President Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who previously pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, asked a U.S. appeals court on Tuesday to force the judge in the case to dismiss the criminal charges against him.
"General Flynn is a man of great respect." On Tuesday, Trump defended his former advisor, who was fired by the president after serving less than a month in the White House.
"General Flynn was treated horribly.
General Flynn was treated illegally.
These people, they broke the law.
They broke the law," Trump said.
The emergency petition to drop the charges against Flynn comes after Attorney General William Barr said earlier this month that the Justice Department wanted to drop the case.
But, last week, Judge Emmet Sullivan signaled reluctance to drop the charges, and even appointed a retired judge to see whether Flynn should face an additional criminal charge for perjury.
Flynn pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI about his conversations with Russia's ambassador in Washington, but later sought to withdraw his plea and accused the FBI of tricking him.
In Tuesday's petition, Flynn's lawyers allege that Judge Sullivan is "not only biased against [Flynn], but also revels in the notoriety he has created." An appellate lawyer in Washington interviewed by Reuters - who is not involved in the case - said Flynn's request is likely to be denied because the judge has done nothing to violate his rights.
Later on Tuesday, Judge Sullivan ordered oral arguments in Flynn’s bid to dismiss the case to be held on July 16.