The retired judge and former mob prosecutor who was appointed as amicus curiae in the Michael Flynn case said in a brief on Wednesday that Flynn has “indeed committed perjury” and “deserves punishment” for it.
John Gleeson, citing “important and complex issues,” previously asked if he could have until today to present the arguments that U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan appointed him to make. That request was granted and Gleeson has now filed a brief arguing against the Department of Justice’s motion to dismiss the criminal case against Flynn. He not only said DOJ committed a “gross abuse” of prosecutorial power, but also said Flynn committed perjury.
On DOJ’s motion for leave to dismiss the prosecution against Flynn:
[T]he Court should deny leave because there is clear evidence of a gross abuse of prosecutorial power. Rule 48(a) was designed to “guard against dubious dismissals of criminal cases that would benefit powerful and well-connected defendants.”3 In other words, the rule empowers courts to protect the integrity of their own proceedings from prosecutors who undertake corrupt, politically motivated dismissals. See id.; see also Ammidown, 497 F.2d at 620-622. That is what has happened here. 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. The Court should therefore deny the Government’s motion to dismiss, adjudicate any remaining motions, and then sentence the Defendant.
The Court has also asked me to address whether it should issue an order to show cause why Flynn should not be held in criminal contempt for perjury. Flynn has indeed committed perjury in these proceedings, for which he deserves punishment, and the Court has the authority to initiate a prosecution for that crime. I respectfully recommend, however, that the Court not exercise that authority. Rather, it should take Flynn’s perjury into account in sentencing him on the offense to which he has already admitted guilt. This approach—rather than a separate prosecution for perjury or contempt—aligns with the Court’s intent to treat this case, and this Defendant, in the same way it would any other.
Gleeson said that the DOJ “abdicated” its “solemn responsibility” to do impartial justice when it gave Flynn special treatment. He recommended that Flynn’s “perjury” be taken into account at sentencing for lying to the FBI.
“The Department of Justice has a solemn responsibility to prosecute this case—like every other case—without fear or favor and, to quote the Department’s motto, solely ‘on behalf of justice.’ It has abdicated that responsibility through a gross abuse of prosecutorial power, attempting to provide special treatment to a favored friend and political ally of the President of the United States. It has treated the case like no other, and in doing so has undermined the public’s confidence in the rule of law,” Gleeson wrote. “I respectfully suggest that the best response to Flynn’s perjury is not to respond in kind. Ordering a defendant to show cause why he should not be held in contempt based on a perjurious effort to withdraw a guilty plea is not what judges typically do.”
“To help restore confidence in the integrity of the judicial process, the Court should return regularity to that process. And the Court can best do that by denying the government’s Rule 48(a) motion to dismiss, adjudicating any pending motions, proceeding to sentencing, and factoring the defendant’s contemptuous conduct into the appropriate punishment,” he concluded.
Gleeson, formerly a federal judge in the Eastern District of New York, and Sullivan, a federal judge in the District of Columbia, were each appointed to the federal bench by Bill Clinton. Sullivan was also previously appointed to a judgeship by Ronald Reagan.
As a prosecutor, Gleeson secured a conviction against mobster John Gotti. He also prosecuted the so-called “Wolf of Wall Street,” Jordan Belfort. He retired as a judge to pursue a career in private practice.
Read the brief in full below:
Aaron Keller contributed to this report.
[Image via Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images]
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