Barr Assigns ‘Outside Prosecutor’ to Review Michael Flynn Case Amid Roger Stone Debacleby Matt Naham
The day after Attorney General William Barr did an interview in an attempt to convince the public that he is not giving President Donald Trump’s friend Roger Stone special treatment, Barr has reportedly assigned an “outside prosecutor” to review the criminal case against Michael Flynn.
The New York Times broke the news on Friday afternoon. Here’s the scoop:
Attorney General William P. Barr has assigned an outside prosecutor to scrutinize the criminal case against President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn, according to people familiar with the matter.
Mr. Barr has also installed a handful of outside prosecutors to broadly review the handling of other politically sensitive national-security cases in the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington, the people said. The team includes at least one prosecutor from the office of the United States attorney in St. Louis, Jeff Jensen, who is handling the Flynn matter, as well as prosecutors from the office of the deputy attorney general, Jeffrey A. Rosen.
NBC News reports that the review will focus on the circumstances of Flynn’s FBI interview.
The move elected a rapid response.
The Flynn case is being handled by the same U.S. Attorney’s Office handling the Stone case. That office is now headed by Timothy Shea, Barr’s former counsel at DOJ. The office recently recommended that Flynn serve prison time, but “oddly” reversed course.
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan on Monday indefinitely postponed Flynn’s scheduled Feb. 27 hearing to allow federal prosecutors more time to seek information from the defendant’s former legal team–which Flynn’s current legal team has accused of betraying their client’s trust and failing to provide adequate legal assistance.
Retired Lieutenant General Flynn, President Trump’s former National Security Advisor, moved last month to withdraw his guilty plea for lying to the FBI.
As you surely know, Robert Mueller’s appointment as special counsel and the sweeping Russia investigation quickly followed Trump’s firing of James Comey and the revelation that Trump asked Comey to drop an investigation of Flynn.
“I hope you can let this go,” the president said, according to Comey’s memo.
In an effort to compel the production of purportedly exculpatory evidence, Flynn attorney Sidney Powell has claimed that government committed prosecutorial misconduct by failing to produce Brady evidence (i.e. evidence favorable to the defense). Federal prosecutors completely rejected that.
The government said that the evidence sought wasn’t favorable to the defense and had nothing to do with the false statements Flynn pleaded guilty to making to the FBI. In addition, prosecutors said, the defense made “no argument or facts” proving that Joseph Mifsud — a Maltese professor deposed in a now-criminal probe into the origins of the Mueller investigation — was somehow connected to Flynn’s communications with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak or Flynn’s work on behalf of Turkey.
Jerry Lambe contributed to this report.
[Image via Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images]