Michael Flynn, a retired three-star general and former national security advisor to Trump, plans to sue the federal government for an expected $50 million. The lawsuit stems from the Department of Justice’s criminal prosecution of Flynn in 2017, specifically the false statement charge that was brought against him.
Flynn served as the 18th Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) from 2012 to 2014. In 2017, Flynn was appointed as National Security Advisor to President Trump, but he resigned after just 24 days due to controversy over his communications with Russian officials.
Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Russian ambassador to the United States during the 2016 presidential campaign. However, he later withdrew his guilty plea and the Department of Justice under the Trump administration moved to dismiss the charges against him. In November 2020, President Trump pardoned Flynn for any crimes he may have committed related to the Russia investigation.
Flynn’s legal team alleges that the FBI, unable to establish that Flynn was working as a Russian agent, sent agents, including Peter Strzok, to interview him at the White House on January 24, 2017, without informing him that he was the subject of an investigation and could be charged. They further claim that the FBI violated Flynn’s Fourth Amendment rights and committed outrageous government misconduct.
Although the DOJ moved to dismiss the charge in May 2020, Judge Emmet Sullivan of the D.C. District Court refused to drop the charges, despite being ordered to do so by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Flynn’s legal team highlights this sequence of events at the beginning of the draft legal filing.
“Defendant’s agents were acutely aware that General Flynn was one of few people in the Trump White House with the authority and the intelligence background to uncover and expose the Crossfire Hurricane debacle,” the lawsuit states.
Trump’s selection for national security advisor, Flynn, was accused of providing false information about his telephone conversations with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the transition period from the Obama administration to the Trump administration.
“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,” Flynn alleged in the filing.
According to Flynn’s legal team, he claims that his case was politically motivated and part of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, which the FBI justified using the infamous dossier compiled by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele. The dossier was allegedly paid for by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign as a means to harm then-GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.
On November 25, 2020, President Donald Trump granted Flynn a pardon, and as a result, Sullivan dismissed the case against him. Flynn’s lawyers contend that the FBI failed to prove that Flynn was a Russian agent and instead sent agents, including Peter Strzok, to interview him at the White House on January 24, 2017, a few days after Trump’s inauguration.
Flynn’s statement filed on Friday said, “During this interview, FBI agents Strzok and Pientka were attempting to trap General Flynn in a misstatement or omission so that they could charge him with a false statement violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001. This malicious intent continued throughout the FBI’s investigation and the subsequent investigation and prosecution by the Special Counsel’s office.”
Flynn claimed, “As a direct and proximate result of Defendant’s actions, General Flynn suffered harm. He was falsely branded as a traitor to his country, lost at least tens of millions of dollars of business opportunities and future lifetime earning potential, was maliciously prosecuted and spent substantial monies in his own defense.”