Judge in Flynn case hires high-profile attorney to help with response to appeals court: report
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 Kavanaugh 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 Clinton 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.
President Trump’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.
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