June 25, 2020
Come on, Judge Sullivan; at this point, you’re just embarrassing yourself.
I say this because at the time of this writing, late Wednesday night, Emmet Sullivan, the presiding judge in the Michael Flynn case, still has not complied with the federal appeals court that ordered him to drop the case. What he did was issue a “stay of the current settings” for a hearing already on the calendar and for any further briefings.
The vote was 2-1 from a 3-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. I’m not a lawyer, but it seemed to me that even the judge who dissented was doing it based on the timing of their intervention, not the merits of the case itself. But that’s not enough for Judge Sullivan, who, in defying Attorney General Barr’s decision to drop the case, has shown himself to be the very incarnation of Captain Ahab, determined to harpoon the Great White Trump if it sinks him.
(Aside: to show how apt this imagery is for describing TDS, I’ve included this quote from Melville’s MOBY DICK: “...all evil, to crazy Ahab, were visibly personified, and made practically assailable, in Moby Dick. He piled upon the whale’s white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he he burst his hot heart’s shell upon it.”)
Anyway, Barr –- who is, after all, the prosecutor –- wants to dismiss the case. The D.C. panel wants to dismiss it. Lord knows Flynn and attorney Sidney Powell want to dismiss it. One would think even the original prosecutors would want the case dismissed, as Powell has amassed a mountain of evidence of their misconduct big enough to send THEM to the hoosgow. It seems the only one still involved who doesn’t want to drop it is Judge Sullivan, and the appeals judges have essentially kicked the ball back to his court. He doesn’t get to exercise his own discretion on whether or not to drop it, but he may choose to continue to stretch this out and have the matter re-heard by the full appeals court.
Former deputy Assistant AG John Yoo, speaking Wednesday with Shannon Bream, pointed out that issuing this writ of mandamus to Judge Sullivan’s court was “an extraordinary step on the part of the D.C. Circuit Court." They’re rare, and apply when a judge has abused power. He said Sullivan could indeed appeal to the full panel of 13 or even to the Supreme Court, but “that would just be prolonging his own mistake.”
We’ve been following the case against Flynn from the start, and it has recently been blown wide open with revelations from FBI interview notes, texts and other declassified documents that it was a trap set for him early on. As the incoming national security adviser, Flynn did nothing wrong in speaking with the Russian ambassador, and he never tried to be less than forthcoming in his interview with agents Strzok and Pientka. It’s clear now that Flynn was railroaded, but the judge is on a mission to take him down just for pleading guilty --- never mind that his plea was coerced and that Powell has the goods on what they were trying to do.
Just this Tuesday, the Justice Department informed Sullivan that it had just found another page of Strzok’s notes that are exculpatory for Flynn. Strzok was the lead investigator on “Crossfire Hurricane,” which encompassed Trump and Russia and also “Crossfire Razor,” the case against Flynn.
At the time of that report, the notes were subject to a protective order, but they've now been released with some redactions. Here is Solomon's updated story, which makes additional points about the case.
A former senior FBI official told Solomon that Strzok’s notes about the Oval Office meeting are a “red flag” that the Bureau, under Comey, “may have been involving itself illegitimately in a political dispute between the outgoing Obama administration and the incoming Trump administration.” Ya think?
The notes were said in Powell’s brief to have been taken January 4, 2017, the day Strzok relayed a request from “the 7th floor” to the lead investigator in the case telling him to keep it open, but that appears to be wrong, as they refer to events that happened on the 5th. The DOJ has said they were taken between January 3-5, which would have included the Oval Office meeting. But Strzok wasn’t at that meeting, so he was probably writing down someone else’s account of it.
Still, with stunning evidence like this on Flynn’s side, it’s quite a spectacle to watch Judge Sullivan trying so hard to keep the case going. Curiously, Sullivan seems as desperate to keep it open now, against all odds, as Strzok was in early January 2017. And we know that there were others back then who were just as keen on it, including both Obama and Biden. We know this because they attended a now-infamous Oval Office meeting January 5 to talk about this. And, yes, there are notes.
In her court filing, Powell referred to these: “...Former President Obama, James Comey, Sally Yates, Joe Biden, and apparently Susan Rice [James Clapper also attended] discussed the transcripts of Flynn’s calls and how to proceed against him. Mr. Obama himself directed that “the right people” investigate Gen. Flynn. This caused former FBI Director Comey to acknowledge the obvious: General Flynn’s phone calls with Ambassador Kislyak ‘appear legit.’”
Of course, we already knew from Sally Yates’ testimony that she was surprised to learn Obama already knew in detail about Flynn's recorded conversations. And we’ve long known from a Lisa Page text that Obama “wants to know everything we’re doing.”
Funny that in Strzok’s notes there is nothing about Obama saying to do everything “by the book.” Susan Rice wrote that to herself –- repeating the phrase three times –- a couple of weeks later in her very last act as a White House official, on January 20 just as Trump was taking the oath of office.
Biden is playing dumb about the Flynn investigation –- one of the few instances where it appears to be just an act. Either that, or he only mentioned the Logan Act in that meeting because he was the one person in the room old enough to remember the day it passed, in 1799.
Speaking of people playing dumb, on Wednesday ABC, CBS and NBC slammed the decision by Barr to drop the Flynn case as purely political and pretended to know nothing about the release of the notes implicating Obama and Biden.
Powell, looking understandably weary at the end of the evening on Sean Hannity’s TV show, said she wasn’t sure what’s going on right now. When Sean asked if she was confident justice would be done, she only said, “I feel very strongly that we will make a lot of progress in that direction...and I don’t know that it will be what everybody wants to see as full justice, but we’re heading in the right direction. Today was a big step forward.”
Flynn, though, seemed newly energized on Wednesday and made it clear he intends to fight for justice and the rule of law.