MONDAY NIGHT DEADLINE APPROACHES
by Sharon Rondeau
(May 31, 2020) — On Tuesday, May 19, a petition for a Writ of Mandamus was filed on behalf of Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn (Ret) to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, where it was assigned the number 20-5143.
The appeal was made from a case originating in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia as a result of a declaration by the assigned judge, Emmet G. Sullivan, that he was appointing a retired federal judge, John Gleeson, to “oppose” the Justice Department’s decision not to pursue the charge, filed May 7. Sullivan also invited the submission of amicus curiae briefs, of which a number have been filed in support of the petitioner (Flynn) and the respondent or “district court.”
On December 1, 2017, Flynn entered a “guilty” plea in response to a charge of lying to the FBI during a January 24, 2017 ad hoc interview in the West Wing, where he was serving as President Trump’s national security adviser. He re-entered the plea as the case progressed through numerous delays and ultimately, a change in his legal representation last June.
Flynn’s position as national security adviser would last only 24 days after leaks of his conversations with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak to The Washington Post appeared to show that Flynn had not been honest with Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of those conversations.
Sullivan also asked Gleeson to consider whether or not Flynn had committed “perjury” when he entered the “guilty” pleas. In December 2018, Sullivan accused Flynn, a 33-year Army and combat veteran, of having “sold your country out” in an unexpected soliloquy in which he mentioned “treason.”
On January 29, Flynn filed a motion to withdraw his “guilty” plea.
Attorney Sidney Powell, now representing Flynn, began her May 19 petition to the appellate court:
This petition seeks an order directing the district court to grant the Justice Department’s Motion to Dismiss its criminal case against former National Security Advisor to President Trump, Lieutenant General Michael T. Flynn (Ret.) (“Motion to Dismiss”). ECF No. 198. The Government moved to dismiss the Information charging a violation of 18 U.S.C. §1001 after an internal review by United States Attorney Jeffrey Jensen unearthed stunning evidence of government misconduct and General Flynn’s innocence.
The “relief sought,” Powell wrote on page 10, is that “Petitioner respectfully requests that this Court order the district court immediately to (1) grant the Justice Department’s Motion to Dismiss; (2) vacate its order appointing amicus curiae; and (3) reassign the case to another district judge as to any further proceedings.”
On May 22, Charlie Savage of The New York Times reported that it was likely Sullivan would hire an attorney to represent him, which, in fact, was reported on May 24. Sullivan hired Beth Wilkinson, a well-known attorney in Washington, DC circles, who served as an adviser to Judge Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearings to the U.S. Supreme Court, where he now sits as the newest justice.
On Friday, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe released the transcripts of Flynn’s calls with Kislyak, which show that Kislyak frequently was the initiator of the telephone calls and that he requested a secure video-conference between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin the day after Trump’s upcoming inauguration. The two also wished one another season’s greetings on several occasions.
Sullivan has until midnight on Monday to file his response. As of this writing, nothing bearing his name has been entered on the docket, although entries were made as recently as Saturday, May 30.
Updated, June 1, 6:10 a.m. EDT, to reflect that Flynn moved to withdraw the “guilty” plea on January 29, 2020.
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.