A federal appeals court grilled former National Security Advisor
During a rare review by the full appellate panel, most of the judges at the proceeding on Tuesday posed questions suggesting the trial judge can decide whether to toss the case against Flynn, a high-profile ally of President
“The judge is not simply a rubber stamp,” U.S. Circuit Court Judge
U.S. District Judge
A former judge named by Sullivan to argue against dismissal said the government’s decision to abandon the case is a corrupt effort to help an ally of the president, who has repeatedly claimed the prosecution is part of a “deep state” effort to undermine his administration.
A three-judge panel of the federal appeals court in Washington initially
“The district court is doing what district court’s do -- preparing to rule on a motion,” Wilkinson said. “No fact finding has been requested and briefing by the parties has not finished. Once done, there may be little left to discuss at the hearing.”
Flynn pleaded guilty in the early days of the Russia investigation. He sought to withdraw his plea and dismiss the case before the Justice Department said it was walking away from the prosecution.
On Tuesday, several of the appellate judges noted that even if Sullivan denies the DOJ’s dismissal request, Flynn can still file an appeal that may succeed.
One of the appellate judges,
Even in such a case, Flynn’s attorney said, a judge would have no choice but to dismiss and should instead refer the matter to the Justice Department for prosecution of the prosecutor.
“He cannot go behind the prosecutors’ decision to dismiss a case,” Powell said. “These are completely unprecedented proceedings, and the reason they are is because they never should have happened,” she said later.
Deputy U.S. Solicitor General
Sullivan has shown “a level of investment in the proceedings that is problematic,” Wall said.
Wall added that Wilkinson appeared to be walking back her argument by saying Sullivan just wants to ask a few questions about the motion to dismiss at a hearing rather than conduct fact finding and call witnesses, as earlier briefs in the case had suggested might happen.
“That tepid defense gives away the game,” Wall said.
(Updates with questioning of the judge’s lawyer.)
To contact the reporter on this story:
To contact the editors responsible for this story:
© 2020 Bloomberg L.P. All rights reserved. Used with permission.