U.S. judge urged by appointee to stop Justice Dept 'corrupt' reversal in Flynn case

By Jan Wolfe (Reuters) - A retired judge, appointed by the court to make arguments, on Friday said the U.S. Department of Justice should not be allowed to drop its criminal case against President Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Reuters September 12, 2020 00:12:55 IST
U.S. judge urged by appointee to stop Justice Dept 'corrupt' reversal in Flynn case

US judge urged by appointee to stop Justice Dept corrupt reversal in Flynn case

By Jan Wolfe

(Reuters) - A retired judge, appointed by the court to make arguments, on Friday said the U.S. Department of Justice should not be allowed to drop its criminal case against President Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

The Justice Department's effort to drop the case was a "corrupt and politically motivated favor unworthy of our justice system," John Gleeson, a former trial judge and prosecutor, said in a court filing.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington had asked Gleeson to present arguments for why the Justice Department's request to drop the case should be denied.

A lawyer for Flynn did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general, pleaded guilty two times to lying to the FBI about his conversations with Russia’s then-ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, concerning U.S. sanctions imposed on Moscow under President Barack Obama.

Flynn was charged under former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation that detailed Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election to boost Trump’s candidacy.

While awaiting sentencing by Sullivan, Flynn sought to withdraw his plea, switching lawyers to pursue an approach that accused the FBI of setting him up.

Trump has said Flynn was treated unfairly in the case.

Democrats have said the Flynn case is an example of Attorney General William Barr improperly meddling to help Trump’s friends and political allies.

Flynn and the Trump administration have said Sullivan is required by law to grant the request for dismissal.

The judge said he is “not a rubber stamp” and wants to carefully scrutinize the Justice Department’s request before deciding whether to grant it.

Earlier this year, Flynn asked an appeals court to order Sullivan to end the case. The court denied the request on Aug. 31, saying Sullivan had the authority to appoint Gleeson and hear arguments.

Sullivan could still dismiss the Flynn case, or be ordered to do so by the appeals court.

Trump has also suggested he could pardon Flynn.

(Reporting by Jan Wolfe, Editing by Franklin Paul and Bill Berkrot)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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