NBC News reports that the top attorney at the FBI — who also played a key role in investigating former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn — has been asked to leave his post.
The 38-year career of Dana Boente came to an end on Friday, and NBC News cited sources who said he announced his retirement at the behest of high-ranking officials at Bill Barr’s Justice Department — not FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Though Wray made the formal request for Boente’s resignation, according to NBC News, he also expressed admiration for Boente’s decades of service.
“Few people have served so well in so many critical, high-level roles at the Department,” Wray said, according to Fox News, adding that “he has demonstrated a selfless determination to ensure that justice is always served on behalf of our citizens.”
Departure follows media scrutiny
In recent days, Fox News criticized Boente’s involvement in the Flynn case, and it was also reported by NBC News that he claimed in a leaked memo that information placed into the public record about the former Trump advisor was not in fact exculpatory, an assertion which appeared to conflict with the Justice Department’s argument that prosecutors mishandled so-called evidence in the matter from the very start.
While Wray made no mention of why Boente decided to depart in such an apparently sudden fashion, according to the Washington Examiner, Fox Business personality Lou Dobbs has alleged that both he and Wray colluded to hurt Flynn and withheld exculpatory evidence, also implying that the full scope of their conduct may soon be revealed.
“Shocking new reports suggest F.B.I. General Counsel Dana Boente was acting in coordination with F.B.I. Director Christopher Wray to block the release of that evidence that would have cleared General Flynn,” Dobbs said on April 27.
Flynn saga continues
Flynn pleaded guilty in 2017 to making false statements to federal investigators concerning telephone conversations he had with then-Russian Ambassador
However, Flynn subsequently attempted to withdraw his guilty plea, and earlier this spring the Department of Justice decided to drop its case against him, citing the absence of any proper basis for the underlying investigation of the former Trump adviser, Fox News noted.
That move came after the discovery of previously undisclosed documents, including handwritten notes in which FBI agents discussed trapping Flynn in a lie for the purpose of either prosecuting the retired Army general or to “get him fired.”
However, U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan has thus far refused to allow Flynn’s case to be dismissed, and he even solicited input from third parties about whether or not Flynn should be subject to contempt finding for perjury, according to NBC.
Flynn’s attorney has filed a petition for a writ of mandamus with the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. in hopes of compelling Sullivan to dismiss the case, as The Washington Post reports.