More than two dozen former prosecutors, judges and active trial lawyers filed a brief backing the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) decision to dismiss the case against President Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
The group of former government attorneys is asking U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan for them to formally file an amicus brief on the case. The group includes former Whitewater independent counsel Kenneth Starr and former Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.).
“The issue presented in this case is whether the court has discretion to deny a motion to dismiss to which the defendant consents, as Gen. Flynn has done here. The answer is no,” the attorneys wrote.
The group told the court they “are a bipartisan group of attorneys with extensive experience in the federal court system, including many who practice criminal law in this and other federal courts.”
Attorney General William BarrBill BarrAttorney indicted on charge of lying to FBI as part of Durham investigation Milley moved to limit Trump military strike abilities after Jan. 6, Woodward book claims: report Former US attorney enters race for governor in Pennsylvania MORE requested that the Justice Department drop the charges against Flynn of lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia shortly before Trump took office.
The attorneys argue that Sullivan does not have the legal right to override the decision from the prosecutor — in this case the DOJ — to dismiss a case they are prosecuting.
“There is simply no basis upon which this Court can review and deny the Government’s motion to dismiss, to which the defense has consented,” they wrote.
Earlier this month, 16 former Watergate prosecutors also asked Sullivan for permission to weigh in on the case.
The attorneys argued that given the DOJ's decision to dismiss Flynn's criminal prosecution — despite his 2017 guilty pleas — the department cannot be counted on to give the court a fair and complete presentation of the issues raised by the move.
Sullivan issued an order that temporarily denied the group's request to file its friend-of-the-court brief. He added that he would provide a forthcoming schedule to govern when interested parties can submit filings.
Updated Friday at 9:26 a.m.