Decision on Michael Flynn Case Expected Soon
Final decision for former-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s case may come soon from the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the latest court to hear arguments regarding the case.
Back in May, General Michael Flynn’s legal team, including the Department of Justice, formally requested that the U.S. Court for the District of Columbia dismiss all charges brought against General Flynn.
Charges were originally brought against Michael Flynn by Special Counsel Robert Mueller in 2017, asserting that Flynn did “willfully and knowingly make materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements and representations… to agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation”. These false statements occurred when the FBI interviewed the former General about a phone call made prior to President Trump’s inauguration, in which Michael Flynn, the soon-to-be National Security Advisor, had contacted Russian Ambassador Sergey Kelsyak.
Flynn had allegedly reassured the Russian Ambassador that under the new administration things would be better, and Russia would be smart to taper-down and not over-retaliate from sanctions brought on them by President Obama. What Michael Flynn didn’t know at the time was that his conversation with the Russian ambassador had actually been recorded via a wire tap by the FBI. Flynn, unaware of this, denied to the FBI that he asked the Russians “to refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions that the United States had imposed against Russia”. Flynn ultimately admitted his guilt and entered into a plea agreement with the FBI.
Since then, an old conversation among FBI agents surfaced in which the agents discussed their intentions for interviewing Flynn, including whether it was to get him fired or sent to prison. Former FBI Director James Comey also admitted that whether or not Flynn was intentionally lying to them was a “close call”. Because of these developments and “the government’s bad faith [and] vindictiveness”, in January of this year Michael Flynn withdrew his plea deal.
Following this withdrawal, Flynn’s legal team with the Department of Justice (DOJ) pushed for a complete case dismissal, on grounds that “the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into Mr. Flynn” was “conducted without any legitimate investigative basis”.
Judge Emmet Sullivan, presiding over this dismissal case, responded by seeking outside opinion from retired judge John Gleeson; Judge Gleeson was appointed as an amicus curiae, an impartial counsel designed to help provide unbiased insight. In an official brief, the retired Judge called the DOJ’s attempted dismissal “a gross abuse of prosecutorial power, attempting to provide special treatment to a favored friend and political ally of the President of the United States… and in doing so has undermined the public’s confidence in the rule of law.”
Michael Flynn’s legal team quickly appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to force District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan to dismiss the case. Flynn’s legal counsel argued that involving an amicus curiae to argue against dismissal made Judge Sullivan illegitimately “assume the role of prosecutor”, infringing upon his “constitutional duties” to grant the motion to dismiss.
The federal appeals court heard the case Friday, and is expected to release their decision soon.