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Tag: court

Judge Doesn’t Dismiss Michael Flynn Case, Says He’s Not ‘Rubber Stamp’

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

By Steve Neavling

A federal judge overseeing the criminal case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn raised more questions Tuesday about the Justice Department’s decision to drop the case. 

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan said his role “is not intended to serve merely as a rubber stamp” for prosecutors who want to dismiss a case, NBC News reports.

By Steve Neavling ticklethewire.com

Accusing the judge of “abject bias” against Flynn, who served briefly under President Trump, Flynn’s attorney Sidney Powell said she plans to ask Sullivan to recuse himself from the case. 

Powell also revealed to the court that she recently met in person with Trump and asked him not to pardon Flynn. 

“I provided the White House an update on the status of the litigation,” she said. “And I asked that the president not issue a pardon.”

In August, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District Columbia Circuit ruled that Sullivan can does not have to promptly dismiss the case just because the Justice Department sought to drop it.

In 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia. 

Now the Justice Department and Flynn want the case to be dismissed, drawing criticism from Democrats and legal experts who have questioned Attorney General William Barr’s motives for intervening in a case tied to Trump.

Judge to Hear Arguments about DOJ’s Bid to Dismiss Case against Michael Flynn

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A judge may decide today whether to accept the Justice Department’s unusual move to dismiss the criminal case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn, a former President Trump appointee who pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia.

The case returns to U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District Columbia Circuit ruled in late August that he can does not have to promptly dismiss the case just because the Justice Department sought to drop it.

Sullivan will hear final arguments in the case.

The Justice Department and Flynn want the case to be dismissed, while former federal judge John Gleeson is arguing that Sullivan can move forward and sentence Flynn.

Democrats and legal experts have questioned Attorney General William Barr’s motives for intervening in a case tied to Trump.

EX-FBI Lawyer Pleads Guilty to Doctoring Email Used for Surveillance of Trump Adviser Carter Page

Former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A former FBI lawyer pleaded guilty Wednesday to altering an email used to seek the continued surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

Kevin Clinesmith, 38, admitted he doctored the email, which was submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA).

The guilty plea stems from the investigation into how the Obama administration investigated Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The email suggested that Page was not a source for the CIA, even though he had a relationship with the agency.

Clinesmith admitted he was guilty but said he believed at the time that his statement about Page was true.

“At the time, I believed that the information I was providing in the email was accurate,” Clinesmith told Judge James E. Boasberg of the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia, The New York Times reports. “But I am agreeing that the information I inserted into the email was not originally there, and I inserted that information.”

Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 10. He faces up to six months in jail based on sentencing guidelines.

DOJ Lawyer Suggests Secret Info May Have Prompted Barr to Drop Flynn Case

Attorney General William Barr

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Attorney General William Barr may have decided to drop the criminal case against Michael Flynn based on secret information, a government lawyer said Tuesday.

The possible existence of nonpublic information was revealed by Jeffrey Wall, the acting U.S. solicitor general, during an appeals court hearing over the dismissal of Flynn’s case in federal court.

“The attorney general sees this in the context of nonpublic information from other investigations,” Wall told the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, The Wall Street Journal reports.

“It may be possible that the attorney general had before him information that he was not able to share with the court and so what we put in front of the court were the reasons that we could, but it may not be the whole picture available to the executive branch,” Wall said.

“The attorney general made that decision or that judgment on the basis of lots of information,” Wall added. “Some of it is public and fleshed out in the motion. Some of it is not.”

The appellate court is trying to determine whether a lower-court judge was obligated to accede to the Justice Department’s request to dismiss the case.

Judge Postpones Ruling on DOJ’s Request to Drop Charges Against Michael Flynn

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Hold up, Michael Flynn.

A federal judge on Tuesday postponed a ruling on the Justice Department’s request to drop the criminal case against Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser.

Judge Emmet G. Sullivan said he will give outside parties an opportunity to weigh in on the Justice DEpartment’s request, The New York Times reports.

Attorney General William Barr has been widely criticized for intervening in the case against Flynn, whom Trump has been calling to be exonerated.

The judge has some authority to reject the Justice Department’s request.

Flynn’s attorney objected to the judge’s decision.

“This court has consistently — on twenty-four (24) previous occasions — summarily refused to permit any third party to inject themselves or their views into this case,” the attorneys said in a motion filed after the judge’s order. “Only the Department of Justice and the defense can be heard.”

Flynn pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI about his contacts with a Russian diplomat and even cooperated with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into ties between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign.

Appellate Court Overturns Order to Reduce Detainees at ICE Facility Over Coronavirus Fears

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Adelanto ICE Processing Facility in California won’t have to remove a significant number of its detainees after a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel overruled a lower court’s order, The Los Angeles Times reports.

U.S. District Judge Terry Hatter issued a preliminary injunction on April 23, ordering the facility near Los Angeles to decrease the population by at least 250 people by April 30 over fears of a coronavirus outbreak. The facility holds about 1,200 detainees but has room for nearly 2,000.

The Trump administration urged the appellate court to halt the injunction.

But the three-judge panel said Hatter’s order to comply with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for detention facilities may remain intact.

The case began with a lawsuit by the ACLU of Southern California and the law firm Latham & Watkins.

“We remain very concerned about people who remain detained at Adelanto and will do everything we can to protect them,” ACLU attorney Minju Cho said.

DOJ Urges Judge to Toss Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Against FBI Over ‘Distinct’ Claims

Training academy in Quantico, Va.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department urged a federal judge Tuesday to dismiss a lawsuit filed by current and former FBI recruits who allege the academy is a “good-old-boy network” that exposes women to a hostile work environment, inappropriate jokes and sexual advances beginning in 2015.

DOJ lawyers argued the class-action lawsuit is inappropriate because each defendant leveled separate and distinct allegations against different instructors without specifying a specific FBI policy that led to the alleged harassment, The Washington Times reports.

Rather, the lawyers said, each of the 16 women should file individual lawsuits.

“Here, plaintiffs have simply failed to allege the required ‘glue’ holding their allegations of disparate treatment together,” the department wrote.

The suit, filed last year, claims some of the women were discriminated against based on their race or disabilities. One African American trainee alleges an instructor called her “spaghetti head” because of her braids.

The lawsuit zeroed in on the mock town known as Hogan’s Alley, where trainees learn about tactical training with fake criminals and terrorists. This phase of training resulted in many women being kicked out of the academy.

At the time of the suit, seven of the 16 women still worked for the FBI.

The women are asking for more female training instructors, an examination of the training evaluation process and $300,000 each for emotional stress.

“The instructors and fellow trainees who are alleged to have discriminated, as well as the timing and the factual nature of the alleged discrimination, are entirely different in the administrative complaints and allegations of” the two plaintiffs, DOJ lawyers wrote.

“Accordingly, to resolve these two separate administrative complaints, the FBI necessarily would have conducted two completely separate investigations which would have involved gathering distinct documents and interviewing different witnesses.”

Populations at ICE Detention Centers for Migrant Families Are Down

ICE official, via ICE.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

ICE is holding fewer migrants at three family detention centers, where the numbers declined 826 last week, a 39% decline, a federal judge said during a court hearing Monday.

The three facilities hold families in Texas and Pennsylvania, and federal authorities are doing a better job following CDC guidelines, U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg of Washington, D.C., said, according to The Washington Post.

The judge, who is considering a request to release families from the detention facilities, ordered ICE to disclose more information about COVID-19 testing and its supplies to help sick people.

“I don’t think . . . you’ve made the showing that [bulk] release is necessary at this point,” Boasberg told attorneys for assisting migrant families seeking asylum. “But what I am interested in is . . . particular categories of information that you seek, and I think requiring the government to provide that information would both benefit this litigation, but would also benefit your clients.”

ICE says none of the detainees has tested positive for the virus.