May 15, 2020

Yesterday, I posted a letter from a reader theorizing that the judge in the Michael Flynn case, D.C. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan, might be behaving so strangely in his courtroom because he’s under intense pressure from powerful people, especially now that Obama seems to be implicated. You can read his letter and my answer here.

Also yesterday, Margot Cleveland wrote about Judge Sullivan, in an outstanding piece called “Michael Flynn judge is destroying a man’s reputation: his own.” Cleveland has written some magnificent analyses of “Spygate” and the Flynn case, and this one is no exception.

She first briefly outlines what was done to Flynn to trap him and coerce his guilty plea, which all my readers surely know. Let’s cut to the chase: the point at which U.S. attorney Jeff Jensen has completed his independent examination of the case and the DOJ files a motion to dismiss, with prejudice, the case against Flynn. (“With prejudice” means the case cannot be taken up again.) The motion highlights the various problems with the case, which we’ve also gone through. Indeed, there was no legitimate reason for the FBI even to interview Flynn in the first place, as they already knew what he and Kislyak had talked about and he had already been investigated and cleared.

"Surely Sullivan saw the truth now!” Cleveland writes of the motion to drop the case. “Powell had been right all along. The Flynn case was the Stevens case –- the public corruption case against then-Sen. Ted Stevens that Sullivan presided over in 2008.” And Cleveland is right; the two cases really are similar, in that after Sen. Stevens was convicted by a jury on charges of corruption, new prosecutors handling the appeal discovered the original prosecutors had withheld evidence supporting Stevens’ claim of innocence.

When federal prosecutors in the Stevens case informed the court of this, the attorney general moved to dismiss the charges against Stevens with prejudice, which Judge Sullivan –- in that case –- DID. I guess the one huge difference in these cases that immediately stands out to me is that the attorney general in the Stevens case was Obama appointee Eric Holder, and the one in the Flynn case is Trump appointee William Barr. It’s possible that Sullivan is not being pressured at all but simply has it in for President Trump and his attorney general. That would explain the inconsistency. The “x” in the equation may just be that Sullivan is a partisan hack; no intimidation necessary.

Incidentally, Judge Sullivan didn’t just dismiss the Stevens case when Eric Holder said to. He went on a 14-minute tirade, chastising the prosecution for their mishandling of the case. He scolded, he fumed, he ranted. “In nearly 25 years on the bench,” he raved, “I’ve never seen anything approaching the mishandling and misconduct that I’ve seen in this case.” For when you have time (it's quite long), here’s the dramatic and detailed contemporaneous account.

Judge Sullivan had for months warned prosecutors in the Stevens case about their repeated failure to turn over evidence. After the conviction and the revelation that “Brady” evidence had still been withheld, he executed Holder’s recommendation to dismiss charges and went even further, to order an inquiry into the prosecutors’ handling of the case, a rare move.

At the time, Jonathan Turley described Judge Sullivan as “smart and courteous and even-keeled. To get Judge Sullivan that irate, it takes monumental misconduct.” All right then, why did Judge Sullivan NOT treat prosecutors in the Flynn case the same way, when their misconduct has been egregious as well? And why DID he save his verbal abuse for Flynn himself, telling him he sold out his country, accusing him of things for which he hadn’t been charged and even suggesting that he was a traitor? That's not "even-keeled"; it's outrageously biased.

In the Flynn case, Judge Sullivan is not only siding with the prosecution but even, in effect, becoming a prosecutor all by himself. To that end, he has called for “outside groups” to submit “friend of the court” briefs to oppose the attorney general’s motion to drop the case. He has even enlisted retired Judge John Gleeson to write one himself, no doubt after he saw on Monday the WASHINGTON POST op-ed Gleeson had co-authored, “The Flynn case isn’t over until the judge says it’s over.” At least it shouldn’t take Sullivan long to get it; Gleeson could just hand him a copy of the op-ed he’s already written and say, “Here, use this.”

"With this later order,” Cleveland writes, “Sullivan has destroyed any possible semblance of impartiality --- and his reputation.” Though Gleeson defended him by painting Barr’s decision to drop the case as politically motivated, Cleveland says that, given the misconduct in this case, it’s not the decision but Sullivan's response to it that obviously was.

"The Sullivan who presided over the Stevens case would care about that [the coercion of Flynn and the secret “side agreement” not to prosecute Flynn’s son],” Cleveland says. “But politics and pride have destroyed that man. The long-respected jurist is now a shriveled shadow of the defender of liberty and the rights of the accused. In trying to destroy Flynn, Sullivan has instead destroyed himself.”

Whew. Cleveland has another new piece at THE FEDERALIST on what the Justice Department’s response needs to be to Judge Sullivan’s actions. “To preserve the rule of law,” she writes, “and our constitutional separation of powers, the Department of Justice has no choice now but to seek a writ of mandamus from the D.C. Circuit Court ordering the criminal charge against Flynn dismissed and reassigning the case to another judge.”

Cleveland describes a writ of mandamus as a procedural machination that allows a party to seek to force a lower court to act as required by law. It’s considered an extraordinary remedy, but she thinks it's appropriate, “as the Executive’s primacy in criminal charging decisions is long settled.” Cleveland believes that even though Judge Sullivan hasn’t yet ruled on Barr’s motion to dismiss, “his mere attempt to usurp the executive branch’s authority must be addressed.” The case must go to a different judge because Judge Sullivan, with his clear bias, “has crossed the threshold of fairness.”

(NOTE: According to Mark Levin, the legal remedy for this situation is called a "writ of prohibition," to be filed with the D.C. Circuit Court, prohibiting the lower court from acting "because it lacks jurisdiction." You lawyers can fight this one out; just use something.)

Here’s one more piece of spectacular reading to send you into the weekend. Flynn attorney Sidney Powell, who says she’s “disappointed and saddened” that the same rules don’t apply to Flynn as did to Ted Stevens, has written an open letter to President Obama in which she reacts to his (deliberately) leaked call in which he said “there is no precedent...for someone who is charged with perjury just getting off scot-free. That’s the kind of stuff where you begin to get worried that...our basic understanding of the rule of law is at risk.”

Where to start, right? Powell's response is great. She shows Obama's observation to be “entirely false,” schools him in Law 101, shows the legal precedent for guilty pleas being vacated, and points him to further reading: WHY INNOCENT PEOPLE PLEAD GUILTY, by federal judge Jed Rakoff, a Clinton appointee. This is a magnificent smack-down.

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Comments 1-25 of 42

  • Emily Yeatts

    05/18/2020 11:53 AM

    Why hasn’t Chief Justice John Roberts intervened why hasn’t someone anyone that holds the integrity of our judicial system done something

  • Georgia Haridopolos

    05/17/2020 04:22 PM


  • Ruth Long

    05/16/2020 03:35 PM

    Thank you Gov. Huckabee for all of your great insight and knowledge of the law!! I watch your show every Saturday, and enjoy all of your guests.
    This whole Mike Flynn saga NEEDS to end!! So thankful for lawyers like Sidney Powell. Incidentally I did read her book, "License To Lie". She is a fighter and really knows her law! Obama's "Scandal Administration" is really starting to unravel! It's about time!!

  • stephen mitchell

    05/16/2020 08:26 AM

    If you haven't noticed by now , you must have blinders on . The people you are complaining about circumventing the "LAW " , really don't care about the " LAW " ! They make , and enforce their own "LAWS " ! Judge Sullivan has an ax to grind , and he's also very bias . He's racist just like Obama is .

  • Dawn Sweet

    05/16/2020 07:17 AM grateful to hear clearly explained truth without spin. There are bigger things at foot here. Judge Sullivan May very well be fighting for his life. People in high places have murdered for much less.

  • Carol Mathews

    05/16/2020 01:21 AM

    We hear all the time that General Flynn made a confession because they the FBI threaten his son. What was the threat? Nobody tells us what they were going to accuses him of or how he could be involved with anything. Parents commit crimes but you do not put the children in jail so how were they going to frame him with something and what was that something?

  • Charles Fikes

    05/15/2020 06:32 PM

    Great memorandum to Barack Obama by Sidney Powell! Great sentence "Your statement is entirely false." Proofs shown!
    Thanks to you for showing / endorsing this memo.

  • Diana Talmadge

    05/15/2020 05:59 PM

    It is time to end Gen. Flynn's torture. Judge Sullivan has already judged Gen. Flynn and should be disbarred for his treachery!

  • Eddie Baugh

    05/15/2020 05:45 PM

    Sidney Powell’s response to President Obama is outstanding. I have never understood why people think Barack Obama is so intelligent. I can’t see it. He is, either not particularly bright, or he is evil and deceptive.

  • Charles Downs

    05/15/2020 05:08 PM

    This appears to be a historical event... the first time in American History a President, illegitimate though he is, has committed treason.

  • karen vit

    05/15/2020 04:27 PM

    I believe if the judge is not just biased, he is at the least compromised. I can actually say I don't have anything anyone(w/o lying) can hold against me. I am reading Isiah and there is a wealth of references to acting upright and making sure you have no dirt in your entry that can be used against you

  • Lisa Ford

    05/15/2020 03:32 PM

    Maybe someone needs to do a movie or series for tv when this is over. The whole country needs to see plainly, just how many criminals are involved with the whole O'bama administration & how it also ties into the Clintons & their rich cronies. Heck make a full series on the whole corruption of the Democratic party from the beginning to present. And make sure the KKK is prominently displayed too. And how money buys them out of their criminal acts. Let it all be seen. Our young people or college professors won't allow such books in the classroom, but everyone watches tv. Somehow this generation needs to be educated & not brain washed.

  • Rosemary Lojo

    05/15/2020 03:24 PM

    This Judge is obviously corrupt. Has no hesitiation in destroying a mans exemplary character. Should be removed from the Bench. A disgrace to all Judges who interpret the law with [email protected][email protected]! How much money is he getting?

  • Ellen Klapperich

    05/15/2020 03:13 PM

    Seems to me that maybe this judge is running interference for the previous administration. Trying to save face perhaps. On a lighter note, I just read an article that called the FBI the Federal Bureau of Instigation ??

  • Dee Smitherman

    05/15/2020 02:57 PM

    I LOVE Sidney Powell! I am sick to pieces of the whole Obama admin side show. I dont "twitter", but I saw the Obama tweet "Vote", that has his soul-less followers swooning. If I did tweet, my response is..We did. 2016. And we will again 2020!

  • William Anthony

    05/15/2020 02:47 PM

    I try to be a math tutor not a lawyer. There may be math in some law decisions. Hexadecimal means base 16 to me. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,A,B,C,D,E,F may be a way to count to 16 or zero modulus 16.
    On a side note gopher wood and cubits are words that I have read in a special book. This is an attempt to end my comment.

  • Kathleen Kemmer

    05/15/2020 02:31 PM

    Sydney Powell is a hero. I have been praying for her and the Flynn family for years. I am still fearful that the left will destroy our country within the next 10 years. They are so embedded that it might be too late for the American people. They are coming for us next. 2024 will cast the die.

  • Gene Blazer

    05/15/2020 02:13 PM

    Wow, fantastic read Governor! Thank you making the issue more understandable. God Bless!

  • Dr. Christine G. Anderson

    05/15/2020 02:03 PM

    I still want to see the FAB 4 records laid out for all to see:
    Pelosi, Schumer, Schiff and Waters
    What have they accomplished in their "service" to the country.

  • Dusty

    05/15/2020 01:58 PM

    FLYNN, will rise above this scam ? See the twist and turns they try now to say he talked to Russians like most of the world has not done business with Russia including Hillary and Bill? So what is it per China and the billions made per Bloomberg , Gates, Soros on and on and we cannot say this was the Chinese Virus. WHY when it was? We gave away our country our millions of good paying jobs. cities dies like Detroit, Baltimore, the NE and much of the South per the mills closed up? Our meds 80% made in China WHY? Who allowed this stupidity and if I hear this was to save us money I will throw up? No a l% got super rich. Whoever set up and started this whole Flynn fiasco and I sit here and ask why no attorney allowed to advise him? WHY? Who is our Govt today scary ? Gov. get out and say open your doors let us begin this world business again. we older will have to stay in and be protected for now? I am no malls, no restaurants only take out, but under 60 see CDC facts and STATISTA for ages over seas per this virus also? Yes, get sick try the Flu last year my family had pretty sick. FLY B not covered by vaccine? NO MORE the liberal fake lies and news. Younger go to work. GRocery all did how many affected, Post Office I asked my local said been pretty okay, Truck drivers travel all over the US how were they affected. Pull The World deaths and those well and ours and ask why are we shut down. Yes, for now do the CDC I have my mask and a lot of hand san I use. I as an RN asked why did Washington State the nursing homes keep in the sick and well I would have gone to take out my grandma and New York put back affected Corona patients if so WHY? GET the facts VOTERS beware of The View for 3 yr attacked this Pres , CNN, MSNBC both lie over and over WHY? Who controls these news places and lets them do this?

  • Charles Simmons

    05/15/2020 01:52 PM

    It seems that each collusive conspirator in all aspects of the Obamagate scandals expects to get a ‘plea bargain’ in order to escape lawful penalties which could encourage behavioral correction among the conspirator miscreants. This outcome will forever cement USA’s multi-tier “just-us” system as farce masquerading as “justice.”
    The end.

  • Daniel Passer

    05/15/2020 01:42 PM

    Is there any reasonable way to get General Flynn's case out of Sullivan's court?

  • janet pingston

    05/15/2020 01:38 PM

    Judge Sullivan did not just set out to destroy General Flynn - and in the process destroyed the judicial system..... he also is the final straw to destroy the democratic party.

  • Kay DeWitt

    05/15/2020 01:38 PM

    Right before I read your newsletter, my eye caught an article entitled " US Believers See Message of Change From God in Virus" and since I have expressed this same belief in my comments, I just HAD to read this article...and upon doing do, I decided to copy the below statements FROM this article:

    " The coronavirus has prompted almost two-thirds of American believers to feel that God is telling humanity to change how it lives, a new poll finds. "

    "While the virus rattles the globe, causing economic hardship for millions and killing more than 80,000 Americans, the findings of the poll by the University of Chicago Divinity School and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research indicate that people may also be searching for deeper meaning in the devastating outbreak."

    "Kathryn Lofton, a professor of religious studies at Yale University, interpreted the high number of Americans perceiving the virus as a message from God about change as an expression of 'fear that if we don’t change, this misery will continue. ' "
    I was SO edified to learn that there ARE other people..besides myself... "out there" who SHARE my belief ABOUT ....what I have referred to as.... "the God factor" in this pandemic!.....AND...

    How I can make this comment relevant TO your newsletter is by relating it to your Bible verse today because, If men WERE loving other men WITH His greater love, God would not HAVE to use this pandemic to "tell humanity to change how it lives" and, tragically, Christians are included IN this "humanity" because in order for a Christian to HAVE the greater kind of love (known as agape) that IS willing to lay down his life for his brother, he has to be willing to pick up his cross and die to self....but Christians are no more willing to die to their self life than are non -Christians because they have bought the "feel good" message of the prosperity preachers ....Kenneth Copland going so far as to say that "SORROW IS OF THE DEVIL"....which is why he (and other "faith" preachers ) tell their congregations that GOD wants EVERYONE healthy, and wealthy, and all you need is FAITH to BELIEVE you name and CLAIM your health and wealth...which is exactly what that Virginia pastor did when he refused to cancel his church services and wound up dying of the coronavirus!

    I understand there have been a number of people who have attended church services that refused to close and wound up dying of the coronavirus and, yet, you don't hear about their relatives taking a stand against that which killed their loved ones...the lie that God would not allow them to get sick!

  • Anne Turner

    05/15/2020 01:27 PM

    Maybe Michele should NOT run. Ms. Powell is formidable. Too bad she was not the original defense attorney. Tell me, who is going to make General Flynn whole? He should sue everyone who misrepresented or lied about him, if it is possible, to the extent of his loses and some. What a thing to do to an obviously good man just to get back at the man who defeated Hilary. When Joe is elected, nothing further will be done. I very much fear that the DNC will prevail. They have convinced everyone that the virus spread in this country is POTUS fault. Our government will be so corrupt and our economy may never recover. Because of the wealth tax, those of us who worked and saved to see us through retirement will have to eke out a living which will have a huge impact of the economy. Fir example, I would give up the the following, my social membership in a Country Club, my donations to charity, reduce my donations to the church, resign from a Board and stop donating, stop my work with neglected and abused children, reduce my lawn care to bare minimum, reduce or curtail my cleaning service, stop the newspapers, reduce TV to basic service, not eat out, not buy wine at the local small shop. That’s just for starters. Anyone see the impact of many retirees doing that. Oh, not to worry socialists , you will take care of me at a subsistence level. Soon there will be no wealth to tax.