Michael Flynn’s combative new lawyer joined federal prosecutors Friday to call for another two-month delay before sentencing the former Donald Trump national security adviser for lying to the FBI about his conversations with a top Russian official.
The request for an extra 60 days came in a two-page joint status report filed to the federal district court judge in Washington, D.C., who will deliver Flynn’s punishment for his 2017 guilty plea with special counsel Robert Mueller.
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Flynn last week disclosed that he had fired his original legal team and instead retained Sidney Powell, a fierce and outspoken critic of the Mueller probe whom President Donald Trump later hailed on Twitter as a “GREAT LAWYER.”
Even with the new attorney arrangement — which has sparked speculation Flynn could back out of his guilty plea with federal prosecutors as part of a play for a presidential pardon — the former Trump national security adviser appears to be sticking to his cooperation deal.
That includes testifying in the government’s upcoming trial against his former business partner, Bijan Rafiekian, which is set to start on July 15. Rafiekian was indicted last December for acting as an unregistered agent for Turkey in the U.S. and a related conspiracy charge.
Friday’s status report, the first filing to U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan since Powell took over as Flynn’s defense lawyer, noted that Flynn “could be called as a witness” in the Rafiekian trial in Alexandria, Va. After the trial, which is expected to last more than a week, the government said Flynn’s cooperation would be finished and they’d be ready to move ahead with his sentencing.
Sullivan had been set to sentence Flynn last December but instead postponed the proceedings at a contentious hearing during which the judge strongly suggested the former Trump aide take more time to fulfill his cooperation obligations to the government.
Flynn’s former lawyers, according to Friday’s status report, have their old client’s case file available for Powell “and they have advised it is voluminous.”
Powell said in the filing she is “already in possession of a massive amount of information to process.” And she added that her “concerns about the amount of information to review in preparation for sentencing will be addressed again in 60 days, when the defendant’s cooperation is likely to be complete.”