‘A corrupt and politically motivated favor’

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President Donald J. Trump waves as he boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews, Md. Tuesday, Sept. 15, for his flight to Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia. Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian/White House.

Long-suffering federal judge Emmet Sullivan is still presiding over the Michael Flynn case, which isn’t yet dismissed. The DC Circuit declined to force him to promptly dismiss the case and is allowing him to hear arguments about whether he should do so, and retired judge John Gleeson has filed his friend of the court brief arguing that Judge Sullivan should deny the Justice Department’s motion — unopposed by the defendant — to dismiss the false statements charge to which he had already pleaded guilty.

Gleeson made a very persuasive argument, but Ken still thinks it’s a problem for a judge, who is supposed to be a neutral party, to push prosecution forward against the executive’s wishes.

Part of Gleeson’s argument in the brief is this: “There is clear evidence that this motion reflects a corrupt and politically motivated favor unworthy of our justice system. In the face of all this, the Government makes little effort to refute (or even address) the evidence exposing its abuses—and the arguments it does advance only further undermine its position. Instead, the Government invokes a parade of false formalities that would reduce this Court to a rubber stamp. The Government’s motion should therefore be denied.” Josh and Ken discuss whether this is a parallel to some of the opinions Chief Justice John Roberts wrote recently about how the executive branch has expansive powers and broad discretion to use those powers but it must tell the court the truth about how and why it’s using those powers. Ken says this is a slightly different situation because this issue isn’t about administrative law, changing regulations from one thing to another, and this is different because it deals with the balance of powers between the judicial and executive branches. We still have a fundamental problem here that our system wasn’t set up to handle. So where does that leave us?

Also, if you’re under criminal indictment, is it okay to go on TV as long as you don’t talk about the specific things you’re under indictment for? (*insert sound of Ken yelling NOOO*)

Plus: the inspector general at the Department of Justice is looking into claims that DOJ pushed for a lighter sentence for Roger Stone for political reason, and is it legal for Roger Stone to basically say there ought to be a revolution if Donald Trump loses the November election? It appears the DOJ is also investigating whether John Bolton broke the law in disclosing classified information in his book.



Sara Fay