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Judge Dismisses Flynn Case as Moot after Trump Pardon

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn departs after his sentencing was delayed at U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., December 18, 2018. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed the criminal case against Michael Flynn as moot following President Trump’s pardon of his former national security adviser last month.

Judge Emmet Sullivan of the D.C. District Court cautioned that dropping the case does not mean that Flynn is guiltless and said he would likely have denied the Justice Department’s request that the case be dropped.

Flynn, a retired three-star general, was fired by Trump after the revelation that he made contradictory statements to Vice President Mike Pence about whether he had discussed sanctions with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. He pled guilty later in 2017 to making false statements to the FBI regarding his contacts with the Russian ambassador. The case against the former national-security adviser arose from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russia.

In January, however, Flynn requested to withdraw his guilty plea, saying he did not believe he lied and had “tried to ‘accept responsibility’ by admitting to offenses I understood the government I love and trusted said I committed.” His February sentencing hearing was canceled.

In May, the Justice Department made the decision to drop the case against Flynn.

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