At one time, it seemed that Gen. Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser to President Trump for all of 23 days, seemed to know just how much trouble he was in. Twice he stood in front of a judge and pleaded guilty to a number of crimes, including lying to the FBI and acting as an unregistered foreign agent for Turkey while working in the White House. Flynn once appeared to be working with the Mueller team on the Trump/Russia investigation hoping for leniency. Once a judge promised that he would grant no leniency, suddenly Flynn had a new legal team and an unprecedented request to rescind his guilty plea.
It appears, however, that Attorney General Bill Barr still doesn’t know how much trouble he might be in.
A former federal judge appointed to review the Justice Department's motion to dismiss criminal charges against President Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn said the request should be denied.https://t.co/gdYZVwKsmN
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) June 10, 2020
Although Flynn’s team insisted that the judge in his case, Judge Sullivan, was biased, an outside judge was brought in to review the case. He called the Department of Justice’s decision to drop the investigation into Flynn an abuse of power and, after reviewing the evidence, found that Flynn did, indeed, lie to the FBI. Flynn has changed his stance on that despite transcripts making it clear that he lied, and none of the other charges have been called into question.
The Washington Post reports that:
‘A federal appeals court in Washington on Friday appeared reluctant to order a judge to immediately dismiss the guilty plea of President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn, suggesting courts have the authority to review whether Justice Department moves to drop a prosecution are “in the public interest.”’
— Noah Shachtman (@NoahShachtman) June 12, 2020
Since the federal judge who reviewed the case was not only not amenable but utterly outraged at what the DOJ was willing to do for Trump’s friends, his decision was appealed. The appeals court currently looking at the case, including whether or not the original judge is justified in his decision to review of the DOJ’s dropping of thir charges against Flynn and their interference in the criminal case. The appeals court, however, doesn’t appear to be any more impressed by the conspiracy theories than the two judges who came before them.
‘But Judges Karen Henderson and Robert Wilkins of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit expressed skepticism of Flynn’s argument that Sullivan cannot conduct an independent evaluation or name an outside party to argue against the Justice Department’s May 7 motion.’
In his brief in the Flynn case, Judge Gleeson urges the court to reject “corrupt, politically motivated dismissals,” and finds “this is what has happened.”
He’s right. Dismissal is sought by Barr’s handpicked prosecutor to protect a Trump crony.
Flynn should be sentenced. https://t.co/xmOMzgYsYZ
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) June 10, 2020
The appeals court has said that the original judge has every right to investigate the DOJ’s decision, crushing any hopes Flynn, Trump, and their attorneys have in squashing the court case. Eventually, Trump will probably just pardon Flynn. In the meantime, the justice system appears determined to hold Flynn criminally accountable for his actions.
Speaking on the decision by Judge Sullivan to investigate the DOJ, the appeals court justices said:
‘If Judge Sullivan had just kept this motion waiting and languishing, that’s one thing,” Henderson told Flynn attorney Sidney Powell. “But he has set a hearing for mid-July. For all we know, by the end of July he will have granted the motion. You also know courts have said he’s not a ‘mere rubber stamp’ either. There’s nothing wrong with him holding a hearing — there’s no authority I know of that says he can’t hold a hearing.’
It is only the charge of lying to the FBI that has the right-wing up in arms, using a transcript of Flynn’s interview to point out comments made by FBI investigators that prove they were also biased against both Flynn and Trump. As long as the Trump team can stir up some confusion in one inconsequential piece of a story, they know their supporters will be all in despite the evidence.
Featured image screenshot via YouTube