The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday denied former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s request to immediately drop his case.
The Justice Department in April moved to drop its case against Flynn for allegedly lying to FBI agents as part of the Russia investigation. However, Judge Emmet Sullivan of the D.C. District Court has refused to dismiss Flynn’s case entirely, and requested that the Appeals court hear the case a second time with all judges present.
The Circuit Court granted Sullivan’s request, and on Monday ruled 8-2 against Flynn’s petition to force Sullivan to dismiss the case. Additionally, the Circuit Court rejected arguments by Flynn’s legal team that Sullivan himself should be recused because of political bias.
Sullivan will be able to conducted his own hearing on the Justice Department’s reversal in the case.
The ruling will likely keep the Flynn case alive for several months, and it is not clear whether the case will be dismissed before the November elections.
Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents in an interview conducted in January 2017, before he was set to join the incoming Trump administration. However, Flynn subsequently reversed his guilty plea, and Attorney General William Barr later approved a decision to drop the case.
“The Government is not persuaded that the January 24, 2017 interview was conducted with a legitimate investigative basis and therefore does not believe that Mr. Flynn’s statements were material even if untrue,” the DOJ stated. “Moreover, we do not believe that the Government can prove either the relevant false statements or their materiality beyond a reasonable doubt.”
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