Privilege Waived, Ex-Flynn Lawyers Must Answer to Feds

WASHINGTON (CN) — As former national security adviser Michael Flynn tries to withdraw his guilty plea, a federal judge agreed Friday to let prosecutors interview the lawyers Flynn says provided him ineffective assistance.

Flynn, now represented by by Sidney Powell, is trying to withdraw the guilty plea he entered in December 2017, claiming misconduct on the part of prosecutors who are handling his case.

In this Dec. 18, 2018, file photo, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn arrives at federal court in Washington. Flynn is due back in court for the first time in weeks as his lawyers mount an aggressive attack on the special counsel’s Russia investigation. U.S. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Claiming prosecutors tried to trick him into lying both during the initial investigation into his conduct and while he was cooperating on other cases as part of his plea deal, he also seeks to dismiss the case “for egregious government misconduct.”

Flynn fired his counsel at Covington and Burling in June on the basis that they were ineffective while representing him against charges of lying to the FBI. Asserting that the ineffective-assistance claims waive any attorney-client privilege, prosecutors have sought since February to interview and obtain documents from the firm.

The two sides signed a 5-page stipulation filed Friday, agreeing that Flynn’s attorney-client privilege is waived and that his Covington and Burling attorneys could reveal relevant details about their work with Flynn in response to a court order without running afoul of Washington, D.C., professional conduct rules.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan signed off on the order Friday afternoon. It says the government shall conduct interviews with Flynn’s former counsel with a court reporter present and provide a transcript of the interview, as well as any documents or other materials it obtains, to Flynn and his current legal team. The government agrees to use the information only while responding to Flynn’s ineffective-assistance claims and to limit its contact with the Covington and Burling team to related issues.

Prosecutors have recommended Flynn spend up to six months behind bars, an increase from the sentence of probation they recommended when he was first set to be sentenced in December 2018.

Powell, who now represents Flynn, did not return a request for comment on the filings. In a tweet, she said the proposed order “should expedite resolution” of the issue.

Flynn’s former attorneys at Covington and Burling did not return a request seeking comment on the filings.

The Justice Department also did not return a request for comment.

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