Remarks: Michael Flynn’s attorney Sidney Powell provides insight into a federal appeals court ordering the dismissal of the Flynn case. FULL STORY HERE: https://www.4cmitv.com/2020/06/26/2020-jun-25-flynns-attorney-takes-a-swipe-at-fbi-theres-a-criminal-conspiracy-in-there/
In criminal law, a conspiracy is an agreement between two or more persons to commit a crime at some time in the future. Criminal law in some countries or for some conspiracies may require that at least one overt act be undertaken in furtherance of that agreement, to constitute an offense.
BACKGROUND: Criminal Conspiracy: In criminal law, a conspiracy is an agreement between two or more persons to commit a crime at some time in the future. Criminal law in some countries or for some conspiracies may require that at least one overt act be undertaken in furtherance of that agreement, to constitute an offense.
The Guardian Headlined: US APPEALS COURT ORDERS JUDGE TO DISMISS CASE AGAINST MICHAEL FLYNN
Trump celebrates ‘great ruling’ that grants DoJ’s motion to force judge Emmet Sullivan to dismiss criminal case
Michael Flynn in December 2018. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
A FEDERAL APPEALS COURT HAS ORDERED THE PROSECUTION OF FORMER TRUMP NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER MICHAEL FLYNN TO BE DISMISSED.
In a surprise ruling, the DC circuit court of appeals overruled district judge Emmet Sullivan and has ordered him to accept the justice department’s motion to dismiss the criminal case against Flynn.
Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in 2017, but the justice department filed a motion last month to dismiss the criminal charges against him, prompting accusations of political bias.
The justice department’s motion to dismiss the charges against Flynn came after Trump repeatedly accused federal investigators of unfairly targeting his former adviser.
Trump sent a tweet celebrating Wednesday’s “great” ruling. The president similarly celebrated last month, when the justice department filed a motion to dismiss the criminal charges against Flynn.
Critics accused Trump and attorney general William Barr of politicizing the department and undermining the rule of law.
Flynn had become a cause celebre among the far right, with many of Trump’s most ardent supporters arguing the former national security adviser had been a victim of the “deep state”.
However, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contact with the former Russian ambassador to the US, and he became a cooperating witness in Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and the Trump campaign’s links with Moscow. Flynn was the only White House official charged in Mueller’s investigation.
Earlier this year, Sullivan had declined to immediately dismiss the case against Flynn, seeking instead to evaluate on his own the departments unusual dismissal request. Sullivan appointed a former federal judge, John Gleeson, to review the justice department’s motion to dismiss the charges.
Gleeson submitted a court filing on his findings earlier this month, accusing the DoJ of engaging in “highly irregular conduct to benefit a political ally of the president.”
Gleeson argued the motion to dismiss should be denied because there was “clear evidence of a gross abuse of prosecutorial power” on the part of the justice department.
A three-judge panel of the DC circuit court of appeals issued Wednesday’s 2-1 decision to overrule Sullivan and order him to dismiss the criminal charges against Flynn.
However, that is likely not the end of the former national security adviser’s legal saga. Sullivan could still ask for the full bench of the appeals court to review the issue, which could result in a different ruling.
Wednesday’s 2-1 opinion was authored by Judge Neomi Rao, a Trump appointee, and joined by Karen LeCraft Henderson, who had asked skeptical questions of lawyers for Flynn and the justice department during arguments earlier this month.
Original Source: Date-stamped: 2020 JUN 25 | Time-stamped: 00.40 AEST | Author: Joan E Greve in Washington and agencies (@joanegreve) | Article Title: US appeals court orders judge to dismiss case against Michael Flynn | Article Link: theguardian.com
NBC News Headlined: Appeals court orders judge to dismiss Michael Flynn case
The ruling was the latest episode in the long-winding Flynn saga.
Former national security adviser Michael Flynn arrives for his sentencing hearing at U.S. District Court in Washington on Dec. 18, 2018. Jonathan Ernst / Reuters file
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Wednesday ordered that a federal judge dismiss the case against President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn, ending his long court battle and freeing him of the prospect of a prison sentence.
By a 2-1 vote, a three-judge panel said U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan had no choice but to grant the Justice Department’s motion to drop the case against Flynn.
“Because this is not the unusual case where a more searching inquiry is justified, and because there is no adequate remedy for the intrusion on ‘the Executive’s long-settled primacy over charging decisions,’ we grant the petition for mandamus in part and order the district court to grant the government’s Rule 48(a) motion to dismiss the charges against Flynn,” Judge Neomi Rao, a Trump appointee, wrote in the three-judge panel’s majority decision.
Flynn twice pleaded guilty to charges that he lied to FBI agents in Jan. 2017 about his conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. But after an agreement to cooperate with prosecutors fell apart in a separate case involving Flynn’s former business partner, Flynn sought to withdraw his plea.
Last month, Flynn asked the appeals court for an order directing U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, who is handling his case, to dismiss it. That came after the Justice Department filed a motion to dismiss the case, which led Sullivan to appoint a retired federal judge to examine the government’s justification and to analyze whether Flynn should be separately found in contempt of court for his guilty plea.
Because he was never sentenced, Flynn was never actually convicted so there is no conviction to wipe off the record. If Sullivan follows the appeals court’s instructions and formally grants the government’s motion to dismiss, the case will be over. Sullivan could also appeal Wednesday’s ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. He has not said whether he would do so. Any judge on the full federal appeals court could also ask to review Wednesday’s decision, which would put it on hold.
Trump was quick to celebrate the decision, tweeting: “Great!”
“Appeals Court Upholds Justice Departments Request To Drop Criminal Case Against General Michael Flynn!” he added.
Speaking in the Oval Office later in the day, Trump said he is “very happy” with the ruling, adding that he believes Flynn “was persecuted.”
“He’s been exonerated,” Trump said. “I want to congratulate him.”
Trump in March tweeted that he was “strongly considering a full pardon” for Flynn.
Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec tweeted on the ruling as well, posting, “WIN in General Flynn’s case.”
Judge Robert Wilkins, appointed by former President Barack Obama, authored a partial dissent to the court’s ruling on Wednesday, saying that the appeals court should have waited to see whether Sullivan granted or denied the government’s motion to abandon the case before deciding whether to order him to drop it.
“That is not for us, as a Court of Appeals, to decide in the first instance,” he wrote. “Rather, the District Court must be given a reasonable opportunity to consider and hold a hearing on the government’s request to ensure that it is not clearly contrary to the public interest.”
In early May, the Justice Department abruptly notified Sullivan it would no longer prosecute the case, saying that Flynn’s conduct was not “material” to any investigation and therefore did not violate the law.
After that sudden move, Sullivan appointed retired U.S. District Judge John Gleeson as a friend of the court to offer his views on the case moving forward. Flynn’s lawyers had argued that once the government seeks to drop a case, the judge has almost no choice but to accept.
Wednesday’s decision also said Sullivan had no authority to appoint Gleeson. Sullivan scheduled a July 16 hearing on whether to let the government to drop Flynn’s case.
The ruling comes as a federal prosecutor is set to testify before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday on what he described as “political influence” in Justice Department decision making in the case against Trump’s longtime adviser and confidant Roger Stone.
The prosecutor, Aaron Zelinsky, who has worked at the Justice Department since 2014 and was on the team prosecuting Stone, said he resigned from that team because the Justice Department inappropriately pushed for a lighter sentence.
“I have never seen political influence play a role in prosecutorial decision making, with one exception: United States v. Roger Stone,” Zelinsky said in prepared testimony.
Zelinsky was one of four prosecutors who withdrew from the Stone case in February after they were asked to submit a revised filing that invited the judge to impose a more lenient sentence, pressuring the prosecutors to “water down and in some cases outright distort” the nature of Stone’s conduct, Zelinsky said.
Original Source: Date-stamped: 2020 JUN 24 | Time-stamped: 10:47 PM AWST | Author: Allan Smith and Pete Williams | Article Title: Appeals court orders judge to dismiss Michael Flynn case | Article Link: nbcnews.com
Washington — A federal appeals court has ordered a district judge to grant the Justice Department’s request to drop the criminal case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn, bringing the extraordinary legal battle over the department’s handling of the case closer to an end.
A panel of three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit granted Flynn’s motion to force U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan to drop the case in an order on Wednesday. The ruling was 2 to 1, with one judge dissenting.
The Justice Department the case against Flynn in May, asking Sullivan to drop the criminal charge despite Flynn’s guilty plea. Sullivan declined to immediately rule on the motion, and instead indicated he would review the decision and appoint a retired judge as a “friend of the court” to argue against the government. Flynn filed an to the D.C. Circuit to force Sullivan to accept the motion and drop the charge.
The decision does not bring the case to an immediate end, according to Stephen Vladeck, a professor at the University of Texas School of Law and a seasoned Supreme Court litigator. If Sullivan chooses to, he can ask the D.C. Circuit to rehear the case “en banc,” or before all 12 active judges. The court can also decide to rehear the case if a majority of the judges vote to do so. Any decision by the full circuit court could then be appealed to the Supreme Court.
“The dispute may be between a judge and DOJ, but the rules are the same,” Vladeck told CBS News.
In an opinion explaining the ruling, Circuit Judge Neomi Rao, who was nominated to the bench by President Trump, argued that forcing the Justice Department to explain its reasoning for seeking to drop the case would infringe on the authority of the executive branch.
Original Source: Date-stamped: 2020 JUN 24 | Time-stamped: Published 10:35 AM, 11:29 AM | Author: Stefan Becket, Robert Legare, Grace Segers | Article Title: Federal appeals court orders judge to drop charges against Michael Flynn | Article Link: cbsnews.com
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Original-Source: Fox Business
Original-Source-Published: 2020 JUN 25
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