The third party appointed by the federal judge presiding over the Michael Flynn case said in a Wednesday filing that the DOJ’s decision to drop its case against Flynn amounted to “clear evidence of gross prosecutorial abuse.”
John Gleeson, a retired New York federal district court judge, said in an 82-page filing that the reversal reveals “an unconvincing effort to disguise as legitimate a decision to dismiss that is based solely on the fact that Flynn is a political ally of President Trump.”
“The Government has engaged in highly irregular conduct to benefit a political ally of the President. The facts of this case overcome the presumption of regularity,” Gleeson argues. “The Court should therefore deny the Government’s motion to dismiss, adjudicate any remaining motions, and then sentence the Defendant.”
Gleeson was appointed by U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan in May “to present arguments in opposition” to the DOJ’s motion to withdraw, after he published an op-ed in the Washington Post arguing that the DOJ’s move “reeks of improper political influence.”
Gleeson wrote the op-ed with two other lawyers, David O’Neil and Marshall Miller, both of whom are listed on the brief. O’Neil represented former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, according to multiple reports and the recently-declassified testimony Yates gave to the House Intelligence Committee in November 2017 about the Trump-Russia investigation.
Yates told the FBI in September 2017 that she first heard of Flynn’s conversations with the Russian ambassador from President Obama in a January 5, 2017 Oval Office briefing, according to exhibits filed last month.
The exhibits were filed along with the DOJ’s motion to dismiss the case against Flynn, who was indicted for lying to federal investigators in December 2016. Yates said she was “so surprised” to hear Obama asking about Flynn’s call with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak that “she was having a hard time processing it and listening to the conversation at the same time.”
The D.C. Circuit will hear oral arguments Friday on whether Sullivan has to comply with the DOJ’s request to dismiss the case against Flynn.