Appeals court rejects Flynn's effort to dismiss charges

Source: The Hill | August 31, 2020 | Harper Neidig

A federal appeals court rejected Michael Flynn’s effort to force a judge to immediately dismiss the charges against him, overturning an earlier decision that would have allowed the Department of Justice (DOJ) to drop its case against the former national security adviser.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 8-2 against Flynn’s petition for it to step in and force a district judge to grant the Justice Department’s motion to drop charges without holding a hearing on the issue.

The circuit court also denied Flynn’s argument that the judge overseeing his case be forced to recuse himself. The former three-star general’s legal team had argued that Judge Emmet Sullivan acted improperly by appointing outside counsel to argue against the DOJ’s sudden decision to drop its case and by asking the full circuit court to revisit the earlier decision by a three-judge panel.

Flynn’s attorney did not immediately respond when asked for comment.

Unless Flynn’s lawyers appeal to the Supreme Court, Sullivan will be able to move forward with a hearing about the DOJ’s unusual reversal in the case, before deciding whether to allow the Trump administration to withdraw its charges against the president’s former close aide.

Flynn had pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI about his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. and agreed to cooperate with the special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in 2016 election.

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