Appeals court orders judge to dismiss Michael Flynn case

Michael Flynn
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A federal appeals court has ordered Judge Emmet G. Sullivan to dismiss the case against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

In a 2-1 decision on Wednesday, a Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia panel ordered Sullivan to dismiss the case without additional review, The New York Times reports. The Justice Department earlier this year moved to drop the case against Flynn, who had previously pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.

Judge Neomi Rao said this case concerns "whether, after the government has explained why a prosecution is no longer in the public interest, the district judge may prolong the prosecution by appointing an amicus, encouraging public participation, and probing the government's motives," per the Times. She concluded, "both the Constitution and cases are clear: He may not." Judge Robert Wilkins dissented, writing, "It is a great irony that, in finding the District Court to have exceeded its jurisdiction, this Court so grievously oversteps its own."

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Sullivan had previously appointed a former federal judge, John Gleeson, to write a friend of the court brief, and he argued that the DOJ's move to dismiss the charges amounted to "gross prosecutorial abuse." The appeals court's decision on Wednesday, The Washington Post reports, means Sullivan can't hold a hearing to go over the request to dismiss the case that had previously been scheduled for July 16. Sullivan, according to the Times, could ask the full appeals court to reverse this order.

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.