Ex-Judge Reviewing Flynn Case Accuses DOJ Of “Gross Prosecutorial Abuse”
POLITICO reports that John Gleeson, a former judge providing the court with an amicus curiae brief on the Michael Flynn case at Judge Emmett Sullivan’s request, accused the Department of Justice of “gross prosecutorial abuse” when it attempted to shut down prosecution in order to protect President Donald J. Trump’s ally.
- Gleeson is a former federal judge who served on the Manhattan federal court at President Bill Clinton’s appointment.
- In May, Sullivan appointed him to write a brief in order to assist him in adjudicating the Department of Justice’s unusual request to drop its criminal case against Flynn, former National Security Adviser to Trump, in spite of his 2017 guilty plea.
- Attorney General William Barr ordered the charges dropped after Jeffrey Jensen, a federal United States Attorney stationed in Missouri and appointed by Trump, reviewed the case at Barr’s request. Jensen concluded that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had no legitimate basis to interview Flynn on January 24, where he originally lied about his interactions with the Russian ambassador.
- However, others connected to the case have argued that although investigators’ deserve a penalty for inappropriate conduct, their errors do not invalidate the charges against Flynn.
In his 82-page brief, Gleeson accused the Department of Justice of abuse and irregularity.
The facts surrounding the filing of the Government's motion constitute clear evidence of gross prosecutorial abuse. They reveal an unconvincing effort to disguise as legitimate a decision to dismiss that is based solely on the fact that Flynn is a political ally of President Trump…
The President has repeatedly opined on specific issues in this case. He has made clear his view that Flynn should not be prosecuted or punished for his crimes. And he has publicly repudiated settled, foundational norms of prosecutorial independence. Everything about this is irregular.
Gleeson also asserted that the Executive Branch’s decision to drop charges after pressing said charges was inappropriate given the other avenues it could utilize to spare Flynn from prosecution.
The Executive Branch had the unreviewable discretion to never charge Flynn with a crime because he is a friend and political ally of President Trump. President Trump today has the unreviewable authority to issue a pardon, thus ensuring that Flynn is no longer prosecuted and never punished for his crimes because he is a friend and political ally. But the instant the Executive Branch filed a criminal charge against Flynn, it forfeited the right to implicate this Court in the dismissal of that charge simply because Flynn is a friend and political ally of the President.
The Department of Justice has requested that Sullivan be replaced as judge on the grounds that he is biased. The Washington, D.C. Circuit court will be making a decision on that matter.
Flynn could face a maximum of five years in prison if he is found guilty on the false-statement charge. However, under the plea deal tendered in exchange for his testimony in Robert Mueller’s investigation, prosecutors agreed that a sentence of up to six months would be reasonable.