Thursday, July 30, 2020

Full appeals court agrees to rehear Michael Flynn's case

A federal appeals court on Thursday agreed to take a second look at whether the Justice Department can withdraw the criminal charges against Michael Flynn, keeping President Trump’s first national security adviser in legal jeopardy for at least a little while longer. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated last month’s split decision by a three-judge panel that ordered the charges dismissed. A new round of oral arguments now can proceed. Oral arguments before the full court are scheduled for Aug. 11. In a 2-1 decision last month, the court ruled U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan did not have the authority to block the Justice Department’s motion to abandon its prosecution of Mr. Flynn. The judge who dissented was the lone Democratic-appointed judge on the panel. The D.C. Circuit is currently composed of seven judges appointed by three Democrats and four Republican appointees. Justice Department lawyers said the FBI never should have interviewed Mr. Flynn as part of its probe into allegations of collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russia operatives interfering in the 2016 election. The FBI had no evidence Mr. Flynn could shed light on their probe, department lawyers wrote. Judge Sullivan ordered extra scrutiny of the Justice Department’s decision and appointed an outside counsel to argue against dropping the case. Mr. Flynn’s lawyers responded with a petition to the D.C. Circuit asking it to force Judge Sullivan to accept the Justice Department’s request...MORE

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