Donald Trump’s original band of advisors and supporters have a mountain of legal troubles, and those of former national security advisor Michael Flynn are not going away any time soon.
— Adrienne Bradley (@music4everrrrrr) August 31, 2020
After Trump’s Department of Justice attempted to drop all of the charges against Flynn, charges he pleaded guilty to on two separate occasions, federal court Judge Sullivan determined that the decision would not go forward without scrutiny. Hiring his own lawyer, Sullivan defended his decision to pull the reins in an appeals court, who agreed that Flynn should not get an automatic dismissal from Trump’s friends at the DOJ.
According to The Washington Post:
‘A federal judge can scrutinize the Justice Department’s decision to drop the criminal case against President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn, a federal appeals court in Washington ruled Monday, allowing the legal saga to continue.
‘The divided decision from the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit gives U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan the go ahead to question prosecutors’ unusual move to dismiss Flynn’s case ahead of sentencing. The retired general twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts before Trump took office in 2017.’
Breaking: Federal appeals court denies request by Michael Flynn and the Justice Department to shut down his criminal case in court quickly through an appeal.
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) August 31, 2020
Flynn attempted to take the case to an appeals court to deny Sullivan the right to review the case before dismissing it at the Trump DOJ’s request. Although courts are somewhat divided on what the powers of the judge should be, as most defer to prosecutors, an appeals court determined that he should be able to review the motives behind the dismissal request rather than be forced to let Flynn go free.
‘In an 8-to-2 ruling, the court denied Flynn’s request, backed by the Justice Department, to shutdown Sullivan’s planned review and appointment of a retired federal judge to argue against the government’s position.
‘The decision by the full court reverses an earlier ruling by a three-judge panel of the same court that ordered Sullivan to immediately close the case.’
NOW: DC Circuit DENIES Michael Flynn's request to order a federal judge to dismiss the criminal information against him. Overturns the earlier panel ruling in Flynn's favor. pic.twitter.com/voBYMWffSZ
— Jacqueline Thomsen (@jacq_thomsen) August 31, 2020
As it turns out, the Trump team is not above the law, and federal courts are working to ensure that they remember that. While the Flynn case is long from settled, another barrier to justice has been removed.
‘In May, Sullivan refused to immediately sign off on the Justice Department’s request to toss the case. Instead he tapped John Gleeson, a retired New York federal judge, to oppose the Justice Department.
‘Sullivan’s move prompted Flynn’s defense team to petition the D.C. Circuit to get involved midstream and force the judge’s hand. Sullivan hired his own lawyer to defend the court’s authority to investigate whether dismissing the case is in the public interest.’
BREAKING: Appeals court keeps Michael Flynn prosecution alive, permits judge to scrutinize the Justice Department's request to dismiss the case. https://t.co/T1Je1zwxGk
— The Associated Press (@AP) August 31, 2020