Michael Flynn will prove that he never did lie to the FBI if it’s the last thing he does! Sure they’ve got him on tape talking to the Russian ambassador about sanctions, then denying it when asked by those mean FBI agents. Yes, he did admit to it in his plea deal two years ago. And, okay, fine, he also allocuted to it under oath. TWICE.
But that was all because those rascals at his former law firm, a little mom-and-pop shop called Covington & Burling, gave him bad advice. So now he’d like to withdraw his plea based on ineffective assistance of counsel. And if that doesn’t work, maybe he’ll plead insanity.
On Friday, Flynn and the government filed a joint stipulation in which Flynn agreed to waive attorney-client privilege and allow prosecutors to interview Covington about Flynn’s ineffective counsel claims. It should be noted that U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan has gotten a mite tetchy in the past when Flynn tried to deflect blame onto other people. But this time will be different, according to his new lawyer Sidney Powell, the only person in America who tweets more than Donald Trump.
If Flynn actually succeeds in withdrawing this plea, prosecutors will be free to use all of his statements to the FBI, including his proffer sessions, against him. And, although he wasn’t formally charged with it, Flynn admitted to violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act by failing to register his work for the Turkish government, both in his plea agreement and in testimony to the grand jury. Taken in this light, waiving the privilege and going to war with his former lawyers is probably not the dumbest thing Flynn’s ever done. But it ain’t exactly smart.
Those Covington guys gotta be shakin’ in their white shoes. Or maybe … not.
U.S. v. Flynn, Joint Notice of Filing [No. 1:17-cr-00232-1 (D.D.C. Mar 6, 2020)]
Elizabeth Dye lives in Baltimore where she writes about law and politics.
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