Ex-Judge appointed in Flynn case says DOJ effort to dismiss charge an abuse of power
He argues Flynn also committed perjury in withdrawing that plea
An ex-judge appointed to review the Michael Flynn case said Wednesday that the former Trump administration national security adviser should be sentenced to charges to which had plead guilty and that the Justice Department engaged in "highly irregular conduct" in its decision last month to drop its case against Flynn.
Ex-Judge John Gleeson, brought in by Judge Emmet Sullivan in May to argue in favor of maintaining the case against Flynn, said the court should sentence Flynn for the crime of lying to FBI agents during a 2017 interview related to the federal Trump-Russia investigation. Flynn had previously plead guilty to that charge before withdrawing that plea earlier this year, following the release of declassified documents suggesting the agents broke with protocol in the White House interview.
In moving to drop the case, the Justice Department argued the interview was "untethered to, and unjustified by" the investigation. The department asked the court to drop, but Sullivan refused, instead bringing in Gleeson to argue in favor of continuing it.
Gleeson's made public his opinion in a brief in which he also stated committed perjury when withdrawing his earlier plea.
The court "should take Flynn’s perjury into account in sentencing him on the offense to which he has already admitted guilt," Gleeson said. "This approach – rather than a separate prosecution for perjury or contempt – aligns with the court’s intent to treat this case, and this defendant, in the same way it would any other."
Sullivan is set this week to explain to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals why he has not dismissed the case per the Justice Department's request. The appeals court last month ordered him to make that explanation.
Gleeson's opinion comes after Flynn filed a petition for a writ of mandamus last month asking the appeals court to order Sullivan to dismiss the case per the Justice Department's request.