Justice Delayed, Then Denied

Apparently, the official policy of the Justice Department at this moment is that if you are a Trump administration member, the following conduct is not worth prosecuting:

Mr. Flynn … was not forthcoming with Vice President Mike Pence about his conversations with Mr. Kislyak.

Mr. Flynn eventually admitted that those discussions were part of a coordinated effort by the president’s aides to make foreign policy before they were in power, which undermined the policy of President Barack Obama.

Mr. Flynn also lied in federal filings about his lobbying work for the Turkish government, court papers show.

And, furthermore, the FBI should not treat Trump administration members suspected of colluding with foreign governments as if they were — wait for it — suspects.  As the Justice Department revealed in its court filing, by asking about meetings with foreign government representatives,

the [FBI] questioning “was untethered to, and unjustified by, the F.B.I.’s counterintelligence investigation into Mr. Flynn” and that the case did not meet the legal standard that Mr. Flynn’s lies be “materially” relevant to the matter under investigation.

And let’s not even talk about Flynn’s apparent perjury in court and maybe out of it too.

Is it any surprise, therefore, that

In a possible sign of disagreement with the Justice Department decision, Brandon L. Van Grack, the department lawyer who led the prosecution of Mr. Flynn, abruptly withdrew from the case on Thursday.

Add it all to the list.

You know, on days like today, I don’t care what happened in a hallway in 1993, or whether Biden is as sharp as butter.  Maybe I’m a bad person. Or maybe there really is too much at stake.

Update: More details about just how weird and horrible today’s decision to (attempt to) abort the Flynn case — after he’d had guilty pleas accepted twice — can be found in this excellent analysis by Marcy Wheeler.

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2 Responses to Justice Delayed, Then Denied

  1. Vic says:

    As at least a non-practicing lawyer (I don’t know if you ever see the inside of a real courtroom), I assume you know that people plead to things all the time that they, objectively, have not done. This is done for the purpose of settling things, for a variety of motivations – not all of them good. This happens EVERY DAY in American Courts. I’ve witnessed it more times than I can count. Sometimes, it can be really sad, as in the case of a Hatian man who REFUSED to plead to a lesser change and go home that day, insisting that since he didn’t DO it, he’d stand trial for sexual assault. His teenaged daughter, in a fit of “I hate you, dad” had accused him of this when she couldn’t get her way on something because she knew the authorities would step in and punish her dad for her. Everyone, including the judge, could see right through it, but it couldn’t simply be stopped if he and she insisted.

    This happens every day in Courts all over the country. You KNOW this, or you should.

    Flynn pled guilty because the prosecutors threatened his son’s family. Then the deal (illegally) was kept out of court records. Not to mention Flynn’s lawyers were working WITH the prosecutors to save their own skin when that was used as leverage against them. (Frankly, I don’t know how any DC firm can be trusted to have YOUR best interests in mind, when the primary way they make money is by keeping on the best side of of their opponants.) (It is not perjury to plead to something, then withdraw the plea because of articulable reasons that justice and the parties support. That’s utterly absurd. ( a plea deal in essentially the very same thing, only in reverse) Nor is it a crime to lie to the FBI about something they are not investigating, which they weren’t, by their own admission. It may, however be a crime to convince a defendant that something is a crime, just to get him to plead guilty to it and go to jail. It’s defrauding the Court and violating ethics, if nothing else.)

    You can leave out the latest FBI stuff, and this still seems like one of the most corrupted processes I’ve ever heard of. Now the judge wants to force Flynn to spend money he doen’t have to respond to amicus briefs, a mere week after SCOTUS ruled against this practice?

    Now you add in the latest revelations and this becomes a conspiracy even bigger than Watergate.

    I’m actually kind of surprised that you are taking the side of the judge on this one. You are a smart guy. You probably at least know the Federal rules of procedure and keep up with some basics.

      1. I have always said that there is a fundamental issue with plea bargaining. Search “plea bargaining” in this blog’s archives and you will find many examples. That’s probably the only thing we agree about here.
      2. But that’s the way we do it, and high officials have no more right against it than plebeians One law for all.

      3. Flynn made false statements under oath. Since he made contradictory misstatements under oath, that seems logically certain.

      4. His contacts with Russia were not, as his supporters say, normal or innocuous, and that is why he lied about them.

      5. His deal with Turkey was at least improper and arguably corrupt.

      So, I should have sympathy for the poor 3-star general supposedly snookered by a couple of FBI agents and pushed around by a prosecutor as if he were a criminal or (as he surely was) an agent of a foreign power?

      Nope.

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