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Court Appoints Retired Judge To Oppose Justice Department In Michael Flynn Case

The Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building in Washington, D.C.
Andrew Harnik
The Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building in Washington, D.C.

The presiding judge in Michael Flynn's criminal case has appointed a retired judge to present arguments in opposition to the Justice Department's move to dismiss its prosecution of the former national security adviser.

Judge Emmet Sullivan has asked John Gleeson, a retired judge in the Eastern District of New York, to act as a friend of the court and look into whether Flynn should face a contempt hearing for perjury.

The order does not address the government's attempt to drop the case or suggest when the judge might make that decision. It comes a day after Sullivan issued an order soliciting "friend of the court" briefs and said he would provide a schedule at a later time.

The move signals the judge could have some reservations about the DOJ's effort to dismiss the case.

The Justice Department announced last week that it would move to drop the case against Flynn. Attorney General William Barr has drawn criticism for intervening in cases involving friends of President Trump.

Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Russians, but now says that he's innocent and was entrapped by the government.

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The Justice Department declined to comment.

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Amita Kelly is a Washington editor, where she works across beats and platforms to edit election, politics and policy news and features stories.