- Attorney General William Barr installed a prosecutor to review the criminal case against Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, The New York Times reported Friday.
- The news comes just days after senior Department of Justice officials publicy undermined career prosecutors by minimising the sentence recommendation for the Republican strategist Roger Stone.
- The events have fuelled speculation that President Donald Trump and his allies are interfering in DOJ criminal cases.
- Prosecutors resigned en masse from the Stone case after the sentencing dispute, and Barr urged Trump in an ABC interview to stop tweeting about DOJ cases because it was “impossible for me to do my job.”
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Attorney General William Barr assigned a prosecutor to review the criminal case against Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser who pleaded guilty in 2017 as part of the special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, The New York Times reported Friday
The unusual move is likely to fuel further speculation of political interference in Department of Justice cases.
Flynn has already sought to withdraw the guilty plea he made more than two years ago. His attorneys have alleged prosecutorial misconduct in the case, accusations which a judge has refuted.
Barr has faced intense scrutiny in recent days, after senior DOJ officials publicly undermined the department’s own prosecutors by announcing they would seek a lesser sentence for Roger Stone, the Republican strategist convicted last year of lying to Congress, obstruction of justice, and witness tampering.
Federal prosecutors had originally sought a sentence of seven to nine years in prison. But not long after Trump called the sentence recommendation “horrible and unfair,” senior DOJ officials overruled the career prosecutors.
Those prosecutors resigned en masse from the case after the sentencing dispute, and Barr urged Trump in an ABC interview to stop tweeting about DOJ cases because it was making it “impossible” for him to do his job.
The Times reported that Flynn’s case was not the only one Barr has assigned prosecutors to review. People familiar with the matter told The Times that prosecutors are reviewing a number of other “politically sensitive national-security cases,” though it wasn’t clear which ones.
- Read more:
- Trump critics are raising conspiracy theories that Barr’s criticism of the president was carefully coordinated
- The Department of Justice announces it won’t pursue charges against former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe, who Trump has repeatedly attacked
- Trump keeps tweeting about the Justice Department after Attorney General Bill Barr says it’s ‘time to stop the tweeting’
- While Barr publicly scolds Trump, his DOJ is quietly investigating those in the CIA who probed 2016 Russian interference
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