UPDATE: U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan removed Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn’s Dec. 18, sentencing hearing from the schedule Wednesday morning based on the joint motion submitted by the prosecutors and the defense late Tuesday night.
A joint motion submitted late Tuesday night by prosecutors and defense in the case of former National Security Advisor Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn requested that the court suspend Flynn’s upcoming sentencing hearing. The joint motion’s reasoning cited the completion of Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on the bureau’s probe into President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia, as well as an expected ruling by the court on Flynn’s attorney’s request for exculpatory evidence.
Last month, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, who is presiding over former National Security Adviser Flynn’s case, canceled the hearing. Sullivan cited Powell’s motion, which accused the government of a litany of misconduct allegations. She is seeking exculpatory evidence that she contends the government is withholding in Flynn’s case. The hearing last month had been scheduled for Nov. 7.
The court had rescheduled the sentencing hearing for Flynn on Dec. 18 but the joint motion requests that the sentencing be vacated.
U.S. Prosecutor Jessie K. Liu noted in Tuesday’s late night filing “the Court had not yet issued its ruling on the defendant’s Motion to Compel. Both parties share the Court’s goal to move this case along expeditiously.” Liu said in the motion that Horowitz’s report, which is expected to be made public on Dec. 9, may contain information pertinent to Flynn’s case.
“The parties nonetheless believe that their sentencing submissions will be incomplete if they are filed prior to the Court’s issuance of its ruling on the Motion to Compel,” prosecutors stated. “Additionally, the parties note that the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is conducting an Examination of the Department’s and the FBI’s Compliance with Legal Requirements and Policies in Applications Filed with the US. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Relating to a certain US. Person. The parties expect that the report of this investigation will examine topics related to several matters raised by the defendant. As widely reported by the media, that report is expected to issue in the next several weeks.”
“For these reasons, the parties respectfully request that the Court suspend the currently scheduled dates for briefing and sentencing until further order of the Court,” Liu added.
The new move by prosecutors is significant, said Flynn’s defense attorney Sidney Powell. She told SaraACarter.com that “it is the only thing for the government to do–short of producing the information we have requested or dismissing the case on it’s own motion.”
“This gives us time to digest the pending IG Report and the thousand plus pages of facts it contains,” said Powell. “Clearly, we will have additional motions to file upon receipt of Judge Sullivan’s order and additional evidence.”
Sullivan had cancelled the scheduled hearing in October, after Powell had filed a brief in response to federal prosecutors that claimed they had already given the defense team all the evidence that was required under the law. Her explosive response was made public last month with minimal redactions.
Powell told this reporter in October that the “defense looks forward to reading Judge Sullivan’s order because the government has obviously been hiding evidence.”
The brief contained information that FBI officials may have altered their 302 report of Flynn’s first interview with them at the White House on Jan. 24, 2017, as reported. The interview was conducted by now fired FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok, whose texts messages later revealed he was vehemently anti-Trump and current FBI Special Agent Joe Pientka, who has never spoken publicly on the matter. In December, 2017 this reporter revealed that it was Strzok who had interviewed Flynn and that the interview itself was a set-up.
Powell noted that “on February 10, 2017, the news broke—attributed to ‘senior intelligence officials’—that Mr. Flynn had discussed sanctions with Ambassador Kislyak, contrary to what Vice President Pence had said on television previously.”
Then, according to documents, “overnight, the most important substantive changes were made to the Flynn 302.”