The U.S. Justice Department effort to drop the criminal case against former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn is the result of an improper pressure campaign by President Donald Trump, according to the retired federal judge assigned the task of arguing against dismissal.
The government’s attempt to drop the case after Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents during the Russia probe “reflects a corrupt and politically motivated favor unworthy of our justice system,” former judge John Gleeson said in a brief filed Friday in Washington.
“In the United States, presidents do not orchestrate pressure campaigns to get the Justice Department to drop charges against defendants who have pleaded guilty –twice, before two different judges — and whose guilt is obvious,” said Gleeson, who was named as a “friend of the court” to fight against the dismissal of the Flynn case.
Flynn’s attorney, Sidney Powell, didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment, and neither a spokesman for the Department of Justice.
The brief was requested by U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, who threw a wrench in the government’s plan to drop the case by making it clear he wouldn’t rubber stamp it. The Washington-based judge named Gleeson to provide an argument against dismissal. Sullivan also hired his own lawyer to fight for his right to decide the case after Flynn asked an appeals court to order the judge to grant dismissal — an effort that Flynn ultimately lost.
Gleeson in June made his first argument against dismissal, saying the effort was a corrupt attempt to help a political ally of Trump. The ex-judge urged Sullivan to sentence Flynn as originally planned after he pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents in the early days of the Russia probe.
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