Posted: May 14, 2020
Category: COUP D'ETAT
A federal judge overseeing the criminal case of President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn opened the door late Tuesday for legal experts and other outside parties to oppose the Justice Department’s motion to drop the case, suggesting he has at least some skepticism about the government’s argument that Mr. Flynn should never have been charged.
In a brief order, Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia said he would set a schedule for outside parties to present arguments about the government’s request to dismiss the case. He did not directly address the Justice Department’s motion to drop the charge, but legal experts said he appeared open to considering not only the department’s arguments but also those who have challenged its move as politically motivated.
The judge’s order is the latest twist in a high-profile criminal case that has provoked widespread criticism of Attorney General William P. Barr and has renewed questions about political influence over the Justice Department. In an extraordinary move last week, federal prosecutors asked Judge Sullivan to throw out their case against Mr. Flynn for lying to F.B.I. agents, two and a half years after he pleaded guilty to a felony charge of making false statements to federal authorities.
Sixteen former Watergate prosecutors have told a federal judge he has the authority to sentence former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn to prison despite the Justice Department's effort to toss the case.
The filings add prominent voices to the backlash against Attorney General William Barr's softening of criminal prosecutions against President Donald Trump's associates.
In legal memos sent to the court on Monday and obtained by CNN, the former prosecutors essentially laid out the legal footing they believe Judge Emmet Sullivan has to reject the dismissal request and sentence Flynn, who had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.
They compared the current situation at the Justice Department to Watergate, the scandal and criminal investigation that led to the President Richard Nixon's resignation.
The group, calling themselves friends of the court or "amici" in legal parlance, "experienced the 'Saturday Night Massacre,' during which an honorable Attorney General and an honorable Deputy Attorney General resigned or were dismissed rather than obey the instructions of a self-interested President to frustrate the work of an independent Special Prosecutor," they wrote to the judge.