(NationalSentinel) Former Attorney General Eric Holder once gave August E. Flentje, a career Justice Department lawyer, an award for helping draft the legal case for same-sex marriage and for terrorism suspects being held in the Guantanamo Bay detention center, which the Obama White House wanted to close.
But earlier this week when he was charged with defending President Donald J. Trump’s legal travel ban from seven terrorism-infested countries, he wasn’t winning any plaudits. In fact, to an outside observer, you might even say he purposely botched the case.
As reported by The Daily Signal, legal experts are faulting Flentje’s weak defense of Trump’s executive order, where at one point during the case before a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals he even said, “I don’t think I’m convincing the court.”
The Daily Signal noted further:
When the three-judge panel from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals pressed Flentje for evidence connecting the seven countries to terrorism, he said, “These proceedings have been moving quite fast, and we’re doing the best we can.”
He said the government hadn’t included all the evidence yet. He cited some Somalis in the United States who he said were connected to the al-Shabab terrorist group.
Judge Michelle Friedland asked, “Can you point us to where in the record you are referring?”
Flentje responded: “It is not in the record.”
“It was a very poor job. It’s the worst presentation I can recall seeing by a Justice Department attorney,” said Hans von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, and a former attorney for the Justice Department.
So in other words, when the “cause” is liberal, Fientje’s a superb lawyer because he’s all in. But when it isn’t, well…
Another thing: Why was a Justice Dept. champion of Left-wing issues arguing a case before the most liberal district court in the country?
For its part, the White House did not seem concerned.
“There was a lot of back and forth in that entire argument,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Wednesday in response to a question on Flentje’s presentation and whether Trump was concerned about it.
“I think he did what he had to do to, represent the president’s case and represent the administration’s case on the TRO,” he said, adding that the president has always said he’s confident the order is legal and proper.
“He feels very confident on the merits. That’s where his focus has been. So I’m not concerned,” said Spicer. “I think the president’s main concern has been … making sure that an executive order that was lawfully executed and [went] through the entire process—remember, the DOJ’s Office of Legal Compliance vetted this order and deemed it was legal. So we can follow this entire process to be sure it was done correctly, constitutionally, legally.”
The White House will have to put a positive spin on all of this because Trump appears genuinely interested in making sure the process is followed – despite his Tweet storms aimed at the federal judges who are holding up his lawful authority to protect the country as he sees fit.
But it’s clear that this “defense” was weak, and that means it’s very likely the three-judge panel will uphold the ruling of its lower court – sending the case through to the full 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and then a divided Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, people from terrorist nations continue to come into the United States.