U.S. judge urged to stop 'corrupt' reversal in case of Trump ex-aide Flynn
By Jan Wolfe (Reuters) - A retired judge blasted the U.S. Justice Department's plan to drop the criminal case against President Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn as corrupt on Friday and urged the judge presiding over the case to reject the move.
By Jan Wolfe
(Reuters) - A retired judge blasted the U.S. Justice Department's plan to drop the criminal case against President Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn as corrupt on Friday and urged the judge presiding over the case to reject the move.
John Gleeson, a former trial judge and prosecutor, was named by U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan to argue against the department's stance in the high-profile case in Washington. Critics have accused the department and Attorney General William Barr of going light on Flynn, a Trump ally who twice pleaded guilty in the case to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia's former ambassador in Washington.
In a court filing, Gleeson said the department should not be allowed to drop the case. The department's effort to do so was a "corrupt and politically motivated favor unworthy of our justice system," Gleeson added.
The department unsuccessfully sought to force Sullivan to drop the charges, but an appeals court allowed the judge to consider the matter further.
Sidney Powell, a lawyer for Flynn, called Gleeson's filing a "smear" that ignored evidence that the Flynn prosecution "was corrupt from its inception."
Trump, who fired Flynn after just weeks as his national security adviser in 2017, has called the criminal case against his former aide unfair and has suggested he could pardon him.
Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his conversations with then-Ambassador Sergey Kislyak before Trump took office concerning U.S. sanctions imposed on Russia 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 guilty plea, switching lawyers to pursue an approach that accused the FBI of setting him up.
Democrats and other critics have called the Flynn case an example of Barr improperly meddling to help Trump's friends and political allies.
Flynn and Trump's administration have said Sullivan is required by law to grant the request for dismissal. The judge has said he is "not a rubber stamp" and wants to carefully scrutinize the Justice Department's request before deciding whether to grant it.
An appeals court on Aug. 31 denied Flynn's request to order Sullivan to end the case, saying the judge has the authority to appoint Gleeson and hear arguments. Sullivan could still dismiss the Flynn case, or could be ordered to do so by the appeals court.
(Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Editing by Franklin Paul, Bill Berkrot and Will DUnham)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.