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Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

A federal appeals court in D.C. appears hesitant to order Judge Emmit Sullivan to dismiss the case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn, The Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: Flynn and the Justice Department had asked the appeals court to order District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan to quickly resolve the case examining why the federal government dropped charges against Flynn. While the appeals court hasn't issued a decision, their hesitation suggests the courts have the right to review whether Justice Department moves to drop a prosecution are “in the public interest," the Post writes.

  • The DOJ's motion to drop charges against Flynn prompted Sullivan to appoint John Gleeson, a former judge, to review the motion. Gleeson wrote in a brief that Flynn appeared to commit perjury and accused the DOJ of a "corrupt, politically motivated" request for dismissal.

The state of play: The Justice Department announced in early May it was dropping charges against Flynn, the first Trump associate to plead guilty or be convicted following the Mueller investigation.

  • The Justice Department said in its filing that it made its decision to drop the charges "after a considered review of all the facts and circumstances of this case, including newly discovered and disclosed information."
  • Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents in 2017 about his conversations with the former Russian ambassador during the Mueller investigation.

What they're saying:

  • Appellate Judge Karen Henderson told Flynn's attorney, “If Judge Sullivan had just kept this motion waiting and languishing, that’s one thing. But he has set a hearing for mid-July. For all we know, by the end of July he will have granted the motion...There’s nothing wrong with him holding a hearing — there’s no authority I know of that says he can’t hold a hearing.”

Go deeper:

Go deeper

DOJ moves to defend Trump in rape accuser E. Jean Carroll's defamation lawsuit

Combination images of E. Jean Carroll and President Trump. Photo: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Glamour/Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

The Department of Justice filed a motion notifying a New York State court Tuesday that it intends to replace President Trump's private lawyers to defend him in a defamation lawsuit brought by writer E. Jean Carroll.

Why it matters: It's highly unusual for the DOJ to intervene in such cases. The department said in its notice that it intervened because Trump was "acting within the scope of his office as President of the United States" when he said last year that Carroll was "totally lying" about claims that he raped her in the mid-1990s.

Updated 6 hours ago - Sports

The potential GOAT of chess faces intriguing challenger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The World Chess Championship between Norway's Magnus Carlsen and Russia's Ian Nepomniachtchi began on Friday, 1,094 days after Carlsen won his fourth consecutive title.

Why it matters: During the long, COVID-fueled layoff, chess entered a new era, and with the championship finally here, the age-old game is ready for its close-up.

Department of Interior proposes raising cost of drilling on public lands

A horizontal drilling rig and a pump jack sit on federal land in Lea County, New Mexico. Photo: Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Oil and gas companies should pay more to drill on federal lands and waters, the Department of the Interior argued in a report released Friday, saying that the current rates were "outdated."

Driving the news: The Department of Interior report said that the federal government's oil and gas leasing and permitting program "fails to provide a fair return to taxpayers, even before factoring in the resulting climate-related costs that must be borne by taxpayers."