Sidney Powell Accuses Mike Flynn of Lying to the FBI on January 24, 2017

I’m starting my deep dive into the case Sidney Powell tries to make to convince Emmet Sullivan to throw out the guilty pleas Mike Flynn pled to twice (in this post, I laid out how she used a “reply” brief demanding Brady material to make an opening argument in a bid to get the case thrown out).

But in starting my deep dive, I didn’t get two lines into her exhibits before I realized that Sidney Powell, in documents submitted to the court, accused her client of lying to the FBI on January 24, 2017, precisely the crime she says he shouldn’t be held accountable for. At issue is the timeline she created to suggest every single event that happened at FBI between 2016 and 2018 was part of a plot to get her client. The second entry, which describes how Trump accepted the GOP nomination around the same time Lisa Page and Peter Strzok said two bad things about Trump (but not about Flynn), says that Flynn joined the campaign in 2015, though she claims not to know the date.

By setting the date when Flynn joined the campaign to sometime vaguely in 2015, it suggests the government’s interest in his actions leading up to and during the RT Gala in Moscow in December 2015 were part of general animus direct at Trump, and not a legitimate counterintelligence concern about a former General being paid by a foreign propaganda outlet to eat dinner with Vladimir Putin.

Except that detail — that he was already part of the campaign in 2015 — conflicts with something he told the FBI on January 24, 2017: that he wasn’t really part of the Trump campaign yet when, after his former counterpart at GRU, Igor Sergun, died unexpectedly on January 3, 2016, he called Sergey Kislyak to offer condolences.

Back in January 2017, Flynn would have had good reason to distance this call from Trump, because if it happened while he was part of the campaign, it would suggest he and Russia were in discussions even before Russia started stealing emails from Hillary Clinton and the Democrats.

Of particular note, the two other calls he claimed, in his interview with the FBI, were condolence calls actually weren’t, at least not primarily. On those, he was instead discussing policy issues.

But now Sidney Powell, Flynn’s own lawyer, says that’s not true, that he was already part of the campaign when he made this call.

It remains to be seen whether this Powell gambit will work. But accusing her client of lying to the FBI seems like an odd way to prove that only people who have an animus against Flynn would accuse him of lying to the FBI.

46 replies
  1. bmaz says:

    Will continue to point out that Powell’s harebrained theory also accuses Flynn of perjury, and committing fraud on the court, in relation to his December 18, 2018 aborted sentencing colloquy. One that was specifically under oath at Judge Sullivan’s prescient demand. What Powell is doing is so reckless that it ought result in sanctions against her.

    • P J Evans says:

      It makes me wonder if she’s even reading what she’s giving the court. Or if it’s being handed to her by someone else, to turn in. It certainly isn’t helping Flynn.

    • Rugger9 says:

      I’ll agree it should, and perhaps a Bar referral as well. Judge Sullivan might do both just because. But, is she really so bat-bleep crazy that Larry Klayman looks like a genius? I can’t help thinking that she would be smart enough to have “arranged” for her arse to be covered here to try absolutely everything to save Flynn, and only the Palace (either Barr or Individual-1) could possibly have that kind of pull in my speculation.

      Of course that is a dangerous arrangement unless there are tapes, since we all know that Individual-1 “doesn’t know” people who can’t help him any longer. Will she be the coffee girl or a party planner?

        • ducktree says:

          Back in 1993 when I had first started my career as a civil litigation secretary, I had the dubious honor of being yelled at over the phone by Mr. Klayman, who was defending a power tool company being sued by our client power tool company in a trademark infringement action. He was apparently not happy with the motion for summary judgment our firm was filing against his clients. Good times!

    • Peterr says:

      Something tells me that Sullivan will have a number of very pointed questions for Powell and Flynn both. He’s not someone who suffers fools lightly, and these folks are giving him plenty of reasons to include themselves in that category.

      • Peterr says:

        From Marcy’s twitter just 20 minutes ago, “Emmet Sullivan cancels the November 5 motion hearing which could be good or bad for Flynn.” She then links to an image of the citation from PACER which says “In view of the parties’ comprehensive briefing concerning [109] Defendant’s Motion to Compel Brady Material, the Court cancels the hearing previously scheduled for November 5, 2019.”

        This sounds like it was at Sullivan’s request, not on a motion from one of the two parties. If I were Flynn or Powell (shudder) I would not look upon this as a positive development. Maybe it’s just me, but I think Sullivan is appalled by this crap and wants to carefully express his disgust in well-chosen words that thoroughly eviscerate both Flynn and Powell, and he doesn’t want to rush things.

        • emptywheel says:

          It could go either way. He may be trying to avoid giving Powell another platform, he may be ready to rule on the Brady issue by ignoring most of this most recent filings.
          Or, who knows? He may have been impressed with last week’s filing.

  2. Rugger9 says:

    I will also be interested to see if the Army does anything with this as well. I had noted several potential UCMJ violations some time ago on another thread, but typically the DOD will let the criminal indictments play out first before doing their General court martial (given the rank and the crimes, Summary and Special are out).

    However, Flynn needs to be dismissed from service to send the appropriate message.

    OT but fun: it seems Individual-1 was booed (in spite of surrounding himself with vets as human shields) with chants of “Lock him up” last night. Many places have the video, but the look on his face as he realizes he is not being adored was priceless.

    Of course the Nats lost, in yet another example of baseball weirdness where even if you’re down 100-1 and on your last strike you could still rally to win. This year’s model is a prospect that all World Series games will be won by the visiting team in another first.

    • bmaz says:

      Naw. While it may not be technically impossible, UCMJ follow on will never happen. He is retired, and it is the “same sovereign”. Nothing in that regard will happen.

      • Rugger9 says:

        I’ll agree with your assessment and I’m not inclined to cut the Army any slack here since I’m ex-Navy. However, the option is there if they want to use the tools on someone at least halfway to Benedict territory.

        Let’s see if they do the right thing (for a change). His crimes occurred before he turned 60, and he can be subject to recall.

      • NorskieFlamethrower says:

        As a third generation veteran of America’s wars I sadly hafta agree with you that the military will never apply the UCMJ to allow stripping of his rank and benefits. However, what about an argument that Congress could do it given that his on going pension is appropriated by congress? It is not clear to me that most of our military command have not been compromised by private interests and Russia. Where will they come down in the end when it is a choice between compromise by outside interests and their duty to the Constitution and the American people? I know how my father and grand father would answer that question.

        • Rugger9 says:

          Well, as you know there are factions to consider, and I’m pretty certain that the soldiers that worked closely with the Kurds are not at all pleased with the sellout by the Palace. Considering that Flynn collaborated with the Turks for pay, which is why I made the Benedict comment earlier, and that the Turks are engaged in ethnic cleansing now I can see there will be more than a few pissed off officers not willing to cut him any slack at all.

        • NorskieFlamethrower says:

          I was speaking about the command officers and general staff. And I am not as sanguine as you are about the grunts or non-commissioned because we have had over 30 years of a “professional”, all volunteer military. There may be some company and field grade officers who have been in the field with the Curds and certainly the grunts who worked with ’em who are waking up but the vast number of command staff and gung ho special opps,special forces, seals, and marines not so much.

  3. Tom says:

    You would think Powell could simply ask her client exactly when he joined the Trump campaign instead of trying to get by with a timeframe such as “sometime in 2015”.

    Also, would it be part of normal protocol for an American intelligence officer such as Flynn to contact his Russian counterpart to offer condolences for the unexpected death of another Russian intelligence official? Sounds like it would be more an occasion for quiet celebration on America’s part than sending thoughts & prayers to the Russians, unless Flynn used the call as a pretext for discussing something else.

    • timbo says:

      Maybe he “can’t recall” when it specifically happened. And, as pointed out, it might be for obvious reasons this lack of recollection.

    • emptywheel says:

      The uncertainty may serve her purposes. If it was before the Russian events, then those, like George Papadopoulos being floated emails, would obviously be a response to joining the campaign.

  4. Vicks says:

    I know Powell has attempted to spread her religion via books and tv appearances, but what is her record representing clients?
    On a similar note what the hell is wrong with Flynn?
    Is round three going to be a concerned loved one claiming that Flynn falling for “tricks” during questioning and how easily he was manipulated by this nutty lawyer is evidence of some mental incapacity?

    • BobCon says:

      I’ve puzzled over the question of Flynn, and the best response I’ve heard is that he was already this way, and the real question is why did he flip the first time?

      I suspect there is a lot we don’t know about what he was facing back when he was arrested, and whether something off the radar has changed since then.

      • Peterr says:

        In an October 2016 story in POLITICO about Flynn being forcibly retired from the DIA, there’s this little nugget buried well toward the bottom:

        In private emails hacked and leaked to the press, Colin Powell, former secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs, called Trump a “national disgrace and an international pariah” and Flynn “right-wing nutty” for empowering him. “Flynn got fired as head of DIA. … I asked why Flynn got fired. Abusive with staff, didn’t listen, worked against policy, bad management, etc. He has been and was right-wing nutty every [sic] since,” Powell wrote, later wondering “how [Flynn] got that far in the Army?”

        A month later, the New Yorker did a profile on Flynn a week after Trump announced his appointment as National Security Advisor that included this:

        Flynn broke rules he thought were stupid. He once told me about a period he spent assigned to a C.I.A. station in Iraq, when he would sometimes sneak out of the compound without the “insane” required approval from C.I.A. headquarters, in Langley, Virginia. He had technicians secretly install an Internet connection in his Pentagon office, even though it was forbidden. There was also the time he gave classified information to NATO allies without approval, an incident which prompted an investigation, and a warning from superiors. . . .

        In 2012, Flynn became director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, in charge of all military attachés and defense-intelligence collection around the world. He ran into serious trouble almost immediately. I’ve spoken with some two dozen former colleagues who were close to Flynn then, members of the D.I.A. and the military, and some who worked with him in civilian roles. They all like Flynn personally. But they described how he lurched from one priority to another and had trouble building a loyal team. “He made a lot of changes,” one close observer of Flynn’s time at the D.I.A. told me. “Not in a strategic way—A to Z—but back and forth.”

        Flynn also began to seek the Washington spotlight. But, without loyal junior officers at his side to vet his facts, he found even more trouble. His subordinates started a list of what they called “Flynn facts,” things he would say that weren’t true, like when he asserted that three-quarters of all new cell phones were bought by Africans or, later, that Iran had killed more Americans than Al Qaeda. In private, his staff tried to dissuade him from repeating these lines.

        Flynn’s temper also flared. He berated people in front of colleagues. Soon, according to former associates, a parallel power structure developed within the D.I.A. to fence him in, and to keep the nearly seventeen-thousand-person agency working. “He created massive antibodies in the building,” the former colleague said.

        Reading these alongside this post makes me wonder if (a) Powell shares Flynn’s predilection for “Flynn Facts” as she makes these arguments, or (b) Powell is directing Powell’s filings himself. Either way, these two seem made for each other.

        • NorskieFlamethrower says:

          Thank you for catching these. They reinforce my worst fears about the depth of corruption and the significant length of time these traitors have been working in and out of the military command structure. This is looking worse and worse, don’t go to sleep on this…we haven’t heard jack lately about where the military command is on all this.

        • skua says:

          I’m not qualified to give a neurological diagnosis of Flynn. But the actions described above suggest that neurological examination would be warranted. Flynn may have some loose cannons on his deck.

  5. Pete T says:

    Flynn did say “not really” and I’ll bet his fingers were crossed too.

    Come on Judge Sullivan, wind up and throw your best slider for the strike out and send these charlatans on their separate ways – Flynn to jail and maybe Powell as well.

  6. TooLoose LeTruck says:

    “accused her client of lying to the FBI… precisely the crime she says he shouldn’t be held accountable for.”


    Now, I’m not a lawyer… but even to me, this sounds, well, a bit, how they say, ‘bat-shit insane’…

    “Well… your honor… my client is clearly innocent… because he did just EXACTLY what he’s accused of! The defense rests its case…”

    I have to admit… it is a rather novel approach…

    Perhaps I’ll try it next time I’m in trouble…

  7. Jenny says:

    “I’ve always operated so far outside my lane, I’m not sure what lane is mine anymore.”
    Michael T. Flynn

    “What I believe in is I believe in law.”
    Michael T. Flynn

  8. Rapier says:

    I think your missing the subtlety and genius of the Right mind. For allies of Trump to lie to the FBI is a noble duty. She is not “accusing” him of lying to the FBI, she is lauding it. So too it then follows that such isn’t a crime so should not, cannot, be prosecuted.

    If this makes no sense to you then my point is made. You lack the genius of the Trumpian mind.

  9. NorskieFlamethrower says:

    Powell better have grabbed a significant retainer or cash advance because these bastards don’t pay their debts anyway but then she may already be so compromised that she’s just cannon fodder. I expect the latter is true.

    • Vicks says:

      There certainly are enough people with a stake in this circus, has it been established who exactly is paying?
      Can this information be used against Flynn?

    • P J Evans says:

      Last I heard, Trmp’s claims of immunity applying to third parties were still legal BS, and subpoenas have legal power.

  10. joel fisher says:

    She’s trying to stir up a sense of “he was railroaded”; not in the judge–he’s not an imbecile–but in the right wing talking classes. The Orange Moron listens to and and is heavily influenced by this evil gang and he could give Flynn an Arpaio-type ( he was an Obama victim, sad) pardon after the next election. As many have pointed out, she’s walking a fine line between discipline and getting the word out to the idea people in Trump’s drooler army. I’d like to think that the bar police would be as aggressive in this case as they are when a trust account doesn’t add up to the penny.

      • P J Evans says:

        I think it’s intended to hoist the Rs on their own petard: last week they were saying it wasn’t legit because no formal vote, the court just told them it wasn’t required by anything, and so now they’ll be able to complain because it’s getting that vote.
        (I’ve seen people at Kos using the “no formal vote” argument, who were quoting that decision at the same time. Make me wonder which side they’re actually on.)

      • BobCon@ says:

        She was saved by the incompetence of the White House. She could have slipped this through with a closed rule early on and then played dumb. But whatever.

        The troubling thing is that it encourages poor planning on her part in the future.There will be running court battles with the White House through 2020 whether or not Trump somehow is tossed, and the legal staffing still isn’t going up significantly.

      • timbo says:

        Probably caused by a Lt. Colonel’s proposed testimony no doubt. Plus maybe all that booing at Game 5 has finally put the fear of the electorate into the amygdalas of the party leaders in DC?

  11. Troutwaxer says:

    I hereby grant Sidney Powell the title of “Law Dentist” with all the rights and privileges appended thereto.

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