Letter sent in ‘utmost confidentiality’ to Bill Barr set in motion intervention for Michael Flynn: report

Letter sent in ‘utmost confidentiality’ to Bill Barr set in motion intervention for Michael Flynn: report
Fox News

According to a report from the New York Times, a letter sent in secret to Attorney General Bill Barr asking him to intercede in the case of former Donald Trump aide Michael Flynn, set in motion a move by the Justice Department to force a judge to set aside Flynn’s guilty pleas.

The report notes that Flynn attorney Sidney Powell, who used her appearances on Fox News to get Donald Trump’s attention, sent off a letter over a year ago asking for Barr to appoint an outsider to look at the case that was already in the sentencing stage.

The Times reports, “Asking for ‘utmost confidentiality,’ Ms. Powell told Mr. Barr that the case against Mr. Flynn, the president’s former national security adviser who had pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I., smacked of ‘corruption of our beloved government institutions for what appears to be political purposes.'”

As the report notes, Barr took up the case that has led to the Justice Department pressuring Judge Emmet G. Sullivan to set aside the pleas and let Flynn walk.

“The private correspondence between Ms. Powell and Mr. Barr, disclosed in a little-noticed court filing last fall, was the first step toward a once-obscure lawyer and a powerful attorney general finding common cause in a battle to dismantle the legacy of the investigations into President Trump and his allies,” the report states, adding that Barr’s interference has roiled the Justice Department and has now led to a showdown between Sullivan and a Trump-appointed Judge Neomi Rao who wrote last week that Sullivan needs to drop his challenge to the department’s decision.

Adding, “Judge Sullivan suspended his review but has not dismissed the charge, suggesting that the extraordinary legal and political saga is not yet over,” the report goes on to point out that critics of Barr’s decision are still stunned n by his interference in a case that had already been completed for the most part.

“It’s hard to think of anything remotely like this,” explained former federal prosecutor David Alan Sklansky. “The Justice Department has taken somebody who has twice pleaded guilty, in a case where the trial judge has considered and already rejected claims of government wrongdoing, and prosecutors now say we’d like to dismiss the case and don’t think it should have been brought in the first place.”

You can read more here.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card


Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.