FACT CHECK: Does This Photo Show Barack Obama With Federal Judge Emmet Sullivan?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Editor

An image shared on Facebook over 1,600 times allegedly shows former President Barack Obama with U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan.

Verdict: False

The man pictured next to Obama is his half-brother Malik, not Sullivan.

Fact Check:

The image appears to be an old photograph of Obama and another man wearing sunglasses while standing in front of an unnamed body of water. “This is Barry with Judge Sullivan,” reads the caption. “An Obama appointed judge who is the General Flyn (sic) judge withholding his exoneration.”

Emmet is the federal judge that presided over the criminal case against President Donald Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in 2017 to making false statements to the FBI regarding his communications with a former Russian ambassador. He asked the federal appeals court in D.C. to rehear Flynn’s case after the Department of Justice moved to dismiss it, according to ABC News.

Facebook users appear to have shared the photo to link Sullivan to Obama, seemingly in an attempt to imply that their alleged connection factored into Sullivan’s handling of the case. However, the man pictured with Obama is not Sullivan. (RELATED: Can A President Be Charged With Obstruction Of Justice?)

Through a reverse image search, the Daily Caller News Foundation discovered the photo was published as part of an August New York Post story about the former president and his half-brother Malik. The picture shows the pair in Boston in 1990, according to its caption.

The post also incorrectly claims that Obama appointed Sullivan as a U.S. district judge. President Bill Clinton appointed him to serve as the district judge for the District of Columbia in 1994, according to Sullivan’s biography on the D.C. Judicial Nomination Commission’s website.

The full Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard oral arguments related to the Flynn case Aug. 11, according to media reports.

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Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Editor
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