Judge in Flynn case now solicits amicus briefs; Sidney Powell document indicates partisan group filed one on Monday

Judge in Flynn case now solicits amicus briefs; Sidney Powell document indicates partisan group filed one on Monday
Michael Flynn; Barack Obama

The next bomblet in the Flynn-case cluster bomb has gone off.  Judge Emmett Sullivan, in a response today on the Justice Department’s motion to dismiss, has requested comers to file amicus curiae briefs.

It seems this solicitation is basically posted to accommodate one that’s there already.  Sidney Powell has responded with a filing that addresses an amicus brief apparently filed on Monday.  I was astonished to hear that Sullivan wanted amicus briefs in a criminal trial, especially one like Flynn’s which doesn’t turn on any arcane point of technology or science.  Having no expertise on this issue, I wasn’t planning to mention that, until I saw that Powell’s counter-brief points out there is no provision in U.S. statute for amicus briefs like the ones Sullivan is asking for.  Powell says Sullivan is relying on a statute relevant to civil proceedings, not criminal ones.

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She also observes that the judge previously ordered — on 24 occasions — that there would be no amicus briefs in the Flynn trial.  The orders were issued because there have been numerous attempts to lodge amicus briefs with the court.


There will no doubt be more coming on this.  We can assume with confidence that the “Watergate Prosecutors” group, which filed the amicus brief on Monday, was activated by the Obama Web conference on Friday, reported by Michael Isikoff.

Presumably this will at most be a delaying tactic, at least as regards the Flynn case itself.  But the delay is not to buy time for further affecting the Flynn case.  It’s to buy time for former Obama officials to react to what’s going on at the Justice Department and in the intelligence community.  Their eyes aren’t on the future of the Flynn case; they’re on John Durham and Richard Grenell.

Speaking of Grenell and his satchel of unmasking names from the Obama administration, tweets from journalist Adam Housley suggested Attorney General Barr would not be agreeing to release the names.  (I’m embedding the tweet that makes it clear Grenell sought release for a set of names implicated in all of Spygate, and not just in spying on Flynn.  You’ll see I RT’d it with commentary.)

That tells me the names are directly relevant to what John Durham is working on.  That’s the best reason not to release them right now: because the names figure in Durham’s investigation, and probably some of them in indictments that are being sought, or will shortly be sought.

It’s clear at this point that the Flynn case is no longer a stately court proceeding.  It’s a dog fight.  More: it’s a battle being waged for America’s future, on a very specific piece of terrain.  It has to be waged in the terms prevailing on that terrain — the court system and its protocols — but that doesn’t mean the ultimate objective is a legal one pertaining to this case.

As much as we may admire the seeming “prudence” or “temperance” of continuing to comment as if it’s just a due-process sequence of events — that’s not the truth.  That’s not what it is.  Pretending this is due process is lying to ourselves.  We buy nothing by doing it.

No one is in a position to breach public order in the matter.  That’s not justified.  We’ll have to let it play out.  But I am fully in sympathy with those who don’t want to hear any more commentary that fatuously addresses the twitches in the Flynn proceeding as if we’re supposed to take them seriously as due process.  What Flynn has been subjected to is the very opposite of a speedy trial — and at each step along the way, the delays proposed have been, like this amicus brief, unjustifiable.

I also don’t want to hear that President Trump needs to be silent about it.  The legal system itself has been under attack for years with this and other abusive cases.  Abusing citizens is abusing the system too.  And it’s abusing due process and the concept of the rule of law.  It’s crystal clear, with the filing of at least one amicus brief by the absurdly self-styled “Watergate Prosecutors,” that this new gambit is simply another nakedly partisan attack on due process.

And it’s being allowed by the judge.  Far from wishing the president would shut up, as a citizen watching our legal system be abused, I want to know that he sees that for what it is.  Failing to acknowledge it is not prudence or sound judgment; it’s the opposite.

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer is a retired Naval Intelligence officer who lives in Southern California, blogging as The Optimistic Conservative for domestic tranquility and world peace. Her articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s Contentions, Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard.


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