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President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn leaves court in Washington, D.C., in June. Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

A federal judge overturned a jury's guilty verdict Tuesday against Bijan Rafiekian, a former business associate of ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn and a member of the Trump transition team, citing insufficient evidence.

Why it matters: Rafiekian's prosecution was one of 11 cases transferred by former special counsel Robert Mueller to other jurisdictions over the course of his investigation. Per the New York Times, the judge's decision "delivered a potentially fatal blow to the government’s efforts to prosecute [Rafiekian] in a case that had already suffered other setbacks."

  • CNN notes that the ruling may be a boost for Flynn, who's yet to be sentenced after pleading guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about the nature of his conversations with then-Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak.

The big picture: Rafiekian, also known as Bijan Kian, was found guilty in July of acting as an unregistered foreign agent for the Turkish government and lying about it to the Justice Department.

  • Flynn cooperated with prosecutors over the Mueller investigation and was due to testify about the role of Rafiekian in hiding Flynn Intel Group's illegal lobbying on behalf of the Turkish government. But the deal fell apart in July as a result of a dispute between prosecutors and Flynn's new attorneys, per Politico.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Complaint to FTC: Amazon search results full of potentially deceiving ads

Photo: Nigel Kirby/Loop Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Amazon does not sufficiently distinguish between its search results and paid ads, potentially "deceiving millions of consumers," according to a complaint filed to the Federal Trade Commission.

Why it matters: Joan Moriarty, research director for the Strategic Organizing Center, a coalition of labor unions that filed the complaint, told the Washington Post the group is "very hopeful" that the FTC will investigate the complaint because Lina Khan (D), a known Amazon critic, is now chair.

2 hours ago - Health

Pfizer-BioNTech: Booster doses more effective at blocking Omicron

Prepared doses of the BioNtech-Pfizer Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine in Germany on Dec. 7. Photo: Thomas Kienzle/AFP via Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech said Wednesday that two doses of their COVID-19 vaccine were significantly less effective at neutralizing the Omicron variant in early lab tests, but a three-dose regimen was more effective.

Why it matters: Omicron, which has been labeled a variant of concern by the World Health Organization after being identified by scientists in South Africa last month, has forced vaccine makers to reassess the effectiveness of their vaccines against this specific new form of coronavirus.

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden unveils "Building a Better America" branding

President Biden speaks on infrastructure while visiting a bridge in Woodstock, N.H., last month. Photo: John Tully/Getty Images

President Biden today launched a new website and unveiled bold new branding as part of a nationwide tour to sell the benefits of his infrastructure package.

Why it matters: The White House says passage of the new law shows the ability to "forge bipartisan consensus and prove our democracy can deliver big wins" even in these toxic times.