Michael Flynn’s prosecution for lying to federal agents in the early days of the Russia investigation should be immediately dismissed because the former national security adviser accepted President Donald Trump’s full pardon, the Justice Department told a judge.
“The president’s pardon, which General Flynn has accepted, moots this case,” the Justice Department said in filing Monday with U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington. “No further proceedings are necessary or appropriate, as the court must immediately dismiss the case.”
Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents about his conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., was pardoned by Trump on Wednesday. The widely expected act of clemency came six months after the Justice Department filed a surprise motion to dismiss the case and triggered a still-unresolved showdown with the court when Sullivan refused to rubber-stamp the request.
Sullivan instead appointed John Gleeson, a former federal judge, as so-called amicus to argue against dismissal of the case. Gleeson in June determined the Justice Department’s request was a “corrupt and politically motivated” effort to help a Trump ally.
The pardon covers Flynn’s lies as well as “any possible future perjury or contempt charge in connection with General Flynn’s sworn statements and any other possible future charge that this court or the court-appointed amicus has suggested might somehow keep this criminal case alive,” the Justice Department said.
Flynn’s case has become a cause celebre for Trump and his conservative allies, who portrayed the prosecution of the former senior White House aide as evidence of a broad conspiracy against the president.
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