Flynn Files Motion To Withdraw Guilty Plea: Government Breached Plea Agreement
This story is developing
Michael Flynn, former Trump National Security Advisor, filed a motion late Tuesday night to withdraw his guilty plea in what has been a tumultuous court battle against Department of Justice prosecutors, who Flynn claims breached the plea agreement and operated with bad faith.
Flynn’s defense attorney Sidney Powell stated in the most recent motion that Flynn “hereby moves to withdraw his plea because of the government’s bad faith, vindictiveness, and breach of the plea agreement.”
In November, 2017 Flynn, who had pled guilty to making a false statement to the FBI, signed a plea agreement with the government that, “so long as Gen. Flynn met the terms of cooperation set forth in the plea—which required TRUTHFUL testimony—the government would file a departure motion with the court,” said Powell in a statement given to this reporter.
She also requested “a continuance of the sentencing date set for January 28, 2020, for thirty days or until February 27, 2020, or such other subsequent day that is convenient to the Court and counsel, and a corresponding extension of time to file any supplemental sentencing memorandum (from January 22, 2020, to February 21, 2020).”
The motion argues that the “continuance is requested to allow time for the government to respond to the most recent aspects of this Motion and for Mr. Flynn to provide the additional briefing he needs to protect the record and his constitutional rights in light of significant developments in the last thirty days.”
The motion states that in “good faith, Gen. Flynn performed his side of the bargain. The government acknowledged this substantial cooperation both in its original sentencing memo and in its statements to the court at the December 2018 hearing.”
“In the summer of 2019, Gen. Flynn refused to perjure himself for the prosecutors in a case against a former partner in his private business,” said Powell in the separate statement regarding the case of Flynn’s ex partner Bijan Rafiekian. Rafiekian had been indicted on two criminal counts, including conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government, according to the original unsealed indictment. Rafiekian’s conviction was overturned by the court citing that prosecutor’s had ‘insufficient evidence’ to prove their case.
Powell argues that Flynn’s “refusal to be coerced into a lie led the government to file a new Sentencing Memorandum in which it reversed course and withdrew both its representation that Gen. Flynn provided substantial assistance and its recommendation for a departure, as contractually mandated by the plea agreement.”
“For these reasons, and for further substantive and serious reasons that will be filed at a later date, Gen. Flynn has instructed his counsel to withdraw his guilty plea,” said Powell in the statement. “Gen. Flynn is innocent of the charges against him. He has fulfilled his commitments to cooperate with the investigation in good faith. The same cannot be said for the prosecution. We will work now to reclaim his good name for his sake and that of his family, and to help restore trust in our justice system by standing up against the scandal and abuses of his unjust prosecution.”