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Judge considering holding Flynn in contempt, taps retired judge to argue against dismissal


The Department of Justice has requested the case be dismissed

(Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The federal judge presiding over the case against Michael Flynn is now considering holding the former national security adviser to President Donald Trump in criminal contempt, and has appointed a retired judge to argue against the Department of Justice's move to drop the case.

What are the details?

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan issued an order Wednesday naming retired judge John Gleeson to "present arguments in opposition to the government's motion to dismiss," and to "address whether the Court should issue an Order to Show Cause why Mr. Flynn should not be held in criminal contempt for perjury."

Politico reported that the second order was "apparently for [Flynn] declaring under oath at two different court proceedings that he was guilty of lying to the FBI, before he reversed course in January and claimed he had never lied."

But recently-released documents from the investigation into Flynn show the retired lieutenant general was targeted by the FBI and agents who spoke out against the election of President Trump. Flynn maintains that he only pleaded guilty because the FBI threatened to prosecute his son.

Sullivan's latest move further intensifies the politics surrounding the case.

Flynn was prosecuted as a result of the Mueller investigation that failed to find any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, and several Democrats cried foul and accused Attorney General William Barr of bending to pressure after the Department of Justice moved last week to have the case dismissed.

Meanwhile, Sullivan, a Clinton appointee, named Gleeson, another Clinton appointee, to step in and argue against the government's position under a Republican administration. Earlier this week, Gleeson co-wrote an opinion for The Washington Post arguing that "the Flynn case isn't over until the judge says it's over."

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