Advertisement

Justice Dept. aims to revive convictions for Flynn associate

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn attends a ceremony in the East Room of the White House on January 22, 2017. File Photo by Andrew Harrer/UPI
Former national security adviser Michael Flynn attends a ceremony in the East Room of the White House on January 22, 2017. File Photo by Andrew Harrer/UPI | License Photo

June 8 (UPI) -- The Justice Department wants to revive convictions on two charges against an associate of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, even though a federal court dismissed them last summer.

The department said in a filing Sunday it wants to raise the case against Bijan Rafiekian, who was convicted last year on two counts of violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act during work for Turkey.

Advertisement

In September, a federal judge said there was not enough evidence to support the felony convictions.

The department's move has surprised some because U.S. Attorney General William Barr has sought to drop related charges against Flynn, who was expected to testify against Rafiekian.

In its 53-page filing, the department said the court made a mistake last year by dismissing the convictions.

"The district court here adopted erroneously high legal standards, rewrote Congress's statute, and failed to adequately defer to the jury's role," the department wrote. "Its legally erroneous acquittal and new-trial decisions and its errors in reviewing the evidentiary record warrant reversal."

The filing mentions Flynn and his role that led to the charges against Rafiekian, but did not mention the department's decision to drop the case against President Donald Trump's former national security aide.

Advertisement

Rafiekian's attorney Robert Trout wrote to Barr two weeks ago asking for a review of his client's case, since the department was no longer going after Flynn.

Flynn's attorney Sidney Powell criticized the move to file an appeal in the case.

Latest Headlines