A Democrat-appointed federal judge lashed out at former National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn Tuesday, suggesting the defendant was guilty of treason as he postponed the scheduled sentencing for three months.
Meanwhile, The Hill newspaper reports, the judge’s tirade came after two of Flynn’s Turkish associates were indicted:
The Department of Justice indicted Flynn’s two Turkish lobbying business associates on Monday for conspiracy and acting as foreign agents. The indictment spells out in sharp detail how Flynn was paid thousands of dollars to allegedly lobby for the Turkish government through a conduit while he was working for Trump.
Although federal prosecutors say Flynn committed ethical lapses they have long maintained they could not make a successful treason case against Flynn, but grandstanding Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, appointed in 1994 by President Clinton, suggested without evidence that they could have done so.
At a federal courthouse in the nation’s capital Dec. 18 Sullivan pressed prosecutors, asking if what Flynn did rose “to the level of treasonous activity” or if he could be prosecuted under the archaic Logan Act which forbids unauthorized U.S. persons from negotiating with foreign countries. Prosecutors present in the courtroom refused to answer. No one has ever been successfully prosecuted under the Logan Act, which was enacted in 1799.
Flynn has pled guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations he had with the then- Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak during the transition period following the 2016 election and regarding the lobbying he conducted on behalf of Turkey while he worked on the Trump campaign and on the transition.
“I’m not hiding my disgust, my disdain for your criminal offense,” Sullivan told Flynn. “Arguably, you sold your country out. … In the White House! In the West Wing!”
“You were an unregistered agent of a foreign country while serving as the national security advisor to the president of the United States,” the judge said during his outburst.
“Arguably this undermines everything this flag over here stands for,” he added, pointing at a U.S. flag in the courtroom. The judge later clarified that Flynn acted as a foreign agent during the Trump campaign, not while he was the president’s national security advisor.
Legal commentator Mark Levin excoriated Sullivan on his radio show Tuesday evening. The judge “disgraced himself,” Levin said, adding that he “might as well have been a commentator on MSNBC.”
“Today was a horrible day for American justice.”
Sullivan has a history of treating high-profile Republican defendants unfairly.
This isn’t the first time Sullivan, appointed in 1994 by President Clinton, has let criminal proceedings move forward against a prominent Republican defendant in the face of prosecutorial misconduct. When proof emerged during the 2008 corruption trial of the late Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) that unethical prosecutors had withheld exculpatory evidence, Sullivan refused defense requests to declare a mistrial. Eight days after the guilty verdict Stevens lost his reelection bid to Democrat Mark Begich.
During the court hearing Flynn refused to change his guilty plea to not guilty when Judge Sullivan gave him the opportunity to do so. Instead, Flynn reiterated his guilt and refused to challenge the questionable interview process that led to his downfall.
Although media reports indicated Flynn was expected to receive a sentence that did not involve prison time, the judge said he was open to sending the defendant to prison. The court ordered the hearing adjourned for three months to allow Flynn to continue to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Legal observers say Flynn was ambushed by FBI officials who told him not to bring a lawyer with him to a question-and-answer session.
Former FBI Director James Comey is even “proud of it, even admitting he would not have done the same to other administrations,” Breitbart’s Joel Pollak tweeted.
Comey “makes J. Edgar Hoover look like an angel,” Mark Levin added.
“Even if the tactics are not unlawful, that doesn’t make them right,” Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz opined on Twitter.
“Do we really want the FBI to have the power to conduct morality tests with criminal consequences[?]” wrote the retired law professor who has argued that Flynn is not guilty of anything because what he told the FBI was not material to any investigation. The FBI already had evidence in its possession and only asked Flynn questions to give him a chance to perjure himself, not to advance the interests of justice, Dershowitz has argued.
Flynn was the first major Trump administration official to cut a deal with Mueller.
In a two-page criminal information filed Nov. 30, 2017, with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Mueller charged Flynn with making false statements to FBI agents, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1001.
Flynn was President Trump’s National Security Advisor at the time he made the relevant statements. He resigned on Feb. 13, 2017, after a mere 24 days in the post. For reasons only Flynn knows, on Jan. 24, his fifth day in the Trump White House, he made false representations to the FBI about his conduct on Dec. 29, 2016, and Dec. 22, 2016, when he was a member of then-President-elect Trump’s transition team.
Flynn became caught in a perjury trap set by Special Counsel Mueller. Mueller was appointed May 17, 2017, by Rod J. Rosenstein, in his capacity as acting Attorney General by virtue of then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ self-initiated recusal in the Russian electoral interference investigation.
There is still no evidence President Trump covered up a crime, either before or after taking office, or even that there was an underlying crime to be covered up.
“Collusion” is not a crime, but if it were former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whose family and family foundation were enriched by the Russians, would be guilty of it for letting the Russians run wild. Obama’s infamous hot-mic statement to then-Russian President Dmitri Medvedev to wait until after the 2012 election for action on missile defense is evidence of a kind of collusion, if not treason, against the United States.
But the longer this wrecking ball of an investigation into the Left’s still-unproven Russia-Trump electoral collusion conspiracy theory goes on, the more victims it will produce.
Mueller’s investigation has never been about crime or even national security. It is the Washington swamp’s revenge. It is punishment for beating Democrat Hillary Clinton and for defying Obama-era policies.
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