Sidney Powell Accuses William Barnett of Committing “Outrageous, Deliberate Misconduct” and Kenneth Kohl Hides Evidence that Brandon Van Grack Did Not

I want to pause for a moment and look at the maneuvers that Billy Barr pulled last night to try to substantiate a reason to blow up the Mike Flynn case.

First, on Wednesday, the less crazy attorneys on Mike Flynn’s team, William Hodes and Lindsay McKesson, moved to withdraw. It’s an awfully weird time for lawyers to withdraw from a case, unless they’re trying to leave town before the shit starts hitting the fan.

Unless I’m missing something, Sullivan has not approved their motion.

Then, last night, Sidney Powell submitted a memo with a bunch of exhibits, every single one of which have Bates stamps reflecting these are SCO documents:

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Exhibit C:

Exhibit D:

Exhibit E:

That means that Mueller team members involved in Flynn’s case would have had access to these documents.

In her memo, Powell argues that the exhibits “establish[] misconduct” and are proof of Brady violations. She emphasizes that these documents were “long concealed by the Special Counsel and FBI.”

On May 7, 2020, the Government moved to dismiss with prejudice the prosecution of General Flynn. ECF No. 198. Until this case is dismissed with prejudice, the Government has a continuing obligation to provide to the defense all evidence that is exculpatory of General Flynn, establishes misconduct by the Government in its many capacities that contributed to this wrongful prosecution, or otherwise is favorable to the defense. Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963). The defense has a continuing obligation to make a record that mandates this dismissal— especially in view of this court’s unprecedented procedures and position.


These documents provide information long known to the agents and others at the highest levels of the Department of Justice and the FBI; information long concealed by the Special Counsel and FBI. This evidence shows outrageous, deliberate misconduct by FBI and DOJ—playing games with the life of a national hero.

Then, later in the night, DOJ released a 302 memorializing a recent interview with William Barnett which I showed  was a self-contradictory shitshow. In the accompanying memo, Kenneth Kohl, Acting Principal Assistant US Attorney in DC, noted that Barnett, “handled the counterintelligence investigation of Mr. Flynn, and was thereafter assigned to the Special Counsel’s Office.”

Pursuant to that continuing review, an interview was recently conducted of the former case agent, SA William Barnett, who handled the counterintelligence investigation of Mr. Flynn, and was thereafter assigned to the Special Counsel’s Office investigating Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential Election.

Which is to say that yesterday, Sidney Powell submitted a brief arguing that William Barnett — her new star witness — engaged in “outrageous, deliberate misconduct,” and then later in the day, DOJ submitted a contradiction-riddled interview with that Agent that Powell had earlier accused of engaging in “outrageous, deliberate misconduct.”

Things get stranger.

In her filing, Powell claims that she has included Exhibits D and C as proof that Flynn satisfied the registration obligation.

Newly produced notes of Peter Strzok show: Strzok met with Bruce Schwartz, Lisa, and George at DOJ on March 28, 2017, where he noted Flynn Intel Group “satisfied the registration obligation” and “no evidence of any willfulness.” Nonetheless, “Bruce” decided to issue subpoenas to Flynn Intel Group “and more.” Exhibits C, D.

Exhibit D seems to show something dramatically different. It seems to show that the AG (that is, Jeff Sessions) met with Turkish Ministers and tried to vouch for Flynn about the secret work that Turkey was doing.

It seems odd to go to the guys who were hoping to keep their relationship with Flynn secret to ask them whether it was secret. Moreover, if they’re the ones vouching for it — and not Flynn’s cut-out, Ekim Alptekin — it would seem to suggest Flynn was working for Turkey, which is what he testified to under oath but not what he wrote on his delayed FARA filing. If so, this doesn’t help Flynn at all. It only serves to hurt him.

Things get stranger still.

Contrary to Powell’s claim, Exhibit C has nothing to do with Turkey. Instead, it’s a set of Peter Strzok’s notes from Jim Comey’s debrief of a meeting at the White House on January 5, 2017.


We’ve seen these notes before. They are a copy of notes submitted in June (which also have a — different — SCO Bates stamp on them, indicating that Barnett, the man Powell has accused of “outrageous, deliberate misconduct,” had access to those too).


The primary difference, aside from DOJ’s decision to newly release notes indicating that President Obama said to put the right people on this, is that the version submitted last night, the version that Powell claims to be about a March 28, 2017 meeting on Turkey is dated, “1/4-5/17.”

When Powell submitted the notes in June, she said they were proof that Vice President Biden “personally raised the idea of the Logan Act.”

Strzok’s notes believed to be of January 4, 2017, reveal that former President Obama, James Comey, Sally Yates, Joe Biden, and apparently Susan Rice discussed the transcripts of Flynn’s calls and how to proceed against him. Mr. Obama himself directed that “the right people” investigate General Flynn. This caused former FBI Director Comey to acknowledge the obvious: General Flynn’s phone calls with Ambassador Kislyak “appear legit.” According to Strzok’s notes, it appears that Vice President Biden personally raised the idea of the Logan Act.

I noted then that there was no question about date the notes were written, because they obviously describe a meeting that multiple documents (including one that has been public since February 2018, long before Flynn allocuted his guilt a second time) make clear happened on January 5, 2017. Nevertheless, Powell claimed (and set off a predictable resulting frenzy, which was probably the point) that they were proof that Biden had it in for Mike Flynn.

Now, normally, when you make an accusation to a court that later gets debunked, you make a filing with the court admitting you were wrong. In this case, Powell would have also had to admit that anyone who believed these notes were from January 3 — as Jeffrey Jensen had suggested they might be — provably knew fuckall about what he was looking at.

But if Powell were to do that, she’d be admitting that Jensen doesn’t know fuckall about what he is investigating on the same day she accused Barnett to have engaged in “outrageous, deliberate misconduct.” So instead, Powell just slipped the exhibit in with her filing without calling attention to her prior false claims.

But wait. Things get still stranger.

Finally, Kohl submitted the 302 with redactions of the name of an “SCO Atty 1.” Now, it has been the standing rule in DOJ that the AUSAs who worked for Mueller are public. That way Trump can rant about their political leanings at rallies.

Last night, for the first time ever, DOJ has decided that these attorneys are not senior enough to have their names released.

Several of those redactions of “SCO Atty 1’s” name, however, make it clear that the person has a two part last name, one that wraps at the end of a line.

Just one of Mueller’s attorneys has such a name (Adam Jed is the only one whose last name is short enough to fit in the first part of those redactions). That attorney is Brandon Van Grack. Indeed, the 302 from an interview that Barnett discussed in his interview makes it clear that Van Grack was the one Barnett is working with. So along with submitting proof that Barnett engaged in “outrageous, deliberate misconduct” as well as providing proof that Jensen led others to make a material misrepresentation to Emmet Sullivan, Kohl just submitted proof that Van Grack routinely took the side of Barnett. And that he, Kohl, was hiding that.

Call me crazy, but John Gleeson can just look at yesterday’s filings to show that Sidney Powell and Kenneth Kohl are accusing each other and Jeffrey Jensen of misconduct, at the same time that they’re hiding evidence that Van Grack did not engage in misconduct. That’s the the kind of misconduct that Emmet Sullivan might use to justify refusing to dismiss the prosecution.

Update: It’s not really clear whether the Bates reflects documents obtained by SCO or those investigating SCO. If it’s the latter, it raises real questions about whether Strzok’s notes are one or two copies.

52 replies
  1. chicago_bunny says:

    I am seeing Twitter posts on the frothy right claiming that because Sullivan kept the proceedings going, more documents have come to light, and these show that the whole investigation was a setup of Flynn. I confess that I cannot make heads nor tails of their arguments. Is there a Cliff’s Notes version, like Wingnut for Dummies, just to get a grasp on what conspiracy they think is being revealed through the release of the 302s and other documents?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Powell has not been consistent or coherent. At this point, she and Barr seem to be just throwing spaghetti at the wall. A Cliff Notes version would not be more comprehensible.

      What is worth doing, but takes enormous effort, is EW’s unpacking of these confusing and contradictory claims to show how lacking in merit they are. It’s a nice confirmation for Sullivan’s clerks, who might be reading the better Internet sites for a reality check and bird’s eye view, a little removed from their daily close handling of this material.

    • emptywheel says:

      They think that someone–though Barr seems close to rolling up the Durham investigation and instead elevating the Jensen one, bc Jensen will come up with the outcome he wants–believes that they can prove that FBI opened an investigation into Flynn for no reason (which is false) and then continued it after having proof of something really suspect for no reason (which is also false) and that all the people who did so didn’t like Trump.

      • chicago_bunny says:

        Thank you. As the good Earl of Huntingdon kindly suggested, I do read and sometimes go back to re-read your posts, but it can be easy to get lost in the soup when the crazies start to spin out new narrative threads.
        (Apologies for the mixed metaphor. Don’t put textiles in your soup, kids.) I appreciate all you do.

  2. Rugger9 says:

    So, if I read this situation correctly (so far, with more shoes to drop because it is Friday) the net effect of the Powell / Flynn gambit is to probably harden Judge Sullivan’s resolve to reject the withdrawal of the prosecution (and the attorneys who might get sanctioned for this…might) and also to place into the public record a whole lot of evidence that is generally damning to the WH and specifically damning to Flynn and several of his associates.

    All of this sturm und drang could have been avoided if Flynn had just been pardoned months ago and the courtier press would have forgotten all about it. Instead, the WH through Barr and his attorneys laid out a minefield and then threw away the map right before practicing their Riverdance in the minefield.

    With that in mind, what was the value to DJT and the WH for being this public about their corruption? No one thinks that Flynn’s welfare is not on DJT’s mind since he’s said so and therefore no one thinks that DJT wouldn’t pull strings to get Flynn off the hot seat.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      There’s that Trump and Barr do not want to pardon Flynn. It removes legal jeopardy and his right not to speak, lest he incriminate himself. It would also make Trump politically accountable for the pardon, and might be construed as obstruction.

      Trump cannot commute Flynn’s sentence until Sullivan imposes one. But Barr and Trump want to avoid that route, too, because a) it makes Trump personally accountable for the commutation, and b) finalizes a felony conviction for Flynn, which everyone on that side of the table would like to avoid.

      The way out Barr has chosen is to dismiss the case before sentencing, which voids the prosecution and Flynn’s guilty plea. That’s not going according to plan. The process won’t be finished now before the election. The election clock is ticking, foreclosing Trump and Barr’s options. And if Trump loses, he and Barr will be preoccupied in denying it.

      • emptywheel says:

        Also, this effort, if all the efforts before hadn’t already, gives Sullivan precisely the proof of misconduct he needs to deny the motion and sustain an appeal, maybe.

      • Rugger9 says:

        I’m not so sure DJT cares about point a) or related optics, given what else he’s done for others. I’m also not sure what practical effect point b) would have unless there is a move afoot in DOD to dismiss Flynn (the officer’s version of a DD) since as of now there is no chance Flynn would be able to get into the WH staff or government service without more blowback at least and civilians of the type Flynn has been running with consider it a plus to be a tad scruffy.

        Dismissal, like a dishonorable discharge (DD) means loss of all service-related benefits, even the flag at your grave on Memorial Day. I’m sure Flynn wants his DOD pension at least.

        • Rugger9 says:

          If Flynn was allowed 24 years of service under the rules I had (note they’ve been changed to a point system) then he would get 60% of his O-9 base pay, somewhere in the vicinity of 7500 – 9000 per month. That’s for sitting on his arse.

          It’s also worth keeping alive if he can.

          • seedeevee says:

            That $ is his retirement $ that he earned by going to work for decades. Do you tell everyone on a pension that they get their earned money just for sitting on their “arse”?

            • Rugger9 says:

              I’m a vet myself, so take that dreck somewhere else. If Flynn broke his oath to protect and defend the US Constitution, to the point where he’s playing footsie with our adversaries to sell out the USA, then he has earned my commentary.

              Benedict Arnold before he sold out to the British was the principal architect of the Saratoga victory (his leg is the only monument to him at the battlefield, with no text), are you saying he should have been granted full honors for his service to the USA until he tried to turn West Point over to Howe / Clinton?

            • Rayne says:

              His pension is part of a contract he made with the U.S. Government. Flynn violated the terms of the contract, no matter what kind of service he expended to earn his pension. He was even warned on his departure from military service what he was not to do without clearance by the military and for how long those restrictions applied. He ignored that warning which he’d received verbally and in writing. As a former Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Flynn was certainly aware of security issues related to interactions with foreign entities including diplomats like Kislyak.

              Flynn was perfectly capable of consulting legal counsel before doing any work on behalf of Trump or foreign entities to assure his work would be in compliance with U.S. law and military code. He could have remained “sitting on his arse” to draw down his pension but no — he chose the less honorable, venal path and in doing so, made false statements to cover up his and his boss’s misdeeds.

              Flynn’s arse is fortunate he worked for a skeeve like Trump. He should have been investigated and prosecuted for his work as an unregistered foreign agent.

              • Rugger9 says:

                As a practical matter, that would take a general court martial to “dismiss” him, and I’ve discussed it with bmaz, et al before. I don’t see the DOD going that way until Biden is in office, and FWIW a felony conviction like this one would be sufficient. Just remember the flag level is a rather restricted club and it takes a lot to get kicked out after it has been joined.

                So, it will be a “maybe” depending on what happens and what comes out being bad enough to really enrage the top brass.

                • Rayne says:

                  I’ve been wondering why Trump et al doesn’t just commute his sentence and whether commutation has some other affect Flynn doesn’t want, potentially with his pension. A commutation won’t forfeit his 5th Amendment rights and it was good enough for Roger Ratfucker Stone.

                  • subtropolis says:

                    Trump cannot commute a sentence that hasn’t yet been imposed. He and Barr could have simply waited for Sullivan to do so, but that would still leave Flynn a felon.

            • bmaz says:

              Yes, “SeeDeeVee” that is exactly what you tell fucking assholes that violated their terms of service, much less pension. You remain a troll here.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              A little homework – required on this site – would tell you that Congress establishes military pay and benefits, along with a host of other matters, and enshrines them in statutory form, mostly in the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

              It would also tell you that while retiree military benefits are deferred compensation, they are also compensation paid for maintaining “continued readiness.” Moreover, retirees who collect pay and benefits remain subject to the UCMJ. The framework and contingent nature of pay and benefits is learned early by everybody in service, especially lifers.

              So, yea, they can be stopped for defined infractions. It takes a court martial, which is rarely convened for retirees. Flynn’s benefits are safe for now, but they remain at risk, in Flynn’s case, for abundantly good reasons.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Trump cares only about optics – and his wallet and hurting other people, to make himself feel better.

          My comment was about dismissal of the prosecution’s case. Flynn is already retired from the Army. He left as an O-9 after 33 years service. If he’s drawing retirement pay and benefits, he remains subject to the UCMJ. But courts martial of retired service members is very rare, and that would be required to stop his pay and benefits.

    • MattyG says:

      Speculating on what value there is to the WH in being so public obout their corruption; If a Flynn pardon doesn’t work for DJ as Flynn might be compelled to testify on really damning matters – well, Flynn knew this too and saw his light fading. Might the fire have been lit by team Flynn, “…well OK, if you won’t/can’t pardon me you had better get me out of this mess no matter how you do it… or else, and you know what I mean…” sort of way? Might Flynn’s abrupt change in courtroom tactics and DOJ’s immediate pivot have been signs of a sudden “sensitivity” to direct Flynn demands? Or are they all just crazy?

        • BobCon says:

          Also, in a trial and error way, they’ve figured out that hiding this stuff gets them in trouble sometimes, but doing it out in the open means reporters cover it like it’s legitimate legal arguments and evidence.

          • MattyG says:

            The WH is comfortable with the level of dirt they spread around. So long as it isn’t Kremlin sanctions quid pro quo – it seems yes they are comfortable.

          • ButteredToast says:

            Exactly. It’s a bit like Trump admitting nonchalantly on camera to crimes and abuses of power. I think there’s a sort of default assumption operating among low-information voters that anything he talks about in public just can’t be a crime or all that bad, because otherwise he wouldn’t be admitting to it. In other words, people assume a level of covertness with crime and corruption generally that Trump often doesn’t bother with (though I doubt it’s due so much to strategic thinking as arrogance and stupidity, with a touch of life experience at evading responsibility). Witness the lackadaisical reaction to Trump asking China in public to investigate the Bidens.

  3. GKJames says:

    Not sure how many law clerks Judge Sullivan has, but one can imagine their having to do all-nighters trying to parse the buffoonery of Powell’s submissions. Good thing Judge Gleeson’s there to help.

  4. SVFranklinS says:

    I suspect the goal here is to be a lightning rod for attention.
    For DJT, Flynn would now be a “loser”, a confessed criminal with his fate in the hands of the lawyers. If Flynn loses further, all the more a “loser”; if Barr/DJT can bend the rules and get him sprung, then it is a demonstration that DJT is the dominant one, and the rules don’t apply to him – what he says goes, courts be dammed. He dominates.

    In the meantime, I also suspect the more the frothy right froths about this, and the more the resources are spent delving into this case from several (!) years ago, the less attention on the lurking scandals going on today.

    I heard an interview with Dan Diamond on NPR Fresh Air (9/23 show) about the current chaos at HHS, and, among other things, a $250M contract they’re giving out “defeat despair and inspire hope” over the coronavirus pandemic, all to be spent by the end of the year. I wonder how many Trump buddies will be on the receiving end of that.
    This one was caught, but how many more are out there?

    With DJT, it’s all about the grift.

  5. PeterS says:

    Apologies, I’m obviously missing something. Does the linked memo from Powell ever mention Barnett? Can’t Powell accuse agents of misconduct without accusing ALL agents of misconduct?

  6. x174 says:

    mt–thanks for looking under that particular rock. what i’m seeing is the feedback effects of barf and drumpf in having mixed official legal business with baseless and extremely over-hyped media sewage. by having hyped the flynn debacle to the stratosphere and genius barf’s failed attempt to very publicly have the flynn case dismissed, the legal paperwork now clearly reflects the absurd positions that powell (and barf) will be forced to defend as they simultaneously try to placate the vicious, ignorant criminal in chief and the fox sewage imbibing imbeciles–AND all in the midst of the run up to what appears to be a likely catastrophic presidential election!
    thanks for parsing the sewage for us and rendering a conclusion: “Sidney Powell and Kenneth Kohl are accusing each other and Jeffrey Jensen of misconduct, at the same time that they’re hiding evidence that Van Grack did not engage in misconduct.”

  7. Rugger9 says:

    OT, but so typical: the votes for Trump in a trash can in PA (2 were for Biden) were there because the WH won their ruling allowing the military ballots to be thrown out. Of course, the frothy courtier press didn’t mention it, but Chris Hayes did on his twitter feed.

    Also OT, it’s Amy Coney Barrett to replace RBG. Let’s hope the Ds make it hard.

    • subtropolis says:

      Two were for Biden? Might they be the two that had been re-sealed? Can’t have them ruining the narrative!

    • P J Evans says:

      We still don’t know anything about what was going on – all the information has come through unreliable sources, like DOJ.

      • Eureka says:

        The county statement has some good new info, which (by the dates given) would seem to refute it having to do with the naked ballots issue:

        This whole Trump-Barr project has been a huge lesson in mis/disinformation (have seen lots of well-meaning people on twitter/ news replies state things as facts that never happened, like a strange game of telephone). It’s scary and sobering as to our resident chaos agents, literally ratfucking us on our dime.

        • Eureka says:

          The court decision disallowing naked ballots (Sept. 17th) came after the person discarded the ballots (on or between Sept. 14th-16th). And the county let the “temporary independent contractor” go over it, indicating that that was not the practice of that office before the decision (naked ballots were allowed, e.g., for primary, but not all offices counted them. Of course ‘not counting’ and ‘tossing in trash’ are also two different things). Anyway, evidence tilts to it being a personal practice (or motive) of this contractor.

        • Rugger9 says:

          Thanks for the update, but for me the rapid spread of the info into the fever swamps plus the DOJ intervention tells me this is another plant, like Pelosi’s hair salon session.

  8. Tom says:

    OT but according to a September 22nd opinion piece in the Washington Post by Karen Attiah, “Africa has defied the covid-19 nightmare scenarios. We shouldn’t be surprised”, those nations the President likes to call “shithole countries” have done a much better job of dealing with the corona-virus pandemic than the one and only Covid King has.

  9. blueedredcounty says:

    Marcy, found this link in comments on another site.

    I don’t know if Peter Strzok’s lawyer was reading your post over the weekend, or if they were watching any filings anywhere including any of Peter Strzok’s texts/notes, but it looks like they are formally complaining over the alterations you reported here on the 25th. Things like this keep me hopeful that the corruption will backfire.

    Thanks for everything you do!

    • bmaz says:

      How many joints does Danny Abrams have, anyway? I remember him from Court TV. He was sent out here without a single clue. He left that way too.

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