At a time when Attorney General William P. Bar independence from the White House this week, has been quietly interfering in a series of politically charged issues, including against Michael T. Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser, and people familiar with it. He said it on Friday.
Mr. Bar installed a battalion of external attorneys to review national security cases with the possible abolition of the professional prosecution, a very unusual move that could raise more charges of politicizing the Ministry of Justice. The case brought against Mr. Flynn, who twice pleaded guilty to lying to F.A. In me. Which. In Russia’s investigation, it is a wonderful reason for Mr. Trump and his supporters, who say that the retired general was injured in a “deep” plot against the president.
The disclosures came as Mr. Trump made it clear on Friday that he believed he was free to rein in the Ministry of Justice and its issues, and he rejected Mr. Barr’s public request a day before the president would stop commenting on such cases.
Citing Mr. Barr’s assertion in an interview on Thursday that Mr. Trump had never been asked to act in a criminal case, the president announced On Twitter“This does not mean that I, as president, do not have the legal right to do so, but I have so far chosen not to do so!”
Hours later, the Justice Department notified Andrew J.’s defense lawyer. Maccabi, Acting Former Representative b. The director who tarnished Mr. Trump for his role in the Russia issue, that Mr. Maccabi will not be charged in connection with a leak case, ending a criminal investigation for almost two years.
“We consider the matter closed,” section He wrote to Mr. Maccabi’s lawyer.
The developments collectively send mixed signals at a time when the independence of the Ministry of Justice from political interference by the White House is under intense scrutiny.
Mr. Barr has publicly defied Mr. Trump after the turmoil this week over the case against Roger Stone Junior, Mr Trump’s longtime friend and political advisor, and threatened to explode in a full crisis.
After the prosecution recommended, on Monday, seven to nine years in prison for Mr. Stone on seven felony convictions, the president criticized the move. Senior law enforcement officials overturned the professional prosecutor the next day, prompting accusations of political interference.
Although Mr. Bar said he was intending to intervene to ask the judge to impose a more lenient sentence, he also said that Mr. Trump had further complicated his plans by creating the specter of political futility and that the president’s comment was doing his work “not possible.”
The four prosecutors involved in the case resigned from the US Attorney’s Office in Washington.
On Friday, Mr. Stone’s lawyers filed a sealed application calling for a new trial, which could delay the ruling in the next week. This came a day after Mr. Trump made a juror bias in Mr. Stone’s trial.
Mr. Bar installed the external attorneys at the beginning of February and placed them in a position to guess the decisions related to these cases, said the people familiar with the work of the office. Among the strangers were Jeff Jensen, who appointed Mr. Trump as a U.S. attorney in St. Louis in 2017, and aides to Jeffrey A. Rosen, Deputy Prosecutor.
Mr. Barr described an intervention from several people who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive internal deliberations. The Ministry of Justice declined to comment.
The Prosecutor also recently installed a personal assistant, Timothy Chia, as a temporary lawyer for the United States in Washington. Mr. Barr had previously been maneuvering to get a former American lawyer there, Jesse K. Liu, to leave her position earlier than planned, creating a vacancy.
External officials began interrogating prosecutors at the Washington office about various cases – some of which are publicly known, some of which are unknown – including investigative steps, prosecution procedures, and why they took them, according to people.
Among the most politically charged cases is the case against Mr. Flynn, which Mr. Jensen is said to now oversee. Mr. Flynn’s case was developed during an investigation by Russia by the Office of the Special Attorney, Robert S. Muller III, was extradited to the US attorney’s office in Washington after Mr. Muller completed his investigation.
Mr Flynn’s lawyers, led by Sydney Powell, have urged Mr. Barr to intervene in the case, accusing the attorneys of corruption attorneys. In June, before she officially became Mr Flynn’s lawyer, Ms. Powell wrote to Mr. Bar to indicate that new prosecutors were reviewing the case, expressing “her great hope that you and the Department of Justice will use this case to restore integrity and trust the oath.”
Although the President dismissed Mr. Flynn, Mr. Trump mocked the case against him long ago, wishing him good luck on Twitter, praising Mrs. Powell and describing the case as “a shame.”
Mrs. Powell threw waves of charges not supported by the misconduct of the prosecution, in the hope of derailing the case from her client. The judge in the case, Emmett Sullivan, He rejected them and dismissed the allegation in contempt as Mrs. Powell requested, prompting Mr. Flynn to seek to withdraw his plea of guilt. In the most recent version, prosecutors again described Mrs. Powell’s accusations of government wrongdoing.
Prosecutors wrote in a file on Wednesday: “The defendant relies on allegations unrelated to his case, and the court has already rejected it, unrelated to his FBI false statements.”
This deposit made no public indication that Mr. Jensen was playing a behind-the-scenes role in the case, or whether he had reviewed his text and allowed prosecutors to present it.
Prosecutors initially sought between 0 and six months in prison for Mr. Flynn, Then their tone softened And they said they wouldn’t oppose the minimum range – test instead of imprisonment. This shift came in late January, before the change in leadership in the Washington office.
In the midst of the increased scrutiny of the Ministry of Justice, the timing of the officials ’decision to end their long investigation into Mr. Maccabi without charge.
Lawyers said Michael R. Bromwich and David Schertler in a statement that prosecutors in the Washington office informed Mr. McCabe’s lawyer of their decision Friday morning.
“We said at the beginning of the criminal investigation, nearly two years ago, that if the facts and the law determine the outcome, no charges will be brought,” they said. “We are glad that Andrew McCabe and his family can continue their lives without hanging this cloud over them.”
Mr. McCabe’s case centered on whether he made a false statement to the administration’s inspector general about disclosure to reporters about the Clinton Foundation investigation. Mr. Maccabi, works through F.B.I. The press office, has authorized the spokesperson and lawyer for the office to speak to a reporter to refute allegations that he slowed down the investigation, while in fact he had paid for his protection.
Mr. Maccabi’s lawyers have denied that he intentionally lied to the inspector general’s investigators. In September, Justice Department officials told Mr. Maccabi’s lawyer They rejected a last-minute plea not to be charged. Why does the case last for several months without an unclear decision.
Also on Friday, Judge Reggie B. Walton of the District of Columbia Federal District Court, who heads a lawsuit seeking FBI. The documents related to the release of Mr. Maccabi in 2018 are not sealed Copy of a closed meeting in September with prosecutors.
In a sign that prosecutors had previously said that a decision to indict Mr. Maccabi could come “literally within days”, Judge Walton disciplined them for tying Mr. Maccabi and noticed Mr. Trump’s comments about Mr. Maccabi rejecting, saying that they had created the emergence of “Banana Republic” .
“I don’t think people like the fact that you got someone at the top trying to dictate whether someone should be prosecuted,” the judge said, adding that even if Mr. Trump’s moves “don’t affect the final decision, I think there are a lot of people in The outside is aware that there is a retreat, and the pressure is inappropriately. “
Contributed to the preparation of the report, Katie Banner from Washington, Maggie Haberman from New York, and Matt Abuso from Brussels.