The judge overseeing Michael Flynn’s case took the extraordinary step of appointing a retired judge to brief him on whether Flynn should be held in contempt of court.
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan announced Wednesday the appointment of retired U.S. District Judge John Gleeson less than a week after the Justice Department announced that it was seeking to drop its case against Flynn.
Gleeson was appointed to the federal bench in the Eastern District of New York by President Bill Clinton. Earlier in his career, Gleeson was a federal prosecutor and won the conviction of the Teflon Don, John Gotti, in the 1980s.
Sullivan’s order said that Gleeson would be briefing him on whether the judge should issue an order to show cause as to why Flynn should not be held in “criminal contempt for perjury,” while citing both federal law and rules of procedure that allow for criminal contempt sanctions for misconduct in court.
Sullivan’s order did not specify what allegation of perjury he was referring to. However, Flynn twice admitted in court to lying to the FBI — including in December 2018, after Sullivan put him under oath.
Last year, Flynn sought to withdraw that plea while asking the judge to throw out the prosecution against him. Amid immense pressure from President Trump and his allies, the Justice Department announced last week that it was moving to dismiss Flynn’s case because it no longer believed the investigation that prompted the FBI to interview him was warranted.
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