US judge mulls contempt charge against Trump's ex-adviser

WION Web Team
Washington, United States Published: May 14, 2020, 05:50 PM(IST)

Trump and Flynn Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Flynn, a retired lieutenant general who served as an adviser to Trump during the 2016 campaign, pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI about his interactions with Russia’s US ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the weeks before Trump took office.

A judge in the US federal court has appointed a former prosecutor and judge on Wednesday to oppose the Justice Department’s effort to drop the case and to explore a perjury charge against US President Donald Trump's former aide Michael Flynn.

Sullivan said he was seeking Gleeson’s recommendation on whether Flynn should face a criminal contempt charge for perjury because he testified under oath that he was guilty of lying to the FBI but then reversed course and said he had never lied.

The surprising decision of the Department of Justice to drop its case against Flynn on 7 May came after growing pressure from Donald Trump and his political allies who repeatedly accused the FBI of improprieties in how it handled the investigation.

Until then, the DoJ had defended the FBI’s actions in the case.

Interestingly, the decision by the Justice Department was led by Trump's close ally Attorney General Bill Barr.

It sparked accusations that Barr was undermining longstanding department policies barring interference in cases involving political cronies.

Flynn, a retired lieutenant general who served as an adviser to Trump during the 2016 campaign, pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI about his interactions with Russia’s US ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the weeks before Trump took office.

However, later in the case he switched lawyers and tactics, accusing the FBI of tricking him and seeking to have his guilty plea withdrawn.

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