This is probably not what Judge Emmet Sullivan meant when he told Michael Flynn to go back and cooperate a whole lot more with federal prosecutors. Last week, Flynn appeared to blow up his carefully negotiated plea deal when he suddenly realized that he'd never known he had been lobbying on behalf of the Turkish government in 2016. And this week he's torpedoing the trial of his former colleague Bijan Rafiekian for conspiracy and violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). It's a bold strategy, Cotton, especially for a guy who already pissed off the Judge by blaming the FBI for letting him lie to their faces. Let's see if it pays off!

Flynn's batshit new Fox News commentator lawyer Sidney Powell has really helped him jog his memory. She's like Ginkgo Biloba for enemies of the Deep State! She helped Flynn remember how he really and truly believed that some random Dutch company was paying him hundreds of thousands of dollars to lobby against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's sworn enemy Fethullah Gülen, a cleric who now lives in Pennsylvania, but whom Erdoğan is convinced tried to coup his government. Totally normal thing for a random Dutch company to pay him to do! Sure, Flynn explicitly admitted to making "materially false statements and omissions" on his FARA filings, which he only submitted retroactively when he realized he was under investigation for telling whoppers to the FBI:

And okay, yes, Flynn did meet with Turkish officials including the minister of foreign affairs in September of 2016. But how was a poor, naive military officer who'd spent his entire adult life in the intel community and held a security clearance to know that his real client was the Turkish government? Who would suspect any funny business from a Dutch company promising millions of dollars to either persuade the American government to extradite Gülen to Turkey, or just throw a bag over the reclusive cleric's head, black helicopter him out of the Poconos where he's lived for years, and fly him to the Turkish prison island Imrali? Any of us could have made this mistake.

All of this -- by which we mean Flynn's new story about how sweet and innocent and naive he actually was about what was really going on -- poses a major problem for federal prosecutors, who had hoped to use Flynn's testimony against his partner Rafiekian, AKA Bijan Kian. Once they'd worked out that Flynn had lost his goddamn mind and decided to tear up his plea deal and blame his lawyers for the false FARA paperwork, the government had to drop him as their star witness against his former colleague. In fact, they're now characterizing him as an unindicted co-conspirator and trying to introduce his prior statements to government investigators at trial instead of putting him on the stand.

So now Kian, who was once a member of the Trump transition team, is deflecting blame onto Flynn, pointing out that the prosecutors themselves have conceded the guy's a lyinass liar who can't be trusted. And to be fair, they do have a point.

Last week, Kian's lawyers referred to the government's admission that it had "multiple, independent pieces of information related to the Turkish efforts to influence United States policy," implying that Flynn was the one with the real connections to the Erdoğan people, not Kian. Monday, in their opening statement, defense lawyers pointed out that their client never signed the FARA declaration -- Flynn did.

Tuesday, the defense will call Flynn's old lawyer Robert Kelner, who can either admit that he himself botched the FARA filing, or say that Flynn knowingly gave him false information. So, Flynn better hope he's getting a pardon from Donald Trump, because blowing up their case against his partner is not going to endear him to prosecutors.

And speaking of people who may be in deep shit with the Deep State, guess who else's name is on the witness list? Why it's Flynn's dumbass son Pizzagate Junior! Because every day was Take Your Worthless Spawn to Work Day, so the kid sat in on a bunch of Pop's negotiations with his Turkish connections.

We sure hope QAnon doesn't force that boy to "LIE" on the stand and give the government more leverage over his dad! That would be just terrible!


[Daily Beast / Courthouse News / CNN]

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Liz Dye

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.


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