Lawyer: New Evidence ‘Proves’ Flynn Was ‘Framed,’ Documents Should Be Unsealed

Lawyer: New Evidence ‘Proves’ Flynn Was ‘Framed,’ Documents Should Be Unsealed
President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn leaves the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse in Washington on June 24, 2019. (Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images)
Petr Svab

A prosecutor reviewing the case against former Trump adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn uncovered “stunning ... evidence that proves Mr. Flynn’s allegations of having been deliberately set up and framed by corrupt agents at the top of the FBI,” Flynn’s lawyer, Sidney Powell, said in an April 24 court filing.

The evidence was filed with the court, and a redacted copy was provided to the defense on April 24 under a protective order and is thus inaccessible to the public. Within hours, Powell submitted a filing requesting that the court unseal the documents and order the government to give them to Flynn unredacted.

Powell also submitted two emails that indicate prosecutors made an under-the-table deal with Flynn’s previous lawyers to not prosecute Flynn’s son in exchange for Flynn’s cooperation with multiple investigations.

Flynn, former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency and former national security adviser to President Donald Trump, pleaded guilty on Dec. 1, 2017, to one count of lying to FBI agents.

Jeffrey Jensen, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, has been reviewing the Flynn case at the direction of Attorney General William Barr since January.

The review “has involved the analysis of reports related to the investigation along with communications and notes by Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) personnel associated with the investigation,” said Timothy Shea, U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, in an April 24 email (pdf) to the defense filed with the court.
The new documents “were obtained and analyzed” by Jensen in March and April, Shea said. “Additional documents may be forthcoming.”

‘In Their Own Handwriting’

The new evidence “defeats any argument that the [FBI] interview of Mr. Flynn on January 24, 2017 was material to any ‘investigation,’” Powell wrote. “The government has deliberately suppressed this evidence from the inception of this prosecution—knowing there was no crime by Mr. Flynn.”

The documents “show in their own handwriting and emails” that “partisan” FBI and Justice Department leaders “intended either to create an offense they could prosecute or at least get [Flynn] fired,” Powell said.

Reiterating Flynn’s demand for the case to be dismissed, she said, “The government’s misconduct in this case is beyond shocking and reprehensible.”

Powell has argued that the investigation of Flynn, officially for his supposed “relationship” with Russia, was a pretext to target Trump.

Trump said in a March 15 tweet he was “strongly considering” a pardon for Flynn.

Missing Documents, Plea Withdrawal Request

Powell previously asked Judge Emmet Sullivan to order the government to hand over a plethora of documents Powell said were exculpatory to Flynn. Among them, the original draft of the FBI report from the Flynn interview.
She said the case should be dismissed on grounds of government misconduct, including the withholding of documents. Sullivan denied the request in December, but new information has been gradually turning up in the case.

On Jan. 7, prosecutors asked for zero to six months in prison for Flynn, a somewhat harsher recommendation than Flynn expected based on the cooperation he provided. The prosecutors argued that he pulled back his cooperation in a related case against his former business partner Bijan Rafiekian last year.

Flynn asked the court on Jan. 14 (pdf) to allow him to withdraw his original plea, saying the prosecutors violated the terms of the agreement.

Unofficial Side Deal

The emails newly revealed by Powell date back to 2018 and seem to show internal communications regarding the plea deal between Flynn’s previous lawyers from Covington & Burling.
“We have a lawyers’ unofficial understanding that they are unlikely to charge [Flynn] Junior in light of the Cooperation Agreement,” read one heavily redacted email sent on March 19, 2018.

The prosecutors threatened to charge Flynn Jr. based on allegations that Flynn’s now-defunct consultancy, Flynn Intel Group, lied in its foreign lobbying disclosures.

The second heavily redacted email, dated March 27, 2018, suggests the prosecutors tried to keep the deal regarding Flynn’s son unofficial to make future prosecutions easier.

“The government took pains not to give a promise to MTF [Michael T. Flynn] regarding Michael [Flynn] Jr., so as to limit how much of a ‘benefit’ it would have to disclose as part of its Giglio disclosures to any defendant against whom MTF may one day testify,” the email read.

“Giglio” refers to a 1972 Supreme Court opinion that requires prosecutors to disclose to the defense that a witness used by the prosecutors has been promised an escape from prosecution in exchange for cooperation.

An analysis by The Epoch Times pointed out more than nine months ago that such a side deal may have existed.
Former FBI agent and Epoch Times contributor Marc Ruskin called such a deal “unethical” in a prior interview.
“To twist the father’s arm with regard to his child is a pretty low thing to do, but we’ve seen low things done in these cases,” he said.

Going Against Ex-Lawyers

Powell has asserted that Flynn is innocent in the lobbying matter and that if there was anything wrong with the paperwork, it was the fault of Covington & Burling, which Flynn originally hired to prepare it.
Rafiekian was charged and convicted in a case related to the disclosures, but the case was tossed by the judge for lack of evidence.

The question of who bungled up the paperwork created a conflict of interest between Flynn and Covington that resulted in the lawyers providing ineffective counsel, Powell has argued.

The prosecutors negotiated a deal with Flynn where he’s partially given up his attorney-client privilege so that Covington and the government could effectively push back against that allegation.

Covington lawyers have since submitted declarations of more than 100 pages of text and more than 500 pages of partly redacted exhibits related to their representation of Flynn.

The government has been asking the judge for more time to absorb new claims and information and also in light of the CCP virus epidemic.
In an April 24 status report (pdf), prosecutors asked Sullivan to give them until May 8 to file another report and propose a briefing schedule “if feasible.”