The American Spectator posted an article today about the ongoing case of General Flynn.
The article includes a very good lawyer joke:
Sigmund Freud dies and goes to Heaven, where he’s met at the Pearly Gates by Saint Peter.
“Dr. Freud, thank goodness you’ve come! We have a crisis and need your professional help!”
“How so?” asks Freud.
“It’s God. He’s having delusions of grandeur.”
“What are His symptoms?” asks Freud.
“He thinks He’s a federal judge!”
— Old trial lawyer joke
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan seems to have forgotten that he is not god in handling the Flynn case. Judge Sullivan had been ordered by the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia to dismiss the case.
The article explains what happened next:
In filings before the circuit court, Sullivan explained that he plans to “question the bona fides of the government’s [dismissal] motion,” “inquire about the government’s motions and representations,” “illuminat[e] the full circumstances surrounding the proposed dismissal,” and probe “whether the presumption of government regularity for prosecutorial decisions is overcome” in “the unusual facts of this case.”
In a 2-1 decision, a panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals granted the petition and ordered Sullivan to grant the motion to dismiss the criminal charge against Flynn.
Noting that, although Rule 48 requires “leave of court” before dismissing charges, under well-founded legal precedent “decisions to dismiss pending criminal charges — no less than decisions to initiate charges and to identify which charges to bring — lie squarely within the ken of prosecutorial discretion” and that “the principal object” of the “leave of court” requirement is “to protect a defendant against prosecutorial harassment … when the Government moves to dismiss an indictment over the defendant’s objection.”
The article concludes:
And, when Sidney Powell took over Flynn’s representation, Sullivan accused her of some kind of purportedly unethical and previously unknown crypto-plagiarism because she had not, in his estimation, properly attributed the source of the legal precedents cited in her pleadings. I’ll give it to Sullivan. That was a first in my book since every legal filing I’ve ever seen used case citations indistinguishable in format from those used by Powell.
So, what’s the chance that Sullivan will seek a rehearing en banc? Seven of the 12 circuit court judges were appointed by Democrat presidents. Combine those favorable odds with Sullivan’s demonstrated hostility to Flynn, his grandiose concept of his judicial powers, his undoubted humiliation at being subjected to a writ of mandamus for committing, in the words of the panel, “clear legal error,” and the answer begins to come into focus.
Given those factors, why wouldn’t Judge Sullivan seek a rehearing before the full circuit court? And, even if he should fail in that regard, why wouldn’t he then take his cause to the U.S. Supreme Court? It’s a no-lose situation for him. Given the political composition of the D.C. Circuit, he may win. But, even if he doesn’t, by pursuing the litigation he will continue to provide ammunition to the anti-Trump forces that pervade the D.C. swamp and, at the very least, gain a permanent open invitation to all the right Georgetown cocktail parties.
I hope I’m wrong. But five decades of closely observing pampered, egocentric federal judges tells me that I’m not.
I hope he is wrong; I fear he is not.