Appeals court rejects effort by Michael Flynn, DOJ to force dismissal of case

The ruling is a setback for the DOJ and Flynn’s attorneys.

A federal appeals court on Monday rejected an effort by Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, and the Justice Department to force a lower federal district judge to throw out Flynn’s criminal case.

In an 8-2 ruling, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals said that D.C. District Judge Emmet Sullivan did not act improperly by not immediately accepting the Justice Department’s controversial push to dismiss Flynn’s case and then appointing an outside former judge to argue against the department.

Flynn pleaded guilty in late 2017 to lying to the FBI about his contacts with the former Russian ambassador before seeking to withdraw his plea early this year, alleging misconduct against the agents who investigated him.

The ruling paves the way for Sullivan to hold a hearing as he considers the DOJ’s request to dismiss Flynn’s case or reject it and move forward with sentencing, though it’s not clear whether Flynn’s attorneys or the DOJ will seek to appeal Monday’s order and prolong the case further.

A spokesperson for the Justice Department did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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