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Defense attorney tells U.S. court she asked Trump not to pardon Michael Flynn

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Defense attorney tells U.S. court she asked Trump not to pardon Michael Flynn

By Sarah N. Lynch



FILE PHOTO: National security adviser General Michael Flynn delivers a statement daily briefing at the White House in Washington U.S., February 1, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The lead attorney for U.S. President Donald Trump's former national security adviser on Tuesday told a federal judge that she has discussed the ongoing criminal case with the president and asked him not to pardon Michael Flynn, an extraordinary admission that raises questions about political interference.


At the same hearing, U.S. Justice Department lawyers denied any corruption or political motives in efforts to get the federal criminal case against Flynn dropped.


In May, Attorney General William Barr stunned many in the legal community by ordering prosecutors to have the case dropped, a decision that came after Trump repeatedly complained that Flynn was being treated unfairly.


Critics have accused Barr of giving special treatment to Trump allies such as Flynn and Trump's longtime friend and supporter Roger Stone.


Flynn's defense counsel Sidney Powell tried to invoke executive privilege in an initial refusal to discuss details of her conversation with Trump, angering U.S. Judge Emmet Sullivan.


"Well, you don't work for the government," Sullivan told her.


Powell, in a tense exchange with the judge, said she recently met with Trump after the government moved to dismiss the case. She added that Trump campaign attorney Jenna Ellis was also present.


"I spoke with Jenna Ellis and I spoke with the president himself to provide a brief status of the litigation within the last couple weeks," Powell said.

"Did you make any requests of the president?" Sullivan asked.


"No sir, other than he not issue a pardon," she replied.


Powell downplayed a letter she sent to Barr and Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen in June of 2019, in which she complained that the FBI had tried to entrap her client and asked the department to appoint new government lawyers to preside over the case.


When Sullivan asked whether she felt her letter to Barr was ethical, Powell replied: "Perfectly."


Powell's discussion of the case with Trump, along with her letter to senior Justice Department officials, are likely to further stoke debate over whether the Trump administration is improperly seeking to dismiss the case.


The letter to Barr "raises questions about motive" for the department to remove career prosecutors from the case, the judge said. He suggested the bar association might take issue with her tactics.


He asked the government to schedule a follow-up meeting to discuss how Barr and Rosen responded.



Kenneth Kohl, an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, said he did not know details of Barr's response but denied there was any improper political interference in the case.


"I've never seen it in my entire career in our office and it didn't happen here," Kohl said.


He attacked former top FBI officials, including former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and former agent Peter Strzok, saying they could not be reliable witnesses for the government if it had proceeded with its prosecution of Flynn.


Powell, meanwhile, told Sullivan she thought he was biased against Flynn and intended to file a motion to ask him to recuse himself.


Sullivan did not issue a ruling during the more than four-hour hearing and did not indicate when he will make a decision.


Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general, was charged under former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation that detailed Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.


Flynn pleaded guilty twice to lying to the FBI about his conversations before Trump took office with Sergei Kislyak, who was then Russia's ambassador to the United States, concerning U.S. sanctions imposed on Russia under President Barack Obama.


He was due to be sentenced in December 2018.


Sullivan delayed the sentencing until Flynn could finish cooperating with the government in a separate criminal case. But Flynn last year switched lawyers and his new legal team claimed the FBI had set him up.


Barr's unusual move ordering the case dropped despite the guilty pleas led Sullivan to tap retired judge John Gleeson to argue against the Justice Department's legal position.


Gleeson on Tuesday urged Sullivan not to drop the case, arguing that a guilty plea cannot be taken lightly.


"People can't plead guilty and then show up for sentencing, as this defendant did on December 18, 2018 and see how the wind is blowing."


(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Additional writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Bill Berkrot)



-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-09-30
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A conspiracy troll post and a reply have been removed

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You gotta wonder why it took so long for this stuff to come out!

And why in April the judge didn't want to see more documents that showed the inner scheming of the agents!



A 13-page summary of an interview with Flynn case agent William Barnett, made public in a court filing by prosecutors just before midnight Thursday, also revealed that the veteran agent harbored deep doubts and skepticism about the merits of the investigation into Flynn’s potential ties with Russia — at least in its early stages — and questioned the Mueller team’s tactics in the broader probe of the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russians, known as Crossfire Hurricane.

Though Barnett said he repeatedly expressed those doubts to colleagues and superiors — and says he feared groupthink and a “get Trump” attitude was driving the investigation forward — he continued to be included in the work of Mueller’s attorneys during sensitive interviews.




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7 hours ago, Chomper Higgot said:

The OP lays out the brazen interference in justice by the executive branch, and you rush to the defense of a man who confessed his crimes in full and plead guilty to those crimes.


Keep this in mind when it’s Barr’s turn to account for his actions.

Yes, absolutely brazen!

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8 hours ago, Chomper Higgot said:
9 hours ago, Tippaporn said:

They want Flynn silenced at all costs.



Trump can’t afford to have Flynn give testimony on his part in Trump’s crimes.

What's absolute is that you are trying to absolutely turn reality on it's head with that statement.  As more and more information comes out it becomes ever more difficult to gaslight people.

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1 hour ago, stevenl said:

I think it is time you informed Sullivan and gleeson of your words, since it looks like the people involved in the case differ with your opinion.


Ed & Jackie?

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