Arbiter: Justice Dept. 'abused' power to drop Michael Flynn case

1 year ago 66
google news Flipboard

June 10 (UPI) -- A retired federal judge appointed to review the Michael Flynn case criticized the Justice Department Wednesday and said it showed a "gross abuse" of power in seeking to dismiss charges against President Donald Trump's national security adviser.

John Gleeson, who is serving as a court-appointed arbiter in the case, said in a brief the department displayed the abuse of prosecutorial power by moving to dismiss charges against Flynn, who once entered and then retracted a guilty plea on two counts of lying to the FBI as part of the Russia investigation.

Gleeson said Flynn should be sentenced for perjury, since he later appeared in court to recant his initial guilty plea. After reviewing the case, he said the move is so favorable to President Donald Trump and highly unusual for federal prosecutors.

"The Department of Justice has a solemn responsibility to prosecute this case -- like every other case -- without fear or favor," Gleeson wrote in the 82-page brief. "It has abdicated that responsibility through a gross abuse of prosecutorial power, attempting to provide special treatment to a favored friend and political ally of the President of the United States.

"It has treated the case like no other, and in doing so has undermined the public's confidence in the rule of law."

U.S. Attorney General William Barr moved to drop the case last month and said the FBI improperly handled the ordeal. The department argued that Flynn wasn't material to the case and should never have been questioned about contacts with Russian agents in 2016.

"Justice in this case requires dismissing the charges against General Flynn," he said.

Gleeson recommended that U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan now move and act to sentence Flynn for his initial plea.

"The government's ostensible grounds for seeking dismissal are conclusively disproven by its own briefs filed earlier in this very proceeding," Gleeson added. "They contradict and ignore this court's prior orders, which constitute law of the case.

"They are riddled within explicable and elementary errors of law and fact. And they depart from positions that the government has taken in other cases."

  1. Homepage
  2. U.S. News