July 30 (UPI) — The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals said in an order Thursday that the full body will reconsider the decision to drop the case against President Donald Trump’s national security adviser Michael Flynn.
The decision is the latest turn in the case. A three-judge appeals panel in June voted 2-1 to order U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan to end the case after federal prosecutors decided to drop charges against him.
Sullivan had scheduled a hearing on the withdrawal, assigning an arbiter to the case. Flynn had originally pleaded guilty to a felony false statement charge in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.
Flynn hired a new legal team and withdrew the plea. Since then, the Justice Department told Sullivan it wanted to drop the charges in light of new evidence. Trump had weighed in publicly, saying Flynn was poorly treated. Democrats accused Attorney General William Barr of acting on Trump’s behalf.
Sullivan balked at an immediate dismissal and set a hearing, which led to the Justice Department and Flynn’s legal team going to the appeals court.
In an order issued by the D.C. appeals court Thursday, it vacated the panel’s decision forcing Sullivan to drop the case and said the full court would hear oral arguments on Aug. 11. The order said the majority of the court wanted to rehear the appeal.
In the appeal panel’s split decision, Judge Neomi Rao cited legal deference in that the Justice Department was acting in good faith and there was no good reason for Sullivan to doubt it. Judge Karen Henderson sided with Rao.
Appeals Judge Robert Wilkins dissented, saying his colleagues made a ruling before Sullivan even had a hearing to make his decision about dropping the charge.