Media Mention

Stuart Gerson: Judge Sullivan and the Flynn case

May 27, 2020

Note: this piece was originally published in The Washington Post, and was written by Checks & Balances member Stuart Gerson. 

The Justice Department and lawyers for former national security adviser Michael Flynn argue that the judge in the case is required to automatically grant the department’s motion to dismiss the criminal charges against him. In more measured tones, J. Michael Luttig, a distinguished former federal appeals judge, acknowledges that the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, as well as inherent judicial authority, not only permit U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan to determine whether the dismissal of the Flynn case is in the public interest and otherwise is consistent with the interests of justice, but require him to do so.

However, Luttig argues in his op-ed that the appeals court should step in to replace the advisory counsel that Sullivan selected to argue against the motion to dismiss, block the receipt of briefs from friends of the court (including one in which I participated), and name a new trial court judge to oversee the case. With due respect, he is wrong on all counts.

It’s not uncommon for a court to appoint an outside lawyer to argue a case in lieu of the government when circumstances call for that approach. But Luttig objects to the particular counsel that the judge in the Flynn case has selected. He argues that that attorney, John Gleeson, another respected former federal judge, should be disqualified because he is biased, having argued in an opinion piece that the motion to dismiss should be denied. But this opposition misconstrues the role that he should play.

Continue reading at The Washington Post.

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