By JEFF MORDOCK
President Obama this week lambasted the Justice Department’s abandonment of criminal charges against Michael Flynn as unprecedented, but his Justice Department did the same thing in another highly politicized criminal case.
In April 2009, then-Attorney General Eric Holder pulled the plug on the prosecution of Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska, a liberal Republican who sided with Democrats on key issues including climate change and abortion.
The comparisons between Stevens and Flynn are striking. Both men faced the same criminal charges of making false statements, the same judge, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, handled both cases, and each had their criminal prosecution undone by a handwritten note that was buried by federal prosecutors.
Still, in a call Friday with thousands of supporters listening, Obama railed that Attorney General William Barr undermined the “rule of law” by dropping the charges against Flynn, who previously served as Trump’s national security advisor.
“There is no precedent that anybody can find for somebody who has been charged with perjury just getting off scot-free,” said Obama.
Although the Stevens prosecution began under President George W. Bush, conservatives at the time grumbled the case may have been initiated by left-leaning prosecutors looking to flip his Senate seat.
Holder dropped the criminal charges against Stevens nearly seven months after he was convicted by a federal jury. He cited allegations that prosecutors withheld exculpatory evidence.
Federal prosecutors accused Stevens of failing to report more than $250,000 in gifts from an oil company executive, including home repairs and a deal in which Stevens swapped a 1964 Ford Mustang for a new 1999 Land Rover Discovery.