Ex-Trump aide Michael Flynn seeks to withdraw guilty plea

Nellie Chapman
January 16, 2020

With sentencing scheduled on January 28 and the government asking for imposition of a sentence from 0 to six months, Michael Flynn has filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea (motion embedded below).

"The prosecution has shown abject bad faith in pure retaliation against Mr. Flynn since he retained new counsel", Flynn's attorneys wrote in the filing.

Flynn didn't end up testifying at Kian's trial after prosecutors expressed new doubts about his pledge to cooperate with their investigative efforts and the judge in his ex-business partner's case threw out the jury's guilty verdict for lack of evidence.

Flynn "exercised his right to move to withdraw his plea of guilty because the government has engaged in bad faith and vindictive conduct", breaching a plea deal made when Flynn first conceded the charge in late 2017, defense attorney Sidney Powell said in a statement Wednesday morning, calling her client "innocent".

Those attorneys have raised repeated misconduct allegations against the government - which a judge has since rejected. A judge must approve any change of plea.

Mr. Flynn has been cooperating in good faith with the government for two years.

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"He endured massive, unnecessary and frankly counterproductive demands regarding his time, family, limited resources and life".

Tuesday's filing by Flynn's lawyers asked Sullivan to postpone the January 28 sentencing date.

"The same can not be said of the prosecution, which has acted in bad faith since the start of the" investigation "and continues unabated through this specious pursuit".

Flynn was one of several former Trump aides to plead guilty or be convicted at trial in Mueller's investigation that detailed Moscow's interference in the 2016 US election to boost Trump's candidacy, as well as numerous contacts between Trump's campaign and Russian Federation.

Flynn's cooperation in the Rafiekian prosecution is at the center of the dispute that led to the withdrawal of the plea. I nevertheless think that the motion represents a high-stakes gamble (as Gerstein points out) and that the odds against General Flynn obtaining relief from anyone but President Trump at this point remain long.

"The government has reason to believe, through representations by the defendant's counsel, that the defendant has retreated from his acceptance of responsibility in this case regarding his lies to the Federal Bureau of Investigation", prosecutors wrote.

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