Embattled Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn has hired well known defense attorney Sidney Powell to represent him before his sentencing hearing in Washington D.C.’s federal court. Flynn, who fired his attorneys last week, will still fully cooperate with the government in all cases pending, Powell told SaraACarter.com.
Flynn’s former legal counsel Robert Kelner and Stephen Anthony offered no explanation for their abrupt dismissal telling SaraACarter.com they “decline to comment.”
“He is and will continue to cooperate with the government in all aspects,” Powell told SaraACarter.com. “He and his family truly appreciate all the cards and letters of support from countless people and the contributions to the defense fund which are even more important now.”
Powell noted that Flynn’s case file, “is massive” and “it will take me at least 90 days to review it.”
Kelner and Anthony submitted a two-page motion last week to the federal judge. Flynn’s sentencing will be based on his 2017 guilty plea to special counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecutors for one count of lying to the FBI.
The guilty plea has been a source of contention in news reports, after evidence and testimony surfaced that the FBI special agents that interviewed Flynn in January, 2017 didn’t believe he was lying. Both former FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok and FBI Special Agent Joe Pientka interviewed Flynn about his phone conversation with then Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak. The interview was conducted just as Flynn began his then role as National Security Advisor for Trump.
Former FBI Director James Comey joked about the bureau’s interview with Flynn. Comey said in an interview that he used tactics he would not ordinarily use because the then fledgling Trump administration was unorganized at the beginning. Basically, he and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe discouraged Flynn from asking White House general counsel to sit in on the interview. Flynn, according to several source with knowledge, had no idea he was being targeted by the FBI for an investigation.
“I sent them. Something we’ve, I probably wouldn’t have done or maybe gotten away with in a more organized…administration,” Comey said. Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe made a similar statement regarding Flynn, which was uncovered by congressional investigators.
Flynn’s attorneys said in the filing that they had been notified “he is terminating Covington & Burling LLP as his counsel and has already retained new counsel for this matter.”
Powell is the author of the national best seller and tell-all book Licensed To Lie, which exposed the corruption within the justice system. The book is based on the case Powell won against prosecutor Andrew Weissmann, when he was deputy and later director of the Enron Task Force.
Weissmann served as Mueller’s second in command for the special counsel investigation into the Trump campaign, despite the fact that his tactics have been highly criticized by both judges and colleagues. He was called unscrupulous and has had several significant issues raised about how he operated during the Mueller inquiry into Trump campaign officials, including Flynn.
He prosecuted the accounting firm Arthur Andersen LLP, which ended in the collapse of the firm and 85,000 jobs lost world wide. Maureen Mahoney took the case to the Supreme Court, and Powell consulted. Mahoney overturned Weissmann’s conviction and the decision was reversed unanimously by the court.
Powell has openly stated in columns and on cable networks that Weissmann’s dirty tactics of withholding exculpatory evidence and threatening witnesses to garner prosecutions should have had him disbarred long ago.
While Flynn may still be planning to cooperate with prosecutors, his choice of Powell suggests he may be taking a more combative posture as he waits to be sentenced. Powell, who has had appearances on Fox News, has been highly critical of special counsel Robert Mueller and the other Justice Department officials involved in the Russia investigation.
“I’d bet he will realize later he needs new lawyers,” she tweeted in March.
Legal experts have said it would be “suicidal” for Flynn to escalate any attacks on the FBI while he awaits his sentence. Yet he has hired a lawyer who has done just that, in punditry on Twitter and on television.
As recently as this month, she called Mueller “divisive” and said he shouldn’t have been appointed.
In February, she claimed that the “entire Russia collusion narrative was made up” and that “the FBI and the intelligence community and the Department of Justice began an investigation against four American citizens simply because they worked for the opposition political candidate, that being Donald Trump.
Her anti-Mueller punditry once was touted by Trump on Twitter.
Her website calls the tweet an “endorsement.”
Her commentary has focused specifically on Flynn’s case and claims that he did not commit the crimes he pleaded guilty to.
“Like many others, including a disproportionate number of young minority men who have no resources whatsoever, that does not mean that he did anything wrong,” she wrote in December. “All it means is that he – like so many others – saw no other way out.”
She also called Flynn “the quintessential example of why the innocent plead guilty” and last year, she recommended that Flynn withdraw his guilty plea.
Powell is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, an obscure right-wing foreign policy think tank founded by the late Herbert London, a former president of the Hudson Institute and father of the stylist and television personality Stacy London.
The London Center fellows and its founder, the Daily Beast reported in 2017, “call for a foreign policy stance somewhere between the neoconservative interventionist tendencies of the Bush administration and non-interventionist backlash to that led by Rand Paul and others.”
Powell describes herself on her website as “a former partner in a large regional firm” who has served as “lead counsel in more than 500 appeals” in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. She received her law degree from University of North Carolina School of Law – Chapel Hill, and worked as a federal prosecutor in the late 1970s and 1980s in Virginia and Texas.
Her biography touts her work on a $3 billion national class action against Fibreboard Corporation as well as representation of “judges, lawyers, and a prominent Merril [sic] Lynch executive in the Enron litigation.”
She recently was also involved briefly on the Steve Stockman case, where the former Texas congressman was convicted for his misuse of funds donated to non-profits he oversaw for personal and campaign-related purposes. Powell represented Stockman pro-bono after his conviction as he sought his release from prison while his appeal was pending.
Powell claimed that it was “highly likely” that the Justice Department “targeted former Congressman Stockman and have been extremely and unreasonably harsh toward him because he was so outspoken in trying to hold Lois Lerner, the Clintons, and Obama accountable.”