Attorneys for Judge Sullivan tell federal court their client correct to deny ending Flynn case

Sullivan has delayed any action on the Flynn case until July

Updated: June 2, 2020 - 8:13am

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Attorneys for Judge Emmet Sullivan filed documents Monday in federal court arguing their client should in fact have denied the Justice Department’s recent petition for him to end the federal case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn, over which Sullivan presides. 

The documents filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit are in response to Attorney General William Barr’s May 7 announcement that the department had dropped its case against Flynn and request that the federal courts also end the case.

Barr made the requests based on recently declassified and released documents that suggest FBI agents broke protocol in their successful effort to get Flynn to admit in 2017 that he lied about having talked to a Russian ambassador about sanctions, as part of the federal government’s Russia collusion probe.

In the 46-page document filed Monday, Sullivan's lawyers argued that their client was in fact correct in later denying the petition to dismiss the case and instead inviting “friend of the court briefs” and in appointing retired federal Judge John Gleeson to present arguments in opposition to the department's move to dismiss its prosecution of Flynn and to decide whether Flynn should face a contempt hearing for claiming to be not guilty of a crime to which he had previously pleaded guilty. 

Flynn attorney Sidney Powell has asked the court to have her client's case immediately dismissed. Sullivan has set a July 16 hearing as the next step in hearing arguments about the request to dismiss.

Sullivan attorney Beth Wilkinson argues that the “unique facts of this case” warrant evaluation by the trial judge before any review by their client’s court.

Firm lawyers also say that a criminal defendant claiming innocence, then moving to withdraw his guilty plea after repeatedly swearing under oath that he committed the crime is “unusual.”

They also said that it is “unprecedented for an acting U.S. attorney to contradict the representations that career prosecutors made time and again, and undermine the district court’s legal and factual findings, in moving on his own to dismiss the charge years after two different federal judges accepted the defendant’s plea.”


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