Emmet G. Sullivan, the judge in the case of former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, is refusing to let William Barr’s Justice Department drop the charge. He’s even thinking of adding more, appointing a retired judge to ask “whether the Court should issue an Order to Show Cause why Mr. Flynn should not be held in criminal contempt for perjury.”
Pundits are cheering. A trio of former law enforcement and judicial officials saluted Sullivan in the Washington Post, chirping, “The Flynn case isn’t over until a judge says it’s over.” Yuppie icon Jeffrey Toobin of CNN and the New Yorker, one of the #Resistance crowd’s favored legal authorities, described Sullivan’s appointment of Judge John Gleeson as “brilliant.” MSNBC legal analyst Glenn Kirschner said Americans owe Sullivan a “debt of gratitude.”
One had to search far and wide to find a non-conservative legal analyst willing to say the obvious, i.e. that Sullivan’s decision was the kind of thing one would expect from a judge in Belarus. George Washington University professor Jonathan Turley was one of the few willing to say Sullivan’s move could “could create a threat of a judicial charge even when prosecutors agree with defendants.”
In the end, the democrat’s outrage over Ukraine has nothing to do with some potential wrongdoing by Trump, but that they want to shutdown this investigation anyway possible.
United States Attorney John Durham is expanding his investigation into the origins of the FBI’s counterintelligence probe into Russia and the Trump campaign after his team reportedly made significant discoveries.
Fox News’ Bret Baier reported on Tuesday in a Fox News exclusive that “based on what he has been finding, Durham has expanded his investigation adding agents and resources, the senior administration officials said. The timeline has grown from the beginning of the probe through the election and now has included a post-election timeline through the spring of 2017, up to when Robert Mueller was named special counsel.”
“Attorney General Bill Barr and Durham traveled to Italy recently to talk to law enforcement officials there about the probe and have also had conversations with officials in the U.K. and Australia about the investigation, according to multiple sources familiar with the meetings,” Baier added.
Barr’s ongoing review, and Mueller’s pending appearance before Congress, offer fresh opportunities to re-examine the affair’s fundamental inconsistencies. Authorized by the president to declassify documents, Barr could shed light on the role that CrowdStrike and other sources played in informing Mueller and the Brennan-directed ICA’s claims of a Russian interference campaign. When he appears before lawmakers, Mueller will likely face questions on other matters: from Democrats, his decision to punt on obstruction; from Republicans, his decision to carry out a prolonged investigation of Trump-Russia collusion despite likely knowing quite early on that there was no such case to make.
If the U.S. government does not have a solid case to make against Russia, then the origins of Russiagate, and its subsequent predominance of U.S. political and media focus, are potentially even more suspect. Given that allegation’s importance, and Mueller’s own uncertainty and inconsistencies, the special counsel and his aides deserve scrutiny for making a “central allegation” that they have yet to substantiate.
They devised a plan to turn the Mueller report into a TV show, accessible to millions of viewers who have not read even a page of the report itself. They would call key witnesses to give dramatic testimony in televised hearings that would build support for possible impeachment.
At the same time, they would insist that Attorney General William Barr, who has allowed top lawmakers to see the full Mueller report with the exception of a small amount of grand jury material, was hiding something, and that the hidden material might reveal presidential wrongdoing.
So far, the strategy has not worked. The White House, which provided Mueller testimony and documents that might easily have been withheld as privileged, has not been so forthcoming with Congress. We gave the criminal investigator, Mueller, what he needed, the White House said, but we are not obligated to do the same for Congress.