News and Commentary

Judge Dismisses Case Against Michael Flynn After Trump Pardon
Michael Flynn, former U.S. national security adviser, exits federal court in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, June 24, 2019. Flynn may have a singular goal in replacing his longtime criminal defense attorneys this month with the politically provocative Sidney Powell, to win a pardon from his old boss, President Donald Trump. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge has dismissed the case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn after months of resisting a Department of Justice request to drop the case.

Judge Emmet Sullivan dismissed charges against retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, ruling the case moot after President Donald Trump pardoned his former administration official on November 25. Sullivan has presided over the case since December 2017 after the DOJ charged Flynn with lying to the FBI.

“Pending before the Court are: (1) the government’s motion to dismiss the criminal information against Mr. Flynn with prejudice pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 48(a) … and (2) the government’s notice of executive grant of clemency and consent motion to dismiss this case as moot,” Sullivan wrote in the dismissal, according to The Washington Examiner. “Upon careful consideration of the motions, the applicable law, the entire record herein, and for the reasons explained below, the Court DENIES AS MOOT the government’s motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 48(a), and GRANTS the government’s consent motion based on the presidential pardon and DISMISSES this case AS MOOT.”

Trump announced Flynn’s pardon in a tweet, effectively ending the retired military officer’s three-year prosecution over allegedly lying to the FBI about a phone call he had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in December 2016 as the then-incoming national security adviser.

“It is my Great Honor to announce that General Michael T. Flynn has been granted a Full Pardon. Congratulations to @GenFlynn and his wonderful family, I know you will now have a truly fantastic Thanksgiving!” Trump tweeted last month.

As The Daily Wire reported:

In December of 2017, Flynn had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI during a January interview with two agents, including former FBI special agent Peter Strzok, before reversing course in January of 2020 after replacing his legal team with attorney Sydney Powell. The Justice Department filed to have the charges against Flynn dropped later that year in May. The judge presiding over Flynn’s case has refused the department’s motion, however, keeping the case open.

Attorney General William Barr tapped U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, Jeff Jensen, to work with DOJ prosecutor Brandon Van Grack to review the federal government’s materials in Flynn’s case in February. Several months later, Jensen recommended to Barr that the Justice Department drop its case against Flynn over exculpatory evidence that undercut the department’s case against the former national security adviser. Barr accepted Jensen’s recommendation.

“It’s on the question of materiality that we feel really that a crime cannot be established here because there was not, in our view, a legitimate investigation going on,” Barr said in a May interview explaining his decision to drop the case against Flynn. “They did not have a basis for a counterintelligence investigation against Flynn at that stage, based on a perfectly legitimate and appropriate call he made as a member of the transition.”

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