U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan issued an order that indicated he is not ready to accept the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) request to dismiss the case against Michael Flynn. Before ruling on the DOJ’s motion, the judge will allow interested third parties to file amicus curiae, or “friend of the court” briefs to weigh in, according to an ABC News report.
Last Thursday, the DOJ asked the court to dismiss the case against Flynn, who is a former National Security advisor to President Donald Trump. He previously pleaded guilty two times for lying to the FBI about his contact with a former Russian ambassador. United States Attorney General William Barr argued that Flynn’s guilty pleas needed to be thrown out because new evidence about how the FBI handled the investigation meant that the whole case was not legitimate.
Barr’s move stunned many people who have worked at the DOJ, and nearly 2,000 former officials with the department signed a letter calling for the attorney general to resign, The Inquisitr reported. After Sullivan’s order, the former officials would be allowed to file briefs. A group of former Watergate prosecutors also attempted to file a brief, and Flynn’s lawyers filed a motion to stop it, arguing that such a submission had no relevance to the former National Security advisor’s case.
.@GenFlynn and the Trump administration have paid the price for a tax-payer funded conspiracy theory.
No longer should this deep state plot be allowed to continue casting a cloud over our judicial system. pic.twitter.com/hxsSKwcPAC
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) May 13, 2020
According to a WBAP report, Flynn’s attorney’s said that the case should be between the defendant and the U.S. without outside parties included.
“A criminal case is a dispute between the United States and a criminal defendant. There is no place for third parties to meddle in the dispute, and certainly not to usurp the role of the government’s counsel,” Flynn’s attorneys wrote.
Sullivan initially rejected the group’s filing because he had not detailed a schedule or process for accepting briefs at this point.
After Sullivan’s order on Tuesday, DOJ spokesperson Kerri Kupec spoke with Fox News.
“Obviously the Justice Department’s position is pretty clear in its filing,” she said. “We do not believe this case should have been brought, we are correcting that, and we certainly hope that in the interest of true justice the judge ultimately agrees and drops the case against Gen. Flynn.”
For now, it is unclear how Sullivan will ultimately rule on the DOJ’s request, and there is a possibility that he could move forward with the sentencing portion. Should the judge choose to do that, Flynn’s lawyers would likely appeal the move.