The Justice Department announced Thursday that it is dropping its criminal case against President Trump's first national security adviser Michael Flynn. Flynn twice admitted in court he lied to the FBI about his conversations with Russia's U.S. ambassador, and then cooperated in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. It was an unusual move by the Justice Department, and CNN's legal and political analysts smelled a rat.
"Attorney General [William] Barr is already being accused of creating a special justice system just for President Trump's friends," and this will only feed that perception, CNN's Jake Tapper suggested. Political correspondent Sara Murray agreed, noting that the prosecutor in the case, Brandon Van Grack, withdrew right before the Justice Department submitted its filing, just like when Barr intervened to request a reduced sentence for Roger Stone.
National security correspondent Jim Sciutto laid out several reason why the substance of Flynn's admitted lie was a big deal, and chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin was appalled. "It is one of the most incredible legal documents I have read, and certainly something that I never expected to see from the United States Department of Justice," Toobin said. "The idea that the Justice Department would invent an argument - an argument that the judge in this case has already rejected - and say that's a basis for dropping a case where a defendant admitted his guilt shows that this is a case where the fix was in."
Barr told CBS News' Cathrine Herridge on Thursday that dropping Flynn's case actually "sends the message that there is one standard of justice in this country." Herridge told Barr he would take flak for this, asking: "When history looks back on this decision, how do you think it will be written?" Barr laughed: "Well, history's written by the winners. So it largely depends on who's writing the history." Watch below.
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