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The Judge May Be an Ass: Clarifying That ‘If?’
It seems like forever ago but just four days ago over at the Flynn and the FBI post:
philo: For the record, the way this went down leaves me wondering if the judge would have done the right thing if the game was allowed to play out. Given what we’ve seen from the greater judiciary in the Age of Trump, that certainly remains a very big “if.”
I apologize for the apparent understatement.
There has, however, been some lively “taking of sides” on the subject since then. The first I came across was from probably the most disappointing of the Nevers (I used to really enjoy the former Fort Worthian and blog namesake) over at Patterico’s Pontifications in a post titled “The (Hypothetical) Transcript of the Next Court Hearing in the Michael Flynn Case.” No links from me, but the post and the comments provide interesting perspectives. Find it on your own if you wish.
I mention that one, because it’s a direct lead-in to a RedState post titled “Judge Emmet Sullivan Likely Committed Reversible Error In Taking The Guilty Plea of General Michael Flynn” which spun off a comment under the Patterico piece. It is a long-ish analysis that posits “The guilty plea was invalid as a matter of law independent of the DOJ motion” and suggests:
Judge Sullivan screwed up the factual basis of the guilty plea entered by Gen. Flynn, and the procedure he employed was unsound and violated Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. I think DOJ knows this to be the case, but given Judge Sullivan’s unpredictability they have opted to not “call him out” on it at this point. Instead, I suspect there is a hope that he may recognize his error — it’s right there in the transcript — and will instead grant the DOJ motion which solves his problem without him having to confront — or be confronted on — his own astonishing error.
I claim no useful knowledge of the law but would be interested in the opinions of the local law-types on this one.
But then, hot on the heels of that, another RedState post informs us “Judge Emmet Sullivan Signals He May Still Sentence Michael Flynn, Invites In the Left Wing Circus.” The tease:
But when the DOJ moved to drop the charges, I figured his hand would be forced. How could he go ahead and sentence a man against the request of the prosecution and whose case had been completely blown up by formerly covered up documents? Well, Judge Sullivan is signaling he may find a way.
As I said, the judiciary in the Age of Trump has been a massive embarrassment, so I am not optimistic. But one thing is clear from that last link:
Any judge that goes ahead with a sentencing after what’s been revealed needs to be removed from the bench.
Yes, that would be a must … just before the tar and feathers are applied.
Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.Published in General
Since “Everything is Political” the judge knows that even if he is overturned later, it can be spun as mere politics from Trump’s side. Even if Ginsburg voted to overturn. They always find a way.
People just refuse to grasp. What happened to Flynn is standard way our legal system works every day of the week. The law makes up and twists the rule of law and threatens until a person has no choice but plea out guilty. There is no corruption at the top. It is turtles all the way down.
There must be something beyond the obvious wrong with Sullivan. His over the top diatribe about Flynn’s insignificant “crime” demonstrated his particular animus. Even now he hangs on – he’s as bereft at losing Flynn as Obama, if not as afraid.
William Jacobson over at Legal Insurrection put forward two options tonight — one benign, one malicious — for Sullivan’s decision to seek amicus briefs. Either he’s simply seeking an outside party to make the case against Flynn on procedural grounds, which Jacobson said is not common, but also not extremely rare in cases where the government changes its position, or he’s basically playing both judge and U.S. Attorney here, where the briefs being sought would substitute for the AUSA handling the case, and Sullivan’s already decided he’s not going to accept Flynn’s withdrawal of his plea or the Justice Department’s support of that.
Jacobson speculates here that Sullivan could be wanting to force a Trump pardon for Flynn, probably in order to create a pre-election firestorm, though I suppose Trump simply could let this play out through the appeals process over the next six months. Wouldn’t be fair to Flynn, given all the new evidence in the past two weeks, but it also wouldn’t give Sullivan or the people want to see Flynn do jail time the outrageous outrage they want by forcing Trump’s hand during the campaign season.
If that is the case, why is there any legitimacy to any legal decision? It would imply that legal system is literally no different than the mafia, and there is no reason to obey any law you can get away with breaking. In fact, there is nothing morally wrong with choosing to kill police officers, judges, and wardens. It might be advisable because they are more powerful, but there would be no reason it would be evil.
You make this argument for despair over and over, as if we are trapped in a dictatorship or slave plantation. Why aren’t you a revolutionary then? If I agreed with you, I would try to take as many of them out with me as possible, or organize resistance cells. It beats just kneeling before some LBGWTFBBQ pink-haired antifa goon.
Except pardons were made for this exactly – political persecution.
We need to get that out there before Trump is put in that position – that this is political persecution and Trump would be right to pardon. The con men of the punditry class should be writing on this already.
I think you are conflating legality with morality here. Moral wrongs exist, but legal decisions are too often wrong, or wrongly applied, or fabricated for an end result. No, the system is not fair and it’s becoming less fair every day. It’s better than mob justice, but that’s not saying much.
It would be ‘evil’ to kill police, judges and wardens. If there was an ongoing revolution and sides were chosen, then perhaps not, as in any other war.
Yes, our legal system is no better than the mafia ( leaving out the punishments). The mafia is very often ‘fair’, maybe even more fair than our politicized and corrupted court system.
We’ll contact you when the revolution begins😉
I don’t know if calling in others to help Sullivan make his decision is anything more than an effort to save face; it’ll look like he’s try to broaden his perspective and understanding. I’m hoping he’s not foolish enough to drag this disaster out anymore than he has. But maybe I’m being too sensible.
Judge Sullivan was imploring Flynn to not plead guilty during the pleading phase of the Flynn case, ostensibly because Judge Sullivan believed General Flynn was not guilty.
Judge Sullivan was also a victim the Van Grack prosecutorial misconduct (ie: withholding Brady materials and not disclosing the non prosecution of Flynn Jr in the Flynn guilty plea agreement, to name just two offenses against the Court).
It is also evident in hindsight that General Flynn’s original legal team led by Robert Kelner of Covington and Burling were derelict in the counsel provided Flynn particularly butchering up Flynn’s FARA filings and providing the Mueller thugs another avenue to put the screws to Flynn.
So the notion that Judge Sullivan is in some way conflicted about dismissing the case is confounding to say the least, and while I will withhold final judgement for now, Sullivan not immediately dismissing the Flynn case has a distinct politically tainted stench.
Update: Upon further reading I offer my final judgement and concur with Andy McCarthy:
“Judge Sullivan’s order inviting amicus briefs is a travesty. Sad to say, it is not a surprise.”
This is the basic problem with the rule of law for authoritarians. ‘You just can’t depend on being able to punish your enemies the way you think they ought to be punished.’ Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t this judge call Flynn a traitor? Flynn obviously wasn’t on trial for treason.
Begging to differ, but when you say “the law,” you’re speaking about the actors misusing the rules and statutes in a manner that abrogates the rights citizens have a right and a presumption to expect under the constitution. This judge, in his cavalier attitude towards establishing the factual basis, demonstrated a reluctance of proceeding under the presumption of innocence, even when in the process of accepting the guilty plea. His job is to act as an umpire to call the balls and strikes, not act as a partisan prejudging Flynn because of Flynn’s apparent political affiliation.
On the bright side, the judge is drawing a lot of attention to the Flynn travesty. I want all the world to focus on the tyranny and for Flynn to go home with a $10M check.
A FRAUD, ON THE COURT (via Instapundit):
Have I mentioned the tar and feathers?
I am not sure there is any.
Yes, it is important that American law corruption to remain corrupt.
On reflection, I think it’s simple. Most things are. Sullivan is and has been following Obama’s will, and he values fealty to Barack Obama above the law.
In this case, the lack of dispassionate adjudication on the part of Sullivan — he’s not even trying to pretend he’s unbiased here with the latest action — would seem to make reversal of his action on appeal pretty likely. He’s basically gone into full Hawaiian Judge mode here, where there’s no hiding that the actual rule of law is less important than the feels, and in this case, Sullivan feels so outraged he really is going to take on the role of prosecutor himself if DOJ has opted to drop the case.
I hope you’re right about reversal, and that it comes with something special for Sullivan. Whatever the sanction, if any, it won’t be strong enough to satisfy me. As for the role of prosecutor, Sullivan already took that to himself when he asked if they couldn’t have charged Flynn with treason.
No. We conservatives keep assigning bogeymen. Obama, the Clintons, Pelosi. The truth is the Democrats are mostly in power and do what they want, as they want, when they want to further their goals. Most the various US governments are Democrat / Progressive criminal operations running for their own reason and locking up who they please.
Do you think that was true eleven years ago? If you agree that they turned the corner during the Obama years, then I think we can still call it an Obama problem.
I remember noticing an inflection point halfway thru the second Bush administration, but that was one of public perception – Iraq cost Bush the media war, and he fled the field. But I don’t think the current criminalization, that we observe across all government levels and departments, came into being until Obama led it from the top.
It has been an ever increasing issue throughout my life. It is almost to the point that non Democrat, non political employees can not exist much less thrive in government. Sure some GOP, conservatives may function in the political class and their close advisors but else where, in the 100s and 1000s departments and agencies they are not employed and their influence all but nonexistent.
Would a pardon preclude Flynn being able to sue for damages?
The problem is that Flynn swore that he committed these crimes and that his statement is true so this issue is over. He can not unswear, our system does not allow for that. This is how US law works. They pile on every charge they can on you, bleed and take every financial resource they can from you, threaten your family, do everything but put a actual gun to your head and when you finally break and take a plea because YOU CAN NOT WIN, then it is over, you do your time in jail and reflect on your past life and what a joke our country is because it is what it is.
And he’s adding to the miscarriage of justice for Flynn by trying to take away total vindication. This will make General Flynn an even more sympathetic character, with more and more voters identifying with him: “Hey, that could be me the system is after!”
Hopefully this will translate into Republican votes this November . . .
Sure, the right that all authority has. Authority has the power, might, guns, violence and the willingness to use it. This gives the only legitimacy any authority has ever had in the world.
After all we know now, and what is about to be unveiled soon, particularly with whatever John Durham comes up with, as it relates to Flynn and the entire Obamagate debacle …. Judge Emmitt Sullivan’s current actions only highlight that the Judge is complicit in the corruption.
Judge Sullivan’s actions are incredible given if he had simply agreed to the dismissal of the Flynn case, Sullivan would have walked away from the Obamagate mess as a footnote and a just another minor victim in the Obamagate affair (ie: Special Counsel Van Grack prosecutorial misconduct).
One would assume a Federal Judge would have enough sense to find adequate legal counsel before unnecessarily revealing his political bias and his complicity in the Obama White House/FBI/DOJ/Special Counsel/Covington Burling abuse of General Flynn.
You get the feeling that Judge Sullivan’s emails and text messages over the past 2-3 weeks would be a fascinating read, both on what he’s said and who he’s been communicating with during that time.
That would be a good start. Then go back 6-8 months…then back to the start of the trial. What is being revealed now is not new.
The huge elephant in the room, among a herd of elephants in the room:
The Obamagate conspirators needed the incoming National Security Advisor General Michael Flynn sidelined in order to continue their coverup of years of illegal political surveillance and to continue to hobble the Trump Admin and/or boot Trump out of office(ie: Impeachment).
So, as we know they succeeded and Flynn was successfully ousted …. then what?
What was acting NSA Lt General Keith Kellogg doing after Flynn’s resignation February 14, 2017 until the confirmation Dan Coats as NSA on March 9, 2017?
Even Bigger Question#2:
WTF was ostensible (R) Dan Coats doing in his role as NSA from March 9, 2017 until his resignation on July 28, 2019?