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Appeals Court Orders Judge to Dismiss Michael Flynn’s Case

Appeals Court Orders Judge to Dismiss Michael Flynn’s Case

A federal appeals court ruled down ideological lines to order the dismissal of the case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn, CNN reports.

The three-judge panel voted 2-1, with conservative judges voting in favor of dismissal and a liberal judge voting to move ahead with the case.

Flynn twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his conversations with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Earlier this year, the Justice Department intervened and moved to dismiss the charges against him.

But Judge Emmett Sullivan was not convinced, and brought in a special adviser who recommended sentencing Flynn anyway.

Sullivan has the option of seeking to appeal the decision.

Court disagreed with Sullivan:

The majority opinion argued that Sullivan did not have enough reason to question the DOJ’s recommendation in the case.

The court also said that the adviser brought in to review the case was unnecessary.

Sullivan "fails to justify the district court's unprecedented intrusions on individual liberty and the Executive's charging authority," DC appeals court Judge Neomi Rao, a Trump appointee, wrote in the majority opinion.

Judge Robert Wilkins disagreed, arguing that Sullivan should hold a hearing on the DOJ’s request next month.

Case may be reheard:

Steven Vladeck, a professor at the University of Texas School of Law, told CNN that the ruling may be “short-lived.”

"Whether or not Judge Sullivan wishes to pursue this further, any of the 11 active judges on the DC Circuit, including Judge Wilkins -- who dissented from today's ruling -- can ask the full court to rehear the matter," Vladeck said. "It is virtually unprecedented for an appeals court to step in at this juncture and order a district judge to rule a particular way on a motion he hasn't yet ruled on."