The D.C. circuit’s ruling came after the Justice Department filed a motion to drop the case against the former Trump national security adviser.
A federal appeals court handed a major victory to Michael Flynn on Wednesday, ordering a lower court judge to dismiss the felony false-statement charge Flynn pleaded guilty to during special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
A three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals split, 2-1, along ideological lines as it backed Flynn’s unusual bid to strongarm U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan into accepting Attorney General William Barr’s move to pull the plug on President Donald Trump’s first national security adviser.
The majority opinion, penned by Trump appointee Neomi Rao, said allowing the case to continue would intrude on the executive branch’s prerogatives to control criminal prosecutions. Rao said even scheduling a hearing — as Sullivan had done for next month — was improper under the circumstances because there was no good reason to doubt the government’s decision to reverse course.
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