The bombshell court filing was signed only by interim DC US attorney Timothy Shea, a political appointee who used the court identity number of his ousted predecessor Jesse Liu. The incorrect ID number is a technical error that may need to be fixed before the judge weighs in.
Shea’s filing on Thursday — undoing more than two years of work from special counsel Robert Mueller’s team and his own office’s work on the case — shocked lawyers across the country, who alleged the undermining of the rule of law for President Donald Trump’s political gain. Shea’s signature on the document already raised questions about who within the Justice Department prepared it, why other prosecutors didn’t sign the filing, and why the lead prosecutor on the case withdrew from it an hour before its submission.
A Justice Department official told CNN on Saturday that the ID number under Shea’s name was a clerical oversight. The official said it was the mistake of a staffer who submitted the filing to the court on Shea’s behalf — but who didn’t sign it herself. The official said Shea was part of a team who wrote the document, and declined to explain why the career prosecutor, Jocelyn Ballantine, who signed several other recent filings in the Flynn case, didn’t sign it.