Flynn Case to Be Prolonged Beyond Election, Judge's Order Indicates

Flynn Case to Be Prolonged Beyond Election, Judge's Order Indicates
President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn leaves the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse in Washington on June 24, 2019. (Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images)
Petr Svab

The court process for Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, a former Trump adviser, will likely carry on beyond Election Day after a court order indicated that a schedule for a further process won’t be set for at least another three weeks.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) dropped the case nearly four months ago, but District Judge Emmet Sullivan, who’s presiding over it, has refused to accept the dismissal and has insisted on further proceedings.

Flynn pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to FBI agents during an interview early that year. But he withdrew his plea before sentencing. The prosecutors moved to dismiss the case after discovering evidence indicating the bureau didn’t have a legitimate reason to interview Flynn.

Sullivan responded to the motion by appointing former federal Judge John Gleeson to argue against the dismissal and determine whether Flynn should be charged with contempt of court for walking back his plea.

A three-judge panel of the District of Columbia appeals court ordered Sullivan to accept the dismissal in June, but Sullivan asked the full court to rehear the case. The court reversed the intervention and sent the case back to Sullivan on Aug. 31.

On Sept. 1, Sullivan ordered Flynn, the DOJ, and Gleeson to come back to him by Sept. 21 with a proposed schedule for further proceedings, including for further written briefs and three proposed dates for an oral argument. He also ordered the parties to submit a consolidated response to other third parties that have sounded off on the case.

With only two months left, it's unlikely the case will be resolved by Election Day.

Since the beginning, Flynn’s case has been politically charged. He served as the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency during the Obama administration and briefly as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser.

His case was central to the unsubstantiated narrative that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to sway the 2016 election. The charge against Flynn was that he lied about his calls with then-Russian ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak. The DOJ later acknowledged that the calls were legitimate and that the FBI had no reason to question him about them, other than trying to catch him in a lie, which isn't a proper investigative purpose.

Other than submitting to further delays, Flynn can also ask the Supreme Court to look into the case, though it isn't clear how expedient any potential review might be or if the court would even take on the case.

Flynn’s lead lawyer, former federal prosecutor Sidney Powell, indicated the defense may have further steps to take.

“Stay tuned. We are not done,” she told The Epoch Times in an emailed response.

Petr Svab is a reporter covering New York. Previously, he covered national topics including politics, economy, education, and law enforcement.