Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Injudicious Temperament

Bizarre is not quite the word for it. It was a disgrace, to the law and to justice. Remember when people cared about judicial temperament. Well, yesterday Judge Emmet Sullivan lost it on the bench and excoriated Michael Flynn for crimes he had not been accused of committing.

It manifested prejudice and nothing but prejudice. It showed that the Resistance is alive and well in the minds of federal judges, even judges who are supposed to be judicious.

The Wall Street Journal editorialized this morning:

Well, that was bizarre. We’re referring to the fiasco Tuesday of what was supposed to be the sentencing of Michael Flynn. The sentencing was postponed until next year, but not before federal Judge Emmet Sullivan damaged his own reputation with an extraordinary public attack on the former national security adviser for a crime he’s not been charged with or admitted to.

With the exception of a Dan Abrams at ABC, the media has happily picked up on Sullivan’s mistake… we cannot let him damage his reputation for having a judicious temperament. According to Abrams, the judge was either unprepared or vindictive... but is that something acceptable in a federal judge?

The Journal continues:

Mr. Flynn pleaded guilty a year ago to a single count of lying to the FBI. Yet after being assured that the former three-star general is sticking with his plea, Judge Sullivan unloaded on the defendant over his supposed violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA.

“All along, you were an unregistered agent of a foreign country while serving as the National Security Adviser to the President of the United States. That undermines everything this flag over here stands for. Arguably you sold your country out,” said the judge. He also used the words “treason” and “treasonous.”

But Mr. Mueller has never charged Mr. Flynn with violating FARA, though the former general did represent the government of Turkey before he joined the Trump Administration. A judge isn’t supposed to lose his cool on the bench and berate a defendant for crimes that haven’t been adjudicated in court, much less spread false information.

The outburst was too much even for the lawyers for Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who had to tell the judge that Mr. Flynn did not represent any foreign entity while at the White House. Judge Sullivan later apologized, sort of, telling the courtroom not “to read too much into” his outburst about “treason.” But that came after the falsehood made global headlines.

In truth, Judge Sullivan has manifested clear bias. He went off on a rant that showed him to be ignorant of the facts of the case. He should remove himself from the case. It will not happen, no one will call for it, but this judge has disqualified himself.


Shaun F said...

In the country I live in - Judges are required to take courses to take into consideration the secular humanist values of the time when rendering decisions. So they are politicized.

Dan Patterson said...

The inner Cynic in me just took over. And he's pissed.

Christopher B said...

I read that the WaPo featured a story on the trial(?) of Flynn's business partners for FARA violations that morning which might provide a partial explaination. Andrew McCarthy has commented several times that Mueller makes unusual plea deals that violate the DOJ policy of requiring a plea to the most serious (I guess in terms of possible punishment) provable offense. Most of the plea deals Mueller has made are for far less serious infractions than the subjects are indicted for. Flynn's case appears similar to the Cohen case in that both appear to have pled guilty to crimes that damage Trumo while avoiding punishment for more serious crimes.

Sam L. said...

Why does one distrust "The Deep State"? This is one reason.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Trump's only substantive legacy will be his unmasking of the Deep State as basically left-wing, globalist.
The judge's comments undermined any pretence of objectivity, and I am grateful our host, Schneidermann, has pointed that out

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

The lawyer class (which includes judges) is out of control. Someone needs to stop the ride.

Sam L. said...

Seems like the judge was slipped a HIGHLY intoxicating drug, which he took hook, line, sinker, and 24 anchors. Messed his mind up, BIGLY.