Attorney General Bill Barr has commissioned an external review of the FBI’s interview with the former White House security officer, Mike Flynn – a trial that led Flynn to blame lying to the FBI.
The outside view of the controversial case – which has drawn the repeated personal attention of the President – comes in the midst of a separate view from outside that Barr ordered at the origin of the Russian probe.
Barr has instructed Jeffrey Jensen, the American lawyer of the Eastern District of Missouri, to investigate Flynn’s FBI interview during the first days of the Trump government.
He would later be accused of lying to the FBI for his false statements, which he pleaded guilty for making.
Attorney General Bill Barr has ordered an external assessment of the FBI interview with former Donald Trump national security adviser Mike Flynn
Jensen will collaborate with the Brandon Van Grack case prosecutor, a step coming a month after Flynn told the court that he wanted his guilty plea in the investigation of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller about the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election moving in.
The change came after Flynn had worked for months with prosecutors in Mueller’s office.
The news of Barr’s decision to call an external prosecutor in the Flynn case is from an extraordinary week at the Ministry of Justice.
On Tuesday, the department relieved its conviction recommendation for Trump political ally Roger Stone after criticizing the president that a previous recommendation for seven to nine years in prison was too harsh.
The move prompted all four career prosecutors to withdraw and one of them had to leave the government completely.
Reports from the second look at the Flynn interview are surrounded by a flurry of information about actions by the Ministry of Justice that came out on Friday
President Trump destroyed career officers for seeking a sentence of up to nine years for Roger Stone, who was convicted of lying about his contacts with WikiLeaks
News about Flynn looking back confirmed that the Justice Department will not sue former FBI director Andrew McCabe after an IG report in which he repeatedly lied about having authorized a subordinate to share information with a newspaper reporter for an article in 2016 about an FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation
Barr tried Thursday to reduce the concerns of critics that he made the political bidding of the president by intervening to help Stone, and said the constant tweets of the president in criminal cases undermined his ability to do his job.
But on Friday, Trump went to Twitter to assert his “legal right” to intervene in criminal cases.
He quoted Barr, stating that Trump had never asked him to intervene in a criminal case. “This does not mean that I, as President, do not have the legal right to do that, I do, but so far I have chosen not to!” Trump said.
The following day, prosecutors at the US law firm in Washington D.C. revealed that they would not file charges against former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, a common punching bag from Trump’s, about allegations that he misled investigators about his communication with the media.
According to NBC News, the federal prosecutors who worked on the Flynn case came “under pressure” from senior Justice Department officials to recommend a lighter sentence – which would trace some contours of the Roger Stone case.
Barr’s decision to engage Jensen in the Flynn case, however, could potentially undermine his efforts to control damage after Trump’s flurry of tweets on the Stone case.
The Ministry of Justice official stressed that it was not Jensen’s job to oversee the work of the Public Prosecutor in the Flynn case, but to work with them.
Jensen helps the department and the prosecution team “to get a complete and thorough understanding of the facts and the file in a complicated case,” the person told Reuters, speaking anonymously to discuss sensitive personnel issues.
At the end of 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about interactions with the Russian ambassador to the United States in the weeks before Trump took office.
He was supposed to cooperate with the government as part of his deal. But later he changed attorneys and tactics, arguing that prosecutors in the case had violated his rights and misled him to lie about his December 2016 talk with Sergei Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to Washington.
The department has repeatedly denied allegations of prosecution for misconduct, and US District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan rejected all Flynn’s claims in December and set a conviction date.
Shortly thereafter, Flynn submitted the motion to withdraw his plea.
Given all the allegations that the case had been handled incorrectly, Jensen was brought in to help “review the whole case, soup to nuts,” the person said.
Jensen’s involvement in the Flynn case was previously reported by the New York Times.