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Appeals court orders judge to respond to Flynn's emergency bid to dismiss charges

A federal appeals court is ordering a district court judge to respond to Michael Flynn's latest effort to have the charges against him dismissed after the Department of Justice moved to withdraw its case against the former national security adviser.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals told Judge Emmet G. Sullivan to file a response to Flynn's move to get the appeals court to intervene in his case.

Flynn's legal team had asked the D.C. Circuit this week to order Sullivan to grant the DOJ's motion to drop its charge that the former Trump adviser had lied to the FBI about his contacts with a Russian diplomat in the weeks after the 2016 election.

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Sullivan has appeared wary about the DOJ's surprise move, appointing a former federal judge to argue against the government's motion and explore whether Flynn committed perjury in withdrawing from his earlier guilty plea.

Flynn's lawyers argued in a filing to the D.C. Circuit that Sullivan did not have the authority to make the appointment, and asked the higher court to remove him from the proceeding.

"An innocent man has been the target of a vendetta by politically motivated officials at the highest level of the FBI," they wrote in the brief. "The egregious Government misconduct, and the three-year abuse of General Flynn and his family, cry out for ending this ordeal immediately and permanently. The district judge’s orders reveal his plan to continue the case indefinitely, rubbing salt in General Flynn’s open wound from the Government’s misconduct and threatening him with criminal contempt."

The circuit court gave Sullivan 10 days to file a response.