A retired judge appointed to argue against the Justice Department's move to drop the charges against Michael Flynn has delivered a blistering broadside against the case for dismissal—and accused the department of "gross abuse of prosecutorial power." In a 73-page brief, John Gleeson said "no prosecutor worth her salt" would adopt the "legally unsound" argument for dismissing the charges against the former national security adviser, the New York Times reports. "The government’s ostensible grounds for seeking dismissal are conclusively disproven by its own briefs filed earlier in this very proceeding," he wrote. "They contradict and ignore this Court’s prior orders, which constitute law of the case. They are riddled with inexplicable and elementary errors of law and fact. And they depart from positions that the government has taken in other cases."
Gleeson, appointed last month by US District Judge Emmet Sullivan, accused William Barr's Justice Department of engaging in "highly irregular conduct to benefit a political ally of the president," per the Hill. He argued that Sullivan has the authority—and plenty of cause—to reject the attempt to drop the charges, saying the "reasons offered by the government are so irregular, and so obviously pretextual, that they are deficient." Flynn pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI about his contacts with a Russian diplomat, then reversed his guilty plea before sentencing, claiming he had actually forgotten the conversations. In his brief, Gleeson accused Flynn of perjury but said that instead of holding him in contempt of court, Sullivan should take it into account during sentencing. (Read more Michael Flynn stories.)