Something really weird is happening in court right now with the DOJ’s Michael Flynn redactions
As Palmer Report laid out this morning, Attorney General William Barr and his DOJ had until the end of business today to comply with a federal judge’s court order to publicly release every bit of the redacted Mueller report that relates to Michael Flynn. Failure to comply would presumably result in an already pissed off judge taking swift and severe punitive action against Barr. Based on the reports surfacing just now, it looks like Barr is daring the judge to go after him.
The DOJ just made a court filing which reveals the full text of the voicemail that Trump lawyer John Dowd made to Michael Flynn, urging him not to go through with his plea deal. But beyond that, the filing contains nothing. Kyle Cheney of Politico confirmed that we’re not just imagining things, when he tweeted this: “In a new filing, prosecutors say there are no redacted portions of the Mueller report regarding Michael Flynn to make public today.” So what gives?
Barr’s DOJ apparently wants us to believe that Robert Mueller gave Michael Flynn a sweetheart plea deal with little to no jail time just because Flynn gave up this voicemail, and that Flynn gave up nothing else at all on Trump. That doesn’t fly. It sure looks like Barr decided to simply lie to the judge about what’s in the still-redacted portions of the Mueller report. More to the point, the judge demanded that Flynn’s transition period phone calls with the Russian Ambassador be turned over, yet the DOJ’s court filing says that it doesn’t have any such thing.
Judge Emmett Sullivan has already shown his open frustration at not being allowed to know what Michael Flynn gave up in order to get such a lenient deal. Now it appears William Barr’s DOJ is defying his orders and lying to him. If Sullivan comes to this conclusion, look for him to take severe punitive measures. Contempt of court powers are much more potent, and swiftly applied, than contempt of Congress powers.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report