Mary B. McCord, a former top Justice Department official, wrote a blistering op-ed for The New York Times, claiming Attorney General William Barr used pieces of her 2017 testimony with Special Counsel Robert Mueller to justify the decision to drop the pending criminal case against former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
Flynn lied about his contact with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak regarding sanctions that were imposed on Russia under the Obama administration for interfering with the 2016 United States election. Flynn lied about the calls to incoming Vice President Mike Pence, who, along with other members of the administration, then relayed inaccurate information pertaining to the calls to the public.
Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I. and reached a deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller to cooperate in the Special Counsel’s Russia investigation. Flynn later tried to withdraw his guilty plea and attacked the Russia investigation.
In a controversial move, Barr dismissed the charges last week, citing McCord’s testimony over 25 times in the motion to dismiss. In his reasoning, Barr claimed “that continued prosecution of this case would not serve the interest of justice,” according to court filings.
But now, McCord disagrees with not only the dismissal but of the way in which her words were used by Barr, claiming her interview in July of 2017 “is no support for Mr. Barr’s dismissal of the Flynn case.” She maintains her interview does not help the department support the conclusion that Mr. Flynn’s calls with Kislyak were appropriate, and she contends Flynn lied and omitted information in his conversations with the F.B.I. She asserts that the F.B.I.’s interview with Flynn was lawful, justified, constitutional, and for a genuine counterintelligence purpose.
McCord is the former acting assistant attorney general and held top positions in the Department of Justice under the administrations of both parties in a career that spanned almost two decades. She was actively involved in the D.O.J.’s counterintelligence investigation into the calls made between Flynn and Kislyak and Flynn’s lies about those calls to incoming Vice President Mike Pence.
Now, as a result of the dismissal, nearly 2,000 former Justice Department officials have called for Barr to resign over his ”improper intervention” in the case.