Judge in Michael Flynn case takes senior status, giving Biden another judicial pick

The DC District Court judge who led the Justice Department’s prosecution of Trump administration’s national security adviser Michael Flynn announced Thursday that he intended to retire.

Judge Emmet Sullivan, appointed by former President Bill Clinton, sent a letter to President Biden telling him that he would be moving to higher status and giving Biden an opportunity to choose his successor. In addition to the Flynn case, Sullivan also took responsibility for maintaining the follow up on the investigation in Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Sullivan joins a growing list of judges who are either retiring or moving to higher status as Biden prepares to mitigate the impact of then-President Donald Trump’s historic number of judicial appointments. Since Biden took office, eleven judges have announced their decision to retire. She didn’t move the first until hours after his inauguration.

Sullivan made headlines in the Flynn case when he at one point exploded on the former army general in the courtroom. When Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts during the 2016 election, Sullivan said he could not hide “my disgust, my contempt for the crime.”

“You probably sold out your land,” Sullivan told Flynn.

Sullivan’s involvement in the case earned him national notoriety. He once enlisted the protection of U.S. Marshal Service after receiving a series of death threats.

Sullivan led four lawsuits against the U.S. Postal Service in the lead up to the 2020 election.

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