Aug 31 2019

Flynn’s Day of Reckoning

I’ll skip over the history a bit and pick it up where Michael Flynn had basically finished co-operation with Mueller (as far as it goes) and went into court expecting the leniency Mueller recommended.

Well, Emment Sullivan was having none of that and called Flynn a traitor to boot (he is actually). Then Flynn was like, oh, there is so much more I have to share and Judge Sullivan turned him back over to Mueller who really didn’t have any use for him.

Shortly after that Flynn fired his lawyers who got that sweet, sweet plea deal and hired Sidney Powell, a militant Trumpista and commentator on Faux Noise. Needless to say his strategy shifted from bragging about his contrition to slandering Mueller, not, I would think, a position designed to favorably influence the sentencing Judge.

Having reached the end of the agreed on grace period, Mueller’s team, what’s left of it, has now moved to proceed.

Prosecutors call for Flynn sentencing amid impasse with defense attorneys
By KYLE CHENEY, Politico

Prosecutors said Friday they’re prepared for former national security adviser Michael Flynn to be sentenced as soon as October, nearly two years after he pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia’s ambassador to the United States.

“The defendant’s cooperation has ended. The case is ready for sentencing, and the government proposes the following dates for a sentencing hearing: October 21-23, 2019, or November 1-15, 2019,” prosecutors wrote in a filing to the judge in Flynn’s case, Emmet Sullivan. “The government is not aware of any issues that require the Court’s resolution prior to sentencing.”

But the push to close Flynn’s case prompted the former Trump aide’s legal team to erupt, charging in a subsequent court filing that prosecutors — including those central to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election — had acted maliciously toward Flynn and withheld evidence.

The 19-page filing is the first direct push by Flynn to accuse prosecutors of targeting him for political reasons and breaking the rules to go after him.

In the filing, Flynn’s lawyers hearkened to the botched prosecution of former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens — a case in which the same judge, Sullivan, found prosecutorial misconduct and excoriated federal attorney for their actions. Flynn’s team, aware of Sullivan’s history in this case, argued that Mueller’s prosecutors “engaged in even more malevolent conduct in the prosecution of Mr. Flynn.”

“They continued to hide that exculpatory information for months—in direct contravention of this Court’s Order—and they continue to suppress exculpatory information to this day,” Flynn’s attorneys argued.

It’s a remarkable, and remarkably late, accusation, coming just before Flynn’s anticipated sentencing and after he cooperated with prosecutors for nearly two years. It’s also the work of Flynn’s reshuffled legal team, helmed by Sidney Powell, a longtime lawyer who has become a prominent cable TV critic of the Mueller investigation.

The brief includes a laundry list of allegations of misconduct — many of which had percolated among Flynn’s allies for years and fed claims of an anti-Trump conspiracy inside the FBI.

Flynn’s team contends that Mueller’s top prosecutors had “illicit” relationships with Christopher Steele, the former British agent who compiled an anti-Trump dossier in 2016. The lawyers say Flynn was also deprived access to text messages between former FBI officials Lisa Page and Peter Strzok — whose anti-Trump text messages also fanned allegations of misconduct — until after those messages became public in 2018.

But Sullivan has already upbraided Flynn for his conducted, declaring at a December sentencing hearing — which was later postponed to give Flynn more time to complete his cooperation with the government — that Flynn had “arguably .. sold your country out.” It’s unclear if he’ll be receptive to Flynn’s new arguments about misconduct by the special counsel’s team.

The argument does, however, appear to align with many of the theories that Trump has promoted about misconduct and bias in the special counsel investigation — which he labeled as a “witch hunt” — and could be designed in part to make a play for a pardon. Trump has at times flirted with the idea of pardoning aides entangled in the Mueller probe but has insisted to date that he’s given no serious consideration of them yet.

During an aborted sentencing hearing in December 2018, Sullivan appeared to be prepared to sentence Flynn to jailtime despite Mueller’s team vouching for his cooperation and suggesting a light sentence.

Sullivan took issue with claims that Flynn had been “entrapped” into lying to FBI agents and noted that Flynn’s own sentencing filings didn’t address conduct he admitted to but was not included in his guilty plea — that he acted as an unregistered foreign agent for Turkey. After scolding him, Sullivan agreed to give Flynn more time to complete his cooperation in the Kian case before rescheduling his sentencing.

Needless to say Flynn refused to cooperate during the Kian case (he was found Guilty anyway) and that abrogates whatever plea agreement Mueller and Flynn has. It is technically possible that the could reopen all the charges covered by that (which Flynn has confessed to) and add new ones.

Do I expect that to happen? No, but I do expect he will get hard time, and lots of it.