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Almost 2,000 former Justice officials condemn department for dropping Flynn case

Nearly 2,000 former Department of Justice (DOJ) officials who served under Republican and Democratic administrations condemned the DOJ and Attorney General William BarrBill BarrDOJ faces big decision on home confinement Democrats, activists blast Trump DOJ effort to get journalists' phone records Trump admin got phone records of WaPo reporters covering Russia probe: report MORE on Monday for moving to drop charges against former national security adviser Michael Flynn

The former officials said Barr “once again assaulted the rule of law” and accused the attorney general of using the department “as a tool to further President TrumpDonald TrumpSanders: Reinstating SALT deduction 'sends a terrible, terrible message' GOP braces for wild week with momentous vote One quick asylum fix: How Garland can help domestic violence survivors MORE’s personal and political interests.” 

“Make no mistake: The Department’s action is extraordinarily rare, if not unprecedented,” they wrote in a statement published on Medium. “If any of us, or anyone reading this statement who is not a friend of the President, were to lie to federal investigators in the course of a properly predicated counterintelligence investigation, and admit we did so under oath, we would be prosecuted for it.”

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The statement is signed by nearly 2,000 former DOJ employees, and the “DOJ Alumni” who posted it said signatories “have been vetted to the best of our ability.” 

The DOJ said in a court filing last week that it believed, after uncovering new internal FBI communications, that the bureau's investigation into Flynn had been conducted improperly. 

The former DOJ officials said the department's “purported justification” for dropping the case “does not hold up to scrutiny, given the ample evidence that the investigation was well-founded and — more importantly — the fact that Flynn admitted under oath and in open court that he told material lies to the FBI in violation of longstanding federal law.”

They urged the judge who will need to approve the DOJ's motion to “closely examine the Department’s stated rationale for dismissing the charge.”

“While it is rare for a court to deny the Department’s request to dismiss an indictment, if ever there were a case where the public interest counseled the court to take a long, hard look at the government’s explanation and the evidence, it is this one,” they wrote. 

The former officials also renewed a call for Barr to resign. They called for Barr’s resignation in February after condemning him for overruling the sentencing recommendation of Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneMichael Cohen on Giuliani's legal fees: He won't get 'two cents' from Trump Cohen on Giuliani: 'Chickens coming home to roost' There was Trump-Russia collusion — and Trump pardoned the colluder MORE, a close Trump associate. 

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“We continue to believe that it would be best for the integrity of the Justice Department and for our democracy for Attorney General Barr to step aside. In the meantime, we call on Congress to hold the Attorney General accountable,” they wrote. 

The former officials called for Congress to reschedule Barr’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, which was set for March 31 but postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“In the midst of the greatest public health crisis our nation has faced in over a century, we would all prefer it if Congress could focus on the health and prosperity of Americans, not threats to the health of our democracy. Yet Attorney General Barr has left Congress with no choice,” they added. 

Barr has defended the decision to drop the charges. 

In an interview with CBS News last week, Barr dismissed accusations that he’s doing the “president's bidding.” 

“I’m doing the law’s bidding. I’m doing my duty under the law, as I see it,” Barr said.

He added that he was “not at all” influenced by Trump.