Appeals Court Fishes Unflushable Michael Flynn Out Of The Bowl For One More Go
Is there any character outside the Trump family we'll be gladder to see the back of than Michael Flynn?
That's a rhetorical question, because BLECH, FUCK THAT GUY. But since he's back in the news today, let's lawsplain this one fast so we can all go back to wishing we never heard of this scamming, POS traitor, 'kay?
OMG, why is that loser still here? Didn't he plead guilty like two years ago?
Why, yes, he did! In exchange for Flynn's cooperation in the Russia investigation, Special Counsel Robert Mueller agreed not to pursue any other charges against the former National Security Advisor, including eleventy million alleged violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Flynn agreed to plead guilty to lying to the FBI and spill all the beans.
But then Flynn got high on his own supply and decided that actually he'd never lied to the FBI, despite having admitted three times under oath to having done just that. Instead of a bog standard plea deal where the defendant agrees to cop to a lesser charge instead of gambling on a long sentence for all the other shit he might be convicted of if he forced the government to prove its case in court, Flynn came to the very belated realization that he'd been FRAAAAAAAAMED by the evil Deep State.
It's bullshit, of course. The government has him on tape promising sanctions relief to the Russian ambassador, something he repeatedly denied doing, both publicly and when questioned by the FBI. Nonetheless, Trump's fixer Bill Barr signed on to the project as part of his wider campaign to prove that the Deep State was trying to frame Donald Trump for colluding with Russia to steal the 2016 election. On May 7, just before Flynn was finally due to be sentenced, the Justice Department announced that it was dropping all charges against Flynn.
Can they get away with that?
Yeah, probably. But US District Judge Emmet Sullivan is PISSED at the Justice Department disrespecting his court with this naked perversion of the justice system. So he appointed retired judge John Gleeson as an amicus — basically a friend of the court — to examine the propriety of the government trying to blow up the case at the last second and under such facially suspicious circumstances.
Then Flynn's batshit lawyer Sidney Powell filed a petition of mandamus — basically a break glass in case of emergency petition —to the DC Circuit demanding that it order Judge Sullivan to dismiss the case immediately, without considering the merits of the motion for dismissal. Her argument was that the judge had no discretion to interrogate the government's position, no matter how much it stinks to high heaven. And she drew an inside straight on her first try with George W. Bush appointee Karen Henderson and Trump appointee Neomi Rao on the three-judge panel.
Judge Rao has been publicly auditioning for Justice Ginsburg's seat (Heaven forbid!), for the entire Trump presidency. That woman is truly vile.
Anyway! Judges Henderson and Rao granted Flynn's original petition for mandamus and ordered Judge Sullivan to dismiss the case without further review.
Well, at least that asshole goes away now, right?
Well, not so fast. The full appeals court just dropkicked Rao's moronic order, so the case goes on.
Without getting too weedsy, mandamus is supposed to be an extraordinary remedy of a final order. If Flynn were locked up, he might be entitled to a writ of mandamus forcing his release. If Judge Sullivan refused to dismiss the case, Flynn would be entitled to an appeal. But here the court hasn't done anything yet, and Flynn just wants the appeals court to order the trial judge to rule in a specific way. Which is not how this shit works!
So the case goes on, with Judge Sullivan now free to at least interrogate the propriety of the government's abrupt reversal in position, since the appellate court also refused to remove him from the case because Sidney Powell called him BIASSSSSSS.
So, now what?
Well, now we wait. In theory, Judge Sullivan can order briefing on the motion to dismiss and interrogate the Justice Department's motives. But Trump can always magically disappear this whole case by issuing a pardon as he did for Roger Stone. Whatever happens on November 3, he'll have nothing to lose after that. So, if we were a betting man, we'd say Flynn's case goes POOF before the first of the year.
Fuckin' hell, man.
Follow Liz Dye on Twitter RIGHT HERE!
Please click here to support your Wonkette. And if you're ordering your quarantine goods on Amazon, this is the link to do it.
Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.