“THE MOST CONCOCTED CASE I HAVE EVER SEEN”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Jan. 18, 2020) — On Thursday, Dallas-based attorney for Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn (Ret) Sidney Powell told radio host Larry O’Connor that Judge Emmet Sullivan agreed to a 30-day extension in her client’s sentencing hearing for allegedly lying to the FBI, two days after she filed documents to withdraw Flynn’s “guilty” plea made in December 2017.
O’Connor hosts his program daily from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. ET on WMAL.
Following the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump announced that he had selected Flynn to serve as his national security adviser.
The Justice Department prosecuted Flynn after transcripts of his transition-period phone calls with then-Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak were leaked to David Ignatius of The Washington Post and appeared to show inconsistencies with Flynn’s characterization of the conversations to then-Vice-President-Elect Mike Pence.
At the time he accepted a “guilty” plea for allegedly lying to FBI agents about the conversations, Flynn was represented by attorneys from Covington & Burling, who he dismissed last spring. Prior to assuming his case in June, Powell had expressed her belief that Flynn should withdraw his plea.
Last week, Rep. Devin Nunes, ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, told Fox News host Laura Ingraham that committee Republicans, who were in the majority prior to January 2019, “were briefed by the FBI that Flynn didn’t lie. He needs to withdraw the plea, and some of us need to speak on his behalf.”
As part of the agreement, Flynn cooperated extensively with the Special Counsel investigation, which sought to determine whether or not improper ties had existed between members of the 2016 Trump campaign and Russian operatives. In the end, the office’s 19 prosecutors found nothing prosecutable as to “collusion,” or “conspiracy,” between any Americans and Russia in regard to the 2016 election.
A report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz released December 9, 2019 confirmed that Flynn was under U.S. government surveillance at the same time as former Trump campaign foreign-policy advisor George Papadopoulos, former Trump campaign advisor Carter W. Page, and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. Horowitz’s office determined that Page was the only individual formally monitored under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), by which FBI agents applied every 90 days between October 2016 and August 2017 to maintain.
Horowitz’s report indicates that FBI agents made significant “errors and omissions” in their FISA applications on Page, although his office found no evidence of “political bias” as a motivating factor. In contrast, U.S. Attorney General William Barr and U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut John Durham, who Barr tasked with discovering the origins of the Russia “collusion” narrative, immediately issued statements disagreeing with “some of” Horowitz’s conclusions. “…we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened,” Durham’s statement reads, in part.
In July, Nunes reported that he and his colleagues discovered that the FBI’s “Crossfire Hurricane” probe into the Trump campaign began in 2015 with surveillance of Flynn rather than on July 31, 2016, the date the FBI has asserted it opened its counterintelligence operation.
Flynn was reportedly suspected of having been a “Russian agent.” In January 2019, investigative journalist John Solomon reported that he was aware of “information” held by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), which Flynn had led under the Obama regime before his 2014 dismissal, which would prove exculpatory to Flynn on that allegation.
Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) had attempted to convince the agency to release the information on the grounds that it would not imperil national security or divulge classified information, Solomon reported, but to no avail.
Powell told O’Connor Thursday that she and her team are currently reviewing “318,000 documents and 18 hard drives” in Flynn’s government file. Previously, she has asserted that the government has withheld exculpatory information, constituting “egregious” misconduct.
The guilty plea was withdrawn on Tuesday, Powell said, because Flynn refused to “lie” in a case the Justice Department had been investigating in which Flynn was considered a witness.
Powell, a former federal prosecutor and author of “Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice,” said that the Department has broken its agreement with Flynn by changing its sentencing recommendation from no jail time based on what it said was Flynn’s “full cooperation” to “taking back their agreement that he was entitled to probation” because Flynn refused to lie in the Rafiekian case.
“They wanted him to perjure himself,” O’Connor said, to which Powell responded, “Exactly. If he had done what they asked, it would have caused true false statements that we found would have directly contradicted an FBI 302 that they held in their hand at the time from his own lawyer saying that what we were telling them was correct. It is outrageous, Larry; it is beyond outrageous…”
Powell said the “302,” or FBI interview summary form in question, remains “hidden.” It is believed to relate to FBI agents’ impromptu interview of Flynn in his West Wing office on the third full day of the Trump administration.
In an interview in December 2018, former FBI Director James Comey admitted to “sending” the agents to speak with Flynn without an attorney present. In early November, Powell claimed that the 302 of the exchange was altered by someone at the FBI.
As to other documents the government allegedly holds pertaining to her client, Powell said, “There’s a huge list; we asked for 50 more things, including a January 30 memo of the Department of Justice that completely exonerated him of being an agent of Russia while he was still in the White House. We don’t have the original 302s that the FBI agents created, and I’ve now found a witness who says that the original 302 did, in fact, say that Flynn was honest with the agents and did not lie…”
“We have other drafts that show material changes to the 302,” Powell added. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”
At 4:53, O’Connor asked, “Who do these prosecutors report to, and who’s allowing this to happen?” to which Powell replied, “Well, specifically, it’s happening under Jessie Liu, the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia…and another big thing we found is that Mr. Van Grack, the lead prosecutor for the Special Counsel’s office himself, had made changes to the Statement of Offense they made Flynn sign and deleted the very language, deleted in a red line that we attached to our motion yesterday, the very language that he then wanted Mr. Flynn to lie about.”
As to the 30-day extension, Powell said Judge Sullivan “has discretion whether to allow withdrawal of the plea, and we’re working on another brief right now that he only gave us five days to do for scads of alternate reasons that it should be withdrawn that are just mind-blowing the things we found.” [sic]
O’Connor asked, if Flynn were to tell Sullivan that he is “not guilty,” “how can the judge accept a ‘guilty’ plea?” “Well, he really can’t, and he said on the record on December 18 of last year that he had never sentenced a man that said he was innocent,” Powell responded. “I said in the last filing Gen. Flynn will not repeat the mistake of December 18 because now he has counsel who is not conflicted…”
She further insisted that Flynn “is not” guilty and “there’s not way I would stand there and let him plead ‘guilty.’ This is the most concocted case I have ever seen.”
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Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.