Here’s what may be the money quote from the en banc rehearing of the In Re Michael Flynn mandamus petition at the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit today. In explaining why the list of reasons for dismissal given to the trial court were sufficient but not necessarily exhaustive, Acting Solicitor General Jeff Wall said—
The AG sees this in context of non-public information. It may be possible that the AG had before him information that he was not able to share with the Court.
Here’s an order from the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit in the Flynn case—(H/T, @AaronWorthing, @Techno_Fog)
28 USC § 455 deals with the disqualification of judges, and § 455(b)(5)(i) requires a judge to be disqualified when he “[i]s a party to the proceeding[.]”
Is the appeals court considering removing Judge Sullivan from the case because he took the unusual step of hiring counsel and filing a brief opposing Michael Flynn’s petition for a writ of mandamus? In doing so, did he make himself a party in the case?
A group of lawyers have filed an amicus brief with Judge Sullivan in support of the Government’s motion to dismiss the criminal case against Michael Flynn. Here’s their brief and a list of their names.
There are several theories floating around the Interwebz about how Michael Flynn’s unmasked name might have turned up in an FBI transcript of a phone call with the Russian ambassador. The recently declassified unmasking record doesn’t appear to show a timely request to unmask Flynn during the period between when the call was made and when other evidence suggests the FBI had the transcript. So how did the get it?
One possible explanation is that the FBI was working with information from a non-U.S. source.
The Five Eyes is a signals intelligence alliance among Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the US. Documents leaked by Edward Snowden in 2013 revealed that the Five Eyes has been spying on one another’s citizens and sharing the collected information with each other in order to circumvent their domestic legal restrictions on surveillance of citizens. Thus, if the Australian Signals Directorate successfully wiretaps a Russian, overhears something said by an American, and tips off the FBI, no laws have been broken—just severely bent. I picked the Aussies for that example because of another Australian connection to the Russian Collusion Hoax, but such a signal intercept could have been made by Canada’s Communications Security Establishment, New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau, or the UK’s General Communications Headquarters.
There’s another explanation floating around suggesting the use of a Presidential authorization of a wiretap without a FISA warrant (something that is allowed under FISA). However, such a warrantless wiretap is still supposed to be subject to the same masking requirements as a court authorized one.
Obamagate raises some serious issues. Corruption of public officials is one. An unnecessary weakening of the Fourth Amendment is another.
Joe Biden is on record as saying that he had nothing to do with the unmasking of Michael Flynn’s phone calls. However, declassified records indicate that these individuals were among the government officials who submitted requests to unmask General Flynn’s identity—
Rumors are circulating that a Chicago politician may have been involved in corrupt activities aimed at preventing the election of a political rival and at the entrapment of a member of that rival’s staff in a false criminal charge.
While the Chicago politician has not commented directly on the matter, a leaked version of a telephone call quotes him as being concerned for the rule of law.
So the DoJ is moving to drop the false criminal case against Michael Flynn, and the DNI is saying that the Intelligence Community is willing to release testimony transcripts in accordance with the House Intelligence Committee’s 2018 vote. The recommendation to drop the case against Flynn was made by a U. S. Attorney who spent 10 years with the FBI and 10 years as a career prosecutor. The transcripts were cleared by career intelligence officers.
… there are things happening that aren’t related to the Wuhan virus pandemic.
Perhaps the most significant political development over the past few days has been the release of FBI and DoJ paperwork, including handwritten notes, about the Flynn case and how that investigation was handled. At first blush, the documents seem to paint a picture of official corruption, suggesting not only that General Flynn should be exonerated, but that some government officials may deserve disbarment, jail time, and other sanctions.
The optics of the story aren’t good for the Deep State, but they could be even worse for the Democrats who are on the verge of nominating a key figure of the administration that corruptly used the Deep State for its political ends. The opposing sides campaign ads almost write themselves.
On The Other Podcast last Saturday I suggested that the smarter members the Democrat/Media/Deep State complex will use Tara Reade’s accusations against Joe Biden as the way to prevent his nomination (“See. We believe this woman.”) now that he’s served the purpose of stopping the Bernie Bros from seizing the party. The process has started; WaPo has published an opinion piece calling for Biden to address Ms. Reade’s claims. The coming fight for control of a brokered convention should be interesting to watch. I have no idea who will crawl out from under which rock and grab the nomination.
But CNN, et al. are telling us this is disastrous for Flynn and the President …I think I’ll wait to see how this sorts out in the real world. Meanwhile, if the Gentle Reader would like to see what the Special Counsel filed with the court, it’s posted here.