Ex-Trump adviser Michael Flynn charges of lying to FBI ‘to be dropped’

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn pictured in 2018Image copyright

The US Department of Justice will drop the criminal charges against former national security adviser Michael Flynn, US media report.

Flynn was among the ex-Trump aides convicted during the special counsel’s investigation into Russian election interference.

He had pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI about interactions with Russia’s ambassador to the US.

The news the case will be dropped comes as Flynn sought to withdraw his plea.

The justice department’s decision also follows criticism of the case by President Donald Trump and his supporters.

Mr Trump told reporters in the Oval Office following the news that he “felt it was going to happen” and he was pleased.

“He’s an innocent man,” the president said. “I hope a lot of people are going to pay a big price. They’re scum.”

Flynn, a retired Army three-star lieutenant general, lasted just 23 days as national security counsel adviser.

Mr Trump fired him after it emerged that he had discussed lifting sanctions on Russia with the Russian ambassador to Washington before Mr Trump took office and had lied to the vice-president about that conversation.

In March, Mr Trump said he was considering pardoning Flynn.

Flynn, with the help of a new legal team, had accused prosecutors of misconduct, including withholding evidence.

Attorney General Bill Barr appointed US Attorney Jeffrey Jensen to review the handling of Flynn’s case earlier this year.

Mr Jensen said in a statement that he “concluded the proper and just course was to dismiss the case”.

Just ahead of the announcement, US media reported that prosecutor Brandon Van Grack, who was a member of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team, had stepped back from handling the case.

No further details were given regarding his withdrawal.

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