The federal judge overseeing the case of President Donald Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, hinted reluctance in dropping the charges against the former Trump aide by hiring an ex-Judge to argue against the Justice Department.
In the short written order, United States District Judge Emmet Sullivan requested John Gleeson, a former New York federal judge, to present arguments in the case as an amicus curiae, or “friend of the court.”
Sullivan requested an investigation into whether perjury was also committed by Flynn who testified under oath that he was guilty in front of two judges in 2017. After changing lawyers however, in January of this year Flynn recanted his guilty plea.
Gleeson was also asked to make the case for why a motion to dismiss the Flynn case filed by the Justice Department last week should be rejected.
According to Samuel Buell – a former federal prosecutor who now teaches criminal law at Duke University, it is “ … extraordinary for the judge to appoint somebody to argue against a prosecutors’ motion to dismiss a criminal case.” However, “What the Justice Department did in the first case is, as far as any of us can figure out, unprecedented, so the fact that this is pretty unprecedented too is not that surprising.”
The case to drop the charges against Flynn carries high political overtones and was met with a tsunami of backlash.
Critics accused Attorney General William Barr of politicizing the Justice Department to protect Trump’s circle. Former US President Barack Obama also criticized the move saying that it was one that endangered the rule of law in the country.
Flynn was Trump’s first national security adviser who was fired after it was revealed that he had discussed lifting sanctions on Russia with the Russian ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak in the weeks before Trump took office.
In late April, President Trump said he would “certainly consider” bringing Flynn back into government and after the Justice Department dropped its criminal case against Flynn last week, Vice President Mike Pence said he would be “happy to see Flynn back in the government.”
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