Flynn pleaded guilty to a crime of lying to FBI agents investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election in 2017. The former chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency confirmed his debt in 2018, but has since attempted to withdraw his plea – an effort that eventually received support from the Department of Justice, which moved earlier this year to strike the case, citing of alleged FBI misconduct.
But DOJ’s decision sparked a wave of complaints that Attorney General Bill Barr wanted to undermine the prosecution of a close Trump ally, and Sullivan dismissed efforts to immediately get rid of the case, but instead turned down an outside adviser to determine if the court has room to consider alternatives. Sullivan scheduled a hearing on this matter earlier this month, but postponed it after the split court of three judges on appeal ruled that he had exceeded his authority.
The decision to hear the case and banc is good news for Sullivan. He took the unusual and perhaps never-before-seen step to request a full court judgment after the initial verdict – written by Neomi Rao, an appointed Trump – confused many criminal justice experts and even some former judges. Courts are reluctant to issue so-called “mandamus” decisions – forcing lower-court judges to take specific actions, such as dismissing a case – if it is not a last resort, and Sullivan repeatedly stressed that he is not had ruled one way or the other on Flynn’s attempt to end the case against him.
The one-page decision by the court to announce the en banc rehearsal did not explain in detail why the entire court had agreed to hear the case, but in the order the parties were asked to submit Going on August’s arguments, Flynn “has no other suitable means to achieve the enlightenment” he seeks.
That could be a sign that one or more judges believe that Flynn and the government should, at least initially, file their complaints about Sullivan’s plans for settling the request for dismissal with Sullivan before seeking help from the appeals court. Search.
The court order also indicates that the judges hearing the case and banc will include seven Democratic appointees and three Republican appointees.
One of the judges of the court – Trump-appointed Greg Katsas – commented as he did in other disputes over the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who brought Flynn’s prosecution. The decision to hear the case and banc required the approval of a majority of the active, non-contracted judges of the court, but no official record was drawn up.
The decision also complicates matters for Trump, who has indicated that he plans to bring Flynn back into his political job, perhaps as a campaign replacement or even as an advisor. A mid-August hearing means that a decision is unlikely to be made until late summer or even fall, with elections approaching.
And if the appeals court supports Sullivan, he can hold a high-profile hearing on the case in the weeks leading up to the November vote. Meanwhile, the charges against Flynn are still pending.