Justice Dept. Drops Case Against Michael Flynn

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The extraordinary move came after the former national security adviser had fought the case in court for months, a reversal after pleading guilty twice and cooperating with investigators.

The Justice Department dropped its criminal case on Thursday against Michael T. Flynn, President Trump’s first national security adviser, who had previously pleaded guilty to lying to F.B.I. agents about his conversations with a Russian diplomat.

The extraordinary move comes amid a sustained attack by Mr. Flynn’s lawyers on prosecutors and the F.B.I., accusing them of egregious conduct. In recent days, Mr. Flynn’s lawyers said the Justice Department had uncovered new documents that pointed to misconduct, particularly in investigators’ interview of Mr. Flynn in January 2017 as part of its inquiry into whether Trump advisers conspired with Russia’s election interference.

Law enforcement officials cited that interview in moving to drop the charges, saying in a court filing that the some of newfound documents showed that the questioning “was untethered to, and unjustified by, the F.B.I.’s counterintelligence investigation into Mr. Flynn.” Though they conceded that Mr. Flynn lied, prosecutors said that the case did not meet the legal standard that Mr. Flynn’s lies be “materially” relevant to the matter under investigation.

“The government is not persuaded that the Jan. 24, 2017, interview was conducted with a legitimate investigative basis and therefore does not believe Mr. Flynn’s statements were material even if untrue,” the United States attorney in Washington, Timothy L. Shea, said in a motion to dismiss the charges. READ MORE:

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