Members of former National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn have had some very strong words for the federal prosecutors of his case.
Flynn’s legal defense team has pressed for the dismissal of his case, arguing that Flynn should have been informed of events related to him, described in the Justice Department watchdog’s findings on Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act abuses, before he pleaded guilty.
Led by Sidney Powell, a former federal prosecutor who took over the former Trump national security adviser’s legal defense last summer, Flynn’s lawyers condemned prosecutors for what they claimed was the concealment of the Justice Department’s improper targeting of their client as laid out in Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s December report.
Powell focused on a briefing the FBI gave to then-candidate Donald Trump, Flynn, and others during the 2016 campaign. She also accused Brandon Van Grack, a member of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s team and currently a lead prosecutor on the case, of ignoring the concerns she raised and hiding exculpatory evidence — known as Brady material — from her client, for years.
“The facts of this case stand in stark contrast to the government’s wishful and illusory arguments. Mr. Van Grack effectively concedes the government’s outrageous misconduct documented in the IG Report. He simply proceeds with the bald and specious assertions that it was not that bad or does not apply to Mr. Flynn,” Powell wrote in a court filing submitted on Tuesday.
The filing continued, “The IG Report, however, belies his claim, and Mr. Van Grack’s contention that he satisfied the government’s obligations by providing this information before Mr. Flynn’s sentencing now proves the point that he suppressed it when it was most important to Mr. Flynn: before his guilty plea on December 1, 2017, and before what was scheduled to be his sentencing on December 18, 2018.”
However, Van Grack told the court last week “the errors and misconduct described in the OIG report … do not amount to ‘egregious government misconduct’ necessitating the dismissal of the charge against the defendant for making material false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”
Flynn, 61, pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to investigators in January of that year about his conversations with Sergey Kislyak, who was at the time the Russian ambassador to the United States. But with his sentencing approaching, he changed his tune in January, telling the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., “I am innocent of this crime.”
The Horowitz Report that Flynn’s defense team is pointing to identified at least 17 ”significant errors or omissions” in the Justice Department and the FBI’s use of British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s salacious and unverified dossier when pursuing FISA warrants to wiretap Trump campaign associate Carter Page in 2016 and 2017.
According to the FBI, four members of Trump’s campaign, including Flynn, were initially being scrutinized as part of the Trump-Russia inquiry. At the conclusion of his investigation, Mueller did not establish a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.
The FBI never told Trump’s campaign about its concerns that Russians might be attempting to infiltrate his campaign, and Horowitz criticized the bureau for using an intelligence briefing to gather evidence against Trump and Flynn.
As part of his plea deal, Flynn agreed to cooperate with Mueller, admitting his guilt in 2017 and reaffirming it in 2018. But he filed to withdraw his guilty plea in January after the Justice Department asked Judge Emmet Sullivan to sentence Flynn to up to six months in prison, though afterwards the department said it believed probation would also be appropriate.