Mike Flynn seeks to remove judge overseeing case, alleging bias
Flynn lawyers says U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan has shown 'contempt and disdain for the defense.'
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In a dramatic escalation of a long-running feud, lawyers for former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn on Wednesday filed a motion to disqualify U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan from considering the request to dismiss their client's case, arguing the jurist has demonstrated "contempt and disdain for the defense."
The filing by attorneys Sidney Powell and Jesse Binnall came after the defense and judge clashed several times at a hearing last week. It also follows Flynn, retire Army lieutenant general, having tried to get an appeals court to issue a writ of mandamus forcing Sullivan to immediately dismiss the case.
The defense won an initial ruling by a three-judge panel before it was reversed by the full D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals after Sullivan appealed.
In the new motion, the defense lawyers argued that Sullivan met the standard for dismissal or recusal because he created the appearance of bias "when he actively litigated against General Flynn" in the appeals court.
"He has since far exceeded it – rising to the level of demonstrating actual bias," the lawyers wrote, citing Sullivan's comments during last week's hearing. "The court’s contempt and disdain for the defense was palpable throughout the hearing on
September 29, 2020, including when defense counsel made an oral motion for his immediate disqualification, which he refused to allow even to be fully stated for the record."
Sullivan has defended himself, saying he has a right to weigh all the issues before deciding whether to dismiss a charge of lying to which Flynn previously pleaded guilty. Both the defense and the Justice Department say recently discovered evidence of prosecutors' activity in the case amounted to misconduct justifying a dismissal.
Sullivan declined to immediately grant the dismissal, instead hiring a retired judge to offer arguments opposing the idea.
You can read the new filing here.