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Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, leaves the federal court with his lawyer Sidney Powell, left, following a status conference with Judge Emmet Sullivan, in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

 

Judge Emmet Sullivan continues to waste everyone’s time fighting against the DOJ’s request to dismiss charges in the case against Gen. Michael Flynn. This morning, a hearing was held on Flynn’s petition for mandamus at the D. C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Arguing against dismissal of the case was Judge Sullivan’s handpicked “amicus curie,” retired Judge John Gleeson.

Gleeson argued that because Gen. Flynn withdrew his original guilty plea for lying to the FBI, which he had been coerced into making, Flynn is now guilty of perjury. But, said Gleeson, “I respectfully recommend … that the Court not exercise that authority. Rather, it should take Flynn’s perjury into account in sentencing him on the offense to which he has already admitted guilty.”

What?

In a fact filled, objective Twitter thread, George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley pretty much shreds Gleeson’s argument. (For ease of reading, I printed Mr. Turley’s remarks. Please scroll down for the original tweets.)

In the Flynn case, Gleeson just declared Flynn now guilty of perjury but “I respectfully recommend … that the Court not exercise that authority. Rather, it should take Flynn’s perjury into account in sentencing him on the offense to which he has already admitted guilty…

…so let’s unpack this. A criminal defendant alleges that he was coerced into a plea and claims innocence. Gleeson recommends not trying him on perjury but effectively punishing him for perjury under the plea that he said was coerced..

…so the court would first send a defendant to jail on a crime that prosecutors now say he did not commit and punish him for the audacity of claiming innocence by joining the prosecutors in seeking a dismissal. It would be a nightmare for criminal defendants and counsel …

…any criminal defendant could face punishment for perjury is raising coercion in seeking dismissal, even when the prosecutors agreed with him. Yet, Gleeson states this “aligns with the Court’s intent to treat this case and this Defendant, in the same way it would any other.”

I have to note one other chilling statement from Gleeson: “A false eleventh-hour disavowal of a plea and a trumped-up accusation of government misconduct constitute obstruction of the administration of justice.” I admit to viewing such matters as a criminal defense lawyer but…

…this is breathtaking. Imagine if this standard were applied generally. Judges could refuse to let defendants out of cases even when prosecutors admitted fault and supported the accused. Judges could just declare it all “trump-up” and demand that a person be sent to jail…

…on charges that the prosecution no longer supports. Gleeson believes that that is a “return to regularity.” I have been a criminal defense attorney for 30 years and I do not know where that is a regular practice. It would allow courts to become a self-contained…

…and self-mandating system — merging the roles of the prosecutor and the court. The court even went outside of the case to bring in third parties to argue positions neither party supports. That is about as “regular” as a drum-head field trial in the federal courtyard.

Elizabeth Vaughn
Writer at RedState
MBA, former financial consultant, options trader
Mom of three grown children, grandmother
Email Elizabeth at [email protected]

 
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