The Full Federal Appeals Court will hear the case to decide whether the Justice Department can withdraw criminal charges after former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents and other crimes. Trump can’t afford to have Flynn jailed; he might spill the beans!
The highest federal appeals court in Washington DC, before the U.S. Supreme Court, agreed today to rehear whether former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn’s guilty plea can be summarily dismissed.
This order backed by ten members of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit comes a little over a month after a three-judge partisan panel which included a Trump appointee and another Republican appointee illegally ordered a lower federal district court judge who is overseeing the case against Flynn to dismiss the prosecution at the Justice Department’s request. The decision broke over 200 years of legal precedent.
Flynn first pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. at the time, Sergey Kislyak, regarding U.S. sanctions against Russia. He had been indicted as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation
Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general, is famous for leading chants of “lock her up” about Hillary Clinton during the 2016 Republican National Convention. Flynn decided to cooperate with Mueller’s investigators in the Russia probe. He later decided to change lawyers and shifted course before U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan could issue his final sentence. Flynn claims the original FBI investigation was illegally conducted and that he was “set up.”
Today’s order by the court is a monumental development. The full panel that will hear the case consists of more judges appointed by Democratic presidents (7) than those appointed by Republicans (3), which is believed by most legal experts will result in a reversal of the three-judge panel’s decision to toss out the case.
Oral arguments are scheduled for August 11. One DC Circuit judge, Gregory Katsas, a former Trump White House lawyer, is not participating, according to Thursday’s court order. That recusal will likely produce a unanimous decision that will create another huge problem for Flynn.
Flynn could end up being sentenced to a longer prison sentence by U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan as opposed to the six months to 1-year sentence. Flynn could have been sentenced to a longer sentence because of his guilty plea. Flynn admitted to acting as an unregistered foreign agent during the and after the 2016 election for Turkey’s government. It’s within the Judge’s prerogative to bundle all the other felonies he admitted to into a sentence that is based on the cumulative crimes.
Judge Sullivan could throw out the government’s sentencing recommendation and sentence Flynn to a sentence that extends over several years. This would force President Trump to pardon Flynn like he did Roger Stone.