Judge in Flynn case taps retired judge to make case against DOJ move to drop charges

Whether President Donald Trump's former national security adviser lied to the court will be examined.
Image: Michael Flynn
Michael Flynn leaves federal court in Washington in December 2017.Brendan Smialowski / AFP - Getty Images file

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By Tom Winter and Rebecca Shabad

WASHINGTON — The federal judge overseeing the case against Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser, has appointed a retired judge to present arguments in the case opposing the Justice Department's request to dismiss the charges against him.

Judge Emmet Sullivan said that he wants the retired judge, John Gleeson, to present arguments against dropping the charges against Flynn and explore the possibility that Flynn lied to Sullivan and should beheld in criminal contempt for perjury.

Sullivan said this week that he would allow individuals outside of the Justice Department as well as Flynn's attorneys to submit filings in the case to provide the court with additional information or perspectives that might help him make a decision on whether to dismiss the charges against Flynn or let him withdraw his guilty plea.

This comes after the Justice Department last week announced that it was moving to drop the criminal charges against Flynn. On Monday, a letter signed by nearly 2,000 former DOJ and FBI officials blasted the move and called on Attorney General William Barr to resign.

Flynn, President Donald Trump's first national security adviser, pleaded guilty in late 2017 to lying to the FBI about his conversations with Russia's ambassador to the United States during Trump's 2016 presidential transition. Flynn, however, withdrew his guilty plea in January after the federal government signaled that it wouldn’t pursue a lenient sentence against him.