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Michael Flynn appears in court with new lawyers, continues to cooperate with feds

Posted at 3:09 PM, Jun 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-24 17:09:29-04

Michael Flynn is still cooperating with the Justice Department, and it will delay his sentencing for another several months.

President Donald Trump’s first national security adviser’s “cooperation is fully ongoing,” his attorney Sidney Powell said in court Monday, putting to rest at least some speculation about Flynn’s relationship with a Justice Department that those around him have criticized.

The Texas-based lawyer said Flynn is still planning to testify at the trial of his former lobbying partner Bijan Kian next month.

Powell will then need months to review the documents in Flynn’s case before his sentencing, she said.

Prosecutors and Flynn’s new legal team will provide the court with another status report on Flynn at the end of August.

It was the first time Flynn has been to court in Washington since his disastrous, derailed sentencing hearing last December, and the first time Flynn’s new lawyers stood before Judge Emmet Sullivan. His case has been essentially on hold for the Kian trial.

The hearing on Monday ran short, for only about 20 minutes, and the attorneys and the judge had a drastically different, more pleasant tone than the sentencing last December. At that hearing, Sullivan told Flynn he was disgusted by his actions and questioned whether Flynn sincerely accepted responsibility for his crime.

Before the proceeding started on Monday, Flynn even waved across the room to a Washington-based federal prosecutor who inherited his case from the Mueller team.

Flynn pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the FBI in December 2017, then helped special counsel Robert Mueller investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election and obstruction of justice. He fired his longtime lawyers, from the large law firm Covington & Burling, earlier this month, as the focus of his lobbying partners’ case turned toward Covington’s work for Flynn and his lobbying firm Flynn Intel Group.

Flynn is likely to be the star witness for prosecutors at the Kian trial.

Before and after Flynn went before Sullivan late last year, Powell and right-wing commentators have spread conspiracy theories that imply Flynn was entrapped by the FBI, not given all documents from Mueller and forced to lie in his plea deal.

Powell seemed to hint that those possibilities are still on her mind. She told the judge she may need a security clearance to review evidence in Flynn’s case before his sentencing. But prosecutor Brandon Van Grack asserted that there’s no classified information held by the government in the case file — nothing in the 20,000 pages of documents, of which Powell already has spread over three hard drives.

“There is other information,” Powell said.

The judge didn’t press her to explain, and instead told her to work out the security clearance issue with the Justice Department. She declined to comment further when exiting the courthouse and hasn’t responded to questions over email.