Court Battles

Flynn’s lawyers accuse outside counsel of ‘flagrant personal and partisan assault’

Michael Flynn’s lawyers on Wednesday accused a former federal judge appointed to argue against the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) effort to drop its charges against the former national security adviser of engaging in a “flagrant personal and partisan assault.”

John Gleeson, who was tapped to serve as an amicus to offer a counter-argument against the DOJ’s unusual reversal, last week urged the court not to allow the DOJ to drop the charges and accused Flynn of perjury.

“The irony and sheer duplicity of Amicus’s accusations against the Justice Department now—which is finally exposing the truth—is stunning,” Flynn’s lawyers wrote in a court filing. “Amicus’s filing is a ‘wrap-up smear.’ It is an affront to the Rule of Law and a raging insult to the citizens of this country who see the abject corruption in this assassination by political prosecution of General Flynn. This court exuviated any appearance of neutrality when it unlawfully appointed Amicus as its own adversary to make these scurrilous arguments.” 

Gleeson, through a spokesman, declined to comment.

Gleeson, who is now in private practice, laid out his case last week against the DOJ’s surprising move to withdraw its charges. He accused the department of “gross abuse of prosecutorial power” in seeking to help President Trump’s political ally and argued that Judge Emmet Sullivan is within his authority to reject the move.

The DOJ also pushed back against Gleeson’s arguments on Wednesday, saying that Sullivan is obligated by law to approve the motion to withdraw the charge that Flynn lied to the FBI about his communications with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. in late 2016.

“The Constitution vests in the Executive Branch the power to decide when—and when not—to prosecute potential crimes,” the DOJ argued.

Flynn’s legal team has asked the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to intervene in the case and order Sullivan to accept the DOJ’s motion to drop charges. They argued that Sullivan does not have the authority to appoint Gleeson to act as an amicus in the case. 

And they accused Gleeson of being “the most-biased amicus,” pointing to a Washington Post op-ed he published just before his appointment in which he suggested that “improper political influence” played a role in the decision to drop charges against Flynn. 

After hearing oral arguments last week, the D.C. Circuit is expected to issue a decision at some point in the near future about whether Sullivan can proceed with deliberating over the DOJ’s motion.

In the meantime, Sullivan has scheduled oral arguments over the motion for July 16. 

Updated: 4:20 p.m.

Tags Donald Trump

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