When the Mueller team recommended no jail time for Michael Flynn and said he has been cooperating on other cases, Judge Sullivan tossing the entire thing seemed probable. He did not hide his skepticism for Flynn's guilty plea in court:
Judge Sullivan said he had some "concerns" based on Flynn's pre-sentencing filing. ”I cannot recall any incident in which the court has accepted a plea of guilty from someone who maintained he was not guilty and I don’t intend to start today.”— Darren Samuelsohn (@dsamuelsohn) December 18, 2018
Everything surrounding this case has been odd. The day before the hearing, Judge Sullivan ordered the Mueller team to file a FD-302 that was created months after Flynn's original interview in January 2017. It's heavily redacted, so the contents are unknown, but what if this was not an interview of Flynn, but about Andrew McCabe?
Horowitz made his initial discovery of the Strzok/Page texts no later than early July 2017. It would appear at least some of these texts implicated or referenced McCabe. Horowitz would receive the second batch of texts on July 20 but had yet to receive the final batch that was later provided to him on Aug 10—which brings us back to that footnote from the Flynn legal filing:
“Strzok was interviewed on July 19, 2017, in relation to other matters, not as part of the investigation of the defendant or any investigation of Strzok’s conduct.”
This disclaimer is somewhat countered by the language contained within the actual FD-302 of the interview with Strzok:
“The purpose of the interview was to collect certain information regarding Strzok’s involvement in various aspects of what has become the Special Counsel’s investigation.”
Based on surrounding events, it seems a reasonable case to make that the purpose of Strzok’s July 19, 2017, interview was multifaceted, but probably centered around the actions of Strzok’s boss, Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe.
Why did the Judge order it to be filed?
Here's how u know McCabe tricked Flynn, set him up:— Paul Sperry (@paulsperry_) December 18, 2018
1. Set up interview under false pretenses
2. Said 2 "agents" coming by, w/o telling him 1 was in fact Deputy Asst Director of C.I.
3. Didn't go thru WH counsel, discouraged lawyer
3. "Agents" never told Flynn they had intercepts
The feeling I get when reading the accounts of those reporting from the hearing is the Flynn team and the Mueller team were one. The Flynn defense had no worries about outstanding exculpatory evidence, or the Mueller team's handling of the investigation. The Mueller team said they never considered that Flynn committed treason (in response to a question asked by Judge Sullivan) and is cooperating on other cases.
Something serious and unknown seems to be looming overhead.
Judge Sullivan wanted the defense to retract the guilty plea. He obviously doesn't think Flynn lied and doesn't want to sentence an innocent man bullied by an overzealous prosecutor, but Flynn stuck by his plea, telling the Judge he did indeed lie. Interesting. Take into consideration with Flynn doubling down on his guilty plea, John Solomon on Hannity's show dropped this a few days ago:
“Let me say this about Mike Flynn,” Solomon told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday.
“In May 2017, there was a document identified to a small number of people in the United State government. It’s in the possession of the Defense Intelligence Agency,” he revealed.
“For 18 months there’s been an effort to resist declassifying that document,” the award-winning investigative journalist said.
“I know that that document contains extraordinary exculpatory information about General Flynn,” Solomon shared. “I don’t believe the president has ever been told about this document. One lawmaker discovered it but he was thwarted by the Defense Intelligence Agency in his ability to disclose it.”
Drama ensued when the Judge used the word "traitor", and the phrase "arguably you sold your country out" in a likely attempt to jar Flynn from his plea. This was fake news gold. After the recess, the Judge apologized and said he felt bad for saying that, noting Flynn was not working for Turkey while in the White House. Regardless, fake news reporters wasted no time running with the false narrative that even the Judge called Donald Trump's close ally a traitor, and the walls are closing in on the bad orange man.
Judge Sullivan takes the justice system seriously. He proved that in the Ted Stevens case. He's seen this movie before.
Another part of the Flynn case involves the original Judge, Rudolph Contreras, or Rudy as his friend Peter Strzok calls him. Judge Contreras was removed from the case after the Strozk and Page text messages surfaced. My question has always been why did he not recuse himself? His relationship was clearly a conflict, yet his intent was to remain. It's serendipitous that a corrupt judge is removed from this unique case that's central in the Spygate scandal, and an ethical Judge devout to the justice system replaced him.
The day before the hearing, out of the blue, Flynn's ex-partners from the Flynn Intel Group were rolled up by Mueller. Who was the Flynn Intel Group? This is where I think there's way more to this story than the main stream narrative and where we start to go down some rabbit holes. There is some theory that FIG was a sting operation led by Flynn. It explains Flynn's complete flip on Russia, Turkish relations, and Erdogen, as well as some financial movements. When you follow the players and connections, you end up in some interesting places.
Judge Sullivan ultimately accepted Flynn's plea and postponed until March 13, 2019 to get more answers to questions under the guise of allowing Flynn to continue to potentially cooperate with the Mueller team on those other cases. This case, along with Spygate in general, has been fascinating, and we're going to have a lot more information by March.