Flynn judge hires own lawyer, wife of CNN reporter whose clients range from Kavanaugh to Hillary aides

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In an extraordinary legal move, a federal judge has hired an attorney who previously represented former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s closest aides and Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and who’s currently married to CNN’s David Gregory, to represent him as an appeals court reviews whether he violated the law.

That judge, U.S. District Court Judge Emmett G. Sullivan, faces increasing scrutiny over the bizarre, unprecedented and potentially partisan actions he’s taken in the proceedings of exonerated former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

After the Department of Justice dropped Flynn’s case around the start of the month, Sullivan bucked its authority by opening Flynn’s case up for outside comment, appointing a Clinton-era judge to argue against the DOJ and further directing that judge to look into whether Flynn should face additional charges for perjury.

This prompted Flynn’s legal team into filing a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Distinct of Columbia accusing Sullivan of having “disregarded the constitutional imperative” by allowing his personal bias against Flynn to supersede the law.

Last Thursday the court responded by demanding Sullivan explain the reasoning behind his bizarre actions.

Two days later, a person familiar with the matter confirmed to The Washington Post that Sullivan “has retained Beth Wilkinson to represent him.”

Wilkinson is no amateur. She previously worked at the DOJ as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, during which time she successfully prosecuted Colombian narcoterrorist Dandeny Muñoz Mosquera.

She later served as the principal deputy of the Department’s Terrorism and Violent Crime Section, during which time she successfully argued for the death penalty to be applied to Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

After leaving the DOJ, she eventually founded the law firm Wilkinson Walsh.

“Beth has been lead counsel in over 50 jury trials, including numerous bet-the-company, multi-billion dollar cases,” her firm bio reads. “For almost 30 years she has developed an unrivaled record of victories in both federal and state courts throughout the country.”

More recently, she defended former Secretary of State Clinton’s staffers.

“[Cheryl] Mills and [Heather] Samuelson are represented by former Justice Department attorney Beth Wilkinson, a longtime Democratic booster,” the New York Post reported in 2016.

“Wilkinson also is defending two other former State Department officials central to the FBI investigation: former deputy chief of staff Jake Sullivan and Philippe Reines, who served as Clinton’s spokesman.”

She isn’t necessarily a partisan operative, though, as she later went on to defend then-Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearings in the latter portion of 2018.

“In preparation for what may be a high-stakes week of testimony, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has retained an experienced Washington trial attorney, Beth Wilkinson, while the woman accusing Kavanaugh of sexual assault, Christine Blasey Ford, has hired strategist Ricki Seidman, who has Democratic ties and readied Anita Hill to testify in 1991,” NBC News reported at the time.

Years later, she’s now defending a judge whose actions have been panned by legal experts ranging from Fox News host Judge Jeanine Pirro to George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley.

“It is a motion to dismiss with one of the most factual, affidavit-laden support in terms of the evidence behind it to support the application to dismiss,” Pirro noted earlier this month, referencing the DOJ-backed motion calling for Flynn’s case to be dropped.

“There was no predicate for [Flynn] to be investigated in the first place, he was told he didn’t need an attorney and then was denied effective assistance of counsel — all these wrongdoings done by the by the federal government and the FBI.”

All of that is true.

In a series of tweets posted around the same time, Turley further described Sullivan’s actions as “increasingly discomforting” and “unnerving.”


Thanks to Sullivan’s latest move, he’s now effectively serving as a judge, a prosecutor and a defendant in the same case, leading some to wonder what the hell he’s doing.

As legal expert Andrew C. McCarthy bluntly noted in a series of tweets Saturday, “What is Judge Sullivan thinking?”

“A judge tells Court of Appeals he needs a lawyer to represent him on his management and rulings in a case? Where outcome, whether he likes it or not, is obvious under Circuit precedent? Are plaudits for anti-Trump cred worth his reputation?” he wrote.

“He’s totally entitled to fume on the record that Flynn looked him in the eye and swore that he lied, that Flynn’s erratic litigation strategy caused the court needless effort, and that he thinks DOJ is wrong. But the law requires him to grant the dismissal. Do your job.”



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