Skip to main content

Retired Judge, Citing ‘Complex Issues,’ Says He’ll Need Weeks Before Arguing Against Dismissal of Michael Flynn Case


WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 24: President Donald Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn leaves the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse on June 24, 2019 in Washington, DC. Criminal sentencing for Flynn will be on hold for at least another two months.

The retired judge and former mob prosecutor who was appointed as amicus curiae in the Michael Flynn case apparently wants weeks to prepare the arguments ordered by the court.

In case you missed it last week, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan appointed John Gleeson to argue against the Department of Justice’s motion to dismiss the criminal case against Flynn. This is not Gleeson’s only task, however. Sullivan specifically ordered arguments on why Flynn shouldn’t be held in criminal contempt.

Court-appointed amicus curiae Gleeson said on Monday that Sullivan and the government have both raised “important and complex issues” that he would potentially like until June 10 to consider:

Because the Court’s order and the government’s motion raise important and complex issues, I respectfully request permission to submit a brief on or before June 10, 2020, addressing three issues: (1) the legal framework applicable to the Court’s authority with respect to a motion to dismiss brought under Rule 48 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure (including both the constitutional validity of the Court’s authority to deny such a motion and the standard to be applied in deciding one); (2) any additional factual development I may need before finalizing my argument in opposition to the government’s motion in this case; and (3) whether, based on the record before the Court, it should order the defendant to show cause why he should not be held in criminal contempt for perjury. I respectfully suggest that the Court set a schedule for responses (by the government, the defendant, and any other amici) to my filing, a reply by me to those responses, and oral argument. Upon the resolution of the issues addressed by my brief or raised in response to it, a schedule for any remaining proceedings could be set.

Of course, I will proceed in whatever manner and on whatever timeline the Court directs, and I understand the need for an expeditious resolution of the issues identified in the Court’s May 13 order.

Gleeson, formerly a federal judge in the Eastern District of New York, and Sullivan, a federal judge in the District of Columbia, were each appointed to the federal bench by Bill Clinton. Sullivan was also previously appointed to a judgeship by Ronald Reagan.

As a prosecutor, Gleeson secured a conviction against mobster John Gotti. He also prosecuted the so-called “Wolf of Wall Street,” Jordan Belfort. He retired as a judge to pursue a career in private practice.

John Gleeson re: Amicus Brief by Law&Crime on Scribd

Aaron Keller contributed to this report.

[Image via Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images]

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow Law&Crime:

Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.