Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

Lawyers for former national security adviser Michael Flynn filed a writ of mandamus petition to the U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C. on Tuesday that would compel U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan to immediately grant the Justice Department's motion to dismiss charges.

Why it matters: Sullivan moved to put the DOJ's motion on hold last week to hear from outside parties that may seek to intervene through an amicus brief. He also appointed a retired judge to recommend whether Flynn should face a criminal contempt charge for perjury after he twice declared under oath that he had lied to the FBI before attempting to withdraw his guilty plea in January.

What they're saying:

  • "A district court cannot deny the government’s motion to dismiss because the judge has 'a disagreement with the prosecution’s exercise of charging authority,' such as 'a view that the defendant should stand trial' or 'that more serious charges should be brought,'" Flynn's lawyers argue.
  • "Nor should a court second-guess the government’s 'conclusion that additional prosecution or punishment would not serve the public interest.' ... The district court has no authority to adopt the role of prosecutor or change the issues in the case by inviting or appointing amici to perform the investigation or prosecution that the court deems appropriate."

The other side: University of Texas national security law scholar Steve Vladeck notes that the D.C. Circuit has "the highest bar to this kind of emergency (“mandamus”) relief of any court in the country" — and says that "there’s no precedent that Sullivan is 'clearly' violating by taking his time and entertaining amici in reviewing DOJ’s motion."

Read the petition.

Go deeper

Appeals court says it won't delay subpoena for Trump's financial records for now

President Trump at the 2020 Council for National Policy Meeting on August 21. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday denied President Trump's request to immediately delay his financial records from being turned over to a New York state grand jury, pushing the hearing until September 1.

Driving the news: Trump's request came in response to a federal judge dismissing the president's lawsuit on Thursday to block Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance's subpoena for his records — the latest clash in a battle that went to the Supreme Court last month.

The 6 senior Trump 2016 campaign figures to face federal charges

Photo Credit: Steve Bannon, Roger Stone, Michael Flynn, Paul Manaafort, Rick Gates, and Michael Cohen. Photos: Alex Wong/Getty Images, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images, Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images, Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Former Trump administration chief strategist Steve Bannon's fraud arrest on Thursday made him the sixth senior 2016 Trump campaign figure to be hit with federal charges.

The state of play: While Bannon was allegedly involved in a scheme to defraud donors to a private border wall construction project, the other five former Trump campaign officials found themselves wrapped up in the Mueller investigation.

Aug 20, 2020 - Technology

Trump asks Supreme Court to let him block Twitter critics

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Trump administration Thursday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a lower-court ruling that the president can't block critics on Twitter because doing so violates the First Amendment.

The big picture: Trump's use of Twitter has been a defining feature of his presidency, with his habit of often posting and retweeting inflammatory and misleading content. Despite the earlier ruling and Twitter becoming more willing to push back on his false tweets, Trump largely has free rein on the platform.