Buckle Up For The Next Phase Of The Flynn Case

Former National Security Advisor General Michael Flynn leaves after the delay in his sentencing hearing at US District Court in Washington, DC, December 18, 2018. - President Donald Trump's former national security ... Former National Security Advisor General Michael Flynn leaves after the delay in his sentencing hearing at US District Court in Washington, DC, December 18, 2018. - President Donald Trump's former national security chief Michael Flynn received a postponement of his sentencing after an angry judge threatened to give him a stiff sentence. Russia collusion investigation head Robert Mueller had proposed Flynn receive no jail time for lying to investigators about his Moscow ties. But Judge Emmet Sullivan said Flynn had behaved in a "traitorous" manner and gave the former three-star general the option of receiving a potentially tough prison sentence now -- or wait until Mueller's investigation was closer to being completed to better demonstrate his cooperation with investigators. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images) MORE LESS
May 18, 2020 1:18 p.m.

A proposal was filed Monday outlining potential next steps in cleaning up the mess in the Michael Flynn case.

In the filing, John Gleeson, the retired judge who has been appointed to oppose the government’s request to drop the prosecution, suggested he may need to obtain additional facts in the case.

Gleeson was appointed by Flynn’s judge, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan of Washington D.C., last week, after the Justice Department’s bombshell move to seek dismissal of the case.

Flynn had pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI earlier that year about his Russian contacts. But in recent months, Flynn has tried walk back that plea and push allegations of prosecutorial misconduct — with his former boss, President Trump, cheering on the effort. The Justice Department’s move last month to try to drop the case is believed to be unprecedented, given the multiple occasions Flynn previously affirmed his guilty plea in court.

In appointing Gleeson, Sullivan has also asked him to examine whether Flynn committed perjury.

Gleeson told Sullivan on Monday that he would like until June 10 to file his friend-of-the-court brief addressing the question of whether the court can deny the DOJ request to dismiss the case and if so, the legal standard for doing so.

Gleeson also said by then he’d lay out “any additional factual development I may need before finalizing my argument in opposition to the government’s motion in this case.”

Gleeson did not elaborate on what areas of the factual record he may like to look at, or whether it would include how top DOJ officials went about reversing course in the case.

Finally, Gleeson told Sullivan that by June 10 he could also address “whether, based on the record before the Court, it should order the defendant to show cause why he should not be held in criminal contempt for perjury.”

It will be up to Sullivan to approve of Gleeson’s proposed June 10 briefing deadline. Gleeson’s Monday filing also suggested that the judge “set a schedule for responses (by the government, the defendant, and any other amici) to my filing, a reply by me to those responses, and oral argument.”

Gleeson hinted there could be more to come after this first round of arguments — meaning that, absent a Trump pardon, the Flynn saga could drag on for several more months.

“Upon the resolution of the issues addressed by my brief or raised in response to it, a schedule for any remaining proceedings could be set,” Gleeson said.  “Of course, I will proceed in whatever manner and on whatever timeline the Court directs, and I understand the need for an expeditious resolution of the issues identified in the Court’s May 13 order.”

Read the filing below:

The TPM Journalism Fund: A New Way To Support TPM
We're launching the TPM Journalism Fund as an additional way for readers and members to support TPM. Every dollar contributed goes toward:
  • -Hiring More Journalists
  • -Providing free memberships to those who cannot afford them
  • -Supporting independent, non-corporate journalism
Are you experiencing financial hardship?
Apply for a free community-supported membership
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Special Projects Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Publishing Associate:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer: