Sidney Powell Believes She Can Bullshit Emmet Sullivan at No Risk to Her Client Mike Flynn

In her filing responding to Judge Sullivan’s orders for an update on sentencing, Mike Flynn’s lawyer Sidney Powell makes it clear she’s trying to blow up the government’s case against Bijan Kian while pretending her client hasn’t outright reneged on his cooperation deal with the government. Largely, her filing repeats the claims she made in her Bijan Kian filing, claiming that any errors in the FARA filing were the fault of Covington, while providing documents showing that at the very last transcribed meeting they provide records for, Flynn was lying to his lawyer Rob Kelner.

But there are two interesting touches to what she submitted today.

First, she talks repeatedly about how cooperative Flynn has been with EDVA prosecutors, repeating the total time he has spent — 30 hours — twice, and complaining about the money he has had to pay to cooperate. But here’s the schedule of meetings with prosecutors she provided. It shows that Flynn hasn’t spent any time working with prosecutors since the less than four hours on the day he fired Kelner and hired Powell.

Instead, Flynn appears to have spent three weeks with Powell, inventing a new story about his lies leading up to his FARA filing, which led to the meeting on June 27 where everything blew up.

Then there are the handwritten notes and a typed version of that meeting with prosecutors where they blew up Flynn’s cooperation. The attorney who submitted these calls the typed version a “transcri[ption] of my handwritten notes” (for included portions, they’re generally accurate).

Except there’s a whole swath of the discussion that doesn’t appear in her notes at all — including a line from Powell that clearly was designed to blow up the Kian case, suggesting that the government didn’t have a case (Note, I assume these notes are missing because an entire page is missing from what they’ve submitted, and that the notes actually exist, not that she didn’t take them; I assume they’ll fix this exhibit in the docket).

In addition to Powell’s inflammatory statement, Flynn’s lawyers also have not yet submitted the notes taken of AUSA Neil Hammerstrom pointing out that the time for Flynn to make this case was in the two different plea colloquies he made under oath. (Again, I’m sure they’ll correct this omission, but it’s pretty sketchy to leave this stuff out.)

The thing is, again, it’s clear Flynn was lying even in the last meeting with Covington before the FARA submission, at least as the record stood the other day.

This will surely play well on Fox News. But I’m guessing that Emmet Sullivan will be able to sniff out the bullshit.

Mike Flynn got paid over half a million dollars for what his lawyer currently says was just “writing op-ed” (he didn’t write it–he just slapped his name on it). What she neglects to mention is that during that time, he was getting Top Secret briefings as Trump’s top National Security Advisor, which is why it matters that Flynn was hiding, in November 2016 when he published the op-ed, and still in March 2017 when he claimed to correct the record, that he was secretly on the payroll of the government of Turkey.

62 replies
  1. Peterr says:

    But I’m guessing that Emmet Sullivan will be able to sniff out the bullshit.

    Forget the “at no risk to her client” part of your headline, Marcy. Powell ought to be concerned about the risk to herself. As has been documented here and elsewhere, Emmet Sullivan doesn’t take well to being fed bullshit:

    Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, speaking in a slow and deliberate manner that failed to conceal his anger, said that in 25 years on the bench, he had “never seen mishandling and misconduct like what I have seen” by the Justice Department prosecutors who tried the Stevens case.

    Judge Sullivan’s lacerating 14-minute speech, focusing on disclosures that prosecutors had improperly withheld evidence in the case, virtually guaranteed reverberations beyond the morning’s dismissal of the verdict that helped end Mr. Stevens’s Senate career.

    Now to be clear, I know Powell is a defense attorney, not a prosecutor — the targets of Sullivan’s ire in US v Stevens. But given how Sullivan reamed out those lawyers who stood before him for their misconduct, I’d be on my best behavior if I was a lawyer standing before him today, no matter which side of the case I was on.

    • Vicks says:

      I have a sick feeling that a portion of Flynn’s new strategy is to incorporate being set up as (another) victim of the deep state. The goal may be to build the necessary outrage to have trumps maga machine screaming for Trump to pardon Flynn.
      Couple of questions, wouldn’t any attempt by Sullivan to make his ruling pardon proof (how is that done anyway?) provide more “evidence” for the conspiracy? On a slightly different note would there be any legitimate claim of bias because of the way Sullivan torched Flynn at his last sentencing hearing?
      I get that no thinking person would be moved by this , I am referring to Trump and his base being who Flynn and his new team needs to reach

      • Peterr says:

        Sullivan cannot make his ruling “pardon proof” in a legal sense. He can, however, write his decision and sentencing opinion in such a way as to make the enormity of Flynn’s misdeeds repellent to the pro-military chunk of Trump’s base (we’re talking about a general who takes money from Turkey and honors from Russia, then lies about both), which might make Trump think twice about issuing a pardon.

        I don’t think Sullivan will have cooled down one bit since December. Remember that both the government and the defense were surprised by the vehemence of Sullivan’s questions toward Flynn, and his reluctance to sign off on the deal the government brought them, saying in essence “I looked at all the filings, including the classified stuff that no one else has seen, and you’re bringing me a Jeffrey Epstein-level plea agreement. I read this, and the word ‘treason’ kept going through my head.”

        When a judge tosses out the word “treason,” that’s not done lightly. If Sullivan goes down that road, he can make it much more politically difficult for Trump to issue a pardon.

    • P J Evans says:

      My misspent childhood included many hours watching “Perry Mason”, so I grew up with the idea that trying to snow a judge was a very bad idea.

      • Kokuanani says:

        Re-runs of “Perry Mason” are now on a channel called “MeTV.” Check to see if your prrovider carries it. They are a hoot. Well worth the time to watch.

    • Peterr says:

      After reading this post again, Sullivan’s comments at what was supposed to be Flynn’s sentencing hearing last December come to mind. Flynn was prepared for a minor sentence, but it quickly became clear to everyone that Sullivan was in no mood for anything minor.

      [Sullivan] asked him [Flynn] several times whether — given the sentencing memorandum he submitted suggesting extenuating circumstances for his lies to the FBI (but not to DOJ’s FARA team) — he believed he had lied, whether he knew that was a crime, whether he wanted to plead guilty.

      Throughout the proceedings, US District Judge Emmet Sullivan repeatedly asked Flynn if he wanted to go ahead with sentencing, given his lawyers’ comments questioning the conduct of the FBI officials and agents who handled his questioning in January 2017, and the fact that Flynn might not be finished cooperating.

      Having established that — and offered Flynn several opportunities to delay sentencing, he laid into him, even going so far as to ask prosecutor Brandon Van Grack if Mueller had considered charing Flynn with treason.

      “Arguably, that undermines everything this flag over here stands for,” Sullivan said, gesturing to an American flag displayed behind his chair. “Arguably you sold your country out.”

      Sullivan continued: “I’m not hiding my disgust, my disdain for this criminal offense.”

      Flynn at that point took up the judge’s offer of additional time to consult with his lawyers. Before the judge took a break, however, he asked special counsel prosecutor Brandon Van Grack if Flynn could have been charged with treason for his conversations with now-former Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in December 2016, after then-president Barack Obama had entered sanctions against Russia for interfering in the election.

      That’s when Flynn asked Sullivan for a break. When he and his lawyers returned, they took Sullivan up on his offer for a delay, and suggested a status hearing in March.

      But it’s not entirely clear how that will help — aside from giving Sullivan time to set aside the visceral disgust he showed for Flynn today.

      The internal quotes above are from Zoe Tillman, as quoted (and linked to) in Marcy’s Dec 18 post: ““The Flynn Sentencing: What Comes Next?” In that post, Marcy suggests two possible routes Flynn could take. First, he could find something more to cooperate on, to demonstrate his repentance to a skeptical Sullivan. Alternatively, he could pin his hopes on the pardon that Trump had dangled a year earlier. Rereading that post alongside this one, I think it is clear that while Flynn may have pursued option A with his earlier lawyers, his switch to Powell also came with a switch to option B. Did he decide to do this because he didn’t want to cooperate further, or because he concluded that he could never offer enough to make a difference and he knew that Trump would reward someone who stands up and attacks (see Kavanaugh, Acosta, et al.), or both? Probably some of both, but a larger dollop of pardon-seeking seems to me to explain a lot.

      My WAG is that Sullivan will recognize this shift as well, and drop a heavy sentence on Flynn along with a very detailed and documented statement from the bench that will be at least as quietly angry as his takedown of the Stevens prosecution team. He’ll take his comments from last December, flesh them out with citations of specific falsehoods and deceptions, toss in a heaping helping of powerful language about conduct becoming a general officer in the US military and the National Security Advisor and how Flynn failed miserably at meeting those standards, and tie is all up with a final “therefore I sentence you to . . .” statement of Flynn’s sentence.

      And if he’s really angry at the BS, he’ll craft this statement in such a way as to do what he can to forestall or preempt a Trump pardon. Not that he could actually prevent it if Trump wants to grant it, but he can really make Trump look bad if Trump goes down that road.

      • emptywheel says:

        I think they really took the time to stall, to give Sullivan time to calm down. The government had been clear this trial was all that was left, and they built the case from the start to be able to do it without him.

        • Peterr says:

          Somehow, I don’t think Sullivan will have calmed down. Instead, I think his disdain for Flynn has simmered nicely for the last 7 months, with his anger only becoming more distilled as time passes. “I gave you a postponement to allow you to do more to convince me that you deserve credit for cooperation, and the more I see, the less likely I am to grant that. I was not happy then, and I am less so today.”

      • orionATL says:

        glad to see a comment again, peterr. your logic is always a pleasure to read.

        i always wondered if you might not have been a barrister before you rose to a higher plane :)

  2. Eureka says:

    Yikes, the meeting notes you linked: it must have been an infuriating meeting with Powell’s irksome* one-liners.

    Brandon:[very heated]…

    (Also makes me think of how difficult it must have been to have dealt with Corsi et al…)

    *what is the word for ~ care-free heedlessness to established law or facts?

  3. I Never Lie and am Always Right says:

    Flynn’s change in legal representation and strategy occurred after there was a change in who was Attorney General. Wondering if that was coincidence….

  4. PSWebster says:

    How does the addition of FLynn’s son as witness play into this?

    Flynn may have thought the new AG changed the game but he must have forgotten about Sullivan.
    Seems to be real tactical error. Looking forward to his sentencing.

      • Americana says:

        Interesting Politico link from Marcy. I wonder if Pence is ever called on the carpet for such actions by Trump? Appointing conservative judges being such a big thing for Trump… It’s fascinating Pence doesn’t want his stance on Syrian refugees being used by an opponent.

      • Tom says:

        This is the same Pence who made a show of storming out of a football game when the players took a knee while the national anthem was being played as a symbolic protest against police violence towards blacks, but with his silence has given his consent to actual child abuse and neglect taking place at the southern border.

        P.S. Trump’s new census question: “Would you like fries with that?”

        • P J Evans says:

          Pushing the conservative lie that it’s disrespecting the flag, when it was never about the flag. But people buy it, still.

        • Tom says:

          To me, taking a knee WAS respectful, like genuflecting, but still effective in getting the message across about police violence.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      It’s not as if suborning perjury were a felony or anything. It would seem to be legally and professionally questionable conduct for defense counsel to allege that a prosecutor is asking a witness to lie. You’d really want to be able to back that up.

      It also implies the client has already lied to prosecutors or the court, another felony. That might discredit the validity of your client’s statements for any purpose – which might be an objective. But dancing with a felony should make the client wonder who his lawyer is really working for.

  5. Democritus says:

    Busy day! DC hearing n Trump accounting subpoenas seem to my non lawyer eye to not be going to well for Trump. (Still ongoing thread

    Then I saw AOC demand to be sworn in, likely because Trump said she was lying, to make a statement about on the concentration camps where our government is lackadaisical allowing death through negligence care, torture, and rape of refugees while in US custody.


    Here is a list of protest sites, and there are numerous places in each and every state to protest, GO!

  6. orionATL says:

    so the new strategy seems largely to be “we want to figure out a presentation of the facts of this case that will influence the judge’s opinion favorably toward client flynn on the hope that judge sullivan, unlike judge Amy b. jackson, will not burrow down deeply into the history of client flynn’s actions and find we are piling sweet smelling hay on top of horseshit.”

    and hope the judge is so busy with other cases and that he has forgotten this one. fat chance – with a high-ranking American military leader who turned out to be an unprincipaled buccaneer/privateer like flynn, in on plans to kidnap a Turkish citizen was living here on a permanent visa in safe? exile (he thought) among other capers.

  7. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Mr. Acosta is discovering that the wheels on the bus go round and round – and over and over.

    • Democritus says:

      She is a hero for coming forward knowing how much shit the GOP would throw at her for exposing their white supremacist motives.

  8. punaise says:

    In the absence of any currently *open* open threads, I’ll park this here. My comment at a DKos piece on Trump’s folding/caving on the census question drew little interest. I’d be curious how old one has to be to place this in context:

    3 steps —

    1. fold

    2. spin: dull

    3. mood: elate

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          I believe it has antecedents in the medieval weaving industry. Wooden “cards” arranged in a Jacobs ladder were used to weave complex patterns.

          IBM wunderkind CEO Tom Watson made them special. IBM owned all the machines, and Watson, a super salesman, received a cut from each one.

          Most machines were specially tailored for the customer’s use – whether tracking census data or tracking prisoners processed in German concentration camps.

          The cards were specially made to IBM’s order. Millions of ’em. And they were all single use. Change the program or machine and you needed a boatload of new cards. If they weren’t pristine, the machine wouldn’t process them, so their shelf life was limited.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Helliphino, but it, too, is an endangered species.

          Have to be careful, though. Someone around here is an I’ve Been Moved kid.

        • Democritus says:

          This x mobius symbol :)

          Just back from the local protests, ahem humble brag, and I’ve got to say I love the comments here everything from sonnets to puns to cool random factoids.

          Hope everyone has a good weekend!

        • P J Evans says:

          I heard that the size of punchcards is the same as the old greenback dollar. (I can’t prove it, though I know someone who has some punchcards.)

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Wouldn’t surprise me. The card really was special: thick, precision-cut, special stock.

          A marvel of uniformity, they stacked and printed perfectly (which meant their response to special ink was uniform, too).

          The number and design of the columns varied, depending on the job and the parameters to be tracked.

        • P J Evans says:

          As they are now, the card is insulating – sorters and readers work with metal brushes that contact a metal surface; optical readers exist, but are another matter, and the cards are opaque enough for that. (Mark-sense readers are different, and you need cards printed in dropout blue or gray or stray marks and inkspots will get read. Speaking from experience.)

        • Eureka says:

          An old mentor once proffered to me a sample of the cards (from a nearby mountain of boxes of them) and asked if I had any idea how to get the data from the cards to a then-current system. They had Franz Boas’ raw anthropometric data on them, which would be very valuable to science to have accessible.

          No, I said, inspecting the nicks. It was a very exciting prospect. Thought about it some more for awhile (as if that would make a difference). Nope. Not quickly, anyway.

          ETA: which now reminds me of other problems, like getting stuff from VHS to digital when ‘good luck’ getting ahold of a functioning VCR to even try to pipe it somewhere.

        • P J Evans says:

          I had four rolls of late-40s home movies transferred to VHS. Then, last year, I got that transferred to DVD. Need work, though: slowing the video speed and fixing the color saturation and contrast. (I have the three b/w rolls; the color roll went to the Air&Space museum.)

        • punaise says:

          I must have caught the tail end of the punch card era in an obligatory “Computer Sciences” class at architecture school in the late ’70s…

        • P J Evans says:

          I used them in a couple of classes in the early 80s. (Once I got the printout back but someone had swiped the cards. They would have gotten noticed by the professor – I had some very idiosyncratic naming.)

        • BeingThere says:

          Try asking around in the old computer groups / forums. There’s quite a bit of this equipment lovingly maintained, with people keen on a data transfer challenge like this :)

          As a note, the older gear is easier to interface to new tech, something like a RaspberryPi or Arduino is ample to make the bridge.

        • P J Evans says:

          Back around 2012, at work, I was explaining punchcards to one of the younger co-workers. They’d never met a keypunch. (I still remember where the power switch is on an 029 – on the front, under the desktop.)

        • jmac says:

          Crazy enough to still remember how to ‘read’ the holes in an IBM Punchcard … non-multipunch…

  9. P J Evans says:

    Dershowitz is reportedly taking a year off from his position at Harvard, according to the Boston Globe.

    Dershowitz, 75, spoke by phone Friday from Israel, where he was speaking at a conference. He said his trip has included dinners with the country’s prime minister and a former student, actress Natalie Portman

    • Democritus says:

      I hope he gets is soon indicted and found guilty by a jury of his peers.

      Along with Trump.

      • Americana says:

        I bet it’s more the potential reality of the Epstein “I was still sporting my underwear during the massage” case than it is his weird backing of Trump. Every time something happened w/the Trump-Russia matter, Dershowitz was on TV w/a convoluted reason why Trump was being illegally targeted under the Constitution. Very strange.

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