Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

There are less than 48 hours left in this Mid-Year Campaign and our independent journalism needs your help today.
If you value our work, please support Common Dreams. This is our hour of need.

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn arrives for his sentencing hearing at the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. on December 18, 2018. (Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

'More Political Interference at DOJ': Barr Installs Outside Prosecutor to Scrutinize Michael Flynn Case

"Barr is going to burn DOJ to the ground from the inside in his crusade to advance the president's political interests."

Jake Johnson

Attorney General William Barr has reportedly installed an outside prosecutor to scrutinize the criminal case against President Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in December of 2017 to lying to the FBI during the Russia probe.

Barr's move, reported Friday by the New York Times, comes as the attorney general is facing calls to resign over his decision to intervene in the case of Trump's longtime friend and confidant Roger Stone.

"The review is highly unusual and could trigger more accusations of political interference by top Justice Department officials into the work of career prosecutors," the Times noted. "Mr. Barr has also installed a handful of outside prosecutors to broadly review the handling of other politically sensitive national-security cases in the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington."

"Barr is going to burn DOJ to the ground from the inside in his crusade to advance the president's political interests," MSNBC legal analyst Matthew Miller tweeted in response to the news.

The Times reported that the criminal case against Flynn "has been bogged down in recent months by his lawyers' unfounded claims of prosecutorial misconduct; a judge has already rejected those accusations."

"Flynn then asked to withdraw his guilty plea, which he first entered in December 2017," the Times added. "His case has become a cause célèbre for Mr. Trump's supporters."

Progressive advocacy group Stand Up America tweeted Friday that Barr's decision to order a review of the Flynn case is "another in a long list of examples of extremely inappropriate political interference by this administration designed to advance the president's interests."

On Tuesday, all four career federal prosecutors handling the Stone case withdrew in protest after Barr intervened to reduce Stone's recommended prison sentence of seven to nine years. Numerous House Democrats are privately pushing for the prosecutors to testify before Congress, according to the Washington Post.

Barr's intervention in the Stone prosecution came hours after Trump tweeted that the sentence was "horrible and very unfair." In an interview with ABC News Thursday, Barr said the president has never ordered him to interfere in a criminal case.

Trump responded to Barr's interview with a tweet Friday morning insisting he has the "the legal right" to order the attorney general to intervene.

"I have so far chosen not to!" Trump claimed.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

Just a few days left in our crucial Mid-Year Campaign and we might not make it without your help.
Who funds our independent journalism? Readers like you who believe in our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. No corporate advertisers. No billionaire founder. Our non-partisan, nonprofit media model has only one source of revenue: The people who read and value this work and our mission. That's it.
And the model is simple: If everyone just gives whatever amount they can afford and think is reasonable—$3, $9, $29, or more—we can continue. If not enough do, we go dark.

All the small gifts add up to something otherwise impossible. Please join us today. Donate to Common Dreams. This is crunch time. We need you now.

Naomi Klein: The US Is in the Midst of a 'Shock-and-Awe Judicial Coup'

"The rolling judicial coup coming from this court is by no means over," warned the author of "The Shock Doctrine."

Jake Johnson ·


Markey, Bowman Join Climate Coalition in Urging SCOTUS Expansion

"We cannot sit idly by," said Markey, "as extremists on the Supreme Court eviscerate the authorities that the government has had for decades to combat climate change and reduce pollution."

Brett Wilkins ·


Ocasio-Cortez Says US 'Witnessing a Judicial Coup in Process'

"It is our duty to check the Court's gross overreach of power in violating people's inalienable rights and seizing for itself the powers of Congress and the president."

Brett Wilkins ·


Critics Say Biden Drilling Bonanza 'Won't Lower Gas Prices' But 'Will Worsen Climate Crisis'

"President Biden's massive public lands giveaway in the face of utter climate catastrophe is just the latest sign that his climate commitments are mere rhetoric," said one campaigner.

Kenny Stancil ·


Grave Warnings as Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Case That Threatens 'Future of Voting Rights'

"Buckle up," implores one prominent legal scholar. "An extreme decision here could fundamentally alter the balance of power in setting election rules in the states and provide a path for great threats to elections."

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo