The acting solicitor general claimed before a judge that Attorney General William Barr had reasons to intervene in Michael Flynn's case, but he can't tell the court.
Jeff Wall, the U.S. government’s top advocate before the Supreme Court, told the District of Columbia Circuit Court that Barr had secret, undisclosed reasons for dismissing the case against President Donald Trump's first national security adviser.
BREAKING: Acting SG Wall says Barr had secret, undisclosed reasons for dismissing Flynn case. https://t.co/VCoC1l44gi— Josh Gerstein (@Josh Gerstein) 1597157698.0
A full federal appeals court heard arguments Tuesday over whether to dismiss the criminal case against Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to FBI investigators about his contacts with Russian officials before the inauguration.
Wall told the court the executive branch was concerned about trial Judge Emmet Sullivan conducting a full review into Barr's involvement in Flynn's defense, saying the attorney general made his decision based on some information that he did not want made public.
"Under the circumstances we went further than we thought we were obligated to," Wall told Judge Merrick Garland. "To drive that point home, the attorney general sees this in the context of public information from other cases."
"We gave three reasons," Wall added. "One of them was that the interests of justice were no longer served by the prosecution. The attorney general made that judgment on the basis of lots of information, some of it is public and some is not."
The arguments stunned legal observers following the case.
******Wall: AG may have had before him information he was not able to make public,*********— Dr. emptywheel (@Dr. emptywheel) 1597157631.0
DOJ lawyer arguing now. Acting Solicitor General Wall just said the executive branch is worried about Judge Sulliva… https://t.co/tYyahWtpuX— Glenn Kirschner (@Glenn Kirschner) 1597156498.0
SG says DOJ may have other non-public reasons for seeking to dismiss #Flynn case. DOJ can't base a motion for leave… https://t.co/z3CrHYQKRq— Barb McQuade (@Barb McQuade) 1597157964.0