The state of U.S. governance, 2018: A federal judge, Robert Mueller and a decorated general

by WorldTribune Staff, December 19, 2018

“We’re not seeing our finest hour of governance,” a columnist noted after the Dec. 17 sentencing spectacle in the Michael Flynn saga.

Judge Emmet Sullivan delayed the sentencing of President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser and berated Flynn as treasonous in the process, before later doing a 180 and apologizing.

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn. / AFP / Getty Images

America “must now limp past Christmas and New Year’s, shiver through January, February and into part of March with the fate still hanging over a still unsentenced decorated retired lieutenant general,” Ralph Z. Hallow wrote for The Washington Times.

“That would be the same Flynn accused then not accused of treason by a federal judge in the middle of a long investigation into Trump-Russian collusion that has produced no evidence of said collusion.”

Meanwhile, the Russia investigation “is being conducted by a special prosecutor (Robert Mueller) who is answerable to no known person or entity within or outside of America’s territorial limits,” Hallow wrote.

“He got to win indictments or guilty pleas from dozens of people who did things that have nothing to do with Trump-Russia collusion.”

Judge Sullivan blasted Flynn, saying “All along you were an unregistered agent of a foreign country while serving as the national security adviser. Arguably, that undermines everything that this flag over here stands for. Arguably, you sold your country out.”

Sullivan later said he had forgotten Flynn had quit lobbying for Turkey in mid-November 2016, two months before he was named Trump’s national security adviser.

“I feel terrible about that,” the judge said about having called Flynn a traitor only an hour before.

“What are you to conclude about the state of our nation when later in the same day in the same courtroom, the same judge says he didn’t actually mean to say what he actually said about Flynn’s selling out his country,” Hallow wrote. “Rather, he was just using his native English language and law-school training to express his state of mind.”

ABC News chief legal analyst and Mediaite founder Dan Abrams said Flynn “got railroaded” at the Dec. 17 hearing, saying Sullivan was “either unprepared” or “vindictive.”

Hallow noted that “While Turkey’s government was using a friendly Turkish source to pay Flynn big bucks to lobby the U.S. government, Flynn somehow kept forgetting to register as a foreign agent as required by U.S. law.”

But, Hallow asked, “why’d this judge bring up Turkey in the first place when the judge was about to sentence Flynn for lying to the FBI about conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. during the Trump presidential transition?”

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