"Gross abuse of prosecutorial power": Court-appointed lawyer rebukes Barr's handling of Flynn case

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  john-russell  •  one month ago  •  19 comments

By:   Roger Sollenberger (Salon)

"Gross abuse of prosecutorial power": Court-appointed lawyer rebukes Barr's handling of Flynn case
"Everything about this is irregular," the judge wrote after analyzing more than 100 of Trump's tweets about Flynn

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



A retired federal judge appointed to argue against the Department of Justice's move to drop criminal charges against President Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn has recommended that the court proceed with sentencing.

He called the department's request to drop the case "a gross abuse of prosecutorial power" in an attempt to "provide special treatment" to a "political ally of the president of the United States."

"The Department of Justice has a solemn responsibility to prosecute this case — like every other case — without fear or favor, and to quote the department's motto, solely 'on behalf of justice,'" former federal judge John Gleeson wrote in a brief filed Wednesday.

"It has abdicated that responsibility through a gross abuse of prosecutorial power, attempting to provide special treatment to a favored friend and political ally of the president of the United States," he added. "It has treated the case like no other, and in doing so has undermined the public's confidence in the rule of law."

Under the stewardship of Attorney General William Barr, federal prosecutors last month moved to drop charges against Flynn, who twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with former Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak during the presidential transition.

Trump fired Flynn in February 2017 for lying to the vice president about his communications with Kislyak, not mentioning the FBI. The firing set off a chain of events which culminated in the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller.

Barr ordered the charges dropped after a review he commissioned found that the FBI did not have legitimate grounds to conduct the interview in which Flynn admitted to lying.

The move sent shockwaves through the judicial system. Without providing a reason, Mueller's lead prosecutor against Flynn told the court that he was withdrawing from the case minutes before the department filed the retraction. Within days, more than 1,000 former federal prosecutors and Justice Department officials had signed on to a legal brief demanding that the court deny Barr's request.

The bizarre directive led the federal judge hearing the case — Judge Emmett Sullivan — to solicit Gleeson's advice on how to move forward.

Without naming Barr directly, Gleeson ripped the Justice Department for its "transparent disingenuousness." He called the attorney general's decision to drop charges an "irregular" effort the government would "scoff at" had the defendant been anyone other than a friend of the president.

"A predicated investigation is never a prerequisite for the FBI to conduct a voluntary interview," he wrote, dismantling quickly the core pretext of the Justice Department's decision.

"There is not a shred of evidence in the record that contradicts the recollections memorialized in [Flynn's admissions]," Gleeson wrote.

"When the FBI repeatedly asked Flynn about those communications, he chose to lie about them — just as he had lied to various senior White House officials. That is about as straightforward a case of materiality as a prosecutor, court or jury will ever see," he concluded.

In exchange for his guilty plea, Flynn was granted prosecutorial leniency. The agreement appears to have spared him from further investigation after he admitted to lying about his Turkish lobbying efforts, as well as headed off possible legal exposure for his son.

Gleeson also wrote that there was "ample" evidence that Flynn, in reversing his guilty plea, perjured himself in court and committed the crime of obstruction of justice — a move which Gleeson said reflected "brazen gamesmanship" of the judicial system.

"Flynn's false testimony not only derailed the proceedings — forcing the court to suspend the briefing schedule and cancel the sentencing hearing — but also reflected brazen gamesmanship challenging the integrity of the judicial system," the former judge wrote.

Though the perjury evidence merited new criminal contempt charges, Gleeson advised against additional proceedings. He instead recommended that Sullivan take perjury into account in Flynn's sentencing.

Gleeson's brief also burns through 100 of Trump's tweets about the Flynn case, concluding afterwards that "everything about this is irregular."

The only mention of Barr comes in the context of those tweets, when Gleeson cites Barr telling ABC News that Trump's tweets "make it impossible to do my job and to assure the courts and the prosecutors in the department that we're doing our work with integrity."

The recommendation comes two days before the D.C. Circuit federal appeals court panel considers Flynn's request to drop the case. If the appeals court agrees, Gleeson's brief may not matter. The judges will weigh whether it was appropriate for Sullivan to seek the retired judge's counsel.

Flynn's lawyers have also accused Sullivan of bias and asked the appellate court to reassign any further proceedings to another judge.

Trump has frequently expressed regrets about firing Flynn, who he believes was treated unfairly. The president appeared to admit for the first time in a December 2017 tweet that he knew more, writing:

I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!

Trump attorney John Dowd later claimed to have written the tweet, which bolstered allegations of obstruction of justice against the president. If sentenced, Flynn faces a maximum of five years in prison.


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JohnRussell
1  seeder  JohnRussell    one month ago

This is really going well for Trump, and Barr. (sarc)

Trump will eventually pardon Flynn and everyone will know it was a sham.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
1.1  Sean Treacy  replied to  JohnRussell @1    one month ago

You know judge Sullivan is going to lose this, right? 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
1.1.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Sean Treacy @1.1    one month ago

He's already won in the court of public opinion. 

Trump and Barr's malevolent scheme has been exposed. 

 
 
 
The Magic Eight Ball
1.1.2  The Magic Eight Ball  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.1    one month ago
malevolent scheme has been exposed.

LOL

the only thing exposed is the left's hate of trump 

that is NOT breaking news.... 

 
 
 
Greg Jones
1.1.3  Greg Jones  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.1    one month ago
Trump and Barr's malevolent scheme has been exposed. 

What's been very widely exposed for all the voters to see is the sham perpetrated by the Obama regime, and it's flunkies in the FBI, CIA, and IRS.

Flynn committed nothing more than the process crime of allegedly lying to the FBI, which at the time was trying to catch him in a perjury trap on trumped up charges. Not a good thing, but not serious enough to warrant imprisonment. Sullivan is just another left wing hack judge who should be kicked off the bench.

 
 
 
evilgenius
1.1.4  evilgenius  replied to  Greg Jones @1.1.3    one month ago
Flynn committed nothing more than the process crime of allegedly lying to the FBI, which at the time was trying to catch him in a perjury trap on trumped up charges.

So, when robber lie to the cops about robbing a bank they can get off because why? Spin baby spin!

 
 
 
Greg Jones
1.1.5  Greg Jones  replied to  evilgenius @1.1.4    one month ago

If he said he did rob the bank, but actually didn't rob the bank, how much should he be punished for simply lying to authorities to protect his family, when those FBI agents were trying to set him up.

Seems like the illegal and devious acts by those FBI members should be what is investigated and punished.

 
 
 
evilgenius
1.1.6  evilgenius  replied to  Greg Jones @1.1.5    one month ago
If he said he did rob the bank, but actually didn't rob the bank, how much should he be punished for simply lying to authorities to protect his family, when those FBI agents were trying to set him up.

Except he did rob a bank and lied and said he didn't. Anything else is spin.

Seems like the illegal and devious acts by those FBI members should be what is investigated and punished.

It has been investigated multiple times (because politics being what it is now) and in this case found nothing illegal or even unethical. 

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
1.1.7  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Greg Jones @1.1.5    one month ago

Seems like the illegal and devious acts by those FBI members should be what is investigated and punished.

was he 'protecting his family' when he lied to Pence, as he winked his immense eye(s) so Brown and intense...how due ewe ration ALL LIES, buy bought Trump n cump, while when brought to light, you claim we should all accept the Shady slim blind eye of brown  eye witness LIE, then , LIE about LYING to the FBI asz U  state his LIES were no big deal...

just how do you know, he's not LYING about them, and his actions were far more severe, because all know it's fine and always a great deal, to accept the words of a LIAR, cause they WOULD NEVER LIE ABOUT ANYTHING,

if they were LYING about a big deal and something you, might consider worthy,

how is it U stabalize  Topsey Turvey, when your unstable skills as a frantic methOD in  surgeon lacking caffeine , cuts  in  two  the argument by a surgeon with shaken n stirred hands all Nervy,  in a scene obscene, because from who and what we've seen this administration bring forth, as they cater to only the  UNCLEAN and the Pervey , ironically , directed and infected into brains washed so clean, becomes detected and erected arguments for the insane Dragging Queen    of the XXX porn maid daily 

inn our White Power House of Panes,  X posing for all to see

the blind    that can't    asz some will always B

how while in the screened in and out porch, they feed the monkeys

from the reflected image not imagined, as the monkeys fling poo at the screens, then rocks, to break the windows, of and for the glass sealing inn the screened in porch   the    

pain            

while catering to so many    obviously    an obscured glass White Power House of PANES,

Exposing      so many     

with TINY hands      and BRAINS

 
 
 
The Magic Eight Ball
2  The Magic Eight Ball    one month ago
 
 
 
Sparty On
3  Sparty On    one month ago

Yawn .... a clearly biased judgement from a clearly biased judge ....... this is starting to take on the look of a Roadrunner cartoon and the left is the Coyote

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
3.1  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Sparty On @3    one month ago
a clearly biased judgement

How so?

Did Flynn lie about his call with Kislyak? Yes.

"There is not a shred of evidence in the record that contradicts the recollections memorialized in [Flynn's admissions],"

Barr's whole assertion to drop the case isn't based on any facts proving Flynn innocent, he's simply claiming that he believes the investigation was unwarranted and thus Flynn shouldn't have been questioned about his call with a high level Russian official months before he actually became the national security advisor. So yes Flynn lied about his conversation, and the conversation was material to a possible crime and the FBI had absolute authority to investigate it, but Barr wants to throw out the case on minor or non-existent process violations. The fact is Barr is doing exactly what he's accusing the former justice department of doing, making conclusions based on political motivations. He doesn't want Trump and Flynn and all the other dirt he's swept under the rug coming to light and thus is trying to throw out the case against a guy who has admitted he is guilty and he KNEW he was lying to investigators.

Any judge worth his salt can see that a clear admission of guilt after the facts were laid out is a valid case, that's not "biased judgement". Using the lame excuse that the FBI were "trying" to get him to lie is laughable, because Police do that all the time, they are allowed to lie in an effort to trip up a suspect and get them to perjure themselves, to catch them in a provable lie, which is what happened with Flynn.

Flynn was making US foreign policy with a high level Russian official, making promises he didn't yet have the authority to make, letting them know they would be rewarded if they ignored the most recent Obama administration sanctions and removal of Russian agents. He was doing this before he had any actual official position to do so, it was under the table, and as such Flynn knew it was not only irregular but likely illegal which is why he lied when asked about it. It's amazing to me how so many on the right have a hard time understanding this case and how they keep standing up for a man who plead guilty to lying to investigators. It truly shows how they don't really care about the law.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
3.1.1  Greg Jones  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @3.1    one month ago

 but likely illegal which is why he lied when asked about it. 

So...only "likely" illegal, and never proven to be otherwise. These kind of courtesy calls were and are customary when new administrations take over.  

You're making assertions about some alleged facts which turned out not to be true.

Trump will pardon him, patriotic people will cheer the decision, and justice will have prevailed.

 
 
 
Sparty On
3.1.2  Sparty On  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @3.1    one month ago

Their case against Flynn is rife with investigative misconduct and inappropriate/illegal actions that any first year attorney could get the case thrown out with.

From a legal standpoint it's done.   Flynn is going to walk no matter how hard the left tries to justify or hide it's illegal and inappropriate behavior.

You better get used to it.   It's coming.

 
 
 
Dulay
3.1.3  Dulay  replied to  Greg Jones @3.1.1    one month ago
So...only "likely" illegal, and never proven to be otherwise.

The ONLY thing that Flynn was charged with is lying to the FBI, which he plead guilty to. Nothing else has to be proven. 

These kind of courtesy calls were and are customary when new administrations take over.  

WTF are you talking about?

You're making assertions about some alleged facts which turned out not to be true.

The transcripts have been released. Flynn lied. PERIOD full stop. 

Trump will pardon him, patriotic people will cheer the decision, and justice will have prevailed.

Sure Trump will pardon him. 

WTF does letting off a liar have to do with patriotism? 

Pardoning Flynn would NOT be justice. 

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
3.1.4  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Greg Jones @3.1.1    one month ago
These kind of courtesy calls were and are customary when new administrations take over.  

It wasn't any sort of curtesy call, it was a national policy call. The lie was that it was a curtesy call, that they were just chatting as any incoming national security advisor might before being sworn in. But that was the lie, he lied about the content of the call because he KNEW it was inappropriate. How is this so fucking hard for Trump supporters to understand?

You're making assertions about some alleged facts which turned out not to be true.

Bullshit. The content of the call has now been made public.

"In the transcript of a Dec. 29, 2016, call between Flynn and Kislyak, it is clear that Flynn was trying to convince Russia not to respond aggressively to the Obama administration decision that day to eject 35 suspected Russian intelligence operatives from the U.S. and impose sanctions on Russian intelligence agencies."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/transcripts-of-calls-between-flynn-russian-diplomat-show-they-discussed-sanctions/2020/05/29/cc3d29c6-a1f0-11ea-b5c9-570a91917d8d_story.html

Trump will pardon him

No kidding, criminal scum have to stick together.

patriotic people will cheer the decision

Nope, the only ones cheering will be those who don't care about the rule of law and chicken shit treasonous slime who would rather have a white nationalist authoritarian government like Russia instead of staying the land of the free and home of the brave.

justice will have prevailed

You actually have to have justice for it to prevail. Trump pardoning a man who plead guilty, who admitted what he did was illegal, would be overturning justice and a bastardization of the rule of law. It makes me sick to think of such scum who would support this kind of thing and this kind of lawless President.

 
 
 
dennis smith
3.1.5  dennis smith  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @3.1.4    one month ago

Listening to the main stream media coverage for the last 3 + years has done nothing but expose that media and those who believe fits the fringe left very well.

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
3.1.6  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  dennis smith @3.1.5    one month ago
Listening to the main stream media coverage for the last 3 + years has done nothing but expose that media and those who believe fits the fringe left very well.

Using your brain and choosing not to be a mindless Trump sycophant drone helps to keep one out of moronic right wing conspiracy theories about the supposedly evil "MSM". I prefer thinking for myself, watching several different forms of media and accepting the ones that require the least amount of fantasy or bullshit. "The simplest solution is most likely the right one", and the simplest solution that requires no fantasy "deep state" or bullshit conspiracy theories about Hillary, Obama, climate change or Democrats is that the right wing is out of its fucking mind.

 
 
 
Freedom Warrior
4  Freedom Warrior    one month ago

There will be no justice if Flynn is not exonerated.

There will be no justice unless the unscrupulous and unethical scum in the FBI are not prosecuted,

 
 
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