Attorneys for former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn are asking the U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C. to require U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan to grant the Justice Department’s motion to drop its prosecution of Flynn.
“A district court cannot deny the government’s motion to dismiss because the judge has ‘a disagreement with the prosecution’s exercise of charging authority,’ such as ‘a view that the defendant should stand trial’ or ‘that more serious charges should be brought,” the petition read.
It continued, “Nor should a court second-guess the government’s ‘conclusion that additional prosecution or punishment would not serve the public interest.'”
“The district court has no authority to adopt the role of prosecutor or change the issues in the case by inviting or appointing amici to perform the investigation or prosecution that the court deems appropriate,” it added.
Additionally, Flynn’s lawyers ask that the appellate court “reassign the case to another district judge as to any further proceedings.”
His attorney’s petition comes after Sullivan named former federal prosecutor John Gleeson to serve as “amicus curiae” to argue against the Justice Department’s motion to dismiss the prosecution of Flynn.
Sullivan also asked Gleeson to make a recommendation on whether or not Flynn should be held in contempt of court for seeking to revoke his guilty plea, as IJR reported.
Sullivan’s decision to appoint Gleeson comes weeks after the Justice Department filed a motion to dismiss its prosecution of Flynn.
In 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI, but earlier this year he sought to withdraw his plea. On May 7, the Justice Department filed a motion to drop its prosecution of Flynn.
“We do not believe that the Government can prove either the relevant false statements or their materiality beyond a reasonable doubt,” the motion read.
It continued, “The Government is not persuaded that the January 24, 2017 interview was conducted with a legitimate investigative basis and therefore does not believe Mr. Flynn’s statements were material even if untrue.”
“The Government has determined, pursuant to the Principles of Federal Prosecution and based on an extensive review and careful consideration of the circumstances, that continued prosecution of this case would not serve the interests of justice,” the motion concluded.
Critics claimed the move to drop the prosecution of Flynn was politically motivated and evidence of a politicized Justice Department. However, Attorney General William Barr argued that the move would uphold the rule of law.