A former top Justice Department official said the department misrepresented her words in a bid to drop the prosecution of Michael Flynn, who had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI but now may be getting off without punishment.
Mary McCord, who served as acting assistant attorney general for national security, wrote in a New York Times column that officials wrongly used remarks she had made after retiring from the department for dropping the case against Flynn. As The Hill noted, McCord’s name was cited more than two dozen times in a legal motion to dismiss the case against the former national security adviser.
McCord said she believed the FBI mishandled the Flynn investigation and should have coordinated his interviews with the Justice Department, but said that did not mean there was no reason to suspect Flynn of potential criminal activity. She noted that Flynn had lied to incoming Vice President Mike Pence about his phone calls with Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak and later admitted to lying to FBI investigators.
“It has no bearing on whether Mr. Flynn’s lies to the F.B.I. were material to the clear counterintelligence threat posed by the susceptible position Mr. Flynn put himself in when he told Mr. Pence and others in the new administration that he had not discussed the sanctions with Mr. Kislyak,” she wrote.
The move to drop the case against Flynn has been met with widespread criticism, especially after President Donald Trump had spent months criticizing the case against him and publicly weighing the idea of pardoning Flynn. Former President Barack Obama, who reportedly warned Trump not to hire Flynn during a White House meeting two days after the 2016 election, is among those critics.
As The Inquisitr reported, Obama was heard criticizing the decision to drop the case against Flynn in an audio clip published this week by Yahoo! News. Obama said he could not remember another time that the Department of Justice dropped a case against someone who had admitted lying to investigators.
“And the fact that there is no precedent that anybody can find for someone who has been charged with perjury just getting off scot-free. That’s the kind of stuff where you begin to get worried that basic — not just institutional norms — but our basic understanding of rule of law is at risk,” the former president said in a call to members of the Obama Alumni Association.