U.S. appeals court orders judge to dismiss case against former Trump national security advisor Michael Flynn

CNBC:

  • A federal appeals court ordered a judge to dismiss the criminal case against Michael Flynn, President Trump’s first national security advisor.
  • The ruling came in response to a request from Flynn’s lawyers, after Judge Emmet Sullivan did not promptly grant the Justice Department’s motion to dismiss the case.
  • Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general, had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his conversations with Russia’s ambassador in the weeks before Trump’s inauguration in January 2017.

A federal appeals court Wednesday ordered a judge to dismiss the charge against President Donald Trump’s former national security advisor Michael Flynn, who had pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents.

The 2-1 ruling by the panel of appellate judges stressed the power of the Department of Justice, which has sought to drop its prosecution of Flynn, to make criminal charging decisions given its status as part of the executive branch.

The ruling came in response to a request for a so-called writ of mandamus, or judicial directive, from Flynn’s lawyers.

The defense attorneys asked the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit after the trial judge did not promptly grant the Justice Department’s highly unusual motion to dismiss the case.

President Trump welcomed the ruling

“We are delighted to see the D.C. Circuit apply the Rule of Law and appreciate the professionalism of the Department of Justice in producing the exculpatory evidence and moving to dismiss a case that should never have been brought,” Flynn lawyer Sidney Powell said in an email to CNBC.

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