House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler (D., N.Y.) said Friday that the panel will hold hearings to probe the Justice Department’s decision to drop its case against former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn.
“We’re looking into all of this,” Nadler said. “We are going to hold hearings on the Flynn matter,” Nadler told CNN’s Manu Raju, adding that his staff is talking to former prosecutors and whistleblowers, as well as people “overruled in these kinds of matters.”
Last week, the DOJ moved to withdraw its case against Flynn, who in 2017 pled guilty to lying to the FBI, after an outside examination of the case yielded previously-undisclosed information. Documents released earlier this month showed handwritten notes from an FBI official questioning the goal of Flynn’s January 2017 White House interview with FBI agents Peter Strzok and Joe Pientka, suggesting their intent was “to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired.” That interview came after the FBI had moved to drop its counterintelligence probe into Flynn’s Russian contacts, only for Strzok to intervene to keep the investigation open.
“They didn’t warn him, the way that would usually be required by the Department, they bypassed the Justice Department, they bypassed the protocols at the White House, and so forth,” Attorney General Bill Barr explained after the decision. “These were things that persuaded me that there was not a legitimate counterintelligence investigation.”
But the judge in the Flynn case, Emmet Sullivan, has so far resisted allowing the DOJ to drop the case, and appointed a former federal judge to argue against the move, as well as to weight charges of perjury or contempt for Flynn.
President Trump and his allies have lashed out at President Obama and members of his administration this week on the grounds that they used the intelligence apparatus to target a political opponent. The attacks began after the release of documents showing that senior Obama administration officials, including Vice President Biden, requested Flynn’s identity after his communications with then-Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak were collected as part of a surveillance operation.
Biden’s campaign responded to the release by saying “all normal procedures were followed – any suggestion otherwise is a flat out lie.”