I wrote a rather sympathetic piece about Michael Flynn after Team Mueller filed its sentencing memo. I’m not *retracting* that post BUT my empathy for the disgraced General is gone, baby, gone after the unsentencing hearing in Judge Emmet Sullivan’s courtroom. I’ve gone from “let him up easy” to “lock him up” in less than two weeks.
Flynn’s high-priced lawyers, from the establishment firm Covington & Burling, violated the first rule of litigation: NEVER PISS OFF THE JUDGE. Hell, I learned that on the first day of law school from my Jimmy Stewart soundalike civil procedure professor, Gary Roberts.
The sin of Flynn’s mouthpieces was to imply in *their* sentencing memo that Flynn was tricked into lying to the FBI by Peter Strzok and Andrew McCabe. They are, of course, the Feebs who have been demonized by the harpies of Trumpistan. Furthermore, the memo claimed that Flynn didn’t know that lying to the FBI was a crime.
To say these assertions are laughable is an understatement. Entrapment is a defense that rarely, if ever, works in Federal Court; just ask the Abscam defendants. Conspiracy theories are even less effective: stuff that flies on Fox News or Info Wars gets shot down in court.
Judge Sullivan was not amused:
Sullivan unloaded on Flynn for lying to the FBI in a January 2017 interview while he was serving in the highest levels of the federal government. The judge appeared outraged by assertions that Flynn was “entrapped” into making false statements to federal agents, as Flynn’s defense attorneys and supporters have suggested over the past few days.Sullivan asked Flynn if he wanted to delay his sentencing in order “to challenge the circumstances under which” he was interviewed.
“No, your honor,” Flynn replied. “I was aware that lying to the FBI was a crime.”Sullivan repeatedly pointed out that Flynn engaged in this “very serious offense” during an interview inside the White House itself.
“I’m not hiding my disgust, my disdain for this criminal offense,” Sullivan said.
What’s the first rule of lititgation?
That’s a picture of my new hero, Judge Emmet G. Sullivan. The specious and downright ridiculous arguments by Flynn’s attorneys led to some plain speaking by the Judge. It’s what the Brits would call a right bollocking.
When I first read the defense memo, I was gobsmacked by the refried conspiracy theories therein. It was a dumb move after the glowing words about Flynn’s co-operation from the Special Counsel’s Office. The memo blew up what should have been a semi-routine hearing and led to a delay in sentencing. Judge Sullivan would have sent Flynn to jail yesterday. I’m beginning to think that’s where he belongs as well. Watergate whistleblower John Dean was sentenced to 16 months and wound up serving 4 months in the slammer. After this stunt, why should Flynn get a sweeter deal than John Fucking Dean?
I’m not exactly sure what motivated this fuck up by Flynn’s lawyers but hubris is one word that comes to mind. Many wonder if they were fishing for a pardon, but once the extent of his co-operation is revealed, the president* may call Flynn a rat too. Remember: Judge Sullivan has read all the redacted bits of the sentencing memos. He knows the full extent of Flynn’s crimes. I suspect that the reason the Insult Comedian has been fluffing Flynn is that the disgraced General has implicated him. The worst case scenario remains in effect.
One of the sweetest things about the Flynn hearing is that it left egg on the faces of wingnut conspiracy theorists and Trump lackeys alike. Oh, happy day.
Since this is a followup to the more favorable The Fog Of Scandal: Hey Nineteen post, it has the same format including a featured image of the single cover. I somehow doubt Steely Dan would mind being lumped in with the Rolling Stones.
The last word is obvious:
Make that No Sympathy. LOCK HIM UP.
6 thoughts on “The Fog Of Scandal: No Sympathy For The Devil”
So, what I don’t get, if this is indeed the Judge’s sentiment, why did he call for a sentencing delay.
I think Sullivan was also firing an oblique shot across the prosecution’s bow: You left too much on the table in recommending no jail time; give me a better, fuller explanation for why Flynn shouldn’t spend a little time behind bars, because what you have on him right now doesn’t seem to admit to any wiggle room.
It was a warning shot across the SCO’s bow to come up with a more realistic sentencing proposal. The Judge doesn’t want to blow the investigation up. It’s also about power: federal judges are all demigods in their own court rooms.
Yes lock him up. And in the immortal words of OFFICE SPACE: We’re not going to white-collar resort prison. No, no, no. We’re going to federal POUND ME IN THE ASS prison.
Prison rape jokes are beneath you, Mike.
This is very nice
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