The attorney for former national security adviser Michael Flynn on Monday welcomed President Trump’s apparent consideration of a pardon for her client, calling the case against him a “blight” on the justice system.
The president on Sunday said he was “strongly considering” a "full pardon" for Flynn – whose case stemmed from the Russia probe – complaining the FBI “lost” records related to Flynn’s initial interview with federal investigators.
In an email to Fox News on Monday, attorney Sidney Powell expressed her team's gratitude over the president’s consideration.
“General Flynn is honored by the President’s concern and awareness of this egregious injustice against him, his family, and the American people,” Powell wrote to Fox News. “Mueller-Weissman team and evil actors in the FBI and [the Department of Justice, DOJ] had to concoct case against Flynn to keep their obstruction hoax alive against the president. That’s what it was really about.”
Robert Mueller served as special counsel leading the Russia probe, and Andrew Weissmann was a top member of the team. Flynn had pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI as part of that probe, and his sentencing remains in limbo.
Powell went on to say that “Flynn was the tip of the spear to destroy Trump.”
“This persecution is an outrage and a blight on the entire justice system,” she continued. “No one can have any trust in the FBI or DOJ until this is corrected. The first step in restoring public confidence and trust in the FBI and DOJ is giving us the truth and dismissing the prosecution of Flynn for outrageous government misconduct.”
Powell has been aggressively fighting the DOJ in the case, filing a motion on Flynn’s behalf in January alleging problems that have come to light since Flynn pleaded guilty.
The motion stated that there is no precise record of Flynn’s statements to agents, and that the original handwritten "302" witness report from the interview is “missing,” with subsequent versions later “edited.”
“So now it is reported that, after destroying his life & the life of his wonderful family (and many others also), the FBI, working in conjunction with the Justice Department, has ‘lost’ the record of General Michael Flynn,” Trump tweeted Sunday. “How convenient. I am strongly considering a Full Pardon!”
Flynn’s case stemmed from a January 2017 FBI interview, in which he was asked about his conversations with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Flynn pleaded guilty to making false statements regarding those communications during his interview, as part of Mueller’s investigation, but has since reversed course.
In January, Flynn and Powell moved to withdraw his guilty plea for making false statements “because of the government’s bad faith, vindictiveness and breach of the plea agreement.”
“The prosecution has shown abject bad faith in pure retaliation against Mr. Flynn since he retained new counsel,” Powell wrote in January. “This can only be because, with new, unconflicted counsel, Mr. Flynn refused to lie for the prosecution.”
"Michael T. Flynn is innocent. Mr. Flynn has cooperated with the government in good faith for two years. He gave the prosecution his full cooperation," the attorneys added.
At the time, the DOJ had accused Flynn of failing to cooperate and of failing to take responsibility.
“The defendant’s conduct was more than just a series of lies; it was an abuse of trust,” the DOJ wrote.
But after Flynn attempted to withdraw his plea, the Justice Department offered a more lenient sentence recommendation. Federal prosecutors still seek a sentence of up to six months, but unlike before, prosecutors explicitly state that probation would be a “reasonable” punishment and that they would not oppose it.
Last month, U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan ordered Flynn's sentencing hearing canceled "until further order of the court," giving Flynn and federal prosecutors more time to submit filings on Flynn's request to withdraw his guilty plea, including claims he did not get sufficient legal assistance from his former legal team.
Also last month, Attorney General Bill Barr tapped Jeff Jensen, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, to review Flynn’s case. Jensen is working hand-in-hand with the lead prosecutor of Flynn’s case, an official said.
The case against Flynn, a former U.S. Army lieutenant general, has gone through years of twists and turns, with sentencing postponed repeatedly over the last two years. Flynn’s supporters have insisted he is innocent.
Fox News' Ronn Blitzer and The Associated Press contributed to this report.