Appeals court orders judge to dismiss Michael Flynn case

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The ruling was the latest episode in the long-winding Flynn saga.

Image: Former national security adviser Flynn arrives for sentencing hearing at U.S. District Court in Washington

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn exits a vehicle as he arrives for his sentencing hearing at U.S. District Court in Washington on Dec. 18, 2018.Jonathan Ernst / Reuters fileJune 24, 2020, 9:47 AM CDTBy Allan Smith

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Wednesday ordered that a federal judge dismiss the case against President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who was charged in 2017 with lying to the FBI.

“Because this is not the unusual case where a more searching inquiry is justified, and because there is no adequate remedy for the intrusion on ‘the Executive’s long-settled primacy over charging decisions,’ we grant the petition for mandamus in part and order the district court to grant the government’s Rule 48(a) motion to dismiss the charges against Flynn,” Judge Neomi Rao, a Trump appointee, wrote in the three-judge panel’s majority decision.

With no prosecutor now pushing the case, the decision is likely to mean the end of Flynn’s criminal prosecution.

Last month, Flynn asked the appeals court for an order directing U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, who is handling his case, to dismiss it. That came after the Justice Department filed a motion to dismiss the case, which led Sullivan to appoint a retired federal judge to examine the government’s justification and to analyze whether Flynn should be separately found in contempt of court for his guilty plea.

Flynn, who stepped down as national security adviser during the first weeks of the Trump administration, had asked to withdraw his guilty plea.

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