A federal appeals court will revisit an earlier decision ordering a district court judge to allow the Department of Justice (DOJ) to withdraw its criminal charges against former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the earlier decision in a brief order issued on Thursday, setting up a new round of arguments over the DOJ's controversial move to withdraw its case against Flynn.
The full court will hear oral arguments on Aug. 11.
In a 2-1 ruling last month, a three-judge panel on the circuit court ordered District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan to grant the DOJ's motion and suspend any further arguments on the move. Two Republican-appointed judges held the majority in the decision over a single Democrat-appointed judge's dissent.
The DOJ had stunned court watchers in May with its sudden reversal in the case, arguing that it no longer felt that it could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Flynn had lied to the FBI about his communications with a Russian diplomat in late 2016, even though the former national security adviser had previously pleaded guilty.
Sullivan responded to the move by appointing an outside counsel to present a counter-argument against the DOJ dropping its charges to help with his decisionmaking. Flynn's lawyers filed a petition with the D.C. Circuit, asking the court to order Sullivan to grant the DOJ's motion outright without any further briefing.
The panel agreed, arguing that Sullivan did not have the authority to extend the prosecution if the DOJ wanted to pull out. Read more at The Hill