In legal notes sent to court on Monday and obtained by CNN, former prosecutors have basically defined the legal basis that they believe Judge Emmet Sullivan should reject the dismissal request and convict Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI .
They compared the current situation in the Justice Department with Watergate, the scandal and criminal investigations that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.
Calling themselves friends of the court or “friends” in court, the group “experienced the” Saturday evening massacre “, during which an honorable attorney general and an honorable resigned attorney general resigned or were fired instead of obeying the instructions of a self-interested president to frustrate the work of an independent special prosecutor, “they wrote to the judge.
“The parallels and contrasts between the Watergate affair and the current situation now before this Court show that Amici have a direct and substantial interest in the correct disposition of the current motion directed by the incumbent Attorney General to protect a close ally of the President”.
In addition, former prosecutors claim to offer a “unique perspective on the need for independent control and oversight to ensure that crucial decisions on court proceedings against senior government officials are made in the public interest, are considered legitimate and are not subsequently reversed for political intervention “.
The filing appears to have contributed to at least one Sullivan announcement that essentially keeps the case alive. On Tuesday, the judge announced that he would consider legal arguments from third parties, including people with “unique information or prospects”, before deciding what to do about the Flynn case.
The full legal argument from the Watergate alumni is not yet available and it is not yet known how many groups or individuals will seek to join the Flynn process.
The former prosecutors are: Nick Akerman, Richard Ben-Veniste, Richard J. Davis, Carl B. Feldbaum, George T. Frampton, Jr., Kenneth S. Geller, Gerald Goldman, Stephen E. Haberfeld, Henry L. Hecht, Paul R. Hoeber, Philip Allen Lacovara, Paul R. Michel, Robert L. Palmer, Frank Tuerkheimer, Jill Wine-Banks and Roger Witten.
Less than a week has passed since the Justice Department said it wanted to drop Flynn’s charge. The department claimed that Flynn should not have been investigated, and therefore was not interviewed in the White House in January 2017, where he lied to the FBI about his communications with Russia.
The drum of former federal prosecutors has grown since last Thursday.
“If ever there was a case where the public interest advised the court to thoroughly examine the government’s explanation and evidence, it is this,” the former employees, organized by Protect Democracy, a nonprofit accountability group , wrote in a statement posted on the Medium website.
The group will attempt to present a briefing in the Flynn case, according to Ben Berwick, a Protect Democracy consultant, at CNN.
Flynn’s legal team rejected Sullivan’s announcement almost immediately, writing that the judge should not allow third parties to intervene and urging the judge to dismiss Flynn’s case immediately. Flynn’s defense attorney filing acknowledged that former Watergate prosecutors had tried to be heard in the case.
“There are countless people – including former prosecutors from both sides – who would like to express their views, but there are many reasons why outsiders can’t join a criminal case in this court,” defense attorneys at Flynn wrote on Tuesday. “Of course, former prosecutors are all free to present opinions in various media – as many have already done – but this Court is not a forum for their alleged special interest.”
They also claimed that Sullivan has no choice but to close the case.
“This parody of justice has already consumed three or more years of the life of an innocent man – and that of his entire family. No further delay should be tolerated or any further expense caused to him and his defense,” they added.