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Michael Flynn. Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

The full D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an 8-2 ruling on Monday denying former national security adviser Michael Flynn's petition to force a federal judge to immediately drop his criminal case, as requested by the Justice Department.

Why it matters: The ruling will allow District Judge Emmet Sullivan to hold hearings to discuss the motion to dismiss the case against Flynn, who pleaded guilty in the Mueller investigation to lying to the FBI about his contacts with the former Russian ambassador.

The big picture: The Justice Department under Attorney General Bill Barr moved to dismiss the charges against Flynn in May, following a review that alleged prosecutorial misconduct by the FBI agents who had interviewed Flynn.

  • Judge Sullivan pumped the brakes on the case and sought to hear from outside parties on whether he should accept the government's motion.
  • Flynn's lawyers subsequently asked the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to order Judge Sullivan to immediately drop the case before hearings could be held.
  • A panel of three judges ruled 2-1 that Sullivan must accept the request, but the full 11-judge court of appeals — which issued Monday's ruling — agreed to rehear the case.

Between the lines: An ex-judge appointed by Sullivan to review the case as an amicus, or adviser to the court, issued a scathing brief in June alleging that Flynn committed perjury and accusing the DOJ of a "corrupt, politically motivated" dismissal.

  • The appeals court's majority ruling found that Sullivan was justified in appointing an amicus to help advise his decision, and rejected assertions by Flynn's lawyers that Sullivan was biased.
  • It's still possible that Sullivan will agree to drop the case after holding hearings.

Read the ruling.

Go deeper

Nov 25, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump pardons Michael Flynn

President Trump with Michael Flynn in 2016. Photo: David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images

President Trump on Wednesday pardoned his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in the Mueller investigation to lying to FBI agents about his conversations with a former Russian ambassador.

Why it matters: It is the first of multiple pardons expected in the coming weeks, as Axios scooped Tuesday night.

CCP releases two jailed Canadians after Huawei CFO deal with DOJ

Photo: Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Two Canadians imprisoned by the Chinese government for over 1,000 days have been released and are expected to arrive in Canada on Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.

Why it matters: Their release comes hours after Huawei Technologies CFO Meng Wanzhou reached a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice that resolves the criminal charges against her and could pave the way for her to return to China.

Updated 22 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona GOP's private recount of 2020 election confirms Biden's win

Contractors working on behalf of the GOP examine and recount 2020 ballots at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix in May. Photo: Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

In an odd coda to the 2020 election, private contractors conducting a GOP-commissioned recount in Arizona confirmed President Biden’s win in Maricopa County.

Why it matters: The unofficial, party-driven recount has been heavily covered on cable news as part of former President Trump's continued effort to sow doubt about the election result.

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