Judges skeptical toward Flynn's bid to end case

Former U.S. national security adviser Michael Flynn’s lawyer was back in court on Tuesday, trying to convince a panel of 10 judges that the case against his client should be dropped.

At least some of the circuit court judges were skeptical.

Flynn twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with a Russian ambassador. Then he switched lawyers and strategies, arguing that the FBI had set him up.

The Justice Department earlier this year said it would drop the charges.

Democrats and former DOJ officials were outraged, claiming the move reeked of political favoritism for a close ally of the president.

The judge overseeing Flynn’s case, Emmet Sullivan, also took issue with the move to drop charges, and took the rare move of appointing a retired judge to argue the case against Flynn.

Flynn's lawyers appealed, and won a 2-to-1 ruling in June that the charges should be dropped. Sullivan, the judge, responded by asking the full DC circuit to weigh in.

Some of the panel seemed sympathetic to Sullivan, saying it was appropriate for the judge to want to hear all the arguments.

The judges will either rule to allow Sullivan to hear arguments on the Justice Department's request to dismiss the charges, or rule against the judge and order an end to the case.

The D.C. Circuit's decision then potentially could be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Video Transcript

- Former US National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn's, lawyer was back in court on Tuesday trying to convince a panel of 10 judges that the case against his client should be dropped. At least some of the circuit court judges were skeptical.

Flynn twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Russian ambassador. Then he switched lawyers and strategies, arguing that the FBI had set him up. The Justice Department earlier this year said it would drop the charges. Democrats and former DOJ officials were outraged, claiming the move reeks of political favoritism for a close ally of the president.

The judge overseeing Flynn's case, Emmet Sullivan, also took issue with the move to drop the charges, and took the rare step of appointing a retired judge to argue the case against Flynn. Flynn's lawyers appealed and won a 2 to 1 ruling in June that the charges should be dropped. Sullivan, the judge, responded by asking the full DC circuit to weigh in.

Some of the panel seemed sympathetic to Sullivan, saying it was appropriate for the judge to want to hear all the arguments. The judges will either rule to allow Sullivan to hear arguments on the Justice Department's request to dismiss the charges or rule against the judge, and order an end to the case. The DC circuit's decision then potentially could be appealed to the US Supreme Court.