Having followed Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn’s perjury case from the beginning, it’s been apparent to me for some time that there are a lot of things in this case that just don’t add up. Strange occurrences abound.
Here are just some of the twists and turns in the case, which has gone on for more than three years.
- Flynn’s trip to Russia in 2015, where it was claimed Flynn went without the knowledge or approval of the DIA or anyone in Washington, was proven not to be true.
- Flynn was suspected of being compromised by a supposed Russian agent, Cambridge academic Svetlana Lokhova, based on allegations from Western intelligence asset Stefan Halper. This was also proven to be not true.
- Flynn’s phone calls with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak were framed as being incredibly shady and a potential violation of the Logan Act. This allegation was always preposterous.
- Unnamed intelligence officials leaked the details of the Flynn-Kislyak phone calls to The Washington Post.
- FBI agents Peter Strzok and Joseph Pientka were dispatched by Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe to interview Flynn at the White House, even though the FBI had already reviewed the transcripts of the calls and cleared Flynn of any crimes.
- Both FBI Director James Comey and McCabe testified to Congress that Flynn didn’t lie.
- Despite what McCabe and Comey both testified to under oath before Congress, the Mueller special counsel’s office decided to prosecute Flynn for perjury in November of 2017.
- The very strange post-dated FD-302 form on the FBI’s January 2017 interview of Flynn that wasn’t filled out until August 2017, almost seven months afterward, is revealed in a court filing by Flynn’s defense team.
- FBI agent Pientka became the “DOJ’s Invisible Man,” despite the fact that Congress has repeatedly called for him to testify. Pientka has remained out of sight and out of mind more than a year and a half since his name first surfaced in connection with the Flynn case.
- Judge Rudolph Contreras was removed from the Flynn case immediately after accepting Flynn’s guilty plea and was replaced by Judge Emmit Sullivan.
- Sullivan issued what’s known as a Brady order to prosecutors–which ordered them to immediately turn over any exculpatory evidence to Flynn’s defense team. Flynn’s team then made a filing alleging the withholding of exculpatory evidence.
- Flynn was given a chance to withdraw his guilty plea by Judge Sullivan but refused, and insisted to go forward with sentencing.
- Flynn suddenly fired his lawyers for the past two years and hired Sidney Powell to lead his new legal team following special counsel Robert Mueller’s disastrous testimony to Congress. And now, the latest startling development:
- Flynn filed to have the Mueller prosecution team replaced for having withheld exculpatory evidence, despite Sullivan having directly ordered them to hand any such evidence over months ago.
Now, it’s not that far-fetched of an idea that the Mueller special counsel prosecutors would hide exculpatory evidence from the Flynn defense team, since they’ve just admitted to having done exactly that in another case their office has been prosecuting.
The defense team for Internet Research Agency/Concord, more popularly known as “the Russian troll farm case,” hasn’t been smooth going for the Mueller prosecutors.
First, the prosecution team got a real tongue-lashing from Judge Dabney L. Friedrich in early July, when it turned out they had no evidence whatsoever to prove their assertion that the Russian troll farms were being run by the Putin government.
Then, in a filing submitted to the court on Aug. 30, the IRA/Concord defense team alerted Judge Friedrich that the prosecutors just got around to handing them key evidence the prosecutors had for the past 18 months. The prosecution gave no explanation whatsoever as to why they hid this key evidence for more than a year.
It’s hard to see at this point how the entire IRA/Concord case isn’t tossed out.
What would it mean for Flynn’s prosecutors to have been caught hiding exculpatory evidence from him and his lawyers, even after the presiding judge explicitly ordered them in February to hand over everything they had?
It would mean that the Flynn case is tossed out, since the prosecution team was caught engaging in gross misconduct.
Now you can see why Flynn refused to withdraw his guilty plea when Judge Sullivan gave him the opportunity to do so in late December 2018.
A withdrawal of the guilty plea or a pardon would let the Mueller prosecution team off the hook.
And they’re not getting off the hook.
Flynn hired the best lawyer he possibly could have when it comes to exposing prosecutorial misconduct. Nobody knows the crafty, corrupt, and dishonest tricks federal prosecutors use better than Powell, who actually wrote a compelling book about such matters, entitled “License to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice.”
Everything this Mueller prosecution team did in withholding exculpatory evidence from Flynn’s defense team—and continued to withhold even after Judge Sullivan specifically issued an order about it—is going to be fully exposed.
Defying a federal judge’s Brady order is a one-way ticket to not only getting fired, it’s a serious enough offense to warrant disbarment and prosecution.
If it turns out Mueller special counsel prosecutors withheld exculpatory evidence— not only in the IRA/Concord case, but also in the cases against Flynn, Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, Rick Gates, Roger Stone, and others—that will have a huge impact.
If they are willing to withhold exculpatory evidence in one case, why wouldn’t they do the same thing in other cases they were prosecuting? Haven’t they have already demonstrated they are willing to break the rules?
Brian Cates is a writer based in South Texas and author of “Nobody Asked For My Opinion … But Here It Is Anyway!” He can be reached on Twitter @drawandstrike.