- The Washington Times
Wednesday, May 13, 2020

A federal judge late Wednesday suggested he may pursue contempt charges against former national security adviser Michael Flynn for perjuring himself by abandoning an earlier guilty plea to a charge of lying to the FBI.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan also tapped a retired federal judge to argue against the Justice Department’s motion to drop the charges against Flynn.

John Gleeson, who served on the bench for 22 years and before that was a federal prosecutor, will serve as a friend of the court to oppose the Justice Department’s push to dismiss Flynn’s case.

Judge Gleeson will argue “whether the court should issue an Order to show Cause why Mr. Flynn should not be held in criminal contempt for perjury.”

The brief one-page order does not say why Flynn could be held in contempt for perjury. It is likely the contempt charge stems from declaring under oath at two different court proceedings that he was guilty of lying to the FBI.

Flynn later reversed course in January and claimed he never lied. He had pleaded guilty in late 2017 and again in 2018 to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s then-ambassador to the U.S., in the transition period before Mr. Trump took office.

Judge Sullivan, an appointee of President Clinton, said Tuesday he would allow interested third parties to weigh in on the Flynn case, a move delaying the Justice Department’s push to drop criminal charges against Flynn.

Also on Wednesday Judge Sullivan temporarily halted a filing by 16 former Watergate prosecutors urging him to reject the Justice Department’s call to dismiss the Flynn case.

Judge Sullivan said the prosecutors can refile their brief after he adopts a schedule for third parties to comment on the case.

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