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‘Finally justice. Justice delayed is better than no justice…’

Justice Dept. Won't Oppose Probation for Ex-Trump Aide Flynn

Michael Flynn/AP Photo

(Liberty Headlines) A federal appeals court on Wednesday ordered the dismissal of the criminal case against President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said in a 2-1 ruling that the Justice Department’s decision to abandon the case against Flynn settles the matter, even though Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to prosecutors in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

It was a big win for the Justice Department as Democrats question whether it has become too politicized and Attorney General William Barr too quick to side with the president. The decision also avoids a protracted court fight that would have delved deeper into the reasoning for the department’s extraordinary dismissal request.

Trump tweeted just moments after the ruling became public.


“Great! Appeals Court Upholds Justice Departments Request to Drop Criminal Case Against General Michael Flynn.”

And Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham said in a statement, “Justice. Finally justice. Justice delayed is better than no justice.”

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan had declined to immediately dismiss the case, taking the highly unusual step instead to evaluate on his own the department’s request.

He appointed a retired federal judge to argue against the Justice Department’s position and to consider whether Flynn could be held in criminal contempt for perjury.

Flynn was the only White House official charged in Mueller’s investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. He pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI days after the president’s January 2017 inauguration about conversations he had had during the presidential transition period with the Russian ambassador.

In its motion, the Justice Department argued that Flynn’s calls with the Russian ambassador were appropriate and not material to the underlying counterintelligence investigation, which was found to be based on an unjustified predicate.

The department also noted that weeks before the interview, the FBI had prepared to close its investigation into Flynn after not finding evidence of a crime.

But the retired judge appointed by Sullivan, John Gleeson, called the Justice Department’s request a “gross abuse” of prosecutorial power and accused the government of creating a pretext to benefit an ally of the president.

Adapted from reporting by Associated Press.