- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden on Tuesday said the renewed interest in Michael Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser, is meant to be a diversion from the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“This is all about diversion,” Mr. Biden said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “The country is in crisis. … He should stop trying to always divert attention from the real concerns of the American people.”

Flynn, Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI about conversations he had with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

But the Justice Department moved last week to drop its case against Flynn, saying the FBI interview was conducted without any “legitimate investigative basis.”

“It’s not a surprise that, in fact, the Justice Department decided anybody who was an ally of the president didn’t do anything wrong ever,” said Mr. Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

Mr. Trump and his allies have used the DOJ’s move to renew criticism suggesting that members of the Obama administration improperly targeted Flynn as part of the government’s Russia probe.

“Obamagate. It’s been going on for a long time,” the president said on Monday.

Sen. Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican, on Monday said Mr. Biden was in a meeting with President Barack Obama and other top administration officials in January 2017 the day after disgraced former FBI agent Peter Strzok pushed to keep the Flynn case open.

“Given all that we know now regarding the fake foundation to the inquiry, it’s time we asked: What did Obama and Biden know and when did they know it?” Mr. Grassley said.

Mr. Biden said he didn’t have anything to do with Flynn’s prosecution.

“I was aware that they asked for an investigation, but that’s all I know about it,” he said.

Mr. Biden has repeatedly slammed Mr. Trump over the administration’s coronavirus response, saying the president has been too slow to come to grips with the scope of the problem.

“He’s been incompetent the way in which he’s responded to it,” the former vice president said. “We have 80,000 deaths — we have more deaths of the virus than any nation in the world. What’s the story here? I mean, come on.”

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