Yesterday, we witnessed a significant and unusual turn of events when the judge overseeing the prosecution of former national security adviser General Michael Flynn would not immediately grant a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) request to dismiss the case, saying he’s willing to hear outsiders weigh in on what should happen next.
With that decision, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington will accept what is known as friend-of-the-court briefs in response to the dismissal request from Attorney General William Barr’s
DOJ, according to an order in the court docket on Tuesday. The judge’s unusual move is viewed as somewhat of a potential setback to the DOJ and President Trump, who has repeatedly attacked the case, part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
As had been anticipated, the judge could have ended this entire matter with a single word – “granted,” but instead, he seems open to the idea of hearing other voices about whether DOJ’s motion should be granted. Again, this is extremely unusual as many legal experts have weighed in. So, the question now is who has been influencing Judge Sullivan and how influential are they?
At this point, this is what we know. Judge Sullivan’s invitation was extended to at least two groups referred to as friends of the court. The first group, known as the Former Watergate Prosecutors. These lawyers were also deeply involved aiding the Democrats House Impeachment Team asserting the following pertaining to President Trump. The group’s amicus position claims that:
> Trump conditioned protection of the military security of the United States and of an ally (Ukraine) on actions for his personal political benefit.
> Trump subordinated the integrity of our national electoral process to his own personal political interest by soliciting and encouraging foreign government interference in our electoral process, including by Russia and China. He also appears to have demanded that Ukraine investigate a potential 2020 political opponent and pursue the conspiracy theory that Ukraine had interfered in the 2016 presidential election, despite the unanimous conclusion of the U.S. intelligence community that it was Russia that had interfered.
> According to the evidence laid out in the Mueller report, Trump engaged in multiple acts of obstruction of justice in violation of federal criminal statutes and of his oath of office to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” Because Mueller viewed Justice Department policy as precluding him from filing criminal charges against the president, the special counsel appropriately stated that these abuses are for Congress to address.
Secondly, there is yet another group that signed a letter condemning Attorney General William Barr’s motion regarding the Flynn case. This particular group was mobilized by a left-wing organization called Protect Democracy. The group was founded and is led by Ian Bassin who served as an Associate White House Counsel from 2009-2011 — with the Obama White administration White House. Bassin also says that the MAGA hats broke the Hatch Act law. So, this is not about a legal challenge, but it is for sure a deliberate political argument.