Today Michael Flynn and his attorney Sidney Powell returned to federal court for a status hearing before Judge Emmet Sullivan. Generally status hearings are uneventful; however, this hearing falls on the heels of an explosive filing by Flynn’s defense outlining allegations of serious prosecutorial misconduct; and claims the DOJ is withholding Brady material.
Before getting into the heart of the proceedings, here is Ms. Sidney Powell appearing on Fox News to discuss the events today. In this interview Ms. Powell confirms something we have previously presented; Rod Rosenstein authorized Robert Mueller to target Michael Flynn Jr. in order to provide leverage for a Flynn guilty plea.
Hat Tip Techno-Fog: The DOJ prosecutor, Brandon Van Grack, has not filed a response to the Flynn defense motion. However, both sides argued some of the specifics today in court.
For scheduling: a date of Sept. 24th, 2019, was set by Judge Sullivan for the written DOJ response to Flynn’s accusations of Brady violations. Thereafter the defense rebuttal to the DOJ response is due by October 15th; and then a hearing date of October 31st is scheduled for Sullivan to question both teams centered around the filings. A tentative sentencing date was scheduled for December 18th, 2019, as a matter of formal proceeding.
Tone – Judge Sullivan appeared to be open to the defense presentations and established during his statements that the plea agreement was between Flynn and the DOJ, and did not bind his court. Therefore Sullivan’s prior order on Brady discovery supersedes any agreement between the defense and prosecution:
Thus the court establishes, despite the plea agreement, the DOJ is still responsible for delivering exculpatory Brady evidence that is relevant to the purpose of court proceedings; including material that should be considered for sentencing.
After hearing from Ms. Powell discussing Brady material showing Michael Flynn did not commit any FARA (lobbying) violation, Judge Sullivan gave an example of how the court considered Brady value around evidence of the FARA violation, or lack thereof.
In prior proceedings (December 2018) the DOJ implied benefit within the plea deal because Mr. Flynn was not charged with lobbying (FARA) violations.
The absence of legal responsibility would be considered a benefit to the defendant by the court. However, if the actual evidence does not support the existence of a FARA violation then the court would be mistakenly considering a benefit within the plea. Ms. Powell confirmed the example.
The bottom line is Judge Sullivan is open to reviewing all the exculpatory evidence that is required by his standing Brady order. This is helpful to Flynn’s defense because it puts the DOJ on notice they must provide a fulsome picture of the Flynn case to both the defendant and the court.
Ms. Powell then highlighted some of the particular concerns surrounding missing Brady evidence. Example: the DOJ sat on Page/Strzok texts for months in violation of the Court’s discovery order:
Prosecutor Brandon Van Grack then countered Ms. Powell by saying the DOJ “notified the defendant – that such communications existed”
But notice the DOJ doesn’t say they made the texts available to Flynn prior to his plea agreement November 30th 2017, only that they informed him “communications existed”.
Then after Flynn signed the plea agreement; and after the Page/Strzok texts were public; at the second Flynn sentencing hearing (Dec 2018); there were “texts provided that were not available to the public.”
That’s a rather stunning admission, because the DOJ is admitting the special counsel hid text messages from within the batches that were released to the public. The special counsel later showed those ‘exculpatory‘ text messages to Flynn’s defense knowing they held a Brady value, and knowing the defense would be unable to make them public.
Considering these hidden text messages pertain to evidence of Flynn’s innocence, we can only imagine what those text messages are.
Additionally Ms. Powell highlighted two more documents the DOJ-NSD (Jessie Liu again) refuses to produce:
1) This is new…. A “Russian agent” exoneration memo dated 1/30/17 that apparently originated from inside the DOJ.
2) A DOJ memo clearing Flynn of Logan Act on 2/8/17. (Remember, the “Logan Act” was said by Sally Yates to be a big part of the reason for the FBI to interview Flynn.)
Then Ms. Powell went on to discuss the issues surrounding the missing notes from FBI Agent Joseph Pientka, and the original FD-302 written by Pientka. The DOJ says they don’t have it.
Judge Sullivan asked Ms. Powell if she was going to withdraw the guilty plea based on the direction she was going. Ms. Powell said no, and pointed to the possibility of dismissal based on wrongful prosecution; and a case that would never have been brought if all the evidence was visible.
It will be interesting to see the official response from the DOJ to all of the claims and accusations.
The official DOJ response will is due in two weeks, 9/24/19 by high-noon.
It’s worth noting according to Mark Meadows the Office of Inspector General Michael Horowitz has interviewed FBI Agent Joe Pientka extensively; prior attempts by congress to gain testimony from Pientka were blocked by the FBI and Rod Rosenstein.
FBI Agent Joseph Pientka was never interviewed by the joint House judiciary and oversight committees (Goodlatte and Gowdy). The reason, as explained by Meadows, was simple; Pientka was on Weissmann and Mueller’s special counsel team. Congress was not allowed to interfere in the Mueller probe. In hindsight this looks like Weissmann, Mueller & Rosenstein strategically using the investigation as a shield from sunlight.
The Flynn interview took place on January 24, 2017. The Pientka report was written Jan 24th, 2017. The wording was then deliberated by the small group, approved by FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, and entered into the record on February 15th, 2017.
Here’s the report:
The original authorization for the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller was May 17th, 2017. However, the released Mueller and Weissmann report showed there were two additional scope memos authorizing specific targeting of the Mueller probe. The first scope memo was August 2nd, 2017, OUTLINED HERE, and is an important part of the puzzle that helps explain the corrupt original purpose of the special counsel.
The second scope memo was issued by Rod Rosenstein to Robert Mueller on October 20th, 2017. The transparent intent of the second scope memo was to provide Weissmann and Mueller with ammunition and authority to investigate specific targets, for specific purposes. One of those targets was General Michael Flynn’s son, Michael Flynn Jr.
As you review the highlighted portion below, found on pages 12 and 13 of the Weissmann report, read slowly and fully absorb the intent; the corruption is blood-boiling:
This second scope memo allowed Weissmann and Mueller to target tangentially related persons and entities bringing in Michael Cohen, Richard Gates, Roger Stone and Michael Flynn Jr. Additionally and strategically (you’ll see why), this memo established the authority to pursue “jointly undertaken activity“.
The four identified targets within the original July 2016 investigation, “Operation Crossfire Hurricane”, were George Papadopoulos, Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort and Carter Page. (See HPSCI report):
General Flynn was under investigation from the outset in mid-2016. The fraudulent FBI counterintelligence operation, established by CIA Director John Brennan, had Flynn as one of the early targets when Brennan handed the originating electronic communication “EC” to FBI Director James Comey.
The investigation of General Flynn never stopped throughout 2016 and led to the second investigative issue of his phone call with Russian Ambassador Kislyak in December 2016:
The first redaction listed under “personal privacy” has not been revealed. However, The second related redaction is a specific person, Michael Flynn Jr.
In combination with the October timing, the addition of Flynn Jr to the target list relates to the ongoing 2016/2017 investigation of his father, General Michael Flynn, for: (1) possible conspiracy with a foreign government; (2) unregistered lobbying; (3) materially false statements and omissions on 2017 FARA documents; and (4) lying to the FBI.
This October 20th, 2017, request from Weissmann and Mueller aligns with the time-frame were special counsel team lawyers Brandon L. Van Grack and Zainab N. Ahmad were prosecuting Michael Flynn and attempting to force him into a guilty plea.
Getting Rosenstein to authorize adding Mike Flynn Jr. to the target list (scope memo) meant the special counsel could threaten General Flynn with the indictment of his son as a co-conspirator tied to the Turkish lobbying issue (which they did) if he doesn’t agree to a plea. Remember: “jointly undertaken activity“.
The October 20th, 2017, expanded scope memo authorized Mueller to start demanding records, phones, electronic devices and other evidence from Mike Flynn Jr, and provided the leverage Weissmann wanted. After all, Mike Flynn Jr. had a four month old baby.
The amount of twisted pressure from this corrupt team of prosecutors is sickening. A month later, General Flynn was signing a plea agreement: