Open thread for night owls: Michael Flynn and his lawyers learn the hard way how not to do things
Former federal prosecutor Ken White at The Atlantic writes—Note to Michael Flynn: Federal Court Is Not Twitter:
Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn on Tuesday got an unpleasant lesson on the difference between politically effective arguments and legally astute ones. Backed by an array of well-wishers including President Trump, and buoyed by widespread conservative arguments that the FBI had violated his rights, Flynn walked into a federal courtroom in Washington hoping for the probationary sentence that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had recommended. Instead he was threatened with jail by a furious United States District Judge Emmet Sullivan, who accused him of selling America out and forced him to retreat from his evasions. Flynn’s lawyers hastily agreed to delay the sentencing until March 2019 so that he might strive to cooperate further with the Special Counsel and perhaps work off the custodial sentence that Sullivan was clearly contemplating.
This may have been a shock to Flynn, but it was predictable to everyone who understands that federal court is neither Twitter nor a cable news show.[...]
For a year online conspiracy theorists and marginal publications have argued that Sullivan would dismiss the case because the government failed to turn over exculpatory material, or because his interview was conducted incorrectly. Since Flynn filed his sentencing brief, more mainstream outlets – including Fox News and the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page – have taken up the cause, proclaiming that the FBI broke the law in its interview. Those arguments are, and have always been, errant nonsense, as any legal professional should know. Could it be that Flynn and his lawyers included the disastrous Flynn-as-victim pitch in their brief because they came to accept the partisan din – because they forgot that federal judges don’t react like people on Twitter? That would be a very 2018 way to go to federal prison.
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TWEET OF THE DAY
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BLAST FROM THE PAST
On this date at Daily Kos in 2011—The failure of austerity:
The current fad is to declare that austerity, in the form of slashed budgets, slashed jobs, a slashed tax based and so on will magically produce the opposite of all those things, as wealthy benefactors rush in to spend all the new money you have given them, create jobs creating new products nobody can afford to buy, and, I don't know, start rebuilding infrastructure out of the goodness of their hearts. It is never clear, and nor is it honest: it is predicated on the danger of the Scary Deficit Monster, who was not at all scary during the time he was being fed by these same politicians and think-tank prophets, but who, like any false god, just happens to hate all the same things that his worshippers do.
In this case, the Scary Deficit Monster hates helping unemployed people, hates regulations (regardless of whether or not they save money), hates government in every form save the military, and especially hates it when well-off citizens are asked to pay the same rates they did a few decades ago, back during the dark, nearly apocalyptic 1980s or 1990s. That is damn nuanced policy for a mindless, frothing Deficit Monster, but it is consistent: the Deficit Monster hates anything Democrats might want and just happens to love all the ideas of the Heritage Foundation, etc., etc. And why not? Even a Deficit Monster ought to love its mother
On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: Politico sets a small fire with yet another AOC story. Russia targeted Mueller. Excitement builds for Flynn's sentencing, before it exploded. The Saudis are paying for the Yemen war like Mexico is paying for the wall. How was Flynn radicalized? With «stovepiping.»
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