Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s attorney called for the judge overseeing the case to recuse himself Fox News reported. The request came during a hearing on Tuesday.
Sidney Powell, who is representing Flynn, accused U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan of showing “abject bias” in his decisions on the case including refusing the Department of Justice’s request to dismiss all charges against Flynn.
Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general, plead guilty to 2 counts of lying to the FBI concerning his contacts with Russia’s then-ambassador to the United States Sergei Kislyak before Donald Trump assumed the presidency. General Flynn was charged as part of the Robert Mueller investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Federal prosecutors filed to dismiss the case against Flynn back in May after FBI records brought into question the propriety of the initial investigation into Flynn. Judge Sullivan chose instead to ignore the DOJ’s request and instead appointed a retired judge, John Gleeson, as an amicus curiae, or friend of the court, to argue against the DOJ’s request.
During Tuesday’s proceedings, Powell revealed that she had spoken with President Trump only once since becoming Flynn’s lawyer. “I asked him not to issue a pardon and gave him the general update,” Powell said, according to the New York Daily News.
Powell also revealed that she had written a letter to Attorney General William Barr and Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen back in June of 2019 accusing the FBI of entrapment of Flynn and asking the Justice Department to appoint new prosecutors in the case.
Kenneth C. Cole, a prosecutor in the Washington, D.C. Attorney’s office said the DOJ’s decision to drop the case against Flynn was correct. “It was the right call for the right reasons,” he said. He pointed out the lack of credibility of potential government witnesses Andrew McCabe, former Deputy Director of the FBI, and former FBI agent Peter Strzok. Both McCabe and Strzok have been cited for improper behavior by the Inspector General of the Department of Justice and were relieved of their duties.
Kohl also vehemently denied any improper political interference from A.G. Barr in the matter. “I’ve never seen it in my entire career in our office and it didn’t happen here,” Kohl said.
Tuesday’s hearing was limited to only certain issues involving the Flynn case. “The issues the court will focus on this morning and hear from counsel are as follows,” Sullivan said during the proceeding. “Whether the court has the discretion to review both opposed and unopposed 48(a)motions for prosecutorial abuse, and whether this court should deny the government leave to dismiss the pending charge against Mr. Flynn.”
The Justice Department asserted that the charges against Flynn should be dismissed because “there isn’t a case” to be made against Flynn.
Flynn was originally going to be sentenced in December of 2018, but the sentencing was postponed by Sullivan to give Flynn time to provide evidence to the government in an unrelated criminal matter. Flynn later changed his legal team and sought to retract his guilty plea.
It is unknown exactly when Sullivan will rule on the defense’s motions.