On Monday a United States appeals court denied a bid by Michael Flynn, U.S. President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, to immediately end the criminal case against him for lying to the FBI about his talks with a Russian official before Trump took office in 2017.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, rehearing an earlier decision by three of its judges, declined to issue an emergency order directing the judge hearing the case to grant the Department of Justice’s request for dismissal.
The ruling allows U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan to hear arguments on whether he must grant the Justice Department’s request to drop the case. The judge has said he is “not a rubber stamp” and wants to carefully scrutinize the Justice Department’s request before deciding whether to grant it.
Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general, pleaded guilty two times to lying to the FBI about his conversations with Russia’s then-ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, concerning U.S. sanctions imposed on Moscow under President Barack Obama.
Flynn was charged under former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation that detailed Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election to boost Trump’s candidacy. While awaiting sentencing by Sullivan, Flynn sought to withdraw his plea, switching lawyers to pursue a scorched-earth approach that accused the FBI of setting him up.