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Why Michael Flynn’s new lawsuit looks like an audacious stunt

Michael Flynn is claiming federal law enforcement subjected him to malicious prosecution when they charged him with crimes he twice pleaded guilty to.


When we last heard from Michael Flynn, he was repeatedly taking the Fifth during sworn testimony about his post-2020-election efforts. Among the questions he wouldn’t answer were straightforward inquiries such as “Do you believe in the peaceful transition of power in the United States of America?”

Now, the former foreign agent is back in the news, and this time, it’s because of an audacious new lawsuit he has filed. Rolling Stone reported:

Former Trump National Security Advisor and retired US. Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn is suing the U.S. government on grounds of wrongful prosecution, according to a new legal filing obtained by Rolling Stone. ... The lawsuit stems from a 2016 FBI investigation during the Obama administration over Flynn’s suspected ties to Russia.

Flynn is seeking $50 million in damages.

To appreciate what makes this so extraordinary, let’s revisit our earlier coverage and review how we arrived at this point.

It was just a few years ago when federal prosecutors charged Flynn, accusing him of lying to the FBI about his conversations with the Russian government, lying to investigators about being a paid foreign agent, and acting illegally as an unregistered foreign agent while working on Trump’s 2016 campaign.

Flynn soon after admitted he lied, twice pleaded guilty — under oath and in open court — and became a cooperating witness with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

Flynn then changed his lawyers, at which point he stopped helping the Mueller probe and decided he was no longer guilty of the crimes he’d already pleaded guilty to. Soon after, then-Attorney General Bill Barr took an interest in the case, and the Justice Department announced it was dropping all of the charges against Trump’s former aide.

As difficult as it was to believe, Barr’s DOJ concluded that it could not prove Flynn was guilty of the crimes to which he’d already pleaded guilty. (A retired judge examined what transpired and ultimately accused the Justice Department of exercising a “gross abuse of prosecutorial power.”)

Late on a Wednesday afternoon, the day before Thanksgiving 2020, when he hoped fewer people would notice, Trump quietly pardoned Flynn. It was among the most corrupt moves the former president made while in office.

It’s against this backdrop that Flynn is now suing, claiming federal law enforcement subjected him to malicious prosecution when they charged him with crimes he had twice pleaded guilty to in open court.

The case has been filed in central Florida. Watch this space.

This post revises our related earlier coverage.