D.C. Circuit Orders Judge Sullivan to Respond to Michael Flynn Petition

REUTERS/Carlos Barria
REUTERS/Carlos Barria

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ordered D.C. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on Thursday to respond by June 1 to former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s writ of mandamus petition.

On Tuesday, Flynn’s lawyer, Sidney Powell, filed a petition for the writ of mandamus, asking the appellate court to grant the Department of Justice (DOJ) motion to dismiss the charges against Flynn. She also asked the court to take Judge Sullivan off the case, and to vacate his order inviting outside arguments against dismissing the prosecution.

Flynn pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI, though it was not clear he had actually done so. Later, as evidence emerged of potential FBI and DOJ misconduct, Flynn sought to withdraw his plea. After Attorney General Willam Barr assigned U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Jensen to review the case, new documents were turned over to the defense that suggested the FBI knew Flynn had done nothing wrong but targeted him anyway in an effort to have him removed.

Earlier this month, the DOJ filed a motion with Judge Sullivan asking to drop the case. But the left, and the media, cried foul, and Sullivan responded favorably to arguments that he should allow outside counsel to intervene by filing amicus curie (“friend of the court”) briefs — an unusual step, and one that he had refused to allow earlier in the case.

The order Thursday directs Judge Sullivan to respond within ten days — and merely invites the DOJ to file a response, if it wants to, as well:

The case has been assigned to Judges Karen L. Henderson (appointed by George H.W. Bush); Robert L. Wilkins (appointed by Barack Obama); and Naomi Rao (appointed by Donald Trump).

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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