Fifteen state Republican attorneys general told a federal judge on Monday that they support the Trump administration’s request to drop charges on Michael Flynn, and warned the judge of overstepping his authority.
The Republican AG’s said that Judge Emmet Sullivan was “inserting himself” into “prosecutorial discretion” and politics.
The legal brief was signed by AG’s from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and West Virginia. Ohio’s AG Dave Yost was the lead writer of the document.
They asked the judge to dismiss Flynn’s charge “without irrelevant or personal comment.”
In the filing, the attorneys general say they and the Justice Department have all the power to charge crimes.
“Judges have no share of the executive power, and thus no say in the decision whether to prosecute,” the Republican state-level prosecutors wrote. “It has become trendy in recent years for courts to weigh in on the wisdom of this administration’s policy decisions. Too often, that commentary comes in grandiose terms more appropriate for an op-ed than a judicial opinion. … This trend is disastrous for the Judiciary, because it erodes public confidence in the courts’ ability to serve as neutral arbiters in politically sensitive cases.”
Sullivan appointed John Gleeson, a retired federal judge and private lawyer, to argue against the Justice Department’s motion to dismiss and to research his judicial authority in the case. The judge is also considering whether Flynn should be tried for possible perjury after the ex-general appeared to give conflicting statements under oath about his guilt.
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