The judge presiding over the case of Michael Flynn has delayed any decision on whether to grant the Justice Department’s motion of May 7 to drop the case against the former national security adviser and ally of President Donald Trump.
Emmet G. Sullivan, a district judge in Washington, on Tuesday, May 11, issued an order saying he’ll soon accept “amicus curiae,” or “friend of the court” submissions, in the case of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Sullivan had previously refused to hear any amicus briefs in the case against Flynn, and this decision to not drop the case comes after Democrats criticized the DOJ last week for doing so.
Sullivan has indicated he will set a schedule to accept briefs from those who may have an interest in the case. “[A]t the appropriate time, the Court will enter a Scheduling Order governing the submission of any amicus curiae briefs,” Sullivan wrote in an order posted Tuesday afternoon. He said that “given the posture of the case” he expects there will be many outside parties wanting to have their say.
The counsel for Flynn was quick to reply, “A criminal case is a dispute between the United States and a criminal defendant,” Flynn defense lawyer Sidney Powell and her co-counsel wrote in a court filing later Tuesday. “There is no place for third parties to meddle in the dispute, and certainly not to usurp the role of the government’s counsel.”
Attorney General William Barr appointed Jensen in January to review evidence in Flynn’s case. The prosecutor discovered FBI documents that Barr said raised questions about the bureau’s investigation of Flynn, reported the Daily Caller.
According to Barr in an interview last week, there was no legitimate reason for the FBI to conduct the interview around which Flynn’s plea deal was centered. The FBI, said Barr, had also set up a “perjury trap” against Flynn, who was fired from his job as national security adviser on Feb. 13, 2017.
Democrats and critics of the Trump administration criticized the request to withdraw the charges against Flynn with more than 2,000 former Justice Department and FBI officials submitting a letter through the left-wing group, Project Democracy, requesting Barr’s resignation.
Independent journalist Michael Cernovich wrote on Twitter Tuesday evening. “This is a violation of the judicial oath and applicable ethical rules. We will be filing a complaint against Sullivan. … [He] is acting as a politician, not a judge.”
“Judge Sullivan, who denied leave to file amicus briefs when he knew third parties would have spoken favorably of Flynn, now solicits briefs critical of Flynn,” said Cernovich.
Judge Sullivan, who denied leave to file amicus briefs when he knew third parties would have spoken favorably of Flynn, now solicits briefs critical of Flynn. This is a violation of the judicial oath and applicable ethical rules. We will be filing a complaint against Sullivan.
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) May 13, 2020
According to Fox News: Flynn’s legal team indicated in a filing Tuesday that a sealed amicus brief has already been submitted by a group known as the “Watergate Prosecutors.” That group was featured in an October 2019 Washington Post opinion piece, and listed as one of its members Jill Wine-Banks — who previously advanced unsubstantiated collusion theories involving the Trump campaign and Russia.
Wine-Banks was also explicitly named as a member of the group seeking to file an amicus brief in the Flynn case.
Late Tuesday, President Trump retweeted a post by the Twitter user Techno_Fog calling Wine-Banks a “Trump/Russia collusion nutter.”