WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed the criminal case against former Trump administration national security adviser Michael Flynn, two weeks after a pardon from the president effectively ended the case.
The order from U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan was largely procedural in light of the pardon from President Donald Trump, which wiped away Flynn’s conviction for lying to the FBI during the Russia investigation.
Sullivan made clear in a 43-page order that he was compelled to dismiss the case because of the pardon. But he also stressed that a pardon, by itself, did not mean that Flynn was innocent. Flynn had twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts during the presidential transition period with the Russian ambassador.
“The history of the Constitution, its structure, and the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the pardon power make clear that President Trump’s decision to pardon Mr. Flynn is a political decision, not a legal one,” Sullivan wrote. “Because the law recognizes the President’s political power to pardon, the appropriate course is to dismiss this case as moot.
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