The FBI’s top attorney was forced to resign by the Justice Department after being targeted by Fox News
The top attorney-at-law of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who signed the warrants, stepping down Michael Flynn’s control at the request of the Justice Department after criticizing Fox Business Network.
Dana Boente, the FBI general counsel, resigned Friday and ended a 38-year career with the Department of Justice, according to NBC News.
His resignation will take effect at the end of June.
Boente’s departure was sought by people at the “top level of the Department of Justice” rather than FBI director Christopher Wray, it was reported.
Boente has been the subject of fierce criticism from pro-Trump commentators on Fox News and his sister network, Fox Business Network, for his role in the Flynn investigation.
Dana Boente, the FBI general counsel, has resigned, taking effect in late June
Boente was pressured by the Justice Department amid criticism of him from Lou Dobbs of Fox Business Network (left) accusing him and FBI director Christopher Wray of blocking evidence that former national security adviser Michael Flynn (right) ) indemnifies.
In a recently leaked memo, Boente wrote that none of the evidence uncovered in the Flynn case indemnifies him.
Lou Dobbs, a Fox Business Network host, has criticized Boente and the FBI in recent weeks, claiming that their efforts to investigate and prosecute Flynn amounted to “attempting to overthrow the president.”
On his April 27 broadcast, Dobbs said, “Shocking new reports suggest that the FBI General Counsel Dana Boente Day was acting in coordination with FBI Director Christopher Wray to block the release of that evidence that General Flynn may have erased.”
“Few people have served so well in so many critical, high-level positions in the department,” Wray said in a statement.
“During his long and distinguished career as a civil servant, Dana has demonstrated a selfless determination to ensure that justice is always served on behalf of our citizens.”
Flynn, a retired general, was fired by the Trump administration as a national security adviser during talks he had with the Russian ambassador during the presidential transition in late 2016 and early 2017.
After Donald Trump’s election victory in November 2016, Flynn, cited as the incoming national security adviser, was known to have had conversations with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to Washington.
Flynn was fired after learning that he was lying to Vice President Mike Pence about his conversations with Kislyak. Flynn claimed at the time that he and Kislyak were not discussing US sanctions against Moscow.
In reality, Flynn asked Kislyak to urge his bosses in the Kremlin not to retaliate against the US for sanctions.
Wray released a statement praising Boente. The FBI chief has also been criticized by President Trump and his allies for handling the Flynn case
In the final days of the Obama administration, the US imposed sanctions on Russia for alleged interference in the 2016 elections. Russia has denied the allegation.
The Justice Department began an investigation into Flynn, which eventually led to him pleading guilty to making false statements to the FBI.
According to NBC News, Boente had signed one of the warrants that allowed the FBI to continue to supervise Flynn.
The warrants, known as FISA warrants, were renewed several times and had to be approved by a judge.
Boente was Deputy Attorney General before Rod Rosenstein’s confirmation in April 2017 when he approved an application to extend a warrant to allow officials to follow Trump campaign advisor Carter Page’s communications.
Flynn agreed to cooperate with the FBI’s investigation into alleged Russian interference, but eventually waived the agreement and withdrew his plea.
Earlier this month, the Justice Department decided to drop charges against Flynn due to mounting pressure from the Republican President and his political allies on the right.
The movement received furious criticism from Congressional Democrats and others who accused the Department and Attorney General William Barr of politicizing the U.S. criminal justice system by bowing to the wishes of Trump and improperly protecting his friends and associates in criminal matters.
Flynn was one of many former Trump aides indicted in the investigation by former special counsel Robert Mueller, which went into detail about Moscow’s interference in the 2016 U.S. elections for candidacy and contacts between the campaign of Trump and Russia. Trump’s longtime friend and advisor Roger Stone and his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort were both sentenced and sentenced to multi-year prison terms.
The Department of Justice said in its filing that it is no longer convinced that the FBI’s Flynn interview on January 24, 2017 supporting the allegations was conducted on a “ legitimate investigation basis ” and did not believe its statements were “ material, even though it was not true ‘.
In 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI about his December 2016 talks with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak (pictured above in July 2017 in Washington, DC)
President Donald Trump (left) shakes hands with Russian ambassador to the United States Sergei Kislyak during talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (not pictured) at the White House Oval Office in May 2017
Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about the call, although his lawyers then tried to throw the case and the Justice Department tried to drop the charges.
“No crime has been identified here. They had no basis for a counter-intelligence investigation against Flynn at the time, ‘Barr said in a CBS interview.
When asked about Flynn lying to investigators, Barr said, “Well, people sometimes argue for things that don’t turn out to be crimes.”
In an application, Flynn’s lawyers agreed with the department’s motion to dismiss the charges.
It was the last copy of the section under Barr, a Trump political loyalist, who changed course under public pressure from the president to shed light on one of his allies.
In February, Barr and other senior officials of the department abandoned a harsh conviction of their own career prosecutors in Stone’s case after Trump lashed out at the public prosecutor. Prosecutors closed the case in protest.
Shortly before Flynn’s motion was filed on Thursday, Prosecutor Brandon Van Grack withdrew from the case and other related legal issues. He remains an employee of the Justice Department, said a ministry spokeswoman.
The federal judge presiding over the case must approve DOJ’s request.
Boente was nominated by President Barack Obama to lead Virginia’s Eastern District in 2015.
Home to the Pentagon and the CIA, the district often prosecutes terrorism, espionage and national security matters.
Boente oversaw several high-profile corruption cases, including the prosecution of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, whose conviction of corruption charges was later dismissed by the Supreme Court.
Eastern District Prosecutors were also involved in the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, which ended without charge, a continuing source of outrage for Republicans.