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Sunday, February 4, 2018

General Flynn's Sentencing Has Been Delayed-Maybe Permanently

Well, this is a hell of a note. A few days ago it looked as if General Michael Flynn would soon be special prosecutor Robert Mueller's first trophy. What could possibly go wrong? Flynn had pleaded guilty and it seemed that the sentencing would be a simple formality. How could one possibly fumble a guilty plea? Mueller may have found a way.
First, Judge Rudolph Contreras, an appointee of former President Obama, recused himself without an explanation. Some speculate that Judge Contreras was aware of the faulty FISA warrant. Whatever the reason Judge Emmet Sullivan was randomly chosen as a replacement. Sullivan was appointed to the federal bench by President Bill Clinton but before that he was appointed to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia by Ronald Reagan. Sullivan has presided over several high profile cases including the corruption trial of the late Senator Ted Stevens and he has become Judicial Watch's favorite judge in their many FOIA lawsuits.
Recently, Mueller asked for a delay in Gen. Flynn’s sentencing because both defense and prosecution were not ready. Mueller supposedly also wants to talk with Flynn again. Why? Possibly because two investigations produced two outcomes. When Flynn was first questioned or if would, interviewed, it was by FBI agents who worked for Comey and they did not think he lied. In their opinion he may have become confused during the course of the interview but did not willfully attempt to deceive them. When he was interviewed the second time it was under Mueller's supervision and the agent doing the interview was Peter Strzok. Strzok was the guy who interviewed Clinton’s longtime aides, Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, about their boss’s private, unsecured server she illegally used during her tenure as secretary of state and could find no wrong doing. He even arranged for the FBI to destroy evidence, namely a laptop that contained classified emails. Eventually he was booted from Team Mueller and assigned to the bureau's human resources department.

So now Mueller must defend the finding of an agent he fired and in light of recent events it is very probable that Flynn's lawyers may withdraw the guilty plea. Worse yet this all goes down in front of Judge Emmet Sullivan who has some old fashion ideas relative to prosecutorial misconduct. The New York Times reported on the dismissal of all charges against Senator Stevens.
A federal judge dismissed the ethics conviction of former Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska on Tuesday after taking the extraordinary step of naming a special prosecutor to investigate whether the government lawyers who ran the Stevens case should themselves be prosecuted for criminal wrongdoing.
Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, speaking in a slow and deliberate manner that failed to conceal his anger, said that in 25 years on the bench, he had “never seen mishandling and misconduct like what I have seen” by the Justice Department prosecutors who tried the Stevens case.
Judge Sullivan’s lacerating 14-minute speech, focusing on disclosures that prosecutors had improperly withheld evidence in the case, virtually guaranteed reverberations beyond the morning’s dismissal of the verdict that helped end Mr. Stevens’s Senate career.
The judge, who was named to the Federal District Court here by President Bill Clinton, delivered a broad warning about what he said was a “troubling tendency” he had observed among prosecutors to stretch the boundaries of ethics restrictions and conceal evidence to win cases. He named Henry F. Schuelke 3rd, a prominent Washington lawyer, to investigate six career Justice Department prosecutors, including the chief and deputy chief of the Public Integrity Section, an elite unit charged with dealing with official corruption, to see if they should face criminal charges.
Mueller's case is dependent on the judgment of a dirty cop. Would he care to sit through a 14 minute lecture from a judge who fails to conceal his anger and who is apt to appoint his own special prosecutor to help Team Mueller sort out its ethical deficiencies?
Probably not.

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