The Justice Department officially dropped its charges against former Trump aide Michael Fynn on Thursday. Bloomberg reports that Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents about his talks with a Russian ambassador to the U.S. before Trump's inauguration, has already received praise from Donald Trump as the charges were dropped.
When speaking about the news with reporters at the White House, Trump said he expected that the charges would be dropped. "He was an innocent man," Trump said, calling the Obama administration " human scum" who he believes kickstarting the prosecution against Flynn. "Now in my book he's an even greater warrior," Trump said.
The move was backed by Attorney General William Barr, and it's suspected it was part of an effort from Trump's administration to avoid the question of whether to pardon Flynn if he was sentenced to time behind bars during Trump's re-election campaign.
"The Government is not persuaded that the January 24, 2017 interview was conducted with a legitimate investigative basis and therefore does not believe Mr. Flynn’s statements were material even if untrue," the Justice Department said in the court filing. "Moreover, we not believe that the Government can prove either the relevant false statements or their materiality beyond a reasonable doubt."
For the past three years or so, prosecutors have maintained that Flynn lied to the FBI about his conversations with the Russian ambassador during a Jan. 2017 interview. Flynn did plead guilty and cooperated with Robert Mueller as part of his investigation on the ties between Russia and Trump's 2016 campaign.
The news was met with anger and disbelief by many on social media.