Lawyers for Michael Flynn are arguing that the former national security adviser’s work for the Turkish government, which was the subject of a guilty plea for making false statements to the FBI, was “meaningless,” according to Politico.
In a court filing on Monday, Flynn’s lawyers reportedly said concessions Flynn made in his 2017 plea deal were rendered meaningless by a judge overturning guilty verdicts on linked charges against Bijan Rafiekian, a former business partner of Flynn’s.
Since replacing his legal team with a new one, led by Sidney Powell of Dallas, Flynn has shifted his defense strategy to alleged prosecutorial misconduct. The new filing echoes previous ones in suggesting prosecutor Brandon Van Grack, who was initially assigned the case by then-special counsel Robert Mueller, coerced Flynn into the guilty plea.
“The government did not indict the specious Rafiekian case until more than a year after the Flynn indictment — just a few days before Mr. Flynn was to be sentenced in this Court — when the government was concerned that Mr. Flynn would withdraw his plea,” the defense team wrote.
“Mr. Van Grack was determined that Mr. Flynn would testify in the Rafiekian case that he had knowingly signed a false FARA [Foreign Agent Registration Act] registration, even though Mr. Van Grack knew that was not true and Mr. Flynn had not agreed to that in the course of his plea agreement,” Flynn’s attorneys added.
Flynn was originally slated to testify against Rafiekian, but pulled out after talks broke down between Powell and the government, Politico noted.
Powell previously met with U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan, an Obama appointee, to ask him to compel the release of information she said could expose prosecutorial misconduct, according to the news outlet, which added that Sullivan has scheduled a Nov. 5 hearing on the motion for alleged exculpatory information.