Normally when a prosecutor moves to dismiss a case, it’s pro forma. The state acknowledges that it doesn’t have a case, lacks evidence, or has violated the rights of the accused, and the case is dismissed. But recently, judges across the country have attacked that prosecutorial discretion, often for political reasons. That partisan behavior on the part of judges doesn’t bode well for the future of the country, and only ensures that the US continues along the path to becoming a banana republic, with kangaroo courts becoming the rule rather than the exception.
The case against former National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn is the prime example of that. Flynn plead guilty to lying to FBI agents after the government placed pressure on him, threatening to prosecute his son if he didn’t plead guilty. After the fact, it came to public knowledge that the evidence against Flynn was completely fabricated. Not only was Flynn’s conversation with the agents not recorded, but their notes on the conversation were edited after the fact to make it appear that Flynn had lied to them, when he actually didn’t.
With such flagrant abuse being public knowledge now, the Department of Justice sought to dismiss the case. But a partisan judge, Judge Emmett Sullivan, refused to dismiss it. In fact, he appointed a partisan outside attorney to argue against the dismissal, a step that’s not only unprecedented, but also a flagrant violation of the separation of powers. After all, the executive branch is tasked with executing the laws. The judiciary is merely there to try the cases and protect defendants against government overreach and abuse. To usurp the power of prosecution that is the prerogative of the executive branch is an abuse that cannot be allowed to stand. You can just imagine what would happen if unelected and unaccountable federal judges were allowed to prosecute cases with impunity.
Yet despite a three-judge panel ruling in Flynn’s favor, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals voted 8-2 against Flynn. That’s a worrying sign, since Flynn’s only hope now is a favorable opinion from the Supreme Court. One has to wonder, however, given the Supreme Court’s recent leftward tilt under Chief Justice Roberts, if the Court wouldn’t take another opportunity to add to its already immense power.
The two takeaways from the Flynn case that everyone needs to realize are:
1. The judicial branch is more partisan than ever, and it will railroad anyone deemed politically expendable. Don’t expect a fair trial in a federal court. And;
2. If someone as powerful as the National Security Advisor can be railroaded in this way, think of how much worse it is for the average Joe, who doesn’t have the money, power, and connections that Flynn does.
The Flynn case is a worrying testament to the direction our country is headed. If you value freedom and liberty in any way, you should be frightened and concerned about what is happening in this case.
Image: US Institute of Peace