Judge Postpones Flynn Sentencing . . . Again

The Justice Department has secured yet another postponement of sentencing for former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Even though the Justice Department recently dropped its demand for jail time, it appears to be continuing its scorched Earth campaign against Flynn. It is demanding that Flynn waive attorney-client privilege with his prior law firm to allow them to explore his claims of ineffective counsel. Given the dropping of a demand for jail time, the requested additional delay seems gratuitous and retaliatory. Nevertheless, Judge Emmet Sullivan granted the indefinite postponement.

The Flynn case remains a troubling matter for those who have followed the Russian investigation. He pleaded guilty to a false statement that seems relatively minor in comparison to false statements made by Justice officials like Andrew McCabe or leaks by figures like James Comey. Some of us have questioned the case for years. Prosecutors threatened to go after Flynn’s son and to bankrupt him if he continuing to assert his innocence. 

Flynn broke with his prior lawyers and accused them of giving him poor advice. He now maintains that he did not lie to two FBI agents in 2017. His recent filings slam the process and the charges. He wrote “One of the ways a person becomes a 3-star general is by being a good soldier, taking orders, being part of a team, and trusting the people who provide information and support. Lori and I trusted Mr. Kelner and Mr. Anthony to guide us through the most stressful experience in our lives, in a completely incomprehensible situation. I have never felt more powerless.”

The extreme demands and delays in the case is at odds with the light sentences received by individuals sentenced as part of the Russian investigation. He was also the subject of a bizarre hearing with Judge Emmet Sullivan where he was accused of things outside of his charges or the record.

Flynn was ready to be sentenced but, because he raised ineffective counsel, the Justice Department wants to speak with his former counsel at Covington & Burling:

“The government requests that the Court suspend the current briefing schedule concerning the defendant’s [motion] until such time as the government has been able to confer with Covington regarding the information it seeks . . . While Covington has indicated a willingness to comply with this request, it has understandably declined to do so in the absence of a Court order confirming the waiver of attorney-client privilege.”

Judge Sullivan has already rejected Flynn’s claim that he was coerced into his plea agreement. Now Flynn is being left to twist in the wind after years of financially and emotionally draining litigation. It is hard to look that this case and not conclude that the Justice Department wants to hoist Flynn like a wretch for all to see. The message seems to be, if you try to rescind a plea agreement, you will be left to die from exposure of years of punishing trial and appellate practice.

66 thoughts on “Judge Postpones Flynn Sentencing . . . Again”

  1. https://www.politico.com/story/2019/07/23/trump-adviser-bijan-rafiekian-convicted-1428176
    By contesting the plea of lying to the FBI as part of the plea bargain reached with the Special Counsel, doesn’t that unravel the plea deal and make Flynn vulnerable to the FARA violations and other charges?
    ( The presiding judge overturned the jury’s conviction in the Bijan Rafiekian case; that was done about two months after he was found guilty.
    I don’t know if the prosecution will retry him).
    It looked like Flynn was to receive a light sentence for the charge he pled guilty to, but if prosecutors go after him for the same kind of charges that Rafiekian was (originally) convicted of, it looks like a risky strategy.

  2. Anyone who has read the dockets or Marcy Wheeler’s closely read analysis over the years can see the fatuousness of the professor’s take.

    1. You don’t have to look very far to see these kinds of comments, Margot.
      Or to find even more inane comments that are far more insulting; they are plentiful.
      Pointing out the ” fatuousness” every now and then of people like “Terry the Censor” isn’t a bad idea.

  3. Why does this postponement have the look and feel of Barr’s hands all over this? Oh, that’s right, this President can do anything he wants. And Barr is the guy to do it.

    1. Gen. Flynn was fired in early 2017, and I think he pled guilty to lying to the FBI later on 2017 as part of a plea bargain deal.
      He was reported to be working with the Mueller investigation, and that seemed to be one reason why sentencing was postponed.
      Cooperation with the Special Counsel was likely to get him a lighter sentence.
      Since the plea bargain deal there have been a number of postponements of sentencing Flynn.
      It looks like the most recent series of postponements have to do with Flynn sacking his lawyers and withdrawing ( or trying to withdraw) his guilty plea.

        1. The DOJ is now recommending prison time for Flynn since his attempts to withdraw his guilty plea.
          I don’t know who the prosecutor is who is handling the Flynn case, but it doesn’t sound like Barr is interceding to get Flynn off the hook.

          1. I re-read the column and the part where Prof. Turley wrote that the Justice Dept .has now dropped the demand for jail time.

    2. I don’t think Trump wants Flynn persecuted. Mueller does. So your statement doesn’t make sense.

  4. Those on the left like to fixate on motives rather than Acts.

    If Motive as all that is nececary – Flynn should have been exonerated long ago.

    There is little doubt of the motives and personal animosity of those going after him.
    McCabe in particular had an axe to grind because Flynn provided an affidavit in support of an FBI agent who reported McCabe for sexual harrasment.

    And the Entire Obama Administration and holdovers were after him because he was going to clean house in the IC and because he was vigorously opposed to the Obama policies on Iran.

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