By Daily Caller. A leak of classified information to the media regarding Michael Flynn’s phone calls in late 2016 with a Russian diplomat was likely not derived from a so-called “unmasking” request, according to analysis from two former U.S. law enforcement officials, and a review of newly released government documents.
Republicans have for over three years suggested that requests that Obama administration officials made for information on Flynn during the presidential transition period were somehow tied to the leak provided to The Washington Post for a Jan. 12, 2017, story about Flynn’s phone calls with Sergey Kislyak, a Russian diplomat.
Post columnist David Ignatius reported that a “senior U.S. government official” said Flynn spoke by phone with Kislyak, the then-Russian ambassador, about U.S. sanctions against Russia.
The story touched off of a series of events that eventually led to charges against Flynn for making false statements to the FBI. The Justice Department filed a motion to toss out the case, citing evidence that the FBI withheld information from Flynn’s lawyers. Attorney General William Barr defended Flynn’s call with Kislyak in a May 8 interview as “laudable” and said the former national security adviser was the target of an FBI “perjury trap.”
Republicans upset at the leak of the Flynn story to the Post have pushed for the declassification of a list of Obama-era officials who submitted requests for intelligence reports regarding Flynn. One hope was that the list of “unmasking” requests might shed light on which Obama administration official was behind the leak to the Post, or at least narrow down a list of possible culprits. (Read more from “Classified Leak Against Michael Flynn Didn’t Come From an ‘Unmasking’ Request, Analysis Suggests” HERE)
Flynn Attorney Files Emergency Appeal to Shut Down Judge Sullivan’s Orders, Boot Him From Case
By Fox News. Michael Flynn’s attorney Sidney Powell on Tuesday filed an emergency writ of mandamus to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals seeking the immediate removal of Judge Emmet Sullivan from the case — and saying that under appellate precedent set by the “Fokker Services” case, Sullivan or his replacement must dismiss the prosecution, as the Justice Department has requested.
Writs of mandamus are extraordinary remedies, which are appropriate when there has been a “usurpation of judicial power” that is “clear and indisputable” — and, Powell argued, Sullivan’s behavior fits the bill. Powell pointed in particular to Sullivan’s bizarre suggestion in December 2018 that Flynn had “sold out his country” and could have been prosecuted for “treason,” as well as Sullivan’s misstatements on the facts of the case.
Powell also demanded the appellate court vacate Sullivan’s order appointing an “amicus curiae,” or “friend of the court,” to argue in favor of preserving Flynn’s guilty plea on one count of making false statements to the FBI during an unusual January 24, 2017 White House interview. Oral arguments are set for July 16.
The amicus appointed by Sullivan, retired federal judge John Gleeson, has openly criticized the Trump administration’s handling of Flynn’s case, raising concerns that he was selected to improperly bolster Sullivan’s efforts to keep the Flynn case alive even though both the government and defendant want it dismissed. (In 2013, Gleeson himself held that “the government has near-absolute power under [the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure] to extinguish a case that it has brought” — but he has since apparently changed his opinion.)
(Read more from “Flynn Attorney Files Emergency Appeal to Shut Down Judge Sullivan’s Orders, Boot Him From Case” HERE)