Michael Flynn, former US national security adviser USA, Leaves federal court in Washington, DC on Monday, June 24, 2019.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | fake pictures
A federal appeals court on Wednesday ordered a trial judge to dismiss the criminal case against Michael Flynn, who briefly served as President Donald Trump’s first national security adviser before being investigated and prosecuted for lying to FBI agents. .
The two-judge appeals panel ruling 2-1 emphasized the power of the Justice Department, which has tried to suspend its prosecution of Flynn, to make criminal decisions, given its role as an agent of the executive branch of government.
The ruling came in response to a request from Flynn’s attorneys, after Washington, DC, federal district court judge Emmet Sullivan did not immediately grant the Justice Department motion to dismiss the case.
Instead, Sullivan had appointed a lawyer, former federal judge John Gleeson, to argue with him why the case should not be dismissed.
The Justice Department’s request to dismiss, Sullivan’s lack of immediate agreement with him, and Flynn’s request that an appeals court compel the judge to comply were extremely unusual steps.
Trump praised the ruling in a Twitter post, calling it “Great!”
The President has been highly critical of the prosecution of the retired Army Lieutenant General, who pleaded guilty in late 2017 for lying to the FBI about his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States in the weeks leading up to the inauguration of Trump in January 2017.
But since last year, he and his new attorney, Sidney Powell, have tried to back out of his statement.
The United States Circuit Court for the Circuit of the District of Columbia, in its ruling, said the request for dismissal in this case was not the type of “unusual case in which a more thorough investigation is warranted” before granting a dismissal.
The ruling, written by Trump’s nominee Neomi Rao, also noted that the executive branch of the government has “primacy over collection decisions.”
Therefore, “we grant the mandamus petition in part and order the district court to grant the government’s Rule 48 (a) motion to dismiss the charges against Flynn,” the court said.
Rao wrote that it was appropriate to grant the so-called mandamus injunction requested by Flynn’s attorneys because Sullivan’s slow reversal of a decision on whether to dismiss the case “will result in specific harm to the executive branch’s exclusive fiscal power.”
He added that “it was appropriate to compel Sullivan to grant the Department of Justice’s request for removal” to avoid judicial usurpation of the executive branch. “
Rao joined the majority decision of Karen LeCraft Henderson, who was named to the seat by President George HW Bush after Kenneth Starr left the appeals court.
In strong disagreement, Judge Robert Wilkins wrote: “It is a great irony that, finding that the District Court has exceeded its jurisdiction, this Court so far exceeds his.”
” This appears to be the first time that we have issued a mandamus injunction to compel a district court to rule in a particular way on a motion without first giving the lower court a reasonable opportunity to render its own ruling, “wrote Wilkins, who was appointed to court by President Barack Obama.
Wilkins also opposed the ruling because he did not give Sullivan time to hold a court hearing on the merit of the Justice Department’s dismissal request.
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