U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga in the Eastern District of Virginia slammed the Department of Justice’s request to designate former National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn a ‘coconspirator’ in the ongoing case it has against his former business partner after the government stated on numerous occasions that Flynn was a cooperating witness.
United States at this point has not presented or proffered evidence to sufficient to establish by a preponderance of the evidence a conspiracy, Judge Trenga
Trenga issued the 38-page scathing opinion in the late afternoon Tuesday that the “United States at this point has not presented or proffered evidence to sufficient to establish by a preponderance of the evidence a conspiracy for the purposes of admitting against the Defendant the hearsay statements of alleged co-conspirators.”
Trenga goes on to argue that “Notably absent from the government’s proffer is any evidence from Michael Flynn, who, as discussed above, has admitted that he made certain false statements in the FARA filing that was the object of one of the charged conspiracy and has entered into a cooperation agreement with the United States that extends to this prosecution.”
Earlier on Tuesday this news site first reported that Flynn’s current defense Attorney Sidney Powell, who recently replaced Flynn’s former defense attorney Robert Kelner, submitted a filing to the Eastern District of Virginia fighting the government’s proposal to ask the Court to deem Flynn a “co-conspirator” in the case against his former partner Bijan Rafiekian. The designation was solely for the purpose of obtaining the admission of one document the government itself claims is already admissible under a different rule, according to a brief filed by Powell.
Flynn specifically hired Kelner, as well as his firm, precisely because they were experts in the Foreign Agents Registration Act applications and worked with the firm to file the FARA.
Powell told this reporter on Tuesday that “General Flynn followed the law and hired the FARA expert.”
“The government is seeking to admit one document as ‘coconspirator hearsay’ even though it is otherwise admissible,” she said. “General Flynn is still cooperating with the government even if they don’t call him as a witness. his testimony has been truthful and consistent.”
Flynn, who has been cooperating with the government throughout its investigation, has given hundreds of hours of interviews and information at great personal expense in time, travel and attorneys fees. Still, the government prosecutor, Evan Turgeon, was not satisfied, according to the defense filing. So much so, that the prosecutors re-interviewed Flynn’s former attorney Kelner about the FARA filing.
“The prosecutors have been adamant that Mr. Flynn testify that he authorized the filing of the FARA form knowing and intending that it contained false statements,” the defense filing states. “Mr. Flynn cannot give that testimony because it is not true.”
Powell’s brief was unsealed early Tuesday afternoon.
The evidence collected by Flynn’s legal team sheds new light on the extraordinary tactics used to target and retaliate against Flynn, according to Powell’s briefing.
Further, Powell’s submission to the court also reveals that Flynn and his attorneys were under extreme pressure to file a Foreign Agents Registration Act in February, 2017 by David Laufman, the former head of the National Security Division.