The judge Michael Flynn pleaded ‘guilty’ to suddenly recuses himself from case
December 8, 2017
Michael Flynn will be sentenced by a different judge than the one he pleaded guilty to last week after Judge Rudolph Contreras, an Obama appointee, abruptly recused himself. (Chief Justice John Roberts appointed Contreras to the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for a term starting May 19, 2016.)
The reason for the recusal was not disclosed. Flynn’s case has been reassigned to Federal Judge Emmet Sullivan, an appointee of former president Bill Clinton. (Judge Sullivan became the first person in the District of Columbia to have been appointed by three United States Presidents to three judicial positions–Reagan, GHW Bush, and Clinton. Highly regarded and recipient of several law awards.)
Flynn will be sentenced in February for lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia when Donald Trump was president-elect. At the time, Flynn knew he was going to be appointed national security adviser, so his contacting Russian officials was not a crime.
However, Flynn lied to the FBI when questioned by agents after Special Counsel Robert Mueller opened his investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. And lying to the FBI is a crime.
President Trump fired Michael Flynn, a retired Army Lieutenant General, in February 2017 for allegedly lying to Vice President Mike Pence. Flynn served just 24 days on the job.
Flynn’s guilty plea is the biggest headline to emerge from Mueller’s Russia probe, but it has failed to ensnare President Trump. It has also failed to prove that Trump’s camp colluded with Russian officials.
Legal analysts say this toothless indictment of Flynn underscores that Mueller’s costly investigation should be shut down, especially as more evidence emerges that his team is stacked with anti-Trump Democratic donors who cannot be impartial or even professional.
Last weekend, news surfaced that Mueller had fired top FBI agent Peter Strzok because of numerous anti-Trump, pro-Hillary texts Strzok exchanged with another Mueller teammate: FBI attorney Jill Page, with whom he was having an affair.
Strzok was fired in August, but the revelation of his anti-Trump, pro-Hillary text messages didn’t become public until four months later — on December 2.
Shockingly, Strzok was in charge of supervising the Trump-Russia investigation and oversaw the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
The dizzying web of deceit has led many to remark that Mueller’s investigation is tainted and has lost all credibility.
Even liberals like Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz — who voted for Hillary — say Mueller has nothing on Trump. Dershowitz said the indictment of Michael Flynn for “lying to the FBI” is a nothing-burger. If anything, it damages Mueller’s investigation.
“The last thing any prosecutor wants to do is to have to indict a primary witness for lying,” Dershowitz told the Fox News. “If you indict your witness for lying, it means he’s not useful as a witness. He has no credibility.” Dershowitz added: “This is not a show of strength by the prosecutor, but a show of weakness. They have nothing on anybody above Flynn.”
Dershowitz Op-Ed on why he lied HERE.
“Many Americans of both parties, including me, urged the lame-duck Obama not to tie the hands of the president-elect by allowing the passage of a resolution that would make it more difficult to achieve a negotiated peace in the Middle East.
As the president-elect, Donald Trump was constitutionally and politically entitled to try to protect his ability to broker a fair peace between the Israelis and Palestinians by urging all members of the Security Council to vote against or delay the enactment of the resolution. The fact that such efforts to do the right thing did not succeed does not diminish the correctness of the effort. I wish it had succeeded. We would be in a better place today.”
This gets “curiouser and curiouser”. Why did Judge Contreras not recuse himself before Flynn pleaded guilty before him? And, equally why recuse himself after? How is it that an Intelligence Court Judge took a plea of guilty in this case? Was this a ploy to strong-arm Flynn because he wouldn’t stand down on his beliefs?
Something doesn’t add up.
Was this done because the problems of the FBI agent was made public? Was he also worried he was about to be dragged into the maelstrom and exposed for his own faults? Was he worried he was about to be skewered? This leaves me to wonder just what his prior opinions for the last few years were and how they have affected our legal system.
Especially given he served on the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court–the very court that entertains applications made by the United States Government for approval of electronic surveillance, physical search, and certain other forms of investigative actions for foreign intelligence purposes.
Especially given his opinion and that of four other judges in the November 9, 2017 case before that court titled “ADDRESSING BULK COLLECTION OF DATA UNDER THE FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE SURVEILLANCE ACT. Case 13-08.” He sided with the majority opinion and yet they forwarded the case decision to the Presiding Judge for final opinion.
Judge Collyer ripped the majority opinion by those judges into shreds.
Found in the dissenting opinion of Judge Collyer was a very interesting paragraph that SHOULD have been observed by all courts and in particular the 9th District courts for a while yet as we have seen has been deliberately undermined.
COLLYER, Presiding Judge, joined by EAGAN, MOSMAN, CONWAY and KUGLER, Judges,
“Just as in the days of John Marshall, it is imperative that the Judiciary avoid the appearance of eroding the very principles intended to maintain the careful balance of powers set forth in the Constitution. The Court’s decision today unfortunately fails in that effort.
(Ppgs 23-24) — The Supreme Court has instructed the lower courts to apply a more rigorous analysis of standing when a party seeks to challenge actions by the Executive or Legislative Branches on constitutional grounds. See, e.g., Raines, 521 U.S. at 819-20.
To be precise, the Supreme Court has stated that “our standing inquiry has been especially rigorous when reaching the merits of the dispute would force us to decide whether an action taken by one of the other two branches of the Federal Government was unconstitutional.” Id. (emphasis added). Accord Crawford v. United States Dep’t of the Treasury, 868 F.3d 438, 457 (6th Cir. 2017).
Flynn from all the information I have seen is a solid, patriotic officer who stands by his oath even at the cost of his own self. Now his personal finances, etc. may have some effect but for him to follow procedure, procure approval, then follow through on his actions does not suggest a damn thing other than he was doing his duty. To ruin his reputation in this manner is a travesty as far as I am concerned.
Judge Sullivan appears to be a highly respected justice who has had many years of legal decisions behind him including teaching law courses. Hopefully, he will be more fair and balanced on his opinion and even reverse the opinion of Judge Contreras.
Frankly it is time that judges make constitutionally sound NON-BIASED, NON-POLITICAL decisions based firmly in law. It is also time that those who cannot do so be removed from the bench, retired, or sent back to private practice. Opinions they have rendered need to be reviewed for constitutionality and if they are unsound then so noted. Future cases and lawyers will be affected by whatever opinions are rendered especially if the judge is long dead and cannot provide his reasoning.
(updated for spelling error, I apologize and thank one of our regulars for catching the error.)