Well, well, this should thicken up the pudding nicely. DC District Court Judge Emmett Sullivan issued a ruling from the bench this morning regarding the DOJ’s request that former NSA Michael Flynn’s guilty plea be vacate , and the charges against him dropped. And the ruling isn’t going to be happy news for Tubby the Ewok.
In the ruling, not only did judge Sullivan not grant the DOJ’s request that the confession be vacated and the charges dropped, he went in the opposite direction, instead allowing third party filings to be placed before the court for consideration in the judges decision, not just the filings of the DOJ and Flynn’s lawyers.
This is not bueno news for Flynn, his lawyers, and the DOJ. In a move that has become common in DOJ filings in the era of Trump, both the DOJ as well as Flynn’s lawyers hammered away at the sovereign rights of the Department of Justice to adjudicate their cases, making it sound like the judge had little option but to comply. But obviously, by this ruling, Judge Sullivan makes it clear that he does not consider himself a helpless tool in this process.
This is bad news for Flynn and the DOJ for a bunch of reasons. First, today’s ruling opens the floodgates for Sullivan to receive a whole slew of dissenting opinions from those of Flynn’s lawyers and the DOJ, and to consider them. Chief among those being an open letter already signed by more than 2000 current and former DOJ officials, slamming the request, and pointing out that a positive ruling for Flynn and the DOJ would openly politicize the DOJ, and pose the prospect of a separate form of justice for politically connected defendants.
Another effect of today’s ruling is that it will dilute the strength of the DOJ’s case by allowing interested parties a chance to clarify the record. For example, the DOJ in their filing, the DOJ claimed that the FBI lacked the legal predicate to interview Flynn about his phone conversations with then Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak, both the interview and the subsequent confession were facially invalid. But FBI officials steadfastly contended that they were not interviewing Flynn about his phone contacts with Kislyak, but his repeated lies to senior White House officials, such as Vice President Mike Pence. With Sullivan’s ruling today, he will now be free to consider this information in his decision making process.
But the real reason this is such bad news for Flynn and the DOJ is that it makes it much more likely than not that Judge Sullivan will decide to hold an open hearing in court in order to force the DOJ to defend their position on the issue. Anybody who listened to the oral arguments before the Supreme Court yesterday could hear how moronic any lawyer sounds when trying to defend or espouse a Trumpian position.
But it isn’t just the Supreme Court. Anybody who watches Rachel Maddow knows how she loves to get her hands on the transcript of pretty much any federal court proceeding involving Trump’s Department of Selective Justice. With no editorializing, Maddow reads the disjointed ramblings of DOJ lawyers trying to defend the indefensible, followed by the federal court judge’s use of simple legal arguments to reduce the DOJ lawyer to a California Roll on a plate at a sushi bar. And now it appears that Judge Sullivan, who previously angrily demanded to know why the prosecutors didn’t file treason charges against Flynn, is likely to give DOJ and Flynn lawyers a chance to slowly twist in the wind.
This is a very good day for justice in this country. And that’s because, at least at the current moment, this is how it has to be. It is the federal district and appellate court judges who are going to make a unified stand for the rule of law in this country. They alone are immune. Trump can’t order them, he can’t bully them, and he can’t remove them. As long as they stand firm, then there is still the likelihood that justice will prevail in this country. If I were Mike Flynn, I wouldn’t throw that duffel bag back into the closet just yet.
To know the future, look to the past.before the insanity of the 2020 election, relive the insanity of the 2016 GOP primary campaign, and the general election, to see how we got to where we are. Copies of President Evil, and the sequel, President Evil II, A Clodwork Orange are available as e-books on Amazon, at the links above. Catch up before the upcoming release of the third book in the trilogy, President Evil III: All The Presidents Fen
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