Flynn and Feds Divided Over Sentencing Readiness

WASHINGTON (CN) — After clocking in more than 100 hours with the disgraced national-security adviser, the Justice Department told a federal judge Friday that Michael Flynn is ready for sentencing.

President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn and his wife, Lori Andrade, arrive at federal court in Washington on Dec. 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Though prosecutors offered their analysis in a joint status report, the 5-page filing includes a wholly different proposal from Flynn’s new legal team.

Arguing the former general has “cooperated extensively,” attorneys Sidney Powell and Jesse Binnall pushed in their section of the report for a slowed-down pace and access to classified documents.

“There is other information relevant to the defense that is either classified or being suppressed by the government, not the least of which are the transcripts and recordings of the phone calls that supposedly underpin the charges against Mr. Flynn,” said Powell and Binnall, whom Flynn tapped in June to replace his former attorneys at Covington & Burling. 

Flynn began cooperating with the Special Counsel’s Office — and prosecutors in the criminal trial of his former business partner Bijan Rafiekian — in 2017 after he pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his communication with Russian officials during the 2016 election.

Defense attorneys recently got hold of more than 300,000 documents from Flynn’s file but they said in Friday’s brief that “there is much information that we do not have.”

This is because the government has “steadfastly refused” to turn over information relevant to the defense, according to Flynn’s section of the report.

Powell and Binnall want access to the original or first draft report from the FBI’s January 2017 interview of Flynn and for security clearances to review classified communications to the Defense Intelligence Agency from Flynn’s government tenure. 

“We know — but not in any detail because of our lack of clearance — that he briefed and debriefed the DIA about his foreign contacts and travel,” the report says. “All that material is relevant to the charges against him.”

Meanwhile the Justice Department said it has exceeded its disclosure obligations in the case. 

“A defendant and his/her cleared counsel in a criminal prosecution may only obtain access to classified U.S. government information when such classified material is deemed both ‘relevant’ and ‘helpful to the defense,’” the government said in its half of the report.   

Contending it already provided Flynn thousands of pages of documents — including agents’ notes and all versions of the report from the January 2017 interview — the government proposed to move ahead with a sentencing hearing in late October or early November.

Looking to settle the debate, the government requested both parties meet in federal court in Washington. While Flynn’s attorneys suggested a conference next month would be cursory, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan brushed their scheduling request aside ordering the parties appear on Sept. 10.

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