Andrew McCarthy: Michael Flynn’s prosecution was a travesty of justice

It has long been obvious that the case brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller against Michael Flynn stunk to high heaven. That has been copiously confirmed over the last three weeks as the Justice Department made a series of stunning disclosures that undermined whatever vestige of propriety remained.

General Flynn, former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, served fleetingly as President Trump’s first national security advisor. At the time, in the wake of Hillary Clinton’s stunning defeat in the 2016 election, the media-Democrat complex fueled a “collusion” narrative — purportedly, Trump had schemed with Russia to hack Democratic email accounts, and would now do the Kremlin’s bidding from the Oval Office.

Flynn was caught up in this fever dream because, as a top Trump campaign adviser and transition official, he had some conversations with the Russian ambassador — just as he was speaking with many foreign dignitaries.

Although the FBI and the Obama administration had recordings of these calls and knew Flynn had done nothing improper, the fact that they occurred was used to stoke the claim that Flynn may have agreed on Trump’s behalf to drop sanctions Obama had imposed on Russia. He had not, but the mere mention of sanctions was politically explosive.

There was no basis to believe Flynn, a decorated former US combat commander, would ever be Moscow’s mole, much less that he had committed a crime. But Obama officials speculated that perhaps they could nail him for violating the Logan Act. On the books since 1799, this provision purports to make it a crime to engage freelance diplomacy without government authorization. It is almost certainly unconstitutional, no one has ever been successfully prosecuted for violating it, and the government hasn’t even tried to indict anyone on it since before the Civil War. It would be absurd to try to apply it to any American, but to contemplate doing it against a transition official slated to become national security adviser was particularly ludicrous.

Yet the FBI used it pretextually as a basis to conduct a perjury-trap interview of Flynn at the White House in his second day on the job. Knowing its investigation was baseless, the bureau did not seek the required permission from the White House to grill a member of the president’s staff. Former FBI director James Comey has weirdly bragged that, against protocol, he sent two agents to Flynn’s office — after Comey’s then-deputy, Andrew McCabe, called to discourage Flynn from getting a lawyer or giving a heads-up to the White House counsel.

New York Post