U.S. Attorney General William Barr’s move to abandon the Michael Flynn prosecution after he had twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI was widely lambasted as a partisan decision benefiting an ally of President Trump and one that would further erode public confidence in the institution of the U.S. Justice Department.

The Flynn prosecution in Washington’s federal trial court had long been a rallying flashpoint for conservatives who argued the case was an example of prosecutorial overreach, despite that Flynn had admitted to misconduct and agreed to cooperate with Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.

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