Former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn’s legal team on Wednesday moved to disqualify Judge Emmett Sullivan from “further participation” in Flynn’s case, citing an “appearance of bias” that is “terrifying and mandates disqualification.”
In the 34-page filing, Flynn and his legal team argued that Sullivan’s “false and defamatory comments” to Flynn “echoed those of Rachel Maddow” and “cast an intolerable cloud of partiality over his subsequent judicial conduct.”
Just filed – Flynn seeks to Disqualify Judge Sullivan ????
Sullivan's "false and defamatory comments" to Flynn "echoed those of Rachel Maddow"
He appointed a conflicted amicus.
He has become "shrill" and "prejudicial"
— Techno Fog (@Techno_Fog) October 7, 2020
According to the filing: “The circumstances of this case lead any reasonable observer to believe that the current judge has a personal interest in the outcome, is irreparably biased against general Flynn, and is actively litigating against him. His continued presence in the case has become a national scandal undermining confidence in the impartiality of the federal judicial system and faith in the rule of law writ large. The Constitution compels, and all statutory bases require (‘shall recuse’), that Judge Sullivan recuse himself from any further proceedings even if he has granted the motion to dismiss with prejudice.”
“Judge Sullivan satisfied that standard when he actively litigated against General Flynn,” the filing continued. “He has since far exceeded it — rising to the level of demonstrating actual bias.”
Flynn and his legal team stated that “the court’s contempt and disdain for the defense was palpable throughout the hearing on September 29, 2020, including when defense counsel made an oral motion for his immediate disqualification, which he refused to allow even to be fully stated for the record.
”Accordingly, the defense files this motion to confirm the oral motion made at the hearing,” the filing said. “Judge Sullivan’s Immediate Disqualification is Mandatory.”
“Judge Sullivan’s increasingly hostile and unprecedented words and deeds in what has become his own prosecution of General Flynn mandate his disqualification from further participation in these proceedings and the referral of his conduct to the D.C. Circuit Judicial Council,” the filing concluded.
Flynn and his attorneys have for months been engaged in a back-and-forth with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals over the government’s efforts to dismiss the charges against Flynn of lying to federal prosecutors during the Mueller investigation about his contacts with a Russian ambassador. He recently changed his position, maintaining his innocence and seeking to withdraw that plea, while asserting that FBI agents acted improperly when they questioned him.
The Justice Department’s motion to dismiss raised such concerns about investigators’ conduct. It came after unsealed FBI notes revealed that there had been a question regarding what the purpose of Flynn’s interview was: whether the aim was find out the truth or to get him to lie and thus subject him to being prosecuted or fired. Flynn ended up facing charges and being terminated from the national security adviser job.
When Attorney General Bill Barr moved to dismiss the charges against Flynn earlier this year based on the new evidence, Judge Sullivan refused to rule on the motion, prolonging Flynn’s legal limbo.
In related news Wednesday, the Department of Justice responded to fired FBI agent Peter Strzok’s allegations that someone at the DOJ “altered” his notes.
Democrats and their allies in the media played up the allegations, comparing them to what corrupt FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith did when he altered a CIA email regarding former Trump Campaign advisor Carter Page during the Crossfire Hurricane investigation. Clinesmith pleaded guilty in August in connection with his alteration of the exonerating email.
“Strzok’s lawyer wrote to Judge Sullivan in the Flynn case, saying someone modified handwritten notes by his client that DOJ gave to Flynn’s legal team & they submitted to the court – adding dates, including a wrong one,” tweeted New York Times national security reporter Charlie Savage, a longtime deep state propagandist. Savage added : “Shades of the Clinesmith case?”
Strzok's lawyer wrote to Judge Sullivan in the Flynn case, saying someone modified handwritten notes by his client that DOJ gave to Flynn's legal team & they submitted to the court – adding dates, including a wrong one. Shades of the Clinesmith case?https://t.co/kMillBgW4d pic.twitter.com/PBZGml836w
— Charlie Savage (@charlie_savage) September 28, 2020
The answer to Savage’s probing question is a resounding no.
It turns out, FBI agents added sticky notes to Strzok’s pages to estimate dates, and they were then “inadvertently” scanned before removal. The notes themselves were not altered, and this latest Resistance media freakout does not amount to even a hint of scandal or conspiracy.