Michael Flynn Is A Very Serious Person With A Very Serious Lawyer
It is so hard to figure out what Michael Flynn is angling for these days. (A pardon.) And it's super hard to suss out exactly what his new batshit Fox News lawyer Sidney Powell is trying to accomplish, as she throws bullshit in the judge's direction about how HE WUZ FRAMED and the government has SECRET DOCUMENTZ that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that HE WUZ FRAMED. (She wants to throw as much Deep State bullshit at the wall as she possibly can, possibly because she actually believes the stuff, which is scary, but most certainly because she wants to influence public opinion to create space for Flynn to get a pardon, because he was just so unfairly treated.)
Michael Flynn, who spent decades in the military and literal WEEKS as Trump's national security advisor, lied to the FBI. That is what he is being sentenced for. Of course, wrapped up in there is alllllll his literal actual foreign agent work, which he was secretly doing while he was advising Trump's campaign and as national security advisor, and which he had to plead to in order to get his sweetheart cooperation agreement with Robert Mueller's team. All of this has been established. All of this has been admitted to, in court, by a man named Michael Flynn!
So of course the Flynn hearing on Tuesday was totally normal and very legal and very cool, and exactly what you'd expect. Rachel Maddow read from the transcript, like she does. (Thanks, Maddow graphics team, as usual! Wonkette will send you a gift card ... sometime!)
Here is Sidney Powell telling Judge Emmet Sullivan about how Michael Flynn is innocent, she just knows it, even though he already pleaded guilty.
EGREGIOUS GOVERNMENT MISCONDUCT! WILL EXONERATE FLYNN IN ANY NUMBER OF WAYS!
So ... they're pulling the plea? Nah. Probably. Probably nah, said Sidney Powell, who sells these really cool rObErT mUelLer iS A cRoOk t-shirts on her website, as all serious lawyers do.
We guess once Sidney Powell pulls the smoking gun out of the fever dream whereupon she first saw it, the judge will cancel the entire Mueller investigation retroactively and add several years to Trump's first term as an "I'm sorry" gift. Sure thing!
BuzzFeed's Zoe Tillman was in the courtroom and pulled more nuggets of deliciousness from this very serious lawyer and her very serious client being very serious. Tillman notes that the judge set a hearing for October 31 (Halloween! Spooooooooooooooooky!) so Powell can prove that the government is hiding all kinds of secrets that somehow say Michael Flynn The Literal Actual Foreign Agent did not lie to those FBI agents about talking about lifting sanctions with the Russian ambassador. At issue is that Powell claims the feds are withholding what's known as "Brady" material, or in other words, exculpatory evidence.
Back to the Maddow graphics:
Judge Sullivan assumes the government will say that yes, they have turned over all the relevant Brady evidence. And Sidney Powell is like "Chuckle-fuckle-dickory-dock, you silly goose! That's what they WANT YOU TO THINK! Show me the IRRELEVANT EVIDENCE!"
Like we said, serious lawyer, serious client.
Sullivan, pissing on Powell's joy:
Sullivan said that any argument about Flynn being entitled to additional evidence would need to be in the context of being "relevant and helpful" during sentencing.
Dammit, foiled again!
Powell replied that "there is far more at stake here than sentencing."
Well of course there is, Sidney! You're fightin' the entire Deep State, aren't ya! Bless your fuckin' heart, just bless it.
So what kind of SERIOUS EVIDENCE is the government allegedly withholding? Well, Zoe Tillman reports that some of it is texts between former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, which show that they didn't like Donald Trump. Not sure what that has to do with Michael Flynn, but obviously in the love language of Sean Hannity and Fox News, it means WITCH HUNT! Also, Tillman reports that prosecutor Brandon Van Grack said in court that Flynn's legal team -- his original one, before he hired BatFarts McNormal -- received all that stuff, and that they got it before Flynn pleaded guilty.
As for other alleged exculpatory evidence, if you travel into the inner asshole of the internet, you will find that Hannity's favorite "reporter" Sara Carter is telling tales of a BOMBSHELL MEMO from January 2017, wherein the Department of Justice allegedly wrote "MICHAEL FLYNN, NO COLLUSION," presumably using one of Trump's Sharpies. In truth, we don't know what the #MyPrecious that Powell is seeking is even really supposed to say, but hell, you read Sara Carter's piece and see if you can decipher that babbling. It's mostly just an idiot shouting about James Comey.
Or you can just read Renato Mariotti's thread debunking Carter's entire dumbfucking blog post if that sounds more fun. Spoiler: It starts with the collective lie that the supposed memo TOTALLY EXONERATES Flynn of NO COLLUSION, when the actual thing he is being charged with is lying to the FBI. Another spoiler: Sara Carter and Sidney Powell are full of it.
Powell officially filed this afternoon for all the secret Brady information the government is definitely hiding. Most of the documents she's demanding have jackshit to do with the case at hand, but it'll play well on Hannity tonight. Deep State! DEEEEP sTtataaaAAAaaaAAaAaatEEEEEEEEEE!!11!!!1!!
One other interesting thing happened in that courtroom yesterday. Last December, in what was supposed to be Flynn's sentencing hearing, prosecutors said Flynn had been a #VeryGoodBoy, and recommended that he serve no jail time. Judge Sullivan disagreed, and repeatedly asked things like "Are you SURE I should not put this man to death for treason?" (Slight paraphrase.) After that Flynn buckled and decided maybe he should cooperate a lot more.
Well now, the prosecutors seem a bit less interested in that whole "no jail time" thing. Got that slide ready for us, Maddow Graphics Department?
The prosecutors will let you know at a later date on how much they'd like Sullivan to LOCK HER UP.
Everything Michael Flynn and Esquire BatFarts are doing right now is going to fall on its ass, but we kinda think that doesn't matter, at least not for their purposes, as they seem to be doing everything they possibly can to amuse the hell out of Judge Emmet Sullivan, who just loves being amused. (He is probably also very amused by how Michael Flynn is telling the House Intelligence Committee's subpoena to fuck off.) It's almost like they want Sullivan to throw the biggest book he can at Flynn, because won't that make it easier for Trump and Fox News to say NO FAIR and drop a pardon on Flynn before he even gets butt-searched at the prison?
Of course, we can scarcely imagine that Judge Emmet Sullivan is too dumb to see what these Clever Cathys are doing right now.
Flynn is scheduled to be sentenced on December 18, which Rachel Maddow notes is the one-year anniversary of his sentencing hearing last year, when Sullivan almost gave Flynn a one-way ticket to hell.
We'll see what happens!
For now, have your OPEN THREAD.
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