The D.C. Court of Appeals has agreed to rehear the case against retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, the court announced on Thursday.
The court’s decision prolongs an already three-year legal battle between Flynn and the Department of Justice that federal prosecutors asked to be closed with all charges dropped back in May. Federal District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan denied a request to immediately dismiss the case and instead brought in a retired judge to assess and potentially continue the prosecution.
Oral arguments in the D.C. Circuit Court are scheduled for August 11.
NEWS: The full DC Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to rehear the Michael Flynn case. Oral arguments for the en banc review are scheduled for Aug. 11. pic.twitter.com/xt96W7Ja0D
— Darren Samuelsohn (@dsamuelsohn) July 30, 2020
The wrangling between Flynn’s defense, the DOJ, and Sullivan has continued for weeks as the defendant and prosecutors push to drop the case in light of evidence suggesting that the FBI unjustly targeted Flynn for investigation and fabricated evidence against him. Sullivan has so far refused to drop the case.
The DOJ’s request to drop the case was made on a recommendation from U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen, whom Attorney General William Barr assigned to review the case in February.
“Through the course of my review of General Flynn’s case, I concluded the proper and just course was to dismiss the case,” Jensen said. “I briefed Attorney General Barr on my findings, advised him on these conclusions, and he agreed.”
Jensen’s review turned up handwritten notes purportedly made by the FBI’s former head of counterintelligence, Bill Priestap, that suggest the FBI’s top brass sought to entrap Flynn in a Jan. 24, 2017, meeting between Flynn and two FBI agents.
“What’s our goal? Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?” read the notes, written after a meeting between Priestap, former FBI director James Comey, and former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe.
“I don’t see how getting someone to admit their wrongdoing is going easy on him,” the notes continue. “If we get him to admit to breaking the Logan Act, give facts to DOJ + have them decide.”
Other documents suggest that FBI top brass intervened into an investigation into Flynn in order to keep it open after FBI agents assigned to investigate Flynn wanted to close the probe for lack of evidence of any violations.
In early July of this year, the DOJ turned over documents to Flynn’s defense team that Flynn attorney Sidney Powell says show “prosecutorial misconduct” and that FBI officials purposely lied about how Flynn conducted himself in the 2017 interview in order to charge him with lying to federal agents.
“These documents establish that on January 25, 2017 — the day after the agents ambushed him at the White House — the agents and DOJ officials knew General Flynn’s statements were not material to any investigation, that he was ‘open and forthcoming’ with the agents, that he had no intent to deceive them, and that he believed he was fully truthful with them,” Powell said in a filing.
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