One has to feel for Gen. Michael Flynn. Both the defense and the prosecution have moved to dismiss the case against him and generally, in any other court in the land, the charges would be dismissed and he’d be out celebrating with this family.
But this case just took another screwy twist into bizarro land as far as legal precedent is concerned.
Where we last left you in the saga, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has given Judge Emmet Sullivan ten days until June 1 to explain his actions in the Flynn case. The questionable actions included not dismissing the case when both sides wanted it dismissed, providing for amicus briefing from non-parties, asking a retired judge to file a brief in opposition to the prosecution’s motion to dismiss and asking that same judge to include in the brief why Flynn should not be charged with criminal contempt for perjury.
So guess what Sullivan has done now?
He’s hired a lawyer to argue his point to the Court of Appeals.
According to the Washington Post:
The federal judge who refused a Justice Department request to immediately drop the prosecution of former Trump adviser Michael Flynn has hired a high-profile trial lawyer to argue his reasons for investigating whether dismissing the case is legally or ethically appropriate.
In a rare step that adds to this criminal case’s already unusual path, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan has retained Beth Wilkinson to represent him in defending his decision to a federal appeals court in Washington, according to a person familiar with the hire who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.
Beth Wilkinson is married to David Gregory who used to be at NBC and is now at CNN. She previously represented Justice Brett Kavanaugh during the accusations from Christine Blasey Ford. She’s also represented multiple Hillary Clinton aides including Cheryl Mills, Heather Samuelson, Jake Sullivan and Philippe Reines during the email investigation.
So he’s not even willing to present his own reasons why he thinks his actions are justified?
Why does he feel the need to put an attorney between him and the Court of Appeals? If he thinks the case shouldn’t be dismissed, why can’t he just rule that (and get overturned)? Why is he trying every way to prolong and drag out this case, and not justify it himself?
Answer? Because he knows there is no legal justification for his actions which raises more questions about why he’s doing this.
Certainly an odd development. Theres no reason Sullivan can’t respond to appeals court order himself.
“A federal judge doesn’t typically hire private counsel to respond to an appeals court”
Unsure if the appeals court will allow this.
— Techno Fog (@Techno_Fog) May 23, 2020
Techno Fog suggests the Court may not go along with this end around and he’s right. Judges don’t like stomping on each other and that’s why they gave him the chance to justify himself even though his actions make no sense.
Pulling this move may just make them say, well, we gave him a chance but he’s still playing games, this time with us, enough already.
Is Judge Sullivan personally paying for these private attorneys to represent him?
Or are taxpayers on the hook for this highly unusual arrangement? https://t.co/RklIi8K5Bj
— Mike Davis (@mrddmia) May 23, 2020