Attorney: DOJ memo, other documents, exonerate Michael Flynn

by WorldTribune Staff, September 12, 2019

Prosecutors in the case of Michael Flynn have dozens of documents that will vindicate the former national security adviser, including an internal Department of Justice memo, Flynn attorney Sidney Powell charged.

The documents include a purported memo a British national security adviser sent Flynn in early 2017 regarding the anti-Trump dossier authored by Christopher Steele, Powell said at a Sept. 10 court hearing. Powell is asking the court to compel prosecutors to provide her with the documents, including the DOJ memo.

Michael Flynn. / Photo by Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

“The letter apparently disavows former British Secret Service Agent Christopher Steele, calls his credibility into question, and declares him untrustworthy,” Powell said.

Also on the list of documents Powell is seeking are records of payments, memos or correspondence between former Cambridge professor Stefan Halper and the FBI, CIA or Defense Department.

Flynn’s legal team is now seeking to have the case against him thrown out, accusing the prosecution of “egregious conduct and suppression” of possibly exculpatory evidence.

“So they had a lot of information that they didn’t disclose,” Powell said. “They also have knowledge of a letter from the British Embassy that completely discredits [Trump dossier author] Christopher Steele and undoes the whole Steele dossier debacle.”

Powell said Flynn might not have entered a plea agreement had his defense team at the time had access to the government documents she is now seeking.

U.S. District Court Judge Emmett G. Sullivan scheduled a hearing for Oct. 31 to decide whether prosecutors owe Flynn’s team additional documents.

Former British national security adviser Mark Lyall Grant sent a letter to Flynn after the Jan. 10, 2017 publication of the Steele dossier stating that the British government did not have confidence in Steele, according to congressional investigators, The Hill’s John Solomon wrote in an op-ed on May 29.

Halper organized a February 2014 event Flynn attended at the University of Cambridge, while he served as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. That event would later become the source of unfounded rumors that Flynn and a Cambridge academic, Svetlana Lokhova, had improper contacts.

News reports came out in March 2017 that U.S. intelligence officials received a warning about Flynn and Lokhova. But both have denied doing anything improper. Lokhova accused Halper in a lawsuit in May of being behind the news reports, which she claims are false.

Prosecutors said that Flynn was charged for misleading statements about his conversations with then-Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak.

Powell also is seeking details of Flynn’s phone calls with Kislyak, which were leaked to the media.

Powell is seeking FBI documents regarding any contacts between top Obama intelligence officials and Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, who published the Jan. 12, 2017 article that first revealed a phone call between Flynn and Kislyak. Ignatius’ article preceded leaks of classified details of the Flynn-Kislyak phone calls.

Powell is also seeking the cellphone and home phone records of former National Intelligence Director James Clapper and Ignatius, as well as records of any interactions between Ignatius and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former CIA Director John Brennan and officials at several other federal agencies.

Powell said at the Sept. 10 hearing: “There never would have been a plea to begin with if the government had met its Brady obligation disclosing what it knew before Mr. Flynn entered a plea and, frankly, before he even made a proffer.”

The “Brady material” complaint is in reference to the Supreme Court case Brady v. Maryland, which established the government’s obligation to turn over all exculpatory evidence.

Judge Sullivan noted during the hearing that the Brady order takes precedence over Flynn’s plea agreement.

“Judge Sullivan is obviously taking the Brady issues very seriously and clearly told the prosecutors that his Brady order stands regardless of the plea agreement or the plea,” Powell told “If the prosecutors here were seeking justice instead of a conviction, General Flynn would not have been prosecuted. They have been hiding evidence that he was exonerated in early 2017.”

According to a transcript from the Sept. 10 court hearing, Powell said: “We’ve … learned that there was a letter dated January 30th, 2017, or an internal memo from the Department of Justice, that completely exonerates Mr. Flynn of being an agent of Russia, and that document has not been produced to us yet.”

Prosecutor Brandon Van Grack said Powell’s concerns were irrelevant: “The government has not alleged in any filings in this court or before the court that the defendant is an agent of Russia. That is not part of this case. That is not part of the act that he has pled guilty to. It was lying to the FBI about particular communications involving Russia, not being an agent of Russia.”

Fox News, however, noted that the new developments “raise questions over the underlying offense that formed the basis for the initial FBI and DOJ investigation into Flynn.”

In a Sept. 9 report, Fox News noted that McCabe told the White House in early February 2017 that the bureau was not considering Flynn for a potential Logan Act prosecution over contacts with the Russian ambassador before Donald Trump was sworn in as president.

McCabe was referring to the rarely prosecuted 200-year-old statute that bars American citizens from engaging with a foreign government without authorization from the current U.S. government.

The records also indicated that Flynn reported, on two separate occasions, in the days leading up to his White House firing, that FBI agents told him the bureau investigation was over or being closed out, the Fox News report said.

Flynn was never charged with improperly communicating with Kislyak, but in December 2017 pleaded guilty to a single count of making false statements as part of a plea deal with prosecutors.

Powell also suggested there is another document that hasn’t been released. “It would be in the FBI computer system. There is just a plethora of information out there that we need the actual documents to support and the notes to support,” she said.

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