Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled that he would accept “amicus curiae” (friends of the court) briefs on the Michael Flynn case rather than dismiss it from the DOJ’s motion. Simply put, that means the judge is accepting information from outside people opposed to the dismissal of the case. It’s an outrageous ruling.
In normal court proceedings, if the party that brought the action asks to dismiss the action, the whole thing is summarily dismissed. It’s like if the prosecutor decided to dump a case, the case is dumped. In Flynn’s case, the judge is deciding for himself rather than accepting the DOJ’s action.
At this point, Flynn’s attorney Sidney Powell will need to file what is known as a “writ of mandamus” which allows her to appeal this ruling to the circuit court. She’ll have to act fast, but based on what we’ve seen of her so far she’s up for it.
Why did this judge decide to prolong Michael Flynn’s case? He was originally appointed by President Ronald Reagan, and has since been appointed to other positions by several Presidents, including HW Bush and Clinton. He has a decidedly prestigious resume and career. But pressure….there is a lot of it from both sides of the aisle. Judge Emmet Sullivan has been described as “courageous” and a “fiercely independent thinker.”
16 former Watergate prosecutors have called on US District Judge Emmet Sullivan to ignore the DOJ's request to drop charges against Michael Flynn
— Edward Hardy (@EdwardTHardy) May 13, 2020
Absent reconsideration or reversal of his order, Judge Emmet Sullivan has just ensured that the Russia collusion hoax will be relitigated on the federal docket.https://t.co/X5DdnMnhBY
— The Federalist (@FDRLST) May 13, 2020
What will Judge Emmet Sullivan do? Here are the options:
The Hill reported:
“On Tuesday evening, Sullivan pulled a surprise, announcing in a court filing that he would allow interested parties to weigh in on the case with amicus briefs, an unusual move for a criminal prosecution, and enter a scheduling order “at the appropriate time.” The move was opposed by Flynn’s lawyers, who argued that it would be inappropriate to allow third parties to weigh in on the case.
Sullivan has several options for responding to the DOJ motion beyond Tuesday’s action.
Sullivan could eventually move to dismiss the case with prejudice, meaning Flynn’s case would be permanently dismissed and he could never be charged again for the same incident. Or, the judge could grant dismissal without prejudice, which would allow the case to be considered again — particularly if the White House flips in November.
Another option is for Sullivan to collect as much information as he sees fit before making a decision, which could include calling the U.S. attorney for D.C., Timothy Shea, and even Attorney General William Barr to testify.
He could also deny the motion, block the withdrawal of Flynn’s guilty plea and choose to proceed with sentencing the retired Army lieutenant general.”
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Judge Sullivan’s ruling has upset the “apple cart” on Flynn’s side. The former officials who will file the amicus briefs are likely giddy with joy that they get to bring in their opinions to the court. The defense is exceedingly unhappy, and rightly so. While the DOJ’s decision to drop the case was unusual, so is the judge’s decision to keep it going.
“And let’s face it, if it looks like this is what’s going on, there is strategy then that’s at the heart of what this judge is trying to accomplish. And, that strategy is offensive to anyone who practices. It’s the United States against Michael Flynn. And, when the United States says we’re no longer going to pursue it because we don’t have the evidence, then the audacity of somebody outside of that coming in who has no authority is outrageous.” Former US Attorney Brett Tolman to Fox and Friends
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