By The Federalist. Stunning developments in the criminal case of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn exploded onto the national scene the past two weeks. First, the government moved to dismiss the case, a one-count plea for allegedly making false statements to the FBI.
Then the trial judge, Emmet Sullivan, issued an order permitting people and groups claiming to have an interest in the matter to file briefs about whether he should grant the government’s motion. Further, Sullivan appointed a retired federal judge, John Gleeson, to act as amicus curiae (friend of the court) to present opposing arguments to the government’s motion. . .
I can save Gleeson the trouble. The controlling legal authority from the Supreme Court holds that contempt power cannot be used to punish people for making statements, even under oath, that the judge deems false. . .
A court issues a show-cause order for contempt as a prelude to possibly punishing a person for alleged misconduct. It describes the misconduct and requires the person to defend against that allegation. It is similar to an indictment except the court, rather than a prosecutor, initiates it. The person receiving a show-cause order must appear and defend the accusation but has certain due process rights, such as the right to notice, the right to counsel, and the right to present a defense.
Sullivan has not yet issued a show-cause order to Flynn, but he has directed Gleeson to advise him as to whether he should do so. The answer is absolutely not, because Sullivan lacks the authority to sanction Flynn for perjury. (Read more from “Here’s Why Judge Sullivan Can’t Legally Punish Michael Flynn For ‘Perjury’” HERE)
Majority Say They Support Decision to Drop Case Against Flynn
By The Hill. A narrow majority of voters say they support the Justice Department’s decision to drop the case against President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn, according to a new Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey released exclusively to The Hill.
Fifty-one percent of voters polled said they supported the move, while 49 percent said they opposed it.
The Justice Department moved earlier this month to drop its case against Flynn over charges of lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia before Trump took office, saying in a court filing that it did not believe it could make a case against Flynn anymore.
The poll comes less than a week after a National Security Agency document made public on Wednesday showed 39 former Obama administration officials, including former Vice President Joe Biden, asked to “unmask” the identity of an American who had come up in intelligence briefings based on his conversations with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. . .
The same poll found that 53 percent of respondents said they supported the decision after being made aware of potential FBI process breaches, while another 47 percent said they still opposed the move. (Read more from “Majority Say They Support Decision to Drop Case Against Flynn” HERE)
Ron Johnson Demands Declassification of Susan Rice Email on Michael Flynn
By Politico. A powerful Senate committee chairman has asked the Trump administration to fully declassify an unusual email a top Obama aide sent herself regarding Michael Flynn on the eve of her departure. In a letter reviewed by POLITICO, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) made the request of Attorney General Bill Barr. . .
“I understand your office is currently reviewing a January 20, 2017, email from former national security advisor Susan Rice,” Johnson wrote in the letter. “In that email, Ambassador Rice summarized an Oval Office meeting with President Obama and other administration officials that occurred on January 5, 2017. A majority of Ambassador Rice’s email was declassified but a portion of the email remains classified.
“The significance of that meeting is becoming increasingly apparent as more and more information is declassified,” Johnson wrote. “For these reasons, it is essential that Congress and the American people understand what occurred during that January 5, 2017, meeting and how it was later characterized by administration officials. The declassification of Ambassador Rice’s email, in whole, will assist these efforts.”
“On January 5, following a briefing by IC leadership on Russian hacking during the 2016 Presidential election, President Obama had a brief follow-on conversation with FBI Director Jim Comey and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates in the Oval Office. Vice President Biden and I were also present,” Rice wrote in a portion of the email that was declassified. (Read more from “Ron Johnson Demands Declassification of Susan Rice Email on Michael Flynn” HERE)