Attorney General William Barr has reportedly assigned a prosecutor to review the criminal case against General Michael Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser.
Barr tapped U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, Jeffrey Jensen to look into the circumstances surrounding Flynn’s FBI interview, the people familiar with the inquiry said. The inquiry began this past month, the officials said.
The attorney general has also reportedly appointed prosecutors to review several other politically sensitive cases, although none of those cases have been specified.
Those prosecutors are from the office of Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen, and they have been interviewing line prosecutors involved in the cases about their investigative decisions and the reasons behind them.
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) may have been referring to these investigations when he hinted earlier this week that the American people should expect to see more fallout from the Mueller probe in the near future.
After the attorney general overruled a team of liberal federal prosecutors’ unreasonably steep prison sentence for Trump confidant Roger Stone earlier this week, the California Republican told Fox Business host Lou Dobbs that “this is not going to be the only example” of problematic behavior during the special counsel’s investigation, which called an “obstruction of justice trap.”
“There’s more to come on this,” Nunes said. “We think there’s other examples of things that they did during the Mueller investigation that I think you and your listeners and the American people will be very interested to learn in the coming weeks as we start to unpeel the onion of what the Mueller team was really doing,” he added.
Last month, Flynn asked the court to allow him to withdraw his plea “because of the government’s bad faith, vindictiveness and breach of the plea agreement.” He also accused federal prosecutors of refusing to “comply with … their constitutional, legal and ethical obligations.”
U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan on Monday canceled sentencing for Flynn “until further order of the court.”
The inquiry into Flynn’s FBI interview could be aimed at several former officials Trump has repeatedly criticized publicly, including former FBI Director James Comey and former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, people familiar with the inquiry said.
Flynn was convicted of lying to investigators as part of the Mueller probe, even though the FBI agents who interviewed him at the White House in January of 2017 initially said they saw no signs of deception in his answers. They had questioned Flynn about his telephone conversation during the transition period with Sergey Kislyak the then-Russian ambassador to the United States. There was actually no reason for him to lie, as nothing he said in the phone call was improper.
A book by former FBI agent Josh Campbell describes how then-FBI Director James Comey and then-FBI Deputy Director McCabe plotted to take advantage of the first few days of “chaos” in the Trump White House by tricking Flynn into an ambush interview.
They did it under the guise of the Logan Act… which had no legal application. It was a clever pretense.
There was nothing improper about Flynn talking to the Russian Ambassador during the transition. It is a normal practice for all incoming administrations. Moreover, Flynn was not acting as a private citizen, as the Act requires.
The book admits Comey broke protocols and FBI guidelines. He did not seek approval from the White House Counsel. It’s the kind of tactic that only the unprincipled Comey would employ. “We just decided, you know, screw it,” said Comey.
On Friday, news broke that the DOJ decided to drop a criminal probe against McCabe stemming from false statements he made in 2016 to then-Director James Comey and to FBI investigators about his improper leaking to a reporter.
McCabe’s lawyers were told last September that he should expect to be indicted on charges stemming from inaccurate statements he made to FBI investigators about his actions around the time of the 2016 election. However, no indictment was ever returned, leading to speculation that the Washington-based grand jury probing the matter took the rare step of rejecting charges.
And to the frustration of many conservatives, the DOJ decided not to prosecute Comey for improperly leaking information to the media, last August.
However, with multiple U.S. attorneys scrutinizing “politically sensitive” investigations into Trump and his associates, it’s safe to say they are not out of the woods yet.