Army Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn speaks during the change of directorship for the Defense Intelligence Agency on Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C., July 24, 2012. After serving as the director, Flynn became the national security advisor under President Donald Trump.

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

In a 2-1 ruling on Wednesday, a federal appeals court ordered the charges against the former national security advisor Michael Flynn to be dropped. 

In early May, the Department of Justice moved to exonerate Flynn, who had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about a conversation with Russia’s ambassador before President Donald Trump’s inauguration. However, the ultimate decision remained with District Judge Emmet Sullivan. Sullivan asked former Judge John Gleeson to submit an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief to offer an opinion on the case. In the brief, Gleeson criticized the DOJ’s decision to dismiss Flynn’s charges, calling it a “gross abuse of power.” 

Judge Neomi Rao wrote the majority opinion for the appeals court, saying that the court believed Judge Sullivan exceeded his authority by enlisting Gleeson to “‘present arguments in opposition to the government’s Motion.” 

Testifying before the House Judiciary Committee, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey praised the DOJ for acting apolitically and dropping the case against Flynn as new information came to light.

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

US court orders case against former NSA Michael Flynn dropped – Al Jazeera – 6/24/2020
Judge Robert Wilkins, an Obama appointee, wrote in the dissent that it “is a great irony that, in finding the District Court to have exceeded its jurisdiction, this Court so grievously oversteps its own”. The ruling is likely to anger Democrats, who have accused Attorney General William Barr of improperly meddling in criminal cases to help benefit Trump’s friends and political allies.

Andy McCarthy says he was surprised at Flynn ruling but it’s the ‘right result’ – Fox News – 6/24/2020
In an interview on “America’s Newsroom” with host Ed Henry, McCarthy explained that he had initially thought the appeals court would allow the judge presiding over the case, Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, to at least have a July hearing and then drop the case on his own with a direction or “a strong hint” from the court that he should.

CNN legal analyst breaks down Michael Flynn decision – CNN Video – CNN – 6/24/2020
A federal appeals court ordered Judge Emmet Sullivan to dismiss the case against former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, a surprise conclusion in a long-running political fight. CNN legal analyst Elie Honig breaks down the decision.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

KCRW on Twitter, 6/24/2020: A federal appeals court ordered a federal judge to dismiss the case against Michael Flynn without any further hearings. What happens now? Listen to a new episode of All the President’s Lawyers: (@LRCkcrw)

Jenna Ellis on Twitter, 6/24/2020: Yes, Sullivan could continue to harass Flynn and request an en banc. But the DC Circuit Court was correct. Decisions to bring charges or dismiss charges are solely within the province of the executive and prosecutorial discretion.

Zac Petkanas on Twitter, 6/24/2020: It is kind of stunning how much political capital the Trump Team is willing to blow trying to resurrect the traitorous Michael Flynn’s reputation after he PLEADED GUILTY to federal crimes. It’s a real choice.

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