Michael Flynn Bargains Self Up From 'Zero Jail' To Possible Six-Month Sentence
Congratulations to Michael Flynn's nutbag lawyer Sidney Powell on a flawless victory! In December of 2018, federal prosecutors asked for zero jail time for her client. Then the former national security adviser fired his white shoe law firm, hired himself a fancy teevee lawyer who sells T-shirts on her website, and like magic the feds are now recommending he spend up to six months in the pokey. Well-played, everyone!
In December 2017, Gen. Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the FBI about his conversations with the former Russian ambassador. He acknowledged his guilt twice, under oath, in open court. As part of the plea, Flynn gave up any right to further exculpatory evidence and promised to help the Justice Department prosecute his former colleague Bijan Rafiekian for unregistered lobbying on behalf of the Turkish government. So when it came time for him to be sentenced a year ago, prosecutors were willing to overlook all the sniveling bullshit in his pleading about being framed by the mean old FBI.
Judge Emmet Sullivan was not willing to overlook it, however. In fact, he was furious that Michael Flynn, a man who spent decades in the military and held one of the highest offices in the land, would come into his court and try to pull some shit about not knowing it's bad to lie to the FBI. His Honor made it very clear that Michael Flynn was going to spend a whole lotta time in the hoosegow if he didn't go back and cooperate a whole lot more with prosecutors. Crystal clear. Pellucid.
So what did Michael Flynn do?
Oh, just the exact opposite of that. He fired his competent attorneys, hired Sidney "Emoji Warcrime" Powell, withdrew his cooperation in the Rafiekian prosecution, plastered the Justice Department with accusatory briefs demanding a terabyte of what they insisted was exculpatory evidence, and sent a secret, ex parte letter to Attorney General Bill Barr asking that he lean on prosecutors to dismiss the case. And then Flynn actively hindered the Rafiekian prosecution by moving to have his own emails excluded from the evidence. Which was probably a tactical error if the longterm goal was to keep his own sorry ass out of jail. Because now the prosecutors are PISSED.
Given the serious nature of the defendant's offense, his apparent failure to accept responsibility, his failure to complete his cooperation in – and his affirmative efforts to undermine – the prosecution of Bijan Rafiekian, and the need to promote respect for the law and adequately deter such criminal conduct, the government recommends that the court sentence the defendant within the applicable Guidelines range of 0 to 6 months of incarceration.
And remember that time Judge Sullivan lost his shit and made Flynn say I AM A VERY BAD, GUILTY BOY over and over in court? The government would like that to happen again at the upcoming sentencing hearing on January 28.
Based on the defendant's conduct since the time of the December 18, 2018, sentencing hearing, the government also does not believe the defendant should receive credit for acceptance of responsibility. Indeed, the government has reason to believe, through representations by the defendant's counsel, that the defendant has retreated from his acceptance of responsibility in this case regarding his lies to the FBI. For that reason, the government asks this Court to inquire of the defendant as to whether he maintains those apparent statements of innocence or whether he disavows them and fully accepts responsibility for his criminal conduct.
Oooooh, that does sound like fun! Either Flynn can get up on the stand and admit that everything his wacko lawyer has been saying is bullshit, or he can keep insisting that HE WUZ FRAMED and risk getting beaten to death by Judge Sullivan's gavel. Must see TV, whichever way it goes down.
The government is now retracting its recommendation that Flynn get credit for assistance in the Rafiekian case and accepting responsibility, since "Far from accepting the consequences of his unlawful actions, he has sought to blame almost every other person and entity involved in his case, including his former counsel." And the multiple references to Flynn's "new counsel" make it perfectly clear whom the government blames for Flynn's disastrous change in legal strategy. They're even arguing that his military service exacerbates rather than mitigates the crime, as "that extensive record and government service, at the highest levels of the national security apparatus, and his 'many years' of working with the FBI, should have made him particularly aware of the harm caused by providing false statements to the government."
Slow clap for the General, who should have taken that plea agreement a year ago and said THANK YOU, MISTER MUELLER! He may still get a pardon from Donald Trump, although we note that Paul Manafort is still waiting to cash that particular check.
LOCK HIM UP.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.