Politics

Prosecutor of ex-Trump aide Michael Flynn withdraws from case amid controversy over documents

Key Points
  • A top prosecutor in the criminal case against former national security advisor Michael Flynn removed himself from the case Thursday.
  • The Justice Department prosecutor, Brandon Van Grack, who heads a unit responsible for prosecuting violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, did not say in a court filing why he is withdrawing from Flynn's case.
  • Van Grack's withdrawal follows the public release of new documents that were unsealed in the case, which Flynn's defenders say provide evidence of wrongdoing by the government.
Michael Flynn, former U.S. national security adviser, exits federal court in Washington, D.C., on Monday, June 24, 2019.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

A top prosecutor removed himself Thursday from the criminal case against former national security advisor Michael Flynn, as well as from at least two other court cases involving Flynn.

The Justice Department prosecutor, Brandon Van Grack, did not say in a court filing why he is withdrawing from Flynn's case. He heads a unit responsible for prosecuting violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Van Grack also withdrew from at least two other active cases Thursday, court filings show. Flynn is listed as an interested party in both of those cases. All three cases are in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., and all are presided over by Judge Emmet Sullivan.

Flynn, President Donald Trump's first national security advisor, was charged as part of former special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe with lying to FBI agents about his discussions with Russia's ambassador to the United States before Trump took office. Flynn pleaded guilty to one count of lying to federal agents.

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Dept. of Justice drops criminal case against ex-Trump advisor Flynn: AP

But Flynn replaced his legal team last year and is now trying to withdraw his guilty plea, arguing he is the victim of misconduct by prosecutors.

Van Grack's withdrawal follows the public release of new documents that were unsealed in the case. Flynn's defenders – including Trump – say the records provide evidence of wrongdoing by the government.

A spokeswoman for the DOJ did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment on Van Grack's removal from Flynn's case. Sidney Powell, a lawyer for Flynn, did not immediately provide comment on the withdrawal.

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