The saga of Michael Flynn is getting more bizarre by the moment. The very second that the Department of Justice informed the D.C. District Court that they wished to drop the case against Flynn, that should have been the end of it. Judge Emmet Sullivan needed only to rubber stamp the decision, get agreement from the defendant’s lawyers, and dismiss the charges. Easy-peasy.
Instead, his first move was to open the court up to amicus briefings from any individuals or institutions who believed they had an “interest” in the case. That decision was bad enough, but Sullivan quickly followed it up with an even worse one the next day.
From Fox News:
D.C. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan issued an unusual order Wednesday appointing a law firm partner “to present arguments in opposition to the government’s motion to dismiss” the matter — and to consider whether the court should hold Flynn in contempt for perjury.
The partner, retired federal judge John Gleeson, has openly criticized the Trump administration’s handling of Michael Flynn’s case, raising concerns that he was selected to improperly bolster Sullivan’s efforts to keep the Flynn case alive even though both the government and defendant want it dismissed.
Sullivan has previously suggested Flynn may have committed treason, in a bizarre 2018 courtroom outburst, and seemingly confused key details about Flynn’s overseas lobbying work.
Sullivan’s decision to appoint Gleeson as a friend of the court appears to be no accident; the retired judge put his name to a Washington Post op-ed only one day earlier. In that piece, Gleeson argued that Sullivan should not dismiss the case against Flynn as requested by the DOJ.
“The Justice Department’s move to dismiss the prosecution of former national security adviser Michael Flynn does not need to be the end of the case — and it shouldn’t be. The Justice Department has made conflicting statements to the federal judge overseeing the case, Emmet G. Sullivan. He has the authority, the tools and the obligation to assess the credibility of the department’s stated reasons for abruptly reversing course,” he wrote.
But what kind of a justice system do we have where the prosecutors and defendants agree to put the case on ice…and the judge decides, nah, let me hear from the peanut gallery first. Because, y’know, I really hate everything this defendant stands for, and I don’t like the president of the United States. So, with that taken into consideration, I might just take it into my own hands to adjudicate this guy as I see fit.
This is madness, and Judge Sullivan is treading into dangerous water. He should turn back before he’s in over his head.