After the Justice Department moved to drop the case against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn last week, the judge in the case signaled in a filing that he will allow outside parties to file "amicus" filings, also known as "friend-of-the-court" filings, which allow a non-party to a case to weigh in.
What makes it bizarre is that the Judge, Emmet Sullivan, denied this type of third party intervention 24 times during the case - yet has suddenly changed his mind after an activist group which calls itself the "Watergate Prosecutors" moved to file an amicus brief, according to the Washington Examiner.
Flynn's lawyer, former federal prosecutor Sidney Powell, filed a six-page motion Tuesday evening slamming the decision, writing: "This Court has consistently — on 24 previous occasions — summarily refused to permit any third party to inject themselves or their views into this case," adding "the proposed amicus brief has no place in this court."
"No rule allows the filing, and the self-proclaimed collection of ‘Watergate Prosecutors’ has no cognizable special interest," the filing continues. "Separation of powers forecloses their appearance here. Only the Department of Justice and the defense can be heard."
Powell told the Washington Examiner that the judge had denied all previous third-party interventions "until DOJ moves to dismiss and begins to expose the wrongdoing of the Obama administration.”
Flynn's lawyers have touted recently released FBI records as being exculpatory evidence that was concealed from the defense team. The documents suggest that now-fired FBI agent Peter Strzok and the FBI’s “7th floor” leadership stopped the bureau from closing its investigation into Flynn in early January 2017, even though investigators had uncovered “no derogatory information," after intercepts of Flynn's communications with a Russian envoy emerged. Emails from later that month show Strzok, along with then-FBI lawyer Lisa Page and several others, sought out ways to continue investigating Flynn, including by deploying the Logan Act. -Washington Examiner
On Tuesday, Sullivan wrote in his order that "given the current posture of this case, the Court anticipates that individuals and organizations will seek leave of the Court to file amicus curiae briefs," adding - while quoting Roger Stone judge Amy Berman Jackson (there's a clue) in saying that "while there may be individuals with an interest in this matter, a criminal proceeding is not a free for all."
"Accordingly, at the appropriate time, the Court will enter a Scheduling Order governing the submission of any amicus curiae briefs."
Earlier in the case, however, Sullivan wrote of similar amicus brief requests: "The Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure do not provide for intervention by third parties in criminal cases ... Options exist for a private citizen to express his views about matters of public interest, but the Court's docket is not an available option," adding "the docket is the record of official proceedings related to criminal charges brought by the United States against an individual who has pled guilty to a criminal offense" and "for the benefit of the parties in this case and the public, the docket must be maintained in an orderly fashion and in accordance with court rules."
Apparently that's not the case now that Flynn is out of hot water with the DOJ.
The public docket shows that Sullivan shot down multiple more amicus filing requests in January, February, March, and November of 2019.
Powell told the judge that "this travesty of justice has already consumed three or more years of an innocent man’s life" and that "no further delay should be tolerated." She said the case should be dismissed immediately. -Washington Examiner