Alleging “bad faith” by the government, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn moved to withdraw the guilty plea entered with the Robert Mueller’s special counsel office.
The court filing came after the Justice Department decided last week change its recommendation of no prison time, recommending up to six months, alleging he was not fully cooperating or accepting responsibility for his actions.
On, Tuesday, however, Flynn’s attorneys moved to withdraw his plea “because of the government’s bad faith, vindictiveness and breach of the plea agreement.”
“The prosecution has shown abject bad faith in pure retaliation against Mr. Flynn since he retained new counsel,” Flynn’s attorneys wrote. “This can only be because with new, unconflicted counsel, Mr. Flynn refused to lie for the prosecution.
TRENDING: Californians literally swimming in fecal matter thanks in part to left’s homelessness crisis
“Justice is not a game, and there should be no room for such gamesmanship in the Department of Justice,” they wrote.
Flynn pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to investigators about conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in 2016 regarding sanctions and agreed to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.
Flynn hired a new lawyer in 2019, former federal prosecutor Sidney Powell, who filed a motion for dismissal in October. The motion alleged the Justice Department manipulated Flynn’s FBI interview transcript, known as a 302, to charge him with lying and was withholding exculpatory evidence.
Powell presented evidence former FBI lawyer Lisa Page edited Flynn’s 302 report then lied to the Justice Department about the edits.
Powell contended the case should be thrown out “for outrageous government misconduct.”
In November, a federal judge granted Flynn’s request to delay his criminal sentencing until after the release of the Justice Department inspector general’s report on alleged government surveillance abuses against the Trump campaign in 2016.
But on Dec. 18, D.C. federal court Judge Emmet Sullivan rejected Flynn’s claim that he was pressured to plead guilty.
Flynn is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 28 in Sullivan’s court.
Powell, in an interview Tuesday night on Fox News’ “Hannity,” said it’s been “one atrocity after another.”
“The recent sentencing note is full of lies,” she said.
In its sentencing memorandum last week, the Justice Department charged Flynn’s “conduct was more than just a series of lies; it was an abuse of trust.”
“The government acknowledges that the defendant’s history of military service, and his prior assistance to the government, though not substantial, may distinguish him from these other defendants,” the memo said. “The government asks the court to consider all of these factors, and to impose an appropriate sentence.”
Powell alleged in her motion in October that FBI officials “added an unequivocal statement that ‘Flynn stated he did not’ — in response to whether Mr. Flynn had asked Kislyak to vote in a certain manner or slow down the UN vote [on sanctions].”
“This is a deceptive manipulation because, as the notes of the agents show, Mr. Flynn was not even sure he had spoken to Russia/Kislyak on the issue. He had talked to dozens of countries,” she wrote.
Powell also alleged that agents added the statement: “or if Kislyak described any Russian response to a request by Flynn.”
“That question and answer does not appear in the notes, yet it was made into a criminal offense,” Powell wrote. “The draft also shows that the agents moved a sentence to make it seem to be an answer to a question it was not.”
Strzok and Page
Powell also raised concerns about text messages between lead FBI investigator Peter Strzok and his then-paramour, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who served as special counsel to FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
The text exchange took place after publication of the anti-Trump dossier. Powell’s court filing said Strzok informed Page he was discussing with a colleague using the dossier, now that it had been published, “as a pretext to go interview some people.”
According to the texts, in the next two weeks, there were “many meetings” between Strzok and McCabe to discuss “whether to interview National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and if so, what interview strategies to use.”
Powell alleged that on Jan. 23, 2017 – the day before the FBI interviewed Flynn at the White House – “the upper echelon of the FBI met to orchestrate” strategies that would have Flynn talk “in such a way as to keep from alerting him from understanding that he was being interviewed in a criminal investigation of which he was the target.”
“In short, they planned to deceive him about the entire scenario, and keep him ‘unguarded,'” Powell claimed.
She alleged that under former FBI Director James Comey’s direction, McCabe “personally called Flynn to pave the way for the uncounseled conversation.”
Powell claimed the government is hiding evidence “of the original 302, other exculpatory texts, and other forms of information completely.”
Prosecutors have denied the claim, insisting “the government has exceeded its discovery and disclosure obligations in this matter,” providing Flynn with thousands of pages of documents.
In October, prosecutors called the defense’s filings a “fishing expedition.”