Thursday, June 11, 2020

UPDATED: The Gleeson Brief Against Flynn

I've been ignoring the brief submitted by disgraced former federal judge and hyper partisan attorney John Gleeson. Gleeson was selected by Sullivan to advise him on how to railroad Michael Flynn, despite DoJ's motion to dismiss the case. It's so absurd that it's not worth wasting time on. However, to give you some idea of why I feel that way, and to counter any Fake News hype you may have encountered, here are some opinions from accomplished lawyers who know nonsense when they see it.

First, shipwreckedcrew:

The brief filed by Judge Gleeson is in excess of 80 pages long.  For me to write a comprehensive take-down of what he has filed would take me at last 12,000 words, and a week to research and write.  That’s what I would do if I was involved in the case and preparing a response.  I can’t do that here. 
Instead I’m going to simply isolate a few areas in the brief that I find worthy of comment, and deal with them in separate articles. 
So, in referring to what’s “worthy of comment” I should begin with my first “hot take” on Twitter this morning when I called the brief “trash” — and then got critical.

Paul Mirengoff at Powerline highlights Gleeson's decidedly checkered career as a federal judge. It's perhaps worth reading just to remind yourself how utterly lacking in any ethical sense these people are: WHO IS JOHN GLEESON?

He was a left-wing judge whose attitude towards crime depends on the identity of the alleged criminal.
Who is John Gleeson? He’s a former rogue judge and current accomplice to a judge who, it appears, also wants to go rogue.

Jonathan Turley at Zerohedge takes a similar line re Gleeson's past, although he treats Gleeson's crazy arguments somewhat seriously: "Trumped-Up": Former Judge's Flynn Filing Another Example Of "Irregularity" In The Age Of Rage.

I have been highly critical of Sullivan’s orders and particularly the importation of third parties to make arguments that neither party supports in a criminal case. 
Now Gleeson has filed a brief that confirms the worst fears that many of us had about his appointment.  Gleeson assails what he called  “a trumped-up accusation of government misconduct.” The ultimate position advocated in Gleeson’s arguments would be a nightmare for criminal defendants, criminal defense counsel and civil libertarians.  Indeed, as discussed below, Gleeson was previously reversed as a judge for usurping the authority of prosecutors. 
Gleeson actually makes the Red Queen in “Alice in Wonderland” look like an ACLU lawyer. After all she just called for “Sentence First–Verdict Afterward”  Gleeson is dispensing with any need for verdict on perjury, just the sentence. However, since these arguments are viewed as inimical to the Trump Administration, many seem blind to the chilling implications.

Finally, Gregg Jarrett

There is an old adage among lawyers: “If the facts are on your side, pound the facts; if the law is on your side, pound the law; if you have neither the facts nor the law, pound the table.” 
John Gleeson, the attorney and retired federal judge who was appointed by U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan to argue that federal prosecutors should not be permitted to dismiss their case against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, is using a sledgehammer to pound paper. 
On Wednesday, Gleeson filed a 72-page brief (an oxymoron, to be sure) that was stunningly feeble on both facts and law. To compensate for his anemic arguments, he tortures the reader with overwrought blather that bears little relevance to the main issue at hand. 
Perhaps Gleeson was hoping the court would simply weigh his submission on a scale and award him the prize for mindless verbosity. 
I don’t recommend reading the document. A root canal sans Novocain would be less painful. But the core of Gleeson’s argument can be found on Page 26, where he asserts – without a shred of credible evidence – that “prosecutors have offered pretextual reasons for dismissal,” and “there is clear evidence of gross prosecutorial abuse.”      
Gleeson’s inane reasoning is that President Trump has tweeted about the Flynn case, so there must be corruption afoot. Gleeson offers no real proof, of course. But he offers enough innuendo and supposition to fill a dumpster. 
Gleeson contends that the “decision to dismiss is based solely on the fact that Flynn is a political ally of Trump” (Page 38). In other words, guilt by association should be good enough to send Flynn to the hoosegow.

Sullivan is a disgrace.

UPDATE: Commenter Brad Crawford reminded me of another article, this one by Margot Cleveland, which also emphasizes in its own way that these shenanigans have absolutely nothing to do with the rule of law: New Brief Filed In Michael Flynn Case Proves The Anti-Trump Resistance Is Running The Show.

... in his 70-plus-page brief, Gleeson more than gave the longtime federal judge exactly what he wanted: a political hit on President Donald Trump that the press could parlay into a new faux scandal. Or, as Powell told me, it was a “pathetic, result-driven” brief, both “flatly wrong and ridiculously predictable.” 
But as predictable as the finished product was, it was still appalling to see the federal judiciary co-opted by the Resistance.

And commenter Mike Sylwester has added a link to an article by Andrea Widburg at American Thinker--From the First Page, Judge Gleeson’s Brief Against Flynn is a Travesty. Widburg, in addition to agreeing with the other lawyers already cited, takes a dive into the footnotes to show what a lying sack of you-know-what Gleeson--and, by extension, Sullivan and the other "resistance" legal flacks--is/are:

You know a lawyer’s bluffing if he inundates the court with case authority for an ostensibly simple principle. The amicus brief that Judge Gleeson filed with Judge Sullivan in the Flynn case has those string cites. Gleeson’s bluffing. Worse, he’s lying. 
It’s typical for dishonest attorneys to use fake citations – cases that do not stand for the principles asserted -- in their endless string sites, hoping no one will check. This what Judge Gleeson did in his brief: Every one of his 14 citations in footnote two on page 1 is a lie. That’s all you need to know about his brief.

As legal briefing, Gleeson's screed is totally unserious. It's about radical politics, about a revolution. What his antics, and those of Sullivana and the rest, do is to speak volumes about where America is as a nation espousing ordered liberty. We are up against people who would deprive us of both. That is the real crisis.


  1. If I may add one more to your very nice selection, Margot Cleveland offers her typically excellent take on things here:

    "New Brief Filed In Michael Flynn Case Proves The Anti-Trump Resistance Is Running The Show"

    1. Thanks, Brad. I meant to include that, for her quote of Powell. I'll update.

  2. Jonathan Turley is an honest liberal who is starting to seem like a conservative because former liberals have moved so far to the left.

    Paul Mirengoff is a conservative whom I haven't always agreed with. He seems as though he has moved a little more to the right due to the way President Trump has been abused.

    Thinking of Jonathan and Paul leads me to a different point. Speaking about myself, I am thinking about no longer describing myself as a conservative. I say that because there is so much diversity in the word, that I no longer know if I fit in with some who are allegedly conservative.

    For example, David French is clearly pro-life and solid on the meaning of marriage. But, he seems like a cultural liberal in other areas.

    Then there are so-called conservatives who are rushing to judgment on the death of George Floyd. I see this among both white conservatives and black conservatives.

    I'm reevaluating some positions that I used to find anathema. For example, maybe we should go back to a 90% marginal tax rate. I say this because I think of all the grifters who are born into privilege and get to sit on interlocking corporate boards, outsource blue collar jobs to China, create golden parachutes, run solid corporations into the ground through virtue signalling, destroy the NFL with political correctness, etc.

    Then I tell myself, that I'm not a big government supporter so I can't support high marginal tax rates. Then I think, well, it's really the middle class who gets the shaft. The upper and lower classes seem to skate by.

    I could go on, but, hopefully you get the idea.

    1. I hear you, Joe.
      I think we can all agree that there is no simple binary between conservative and liberal.

      I have been wrestling with similar questions.

      I think my "no sh*t, shirlock" realization during the Trump admin is that creating favorable conditions for business does not equate to favorable conditions for workers, due to outsourcing production and importing cheap talent. Sensible economic policy needs to balance both - my "free market" assumption that they will balance themselves was false.

      I don't subscribe to the 90% rate idea. I don't think the gov't should be in the business of determining acceptable lifestyles. I say this as a committed Christian; the rising threat to my own liberties has caused me to realize that a firmly libertarian approach is necessary to secure those liberties for future generations. I would go even further, in the spirit of the 10th amendment, to say that the Federal Gov't should have absolutely zero involvement in family and related law. These should be state and local concerns because they touch on the building blocks of community, and there can be no one-size-fits-all prescription for that.

      I think conservatives need to acknowledge the dangers posed by big businesses - ranging from hollowing out of small businesses, anti-trust, barriers to entry, too big to fail, etc..

      I could go on.
      As I've noted elsewhere, I anticipate some sort of Divorce in the future, but American has endured bitter divisions in the past outside of the Civil War so I have no idea if that is a 5 or 50 year horizon.

      The constitution is great, of course, but that doesn't mean it can't be improved. There are a lot of great thinkers, but I'm concerned that we don't have a Madison or Hamilton who can really pull it together into a unifying framework.

    2. If DJT wins, he may able to buy the Union a lot of time.
      If he loses, sane whites (and sane PoCs) will start rushing to the exits, before the D.S. makes flight impossible.

    3. Thanks, mistcr. I am not really supporting a 90% marginal tax rate. I was just illustrating my thought process. I'm disgusted with the Chelsea Clintons, Jenna Bush Hagers and other airheads who are born with a silver spoon in their mouths. If you want to talk about white privilege, a concept that I despise and deny, maybe you could make a case for those two, and others. But, you can also see privilege for Judge Sullivan's loony son with the t-shirt business. So maybe it silver spoon privilege.

      I'm not for guaranteed income and that stuff. But I am for everyone who is willing to work having a chance at a better life. I'm not getting into minimum wage territory. I'm talking about opportunities for success.

      Our elites gorge at the table and the rest get table scraps. I'm ranting here, but bottom line, I think that we are on the same page.

  3. The brief is lawfare. It's purpose is to support a new media narrative that Trump ordered Barr to drop the case against Flynn, and therefore this interference is the Crime of the Century, which we must not abide.

    And this narrative serves two purposes. The first is the enable a pre-written media campaign that will be rolled out in the wake of future Durham indictments. The main canard being that any indictments against Obama era officials is simply revenge. In the fevered dreams of the Left, this will undermine any evidence or legal principle that may afflict the coup plotters.

    The second goal is to massage the potential jury pool in DC so as to assure there will be no convictions. Take it to the bank, future indictments against Obama's minions will be cast as "RACIST RACIST RACIST."

  4. Gleeson's brief is one more use of lawfare to reinforce The Narrative by giving media carte blanche to keep repeating lies by quoting statements from Gleeson's brief. In this way media presents overt lies as substantive, while failing to report exculpatory evidence. A conspiracy of the likeminded by tacit agreement.

    1. This is it, in a nutshell. It's information laundering.

      Charles Z

  5. Gleeson is a symbol of all that is wrong with our judicial system.

    1. Had he bugged out, many others would've taken his place.

  6. Sidney responded yesterday, see .

  7. I read Paul's blog last night and Cleveland's as well. For the life of my I can't understand how Gleeson ignores "the law". Basically ignores it. How is this possible for a career prosecutor/judge? It appears his move into the predicate of the original origin is the "main play" for the future defense of all those involved. It will be "their hill to die on".

  8. "Jonathan Turley at Zerohedge"

    Zerohedge reprint of article from Turley's own site:

    Any particular reason to link to Zerohedge instead of the actual source?

    Also, Leslie McAdoo Gordon has a thread on the Sullivan/Gleeson fraud:

  9. Not sure if you've seen this yet Mark....

  10. Here's one that reinforces your views

  11. ??? That USA Today article is blatantly anti-Flynn and, by association, anti-Trump.

    I have never considered the free paper, found by the door in every low end hotel and piled at the front desk to be a reliable source...

  12. It was remarkable how badly Robert Mueller disgraced himself after his long career.

    Now Sullivan and Gleeson likewise are disgracing themselves.

    After a lifetime of developing your own good reputation, why destroy it in your final years?

    1. Why destroy it in your final years?
      Why not, if the D.S. has made you an offer you can't refuse?
      If the D.S. ends up beating DJT, these guys will be *very* relieved, that they chose the winning side.
      If he beats the D.S., their status as "disgraced" will be just an inconvenience.

  13. Mueller has been a disgraceful dirty cop his entire career. Watch this:

  14. That doesn't cover even a fraction of Mueller's malfeasance.

  15. So far it doesn't look good for Flynn- they're going to let it play out and force him to appeal after July.

    1. I'm listening to Powell and she's doing a great job. The judges are playing devil's advocate, and she's batting the objections aside. She's very well prepared.

  16. Listening to the US now. They're emphasizing the ongoing harm caused by delay. Now proceeding to argue that Sullivan is setting up an independent inquiry.