Michael Flynn seeks total exoneration, not pardon, says his attorney
Sidney Powell says case could 'be over in a week' once 'altered 302' examined in DOJ review
Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn’s lawyer, Sidney Powell, told Just the News this week that she is seeking total exoneration of her client from the Department of Justice in a case that has dragged on for years.
“We don't want a pardon," she told the site's CEO John Solomon for his podcast John Solomon Reports. "We want an exoneration."
While emphasizing that her client wouldn’t dismiss the idea of accepting a pardon, Powell made clear that she and Flynn have set their sights higher.
“We want this case dismissed in the interest of justice,” she said.
Flynn, National Security Adviser for a brief time in the early weeks of the Trump presidency, pleaded guilty in 2017 to making false statements to FBI agents about his contacts with Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak in December 2016, during the presidential transition following Donald Trump's election.
In January, Powell filed a motion to withdraw Flynn's plea, which she contends was submitted on the advice of counsel who were “laboring under a severe conflict of interest” due to their previous representation of Flynn when he registered as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
Earlier this month, Attorney General William Barr appointed Jeff Jensen, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, to review the government's conduct in the Flynn prosecution.
Powell is urging Jensen to demand to see the FBI’s original report of its interview with Flynn. The attorney says the FBI has stonewalled her requests to review the report, known as a 302, which she believes would serve as exculpatory evidence for her client.
“They’re required to give us anything that’s favorable to the defense, and obviously they haven’t given us that for two years,” said Powell. “That alone would require dismissal of the case, for suppression of evidence.”
Powell believes the original 302 was likely altered by Peter Strzok and Lisa Page and is being hidden to cover up “egregious government misconduct.”
Strzok, former counterespionage chief at the FBI, and former FBI lawyer Page were both removed from the Mueller investigation for anti-Trump bias revealed in a series of text messages the pair exchanged while deeply involved in the bureau's investigations into both Hillary Clinton's private email server and Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
“You can’t look at the altered 302 and the agents’ notes and not realize that they inserted things in there that weren’t there before,” said Powell, author of Licensed to Lie, a book exposing overzealous federal prosecutors.
Once Jensen is able to review the original 302 report, Powell sees no reason why the case couldn’t be over within a week.
According to Powell, Flynn, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency under former President Obama, was too great a threat to corrupt government officials for the FBI to allow him to remain in place as a close adviser to President Trump. His knowledge of “who the bad actors are,” combined with an eagerness to clean up a dysfunctional intelligence community, left him with a giant target on his back.
In building a defense of Flynn in a series of court motions, Powell has emphasized that fired former FBI Director James Comey bragged about concocting a scenario in which the FBI surprised Flynn, without his lawyers present, in what she calls a "pathetic and disgusting" attempt to ensnare him in a perjury trap.
“There was a group of about 10 people in the FBI," she said, "who met regularly and schemed and planned in multiple meetings how to catch him off guard, keep him off guard, keep him relaxed, so that he did not even know he was the subject of an interview, much less that he was being investigated, or, you know, warned of his rights.”
Making the case that her client has been not the perpetrator, but rather the victim of multiple crimes committed by government agents, Powell is adamant that the first step toward justice would be for Jensen to expose the facts of the investigation and then dismiss the case against General Flynn. Anything less, she says, would be “disgraceful.”