Judge in Flynn case hires high-profile attorney to help with response to appeals court: report

Judge in Flynn case hires high-profile attorney to help with response to appeals court: report
© File Photo - Aaron Schwartz

The federal judge overseeing the case against former national security advisor Michael Flynn has hired a high-profile attorney to help with his response to an appeals court, The Washington Post reported.

Beth Wilkinson, who has represented clients such as Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughMcGrath fends off Booker to win Kentucky Senate primary Trump's mark on federal courts could last decades Supreme Court rules US requirements on overseas NGOs do not violate free speech MORE during his Senate confirmation fight, will be helping U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, according to the Post. Wilkinson also represented the lawyer of Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonCarville repeats prediction that Trump will drop out of race What's behind Trump's slump? Americans are exhausted, for one thing Trump campaign reserves air time in New Mexico MORE amid the investigation into whether the then-secretary of State mishandled classified information while using a private email server. 

The news comes after a U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. ordered Sullivan to respond to Flynn's latest effort to get his cased dismissed. Flynn's lawyers asked the appeals court to order Sullivan to drop the charges against the retired three-star Army general.

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President TrumpDonald John TrumpSecret Service members who helped organize Pence Arizona trip test positive for COVID-19: report Trump administration planning pandemic office at the State Department: report Iran releases photo of damaged nuclear fuel production site: report MORE's first national security adviser was charged with lying to the FBI about his contacts with a Russian diplomat in the weeks after the 2016 election. Flynn previously pleaded guilty to the charges. 

Later, Flynn retracted his guilty plea, and the Department of Justice (DOJ) recommended that Sullivan dismiss the case. 

 

Sullivan has already asked a former federal judge to argue against the government's motion and explore whether Flynn committed perjury in withdrawing his earlier guilty plea.

Flynn’s attorneys argue that Sullivan does not have the authority to make the appointment, and asked for him to be removed him from the proceeding.

It is unusual for a judge to retain an attorney to respond to an appeals court inquiry, just as it is unusual for a defendant to plead guilty under oath and then withdraw that admission, the Post noted. 

The appeals court asked for a response by June 1.