On Wednesday, a federal appeals court ordered the dismissal of the case against Donald Trump's ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn.
The Associated Press reports that the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said that the Justice Department's decision to drop charges against Flynn on May 7 concludes the case, despite Flynn having previously pleaded guilty to lying to prosecutors and the FBI. When the Justice Department announced the charges against Flynn would be dropped, Trump said that Flynn is "an innocent man."
As the AP notes, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan previously declined to dismiss the case immediately, and had set a July 16 hearing to address the request directly. However, that hearing will not be held, as the appeals court ruled in a 2-1 decision that a judge cannot prolong the prosecution. "This is not the unusual case where a more searching inquiry is justified," said Judge Neomi Rao.
Over the past three years, prosecutors have maintained that Flynn lied to the FBI about his conversations with the Russian ambassador during a Jan. 2017 interview. He cooperated with Robert Mueller as part of his investigation on the ties between Russia and Trump's 2016 campaign.
After the ruling was made public, Trump tweeted, "Great! Appeals Court Upholds Justice Departments Request To Drop Criminal Case Against General Michael Flynn!"