Divided Appeals Court: The Flynn Case Must Die

Their 2-1 opinion slams the judge overseeing the case
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2020 11:05 AM CDT
Appeals Court Orders Dismissal of Flynn Case
In this Sept. 10, 2019, file photo, Michael Flynn, President Trump's former national security adviser, leaves federal court following a status conference in Washington.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Looks like Michael Flynn is even closer to legal daylight. An appeals court ruled Wednesday that Flynn's long and controversial court case should be dismissed—which likely means it's over, USA Today reports. The 2-1 opinion criticized the judge who refused to approve a Justice Department plan to let Flynn, President Trump's former national security adviser, go free. The case is "about whether ... the district judge may prolong the prosecution by appointing an amicus, encouraging public participation, and probing the government's motives," wrote DC Circuit Court Judge Neomi Rao, who authored the opinion, per the New York Times. "On that, both the Constitution and cases are clear: He may not."

The case revolves around Flynn's two guilty pleas to lying to the FBI. He admitted in 2017 to lying about his contacts with a Russian ambassador, but a later review ordered by Attorney General William Barr found the FBI had no valid reason to question him in the first place. Flynn's judge, US District Judge Emmet Sullivan, didn't accept that and ordered a high-profile lawyer to contest the government's position before the appeals court. Looks like that didn't go over well. "This is not the unusual case where a more searching inquiry is justified," wrote Rao, per the Washington Post. The Times notes that the two assenting judges were appointed by Republican presidents—Trump and George Bush—while the dissenting judge was appointed by Barack Obama. (More Michael Flynn stories.)

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