The Department of Justice decided last week that it was dropping all criminal charges against Donald Trump’s former national security advisor, Michael Flynn.
In 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty FBI for lying to the FBI about his conversations with the then Russian ambassador and made a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller. During her many years of working within the legal system, retired federal judge Nancy Gertner told Jim Braude on WGBH News' Greater Boston that she has never seen the DOJ drop a case like this.
“I’ve seen the DOJ dismiss cases, but not after someone pleaded guilty to them, twice,” she said.
Attorney General William Barr rationalized the DOJ’s decision during an interview with CBS NEWS Thursday. "People sometimes plead to things that turn out not to be crimes, and the Department of Justice is not persuaded that this was material to any legitimate counterintelligence investigation. So it was not a crime," he said.
Gertner said she would not let either Flynn or Barr off the hook if she was presiding over the case. “I would have certainly held a hearing. Bring Barr into the court room,” she said. “Who put their thumb on the scale here?”
Gertner is worried that this decision could hold precedent for future criminal cases. “If the standards that Barr used in this memo were applied to other cases across the country, they would all be thrown out,” she said.