Judge dismisses Flynn case following pardon from Trump

U.S.

FILE – President Donald Trump’s former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn arrives at federal court in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018. President Donald Trump has pardoned Michael Flynn, taking direct aim in the final days of his administration at a Russia investigation that he has long insisted was motivated by political bias. Trump announced the pardon on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020 calling it his “Great Honor.” (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed the criminal case against former Trump administration national security adviser Michael Flynn, two weeks after a pardon from the president effectively ended the case.

The order from U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan was largely procedural in light of the pardon from President Donald Trump, which wiped away Flynn’s conviction for lying to the FBI during the Russia investigation.

Sullivan made clear in a 43-page order that he was compelled to dismiss the case because of the pardon. He stressed that a pardon, by itself, did not mean that Flynn was innocent. Flynn had twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts during the presidential transition period with the Russian ambassador.

“The history of the Constitution, its structure, and the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the pardon power make clear that President Trump’s decision to pardon Mr. Flynn is a political decision, not a legal one,” Sullivan wrote. “Because the law recognizes the President’s political power to pardon, the appropriate course is to dismiss this case as moot.”

Trump campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis wrote in a tweet that Sullivan’s “statement against [Flynn]” in his dismissal of the case is “so petty, wrong, and beneath a sitting judge.”

Read Sullivan’s full order below:

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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