One of special counsel Robert Mueller’s former prosecutors, Brandon Van Grack, argued in a Wednesday filing that the case against Michael Flynn should not be dismissed in light of “egregious government misconduct,” because the FBI’s extensive FISA abuse uncovered by the DOJ’s Inspector General “have no relevance to his false statements to the FBI on January 24, 2017.”
“Beyond failing to identify misconduct that satisfies the legal test cited in his own brief — that the misconduct be ‘so grossly shocking and so outrageous as to violate the universal sense of justice’ — the defendant fails to identify any government misconduct in this case,” Van Grack continues.
JUST IN: Prosecutor Brandon Van Grack makes a new filing in the FLYNN case, arguing that the IG’s findings of FBI FISA problems has no bearing on Flynn’s effort to throw out his guilty plea for lying to the FBI. pic.twitter.com/w1V2MpNJyJ
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) February 12, 2020
Except – Flynn attorney Sidney Powell says the FBI excluded crucial information from his ‘302’ form – the original draft of which stated that Flynn was honest with the FBI agents who interviewed him (one of whom was Peter Strzok).
The prosecution filing also argues that a slew of failures that the Justice Department’s inspector general found in the FBI’s handling of surveillance applications merit serious attention but that the faults involved Carter Page, a Trump 2016 foreign policy adviser, and not Flynn.
“The government does not dispute the seriousness of the ‘significant errors and omissions’ described in the Report,” Van Grack wrote. “But the compliance and diligence failures and ‘significant errors’ as they relate to the Page FISA applications do not warrant or necessitate the dismissal of the charge against the defendant.” –Politico
In short – failings by the the same cabal within the FBI that handled the Clinton email investigation, the Trump investigation, and the offshoot investigations (Flynn, Stone, etc.) – don’t matter.
Flynn pleaded guilty in late 2017 to one felony charge of making false statements to the FBI during an impromptu interview held four days after Trump’s inauguration – which Flynn had no idea was an interview. He admitted misleading agents over contacts with the then-Russian ambassador regarding the Trump administration’s efforts to oppose a UN resolution related to Israel – as well as false statements to the DOJ about a lobbying project related to Turkey.
In 2019, however, Flynn switched lawyers – which was followed by allegations that his former lawyers had mishandled the case.
Flynn’s new lawyers, led by Sidney Powell, a frequent Mueller critic, urged senior officials like Attorney General William Barr to review the case against Flynn and abandon it. It’s unclear what action, if any, was taken on that request.
Powell also asked the judge overseeing Flynn’s case, U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan, to grant access to almost 50 categories of information that the defense said could illuminate the unfairness of Flynn’s prosecution. Sullivan rejected that demand in December in a blistering opinion.
“The Court summarily disposes of Mr. Flynn’s arguments that the FBI conducted an ambush interview for the purpose of trapping him into making false statements and that the government pressured him to enter a guilty plea,” Sullivan wrote then. “The record proves otherwise.” –Politico
Last month, Flynn asked the court to withdraw his guilty plea, arguing that he was tricked into filing it under pressure from prosecutors.
Incredible. Both AG Barr and Durham have suggested that the underlying predicate that led to the targeting of Flynn is suspect and yet DOJ still defends and excuses this corruption? https://t.co/7xk200W9cN
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) February 12, 2020
Federal prosecutors have not fully responded to that motion.