What should Judge Sullivan do?

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Judge Emmett Sullivan. Photo by United State District Court, Disctrict of Columbia.

Where were we? Right: Michael Flynn. Listeners will recall the president’s former national security adviser pleaded guilty to making false statements to FBI investigators, but following his guilty plea and literally years of maneuvering on the way toward sentencing, the Justice Department has decided he wants to dismiss the charge against Flynn, which is fairly unusual. Judge Emmet Sullivan decided that he wanted to hear some arguments before he decided whether to allow that dismissal, which is fairly unusual but then this is an unusual situation. Flynn appealed, saying Sullivan should promptly grant the motion for dismissal, which is also the government’s position. Flynn is seeking what’s called a writ of mandamus, an extraordinary action where an appeals court intervenes and tells the trial court what to do.

Another unusual aspect of the situation is the Judge Sullivan appointed an outside attorney, Beth Wilkinson, to argue against the granting of the writ.

So there are two separate legal issues here: one is whether Flynn in the US government are entitled to have these charges dismissed. The second is whether the appellate court should intervene and force Sullivan to rule right away, when Sullivan hasn’t even ruled against Flynn yet. That’s going to be argued in the appellate court on Friday, but we’ve already seen the written briefs. Ken and Josh talk through the arguments.

Plus: Ken schools us on Section 230 and what you need to know and ignore about President Trump’s executive order on social media. Did the president defame the man who was knocked over and injured by Buffalo police officers in that viral video? And, if the president is going to pardon Roger Stone (so Stone can “sleep well at night”) and Stone’s gotta report to prison by the end of June, wouldn’t that need to happen...soon? Oh yeah, and is Michael Avenatti a good client?

Credits

Hosts:
Josh Barro, Ken White

Producer:
Sara Fay