In response to the Justice Department’s move to dismiss the case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan has taken some very unusual steps.
The judge said Tuesday that he would allow interested parties to weigh in on Michael Flynn’s case, delaying the Department of Justice (DOJ) effort to drop the charges against the former national security adviser.
Judge Sullivan said in a brief order that “at the appropriate time, the Court will enter a Scheduling Order governing the submission of any amicus curiae briefs.”
He then appointed former federal judge John Gleeson to present the legal arguments opposing the motion and to advise Sullivan on whether Flynn should be held in contempt of court.
Flynn’s lawyers moved to oppose the move Tuesday night, arguing that it would be inappropriate to allow third parties to weigh in on the prosecution.
“It is no accident that amicus briefs are excluded in criminal cases,” Flynn’s lawyers wrote in a filing. “A criminal case is a dispute between the United States and a criminal defendant. There is no place for third parties to meddle in the dispute, and certainly not to usurp the role of the government’s counsel. For the Court to allow another to stand in the place of the government would be a violation of the separation of powers.”
The case was upended last week when the DOJ moved to dismiss its charge against Flynn for lying to the FBI about his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. in 2016.
The Hill reported.
The lead prosecutor on the case, who had been overseeing it since Flynn first pleaded guilty to the charge in 2017, withdrew shortly before the motion was filed last Thursday.
“What the hell is this judge pulling?” Mark Levin wrote to Facebook, citing The Hill’s article on Gen. Flynn.