DOJ Alumni Statement on Flynn Case

DOJ Alumni
4 min readMay 11, 2020

We, the undersigned, are alumni of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) who have collectively served both Republican and Democratic administrations. Each of us proudly took an oath to defend the Constitution and pursue the evenhanded administration of justice free from partisan consideration.

Many of us have spoken out previously to condemn President Trump’s and Attorney General Barr’s political interference in the Department’s law enforcement decisions, as we did when Attorney General Barr overruled the sentencing recommendation of career prosecutors to seek favorable treatment for President Trump’s close associate, Roger Stone. The Attorney General’s intervention in the Stone case to seek political favor for a personal ally of the President flouted the core principle that politics must never enter into the Department’s law enforcement decisions and undermined its mission to ensure equal justice under the law. As we said then, “Governments that use the enormous power of law enforcement to punish their enemies and reward their allies are not constitutional republics; they are autocracies.”

Now, Attorney General Barr has once again assaulted the rule of law, this time in the case of President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn. In December 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his communications with the Russian ambassador to the United States. Subsequent events strongly suggest political interference in Flynn’s prosecution. Despite previously acknowledging that he “had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI,” President Trump has repeatedly and publicly complained that Flynn has been mistreated and subjected to a “witch hunt.” The President has also said that Flynn was “essentially exonerated” and that he was “strongly considering a [f]ull [p]ardon.” The Department has now moved to dismiss the charges against Flynn, in a filing signed by a single political appointee and no career prosecutors. The Department’s purported justification for doing so does not hold up to scrutiny, given the ample evidence that the investigation was well-founded and — more importantly — the fact that Flynn admitted under oath and in open court that he told material lies to the FBI in violation of longstanding federal law.

Make no mistake: The Department’s action is extraordinarily rare, if not unprecedented. If any of us, or anyone reading this statement who is not a friend of the President, were to lie to federal investigators…