Retired Judge Who Will Argue Against Michael Flynn Said Case ‘Reeks of Improper Political Influence’
The retired federal judge who was appointed Wednesday to argue that Michael Flynn should be held in criminal contempt of court for changing his guilty plea published an op-ed in the Washington Post Monday criticizing the Trump administration.
Retired Judge John Gleeson was appointed by Judge Emmet Sullivan, who is presiding over the Flynn case, both to oppose the Department of Justice motion to drop the case and to argue Sullivan should begin proceedings to hold Flynn in contempt.
In an op-ed titled “The Flynn case isn’t over until the judge says it’s over,” Gleeson and two co-authors wrote (original links and emphasis):
There has been nothing regular about the department’s effort to dismiss the Flynn case. The record reeks of improper political influence. Hours after the career prosecutor abruptly withdrew, the department moved to dismiss the indictment in a filing signed only by an interim U.S. attorney, a former aide to Attorney General William P. Barr whom Barr had installed in the position months before.
The department now says it cannot prove its case. But Flynn had already admitted his guilt to lying to the FBI, and the court had accepted his plea. The purported reasons for the dismissal clash not only with the department’s previous arguments in Flynn’s case — where it assured the court of an important federal interest in punishing Flynn’s dishonesty, an interest it now dismisses as insubstantial — but also with arguments it has routinely made for years in similar cases not involving defendants close to the president. And all of this followed a similarly troubling reversal, also preceded by the withdrawal of career prosecutors, in the sentencing of Roger Stone.
The Washington Post played a role in Flynn’s prosecution when columnist David Ignatius reported in January 2017 that Flynn, as incoming National Security Advisor, had spoken to the Russian ambassador. (The leak of Flynn’s name was likely a felony.)
Flynn was later accused of lying about his conversations with the Russian ambassador to Vice President Mike Pence and to the FBI. The DOJ now says that those lies were not “material” because Flynn was not under investigation.
Both Gleeson and Sullivan were appointed to the federal bench by President Bill Clinton.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.