A federal appeals court will review a judge’s attempt to review the Justice Department’s decision to drop its criminal case against Donald Trump’s senior national security adviser Michael Flynn.
The long unusual saga became even more unusual on Thursday when the U.S. Full Circuit Court of Appeals in DC agreed to review U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan’s appointment of a retired federal judge to consider how the DOJ handled his case.
Oral arguments are scheduled for August 11.
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Legal advisers to Mr. Sullivan and Flynn have been involved in a complicated legal back-and-forth for months.
Mr Trump had demanded that his former aide and friends be wiped out of all accusations of lying about his contacts with the Russians during the 2016 presidential campaign and Mr Trump’s transition period in 2016 and early 2017.
Attorney General William Barr ordered a review of the case in January before dropping charges, saying the criminal case lacked “any legitimate basis for investigation.”
Legal experts said this meant the AG had determined that even though Mr. Flynn had lied, the false statements did not constitute a crime.
Mr Barr was accused in a controversial hearing Tuesday by members of the Democratic House Judiciary Committee of using his office to help Mr Trump’s friends. He spent hours denying these allegations.
The president couldn’t resist weighing in on his friend’s case, for a long time federal officials under former President Barack Obama came after Mr. Flynn to punish him.
He said Mr. Flynn was treated “unfairly” and never ruled out a pardon. At the end of April, he called the retired three-star general of the army a “good man”.
“I am very happy for General Flynn. He was treated horribly, ”Mr. Trump told reporters on June 24 after the DOJ dropped the case. “He was treated very, very horribly by a bunch of really bad people, and I think you’ll see things start to come out. But what happened to General Flynn should never happen again in our country. He was persecuted, and many other people were persecuted. ”
Obama administration officials say they did not spy on the 2016 Trump campaign and wrongly investigate Mr. Flynn.
He was exonerated and I want to congratulate him. He has been through a lot.