Ex-Mueller aide defends prosecution of Michael Flynn

Source: Politico | February 12, 2020 | Josh Gerstein

Prosecutor Brandon Van Grack says the FBI’s mishandling of surveillance applications didn’t affect former Trump adviser’s case.

Amid ongoing turmoil at the Justice Department, a prominent member of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s team surfaced in a court filing on Wednesday to defend the government’s prosecution of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Just one day after President Donald Trump publicly slammed the targeting of Flynn and a longtime Trump adviser, Roger Stone, fueling a furor that apparently led four prosecutors to quit Stone’s case, Brandon Van Grack submitted a written pleading urging a judge to reject Flynn’s effort to have his prosecution thrown out on the grounds of “egregious government misconduct.”

“The defendant relies on allegations that do not pertain to his case, that the Court already rejected, and that have no relevance to his false statements to the FBI on January 24, 2017,” Van Grack wrote. “Beyond failing to identify misconduct that satisfies the legal test cited in his own brief — that the misconduct be ‘so grossly shocking and so outrageous as to violate the universal sense of justice’ — the defendant fails to identify any government misconduct in this case.”

The prosecution filing also argues that a slew of failures that the Justice Department’s inspector general found in the FBI’s handling of surveillance applications merit serious attention but that the faults involved Carter Page, a Trump 2016 foreign policy adviser, and not Flynn.

“The government does not dispute the seriousness of the ‘significant errors and omissions’ described in the Report,” Van Grack wrote. “But the compliance and diligence failures and ‘significant errors’ as they relate to the Page FISA applications do not warrant or necessitate the dismissal of the charge against the defendant.”

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