A retired judge on Wednesday urged a federal court not to allow the Justice Department to dismiss its criminal case against President Donald Trump’s former adviser Michael Flynn, citing evidence of a “gross abuse of prosecutorial power.” This report produced by Chris Dignam.
A retired judge, who was tapped to weigh in on the criminal case against President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn, said on Wednesday that the Department of Justice’s move to drop the charges against Flynn was “corrupt” and “highly irregular conduct to benefit a political ally of the President.”
In a legal brief, retired U.S. District Judge John Gleeson – who made his name prosecuting mob boss John Gotti, known as “The Teflon Don” – said the court should proceed with sentencing Flynn and not allow the DOJ to dismiss the case because “there is clear evidence of a gross abuse of prosecutorial power.”
In early May, the Justice Department filed a motion to dismiss the charges against Flynn, who had twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations with a former Russian ambassador.
The decision sparked furious criticism from congressional Democrats and others who accused Attorney General Bill Barr of politicizing the justice system by bending to Trump’s wishes.
The judge hearing the Flynn case then asked Gleeson to argue against the abrupt motion to drop the case and to make a recommendation on whether to hold Flynn in contempt for perjury.
On Wednesday, Gleeson said Flynn “chose to lie repeatedly” and that there was “ample evidence in the record that Flynn committed perjury.”
It’s unclear how much weight Gleeson’s brief will ultimately carry.
Flynn has asked an appeals court to force the judge to grant the DOJ’s motion and dismiss his criminal case.
A three-judge panel will hear oral arguments about that request on Friday.