Attorneys for former national security adviser Michael Flynn have asked an appeals court to intervene and force the federal judge presiding over the case against him to drop the charges against the retired lieutenant general as the Department of Justice has requested.
What are the details?
CBS News reported that Flynn's chief attorney, Sidney Powell, "filed a petition for a writ of mandamus with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Tuesday that would force U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan to approve the Justice Department's motion" to dismiss the case against her client.
The filing reads, "Petitioner respectfully requests that this Court order the district court immediately to (1) grant the Justice Department's Motion to Dismiss; (2) vacate its order appointing amicus curiae; and (3) reassign the case to another district judge as to any further proceedings."
The DOJ requested on May 7 that the case against Flynn be dropped. But Judge Sullivan has thus far refused to honor the motion to dismiss, and even called on a retired judge to step in and "present arguments in opposition to the government's motion to dismiss" and "address whether the Court should issue an Order to Show Cause why Mr. Flynn should not be held in criminal contempt for perjury."
Flynn was prosecuted as a result of the Mueller investigation that failed to find any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. The retired lieutenant general maintains that he only pleaded guilty to the charges brought against him because the FBI threatened to prosecute his son. Recently released documents show Flynn was targeted by the FBI and agents who spoke out against the election of President Donald Trump.
Powell lambasted Sullivan in her request to the higher court on Tuesday, writing that "the district judge in this case has abandoned any pretense of being an objective umpire—going too far as to suggest that a criminal defendant who succumbs to a coerced and unfair plea bargain should be prosecuted for contempt."
She added, "In the midst of a national election season, with unprecedented acrimony on all sides of the civic debate, the district judge has dragged the court into the political hurricane—cementing the notion that judges are politicians in robes who use their authority to thwart what they consider the 'corruption,' 'impropriety,' and 'improper political influence' of another one of the political branches."