May 14 (UPI) — A federal judge presiding over the case of former national security adviser Michael Flynn appointed a retired judge on Wednesday to argue against the Justice Department’s request for the case to be dropped.
U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan named former judge John Gleeson to “present arguments in opposition to the government’s Motion to Dismiss,” the order read.
Gleeson, best known as the lead prosecutor in the conviction of John Gotti of the Gambino organized crime family, retired as a judge to join the Debevoise & Plimpton law firm in 2016, according to the company’s website.
Gleeson was one of three legal professionals who penned an op-ed in The Washington Post on Tuesday explaining that the Justice Department’s request is just that and doesn’t equal an immediate dismissal.
The order came a day after Sullivan delayed ruling on the Justice Department’s request to allow time for third parties to weigh in on the case — an unusual move that attracted the criticism of Flynn’s defense.
Flynn, a former President Donald Trump adviser, pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to federal agents during a probe into Russia meddling in the 2016 presidential election. He then retracted his plea after his sentence recommendation was increased from probation to six months’ jail time in January.
Last week, the Justice Department filed for the case to be dismissed, which prompted nearly 2,000 former Department of Justice prosecutors and members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to publish an open letter calling for Attorney General William Barr’s resignation over the move for the case to be dropped.