By an overwhelming 8-2 vote, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for Washington, D.C. ruled Monday that criminal charges against former Trump administration national security adviser Michael Flynn will not be dismissed, as had been requested by Attorney General William Barr and the Justice Department.
NBC News reports:
“A federal appeals court Monday rejected an effort by former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn to have his criminal case thrown out immediately.
By a vote of 8-2, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia rejected Flynn’s motion for an order that would have directed the judge who handled the case to dismiss it. That sort of extraordinary order is available only when there’s no other option, the court said.”
Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI under oath on two occasions about conversations he had in 2017 with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak regarding the possibility of easing U.S. sanctions on the Kremlin.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly suggested that the charges against Flynn should be dropped, even though he admitted to having broken federal law. But it wasn’t until this year that his handpicked toady at the DOJ was in a position to make that a reality.
Trump could still pardon Flynn, but that would carry a political price and send the message that lying to federal agents is acceptable as long as such an offense is committed on behalf of Trump or his associates.
With the ruling from the appellate court, U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan will now decide whether or not he will agree to drop the charges against Flynn. In the past, Sullivan has made it clear that he believes Flynn committed a serious offense against the United States, telling him in 2018:
“I am not hiding my disgust, my disdain for this criminal offense.
“Arguably, you sold your country out.”