President Donald Trump’s former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn on June 24, 2019 in Washington, DC. Barrett Pritman left the US courthouse.
Alex Wroblowski | Getty Images
A federal appeals court on Thursday withdrew its order that a trial court judge dismiss the criminal case against former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, saying it would rehearse arguments on the issue.
The ruling is a setback for both the Army’s lieutenant general Flynn and the Justice Department, who had to lie to FBI agents about their interactions with a Russian diplomat in the weeks before the president’s inauguration to drop the charges against him to the trial judge Have said Donald Trump.
Flynn pleaded guilty to that charge in late 2017.
But for more than a year he sought to undo the convict, and recently the effort received the support of the Justice Department.
The case’s judge, Emmett Sullivan of the US District Court in Washington DC, has not acted on the department’s motion to toss the case.
Instead, Sullivan appointed him an outside counsel to argue that the case should continue, and Flynn be sentenced. The judge also allowed outside parties to dismiss the case whether the case was dismissed.
Flynn’s attorneys protested Sullivan’s leg dragging on the dismissal request and related action, and asked an appeals court to force him to terminate the dismissal.
A three-judge panel at the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in late June in Washington ordered Sullivan to dismiss the case after hearing arguments from attorneys for the judge, Flynn and prosecutors.
But Sullivan asked the full appeals court to reconsider that order.
The appeals court agreed to do so on Thursday, stating that a majority of the 10 judges voted to consider Sullivan’s request.
The order vacated a three-judge panel order that the Sullivan Dimis Flynn case.
The entire line-up of judges in the appeals court gave oral arguments for the so-called Ann Bain reconsideration hearing on 11 August.
The court said that both sides should be read to address the question whether there is “no other sufficient means to obtain the desired relief.”
Its order implies that at least some judges in the appeals court believe that Sullivan should be given the opportunity to rule on the request for dismissal, so that he would refuse to do so regarding the appeal.
Sullivan’s attorney, Beth Wilkinson, said in her oral argument for a bench hearing that the appeals panel’s ruling said the case should be dismissed, before Sullivan ruled that “precedent indicates a dramatic break,” The orderly administration of justice is threatened. “
Flynn’s lawyers responded that the three-judge panel acted appropriately.
Wilkinson on Thursday declined CNBC’s request for comment.
Flynn’s attorney Sydney Powell and a Department of Justice spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The White House declined to comment.
Flynn served as Trump’s first national security adviser for only several weeks. He was fired in February 2017 after lying to Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of his discussions before the inauguration with Sergey Kisalay, who was the Russian ambassador to Washington at the time.
Flynn falsely claimed both the FBI and Pence that he and Kislyak had not discussed the sanctions imposed on Russia by the Obama administration in exchange for Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
On July 13, when asked if he could pardon Flynn, Trump said, “I don’t have a decision to make … until I know what’s going to happen.”
Earlier this month, the president granted clemency to former Trump campaign aide Roger Stone, whose 40-month prison sentence was observed by Trump.
Stone was last convicted in a lawsuit by Congress for lying, obstructing and tampering with testimony.
Trump had said that his friend Stone was a victim of “Russia’s bluff”, and has expressed the same view regarding Flynn’s case.
Both Flynn and Stone were indicted in the 2016 election as part of an investigation by Robert Muller, a former special counsel for Russian interference.