Flynn’s judge, Judge Sullivan, appointed a retired left-wing judge named John Gleeson to argue against the DOJ recommendation to drop the Flynn case. Judge Sullivan appointed Gleeson — after he wrote an article claiming Flynn is guilty — to file a brief arguing against the DOJ’s decision.
Some would say the charges against him are a gross abuse of power.
Omitting the evidence of threats against the General and proven abuse by the FBI, the NY Times concludes:
Although he had previously told the court that he did lie to the F.B.I. agents, he began saying instead that he simply did not remember at the time about what he had spoken about with the Russian ambassador. Because those statements under oath to the court were conflicting, Judge Sullivan also asked Mr. Gleeson to help him evaluate whether he should impose criminal contempt-of-court sanctions on Mr. Flynn for perjury.
Instead, Mr. Gleeson wrote, Judge Sullivan should take that behavior into account when imposing a sentence on Mr. Flynn.
The Justice Department “has treated the case like no other, and in doing so has undermined the public’s confidence in the rule of law,” Mr. Gleeson wrote. “I respectfully suggest that the best response to Flynn’s perjury is not to respond in kind. Ordering a defendant to show cause why he should not be held in contempt based on a perjurious effort to withdraw a guilty plea is not what judges typically do.”
JONATHAN TURLEY RESPONDS ON TWITTER
In the Flynn case, Gleeson just declared Flynn now guilty of perjury but “I respectfully recommend … that the Court not exercise that authority. Rather, it should take Flynn’s perjury into account in sentencing him on the offense to which he has already admitted guilty…
OKAY, CAN’T TRY HIM FOR PERJURY, BUT PUNISH HIM FOR TRUMPED-UP PERJURY
…so let’s unpack this. A criminal defendant alleges that he was coerced into a plea and claims innocence. Gleeson recommends not trying him on perjury but effectively punishing him for perjury under the plea that he said was coerced…
Turley linked to an article HERE that is worth reading. Basically, he wrote that the court is dangerously outside judicial boundaries.
The first paragraph: Below is my column in USA Today on concerns over the recent orders of U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan. As leading lawyers, including a former Clinton U.S. Attorney openly advise Sullivan on how to “make trouble” for the Administration, these calls only magnify concerns over the purpose of these proceedings and whether they are increasingly detached from the merits of the pending motion.
PUNISHMENT FOR CLAIMING INNOCENCE
…so the court would first send a defendant to jail on a crime that prosecutors now say he did not commit and punish him for the audacity of claiming innocence by joining the prosecutors in seeking a dismissal. It would be a nightmare for criminal defendants and counsel …
…any criminal defendant could face punishment for perjury is raising coercion in seeking dismissal, even when the prosecutors agreed with him. Yet, Gleeson states this “aligns with the Court’s intent to treat this case and this Defendant, in the same way it would any other.”
CHILLING TRUMPED-UP ACCUSATIONS BY A JUDGE
I have to note one other chilling statement from Gleeson: “A false eleventh-hour disavowal of a plea and a trumped-up accusation of government misconduct constitute obstruction of the administration of justice.” I admit to viewing such matters as a criminal defense lawyer but…
…this is breathtaking. Imagine if this standard were applied generally. Judges could refuse to let defendants out of cases even when prosecutors admitted fault and supported the accused. Judges could just declare it all “trump-up” and demand that a person be sent to jail…
…on charges that the prosecution no longer supports. Gleeson believes that that is a “return to regularity.” I have been a criminal defense attorney for 30 years and I do not know where that is a regular practice. It would allow courts to become a self-contained…
…and self-mandating system — merging the roles of the prosecutor and the court. The court even went outside of the case to bring in third parties to argue positions neither party supports. That is about as “regular” as a drum-head field trial in the federal courtyard.