A federal judge postponed retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn’s sentencing until next month—after the release of the Department of Justice’s Inspector General’s report on alleged government surveillance abuses against President Donald Trump’s campaign.
Lawyers for Flynn and the Department of Justice had written to Judge Emmet Sullivan in a Tuesday court filing to postpone the sentencing as the pending report “will examine several topics related” to a motion (pdf) filed by Flynn’s lawyers.
“The parties expect that the report of this investigation will examine topics related to several matters raised by the defendant. As widely reported by the media, that report is expected to issue in the next several weeks,” it said.
Flynn pleaded guilty in 2017 to making false statements to investigators about his contacts with Russia’s former ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak. He agreed to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
Sullivan wrote on Wednesday to vacate the former general’s sentencing “until further Order of this Court” it was reported. A new date hasn’t been set.
“It was the logical thing to do while we wait for his order and the IG report,” Flynn’s lawyer, Sidney Powell, told the media via email. “There is so much more information we need that will prove General Flynn’s innocence and the government’s misconduct.”
His sentencing was slated for Dec. 18, coming a year after he first appeared in court.
Powell took over Flynn’s case earlier this year, and she has sought a dismissal of the case. She alleged that prosecutors improperly pressured Flynn into the plea deal and argued “there never would’ve been a plea to begin with” if Flynn knew how much the Justice Department was hiding, according to the Washington Examiner.
Prosecutors countered and said, “The government has exceeded its discovery and disclosure obligations in this matter.”
Powell then alleged that the FBI manipulated notes in the interview with Flynn and also called on Sullivan to call on the Department of Justice to produce two Blackberry phones that are said to be used by Joseph Misfud, a Maltese professor who is accused of playing a main role in the Russia-Trump collusion theory, the Examiner noted. The Justice Department said Flynn’s lawyer’s claims are “conspiracy theories.”
Inspector General Michael Horowitz confirmed last week that he believes the report will be released Dec. 9, and he will testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee two days later.
Reports last week said that Horowitz’s investigators found that a former FBI lawyer altered a document related to the surveillance of Trump campaign worker Carter Page during the 2016 election.