Dropping the charges against Michael Flynn

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Former national security adviser Michael Flynn exits a vehicle as he arrives for his sentencing hearing at U.S. District Court in Washington, U.S., December 18, 2018. Photo credit: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters.

Just after last week’s episode, the Department of Justice moved to drop the false statements charge against former national security adviser Michael Flynn, a charge he already pleaded guilty to in 2017. The Justice Department says the case should never have been brought, that whatever misstatements he made about his dealings with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak were not material to an ongoing investigation, and as such he should not have been charged for making them. Did they, in fact, misuse the law compared to how it’s otherwise used against other federal defendants? In other words, is this a broad policy or philosophy change for the Department of Justice, or is this...just for Michael Flynn? Ken says the government has never made this argument before and it’s unlikely they’ll ever do it again. The ball is now in Judge Emmet Sullivan’s court. What are his options?

Oral arguments were held yesterday in the three cases that concern subpoenas for the president’s financial records (two cases from the House of Representatives and one from New York state attorney general Cy Vance). How did the arguments go? There was news this week that prestigious law firm Skadden Arps paid $11 million to settle a dispute with Yulia Tymoshenko, the former Ukrainian prime minister who was jailed by the government of Viktor Yanukovych...who was represented by Skadden. That’s a lot of money. What could be going on there? 

Plus: Paul Manafort is released from federal custody to home confinement, Bridgegate, and big boy federal crimes.



Sara Fay