this miscarriage of justice. His argument is unassailable.
Let the litigation begin. Damages should run into the millions of dollars. Flynn deserves it. And the Justice Department should now consider whether crimes were committed by those who deliberately obscured the truth and arguably obstructed justice.
My own layman's opinion is that crimes were committed against Flynn, and the next step for the Justice Department to take is to show that it can still police its own. Peter Strzok and James Comey, at a minimum, as well as Robert Mueller, must be thoroughly investigated for their role in this gross abuse of government power. I find it difficult to believe a case cannot be made these men conspired to deprive General Flynn of his Constitutional rights at the very least, and very likely committed other offenses besides.
Today, by closing the case and dropping all charges against Michael Flynn, the Department of Justice gave him the finality that he has long deserved. While it is long overdue, the admission by the DoJ that General Flynn committed no crime is a significant measure of the justice that he is due. It is, however, not the full measure of the justice he must receive.
If we are to have full faith in the rule of law in this country, General Flynn must receive his full measure of justice. All those who sought to destroy him publicly must be called to account, and made to pay for their crimes. There is no justice when innocent men are not safe from malicious and malignant prosecutorial persecutions, and that is exactly what happened to General Flynn.
Today's dismissal was a justice too long delayed. It was a justice not wholly denied, but still incomplete. Much injustice against General Flynn still remains.
The burden now rests with the DoJ to complete Flynn's justice.