Outside counsel says Trump's 'pressure campaign' moved DOJ to drop Flynn charges

Source: The Hill | September 11, 2020 | Harper Neidig

A former federal judge tasked with arguing against the Department of Justice’s decision to drop charges against Michael Flynn said Friday that the move stemmed from President Trump’s efforts to influence the prosecution on behalf of his former national security adviser.

John Gleeson, who was tapped to serve as outside counsel in the case after the Justice Department’s surprise move in May to drop the case, submitted a filing arguing that the court should deny the government’s effort to dismiss the case.

“In the United States, Presidents do not orchestrate pressure campaigns to get the Justice Department to drop charges against defendants who have pleaded guilty — twice, before two different judges — and whose guilt is obvious,” Gleeson wrote in the filing. “And the Justice Department does not seek to dismiss criminal charges on grounds riddled with legal and factual error, then argue that the validity of those grounds cannot even be briefed to the Court that accepted the defendant’s guilty plea.”

“Yet that is exactly what has unfolded here,” he added. “There is clear evidence that the Government’s Motion to Dismiss the case against Defendant Michael T. Flynn rests on pure pretext. There is clear evidence that this motion reflects a corrupt and politically motivated favor unworthy of our justice system.”

The parties are facing off over whether the charges will be dropped after a federal appeals court rejected Flynn’s effort to have his case dismissed outright.

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