In an ever unfolding story of politics in the courts…
Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, former Trump National Security Adviser, agreed to a plea bargain with special prosecutor Robert Mueller in the District of Columbia’s U.S. District Court on December 1, of 2017.
In the agreement, Flynn pleaded guilty to “willfully and knowingly” making “false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements” to the FBI regarding conversations with Russia’s ambassador.
In his statement, Flynn confirmed that on December 29th, 2016 he asked Russia’s ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak “to refrain from escalating … in response to sanctions that the United States had imposed against Russia that same day.”
Flynn’s guilty plea acknowledged that he was cooperating with the Mueller investigation, and it was accepted by the court.
Earlier this year, Attorney General William Barr motioned for a review of Flynn’s case. St. Louis’ chief federal prosecutor, Jeffrey Jensen, to conduct the review. Jensen was nominated by President Trump for the St. Louis position.
President Trump had made several statements for Flynn’s charges to be dropped and in late April, Jensen recommended the charges be dropped and Barr agreed with the recommendation.
The motion to dismiss on prejudice was filed on May 7th, 2020.
Shortly after, on May 12, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan ordered a hold on the Justice Department’s intent to drop charges. Sullivan came into the court system via appointments by Regan, Bush and Clinton.
This past Wednesday a DC Circuit federal appeals committee ordered the dismissal of the case against former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn and dropping the hold. Judge Neomi Rao, appointed by Trump in 2019 after serving in his administration since 2017, wrote the opinion.
This may not be the end of the case against Lieutenant General Michael Flynn who previously pleaded guilty. The full DC Circuit court, which has 11 members of which 7 are Democrat appointees, could decide to review the case.
Judge Emmet G. Sullivan told CNN “he wanted to weigh the department’s arguments into at least July” however if unchallenged the appeals court’s ruling frees Flynn.