Thursday, October 8, 2020

It's Official: Sullivan Is A Clown

Yesterday Sidney Powell demanded that Sullivan remove a letter that Peter Strzok's lawyer, Aitan Goelman, had sent and which Sullivan allowed to be placed in the Flynn court file (in what follows, below, when Powell says "the court" she means "Sullivan"). Strzok's lawyer had written to Judge Sullivan, alleging that someone had modified Strzok's handwritten notes that DOJ gave to Flynn's legal team and which were then submitted to the court. The modifications consisted of adding dates, including a wrong date. 

Before considering Powell's complaint concerning Sullivan's conduct, here is the relevant portion of Canon 3(A)(4) of the Code of Conduct for United States Judges, to which Powell refers:

Except as set out below, a judge should not initiate, permit, or consider ex parte communications or consider other communications concerning a pending or impending matter that are made outside the presence of the parties or their lawyers. If a judge receives an unauthorized ex parte communication bearing on the substance of a matter, the judge should promptly notify the parties of the subject matter of the communication and allow the parties an opportunity to respond, if requested.

With that in mind, this is what Powell wrote with regard to Sullivan's handling of the letter from Goelman in her MOTION TO DISQUALIFY JUDGE EMMET SULLIVAN AND FOR OTHER RELIEF:

On September 28, 2020, Aitan Goelman, counsel to former FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok, who was fired from the Bureau after he was exposed for his own bias and extraordinary malfeasance, emailed a letter to the court regarding documents on the record. He did not copy counsel for the parties, nor did he seek leave to intervene. Upon receiving the ex parte communication, the court failed to follow the procedures required by Canon 3(A)(4). Instead, it promptly filed the letter on the docket and substantively considered it, saying at the hearing that it was “floored” by the letter’s allegations. Hr’g Tr. 09-29-20 at 92. Indeed, it considered the ex parte communication from counsel for Strzok even before reviewing crucial submissions of the parties. Id. 

Mr. Strzok may one day become a party to a criminal case. When and if that happens, he can submit all the evidence and arguments he wishes to the appropriate court. Until then, it is improper for his counsel to interject himself directly in this case. Moreover, this court is prohibited from considering the factual representations and arguments of outside parties.

Judge Sullivan’s substantive consideration of the Goelman ex parte communication spurred other lawyers to seek to influence the court. On October 2, 2020, Michael Bromwich and Rachel Peck, lawyers for former FBI Deputy Director Andy McCabe, emailed a similar letter to the court. While Bromwich and Peck did copy counsel on their letter, it was still an improper, extra judicial communication that sought to induce the court to violate Canon 3(A)(4). When confronted about his improper communication, Bromwich justified his action by specifically relying on the court’s statements from the bench in favor of the Goelman letter. Ex. G.11 As it stands now, in a prosecution the Government has dropped, General Flynn is forced to litigate against this court, his amicus and his firm, the court’s personal counsel and her firm, and now counsel for McCabe and counsel for Strzok and their firms—not to mention the many amici—all in unprecedented procedures created by this court to accomplish its patently biased agenda. 

Judges are to decide cases based solely upon the facts and arguments presented by the parties’ counsel through the judicial process—not by emails to chambers from counsel for the miscreants that caused this travesty of justice, tirades of television talking heads, or the opinion columns of intemperate former judges. This court’s continual failure to abide by multiple rules and precedents, not to mention the specific requirements of Canon 3(A)(4) have substantively and materially prejudiced General Flynn. 

Defendants are supposed to be confronted, if at all, only by prosecutors at the Department of Justice—not the left-wing mob. Here, the DOJ has decided it no longer has a dispute with General Flynn. It is highly improper and evidence of egregious bias for the court to allow any and everyone else with partisan axes to grind to make and argue their accusations and “conspiracy theories” to the court.

Suffice it to say that Powell was not amused by Sullivan's clown antics. Many observers noted at the time that the "modifications" were simply notations that had been made by FBI document reviewers--a circumstance that should not have "floored" Sullivan. Powell specifically notes that in Footnote 11 of her Motion To Disqualify:

While prosecutors did inadvertently leave a sticky note on the document when it was scanned for production, it was unintentional and immaterial. Moreover, the error was unknown by counsel for General Flynn when he filed the documents. 


That Sullivan has beclowned himself in this matter was made official yesterday:

Isn't it time that some higher court acted to preserve what shreds of dignity remain to the federal judiciary and put an end to Sullivan's clown show?


  1. Yes.

    In the meantime, its now all but certain that 'Judge' Sullivan will accomplish the only goal available to him since he first refused to dismiss last summer. He will have delayed dismissal until after the election.

    Mission accomplished.

    Everything else is window dressing.

    1. It's just disgraceful. The entire Judicial Branch should be hanging its collective head in shame.

    2. Mission accomplished, almost certainly, at the behest of SparkleFarts, and/or the DS.

  2. It's one thing for prime time cable TV news to become comedy programs, it's another for the federal district court to engage in slapstick...

  3. Is it not time for SCOTUS to do what the DC Circuit failed so spectacularly to do: reach down and yank Sullivan up by the scruff? What is this ongoing Soviet style kangaroo nonsense? Practice for "justice" under a democrat-controlled government?

  4. "...intemperate former judges."

    When I first read that it gave me a chuckle. In more polite times "intemperate" was often used as a euphemism for a drunk. My off the cuff impression was that Powell called Gleeson a notoriously drunkard former judge in an official document.
    Tom S.

  5. CTD, sorry, those were way too long.

  6. I don't think it's helpful to minimize Sullivan's malfeasance by describing it as simple clownishness. That implies that bad humor is the main consequence of his actions. Rather, I think Sullivan's continuing conduct in persecuting Flynn, as opposed to adjudicating his court case, is an extreme example of judicial misconduct run amok. It is not sufficient to mock Sullivan. He should be investigated and recused by a higher authority.