The federal judge overseeing the tumultuous case of former national security adviser Michael Flynn has until May 31 to explain his rationale for declining to immediately dismiss the case against Flynn after the Justice Department moved to drop the matter

A panel of judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia say district court judge Emmet Sullivan must respond within 10 days to a request by Flynn that the higher court force him to drop the case. The appeals court order is the latest twist in a remarkable series of events that have thrown the Flynn case into turmoil on the eve of his sentencing for pleading guilty to lying to the FBI.

Circuit Court Judges Karen Henderson, Robert Wilkins and Neomi Rao also offered the Justice Department a chance to weigh in on the matter by the same deadline.

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