[Judge Sullivan] is canceling the scheduled hearing because he considers that the briefing the two sides have provided is comprehensive enough that he can make a ruling based on the briefing, without additional arguments.
The hearing was for oral arguments regarding Flynn's motion to compel discovery, but that whole concept was blown sky high by Flynn's lawyer, Sidney Powell, filing of extensive evidence that the government--both the FBI and DoJ prosecutors--have engaged in extensive misconduct, including criminal acts such as altering documents. I offered a positive assessment of the meaning of Judge Sullivan's action in two UPDATES:
UPDATE 1: Understand this--the judge doesn't have to dismiss at this point. The motion is to compel discovery of "stuff" that the government--basically, Team Mueller--is withholding. From my point of view, however, dismissal for the grotesquely obvious prosecutorial misconduct is the easy way out for Judge Sullivan. If he wants to, that would allow him to wash his hands of a real can of worms, avoid refereeing an incredibly complex discovery process. Of course, that would also give Barr/Durham the perfect rationale to turn Team Mueller inside out--drag them all in front of Durham's Grand Jury, etc.
UPDATE 2: Paul Mirengoff at Powerline:
The cancellation of oral argument tells us that Judge Sullivan is ready to rule, but not what his ruling will be. I understand, though, that Gen. Flynn’s legal team considers today’s order by Sullivan good news. Its comprehensive discussion of prosecutorial abuse in this matter stands unrebutted.
I followed up on that in a comment:
if [the Flynn case] gets dismissed for prosecutorial misconduct then Barr is under an obligation--one that I'm sure he's only too eager to take up--to examine what happened. And no one can say it's politically motivated because it will be a Dem judge who instigated it. It will be an open invitation, even a mandate, to absolutely turn Team Mueller inside out. Plus, Powell is one person, with two others to help. Barr has, relatively speaking, unlimited resources. It would be the ultimate best solution, IMO. And probably what Powell has in mind.
Today the government prosecutors requested--and were granted--permission to file a "surreply" to Sidney Powell's bombshell filing.
My take is this. I think the Team Mueller proscutor, Brandon van Grack, is scrambling--he's between a rock and a hard place and is desparately seeking a way out. He doesn't dare allow Powell's filing to go unrebutted, but thus far his replies have avoided the substance of Flynn's complaints of misconduct. Unable to deny Powell's factual allegations--which are undeniably true--he has tried to claim that it's all irrelevant and can't affect Flynn's guilty plea. To me that claim simply doesn't wash.
Tonight a seemingly very confident Powell was interviewed by Lou Dobbs. I'll embed the interview, but the important part comes up front:
Well, Judge Sullivan's just actually giving them a chance to file a sur-reply. They are claiming that we alleged any number of new claims in our reply brief. That is going to be easily refutable by the record--including some of their own filings. But they're gonna hafta deal with that. And Judge Sullivan is simply being judicious there in allowing them further opportunity for briefing. He also directed us to file a sur- sur-reply by Monday at noon, so we will get the last say on the issue.
“Abomination of Justice.” @SidneyPowell1 on why the DOJ should dismiss the case against Michael Flynn. #AmericaFirst #MAGA #Dobbs pic.twitter.com/nRcLfu2QO7— Lou Dobbs (@LouDobbs) October 30, 2019
UPDATE: Margot Cleveland--Judge Tells Government To Respond To Allegations It Hid Evidence From Michael Flynn’s Legal Team--observes:
Yesterday’s filing by federal prosecutors also read as the judicial version of working the refs, with the government suggesting the court may be intending “to strike any arguments or claims raised for the first time by the defendant in his Reply,” or planning “to require the defendant to raise any new claims for relief in a properly pled motion to which the government can respond fully.” The government then asked the court for “guidance,” and the chance “to file a surreply that concisely addresses only newly-raised Brady issues, such as those identified above.”
The government got what it wanted—and then some.
Late yesterday, Judge Sullivan entered an order directing the government to file a surreply brief by November 1, 2019, but in doing so instructed prosecutors to address not just the Brady issues, but any “new relief, claims, arguments, and information raised in Defendant’s Reply Brief.” The order also gave Flynn a chance to respond to the government’s arguments by November 4, 2019. ...
... that Judge Sullivan did not limit the additional briefing to specific Brady issues, but instead directed the government to respond broadly to any “new relief, claims, arguments, and information,” suggests the long-time federal judge’s concern has been piqued by what he’s read so far.