Judge Sullivan says he can’t blindly comply with an “unprecedented” request to drop charges against Flynn.
Judge Emmet Sullivan, who is considering a criminal case against a former adviser to President Donald Trump Michael Flynn, defends his decision to bring in an independent expert to rule on the Justice Department’s request to dismiss Flynn’s charges, which he previously admitted.
Sullivan’s lawyers said he is not a “docile bureaucratic tool” and believes it is necessary to carefully consider the “unprecedented” request from the Justice Department. Democrats and former Federal prosecutors accuse attorney General William Barr of politicizing the judicial system and being too lenient with Trump’s inner circle.
The court of appeals for the District of Columbia ordered Sullivan to respond to an emergency petition in which Flynn States that the Justice Department’s request to dismiss the charges of perjury should be immediately granted.
Sullivan, whose interests are represented in the appeals court by former Federal Prosecutor Beth Wilkinson, has yet to rule on the Justice Department’s May 7 motion.
The Justice Department filed the motion after Trump and his allies publicly denounced the Flynn case. Critics also note that the Justice Department did not listen to the recommendations of experienced prosecutors about the need to impose a harsh sentence on former Trump’s adviser Roger Stone.
Flynn pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI about his contacts with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the period shortly before Trump’s inauguration.
Sullivan asked retired judge John Gleason to act as an independent expert in court and present arguments against the Justice Department’s motion, including evaluating the feasibility of charging Flynn with contempt of court for perjury. Gleason must prepare a legal summary by June 10.
At first, Flynn agreed to cooperate with the investigation, but later changed his legal tactics and adopted “scorched earth tactics,” accusing the FBI of conspiring to lure him into a trap. This year, Barr asked St. Louis Federal Prosecutor Jeff Jensen to check how the Flynn case was handled. Jensen later called on Barr to dismiss the situation because the investigation did not have a proper legal basis.