A federal judge dismissed criminal charges against Michael Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser, on Tuesday. In his ruling, Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of the District Court of the District of Columbia wrote that Trump’s pardon of Flynn two weeks ago rendered the case moot. “President Trump’s decision to pardon Mr. Flynn is a political decision, not a legal one,” Judge Sullivan wrote. “Because the law recognizes the president’s political power to pardon, the appropriate course is to dismiss this case as moot.” Even so, the judge said he found the Justice Department’s arguments for dropping the case “dubious to say the least.”
Flynn was facing one charge of lying to the FBI about his meetings with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak, as uncovered in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of the Trump White House. Flynn initially pleaded guilty to the charge, but later filed to withdraw his plea. Attorney General William Barr later directed the Justice Department to drop the case, an unusual move that was cheered on by President Trump.