The Flynn gambit

There's no getting around the problem of Michael Flynn's guilty plea.  I'd say his case should have been thrown out a long time ago if it weren't for that horrible strategic error.  It's very tough to win a motion to withdraw a guilty plea no matter how seedy the prosecution's actions were; it almost requires the defense to argue that the defendant himself was misled into believing he broke the law.

Early reports, however, suggested that Flynn might have pled guilty in a desperate attempt to shield his son from a bad-faith retaliatory prosecution.  That's not quite like believing one's son is really guilty; it's more recognizing that these people can and will stop at nothing to ruin the life even of an innocent man.  By this standard, Flynn leapt on a grenade, which tells us absolutely nothing about whether he had a guilty conscience or a well-founded fear that the government could prove its case against him--which, to be honest, always looked terribly thin, even by Kafkaesque standards.

Last Friday's document dump included some material that's still secret, which requires the interested public to draw conclusions from how people are reacting to it, like intuiting the existence of a new planet by its perturbation of the orbits of others.  Certainly Flynn's new (and much better) counsel Sydney Powell was galvanized into doubling down on her motion to withdraw the guilty plea.  Andrew McCarthy believes the documents show that the prosecution withheld from the court the information that Flynn's guilty plea was predicated on a secret agreement not to terrorize Flynn's son.  I hope this will be the straw that broke the camel's back, even for a trial judge who's not demonstrating much concern so far.

There should be some jail time here, but not for anyone named Flynn.


Grim said...

The secret agreement may anger the judge, both because it was done to fool him, and because it would enable them to go on to fool other judges and juries.

Sullivan was clearly misled by the Mueller team in other ways he may have come to realize. At the sentencing hearing he clearly was under the impression that Flynn was accused of something approaching treason and espionage, rather than having failed to fill out some paperwork while not in a government position. The prosecution had to walk that back in open court to justify their no-jail-time recommendation.

MikeD said...

Given the tactic of "overcharging" by DA's (wherein the DA will present a defendant with a laundry list of charges, vowing to put the defendant away for decades unless they plead guilty to a single lesser charge) in order to boost conviction rates, and given the revelation that the prosecutors clearly threatened to go after his son unless he plead guilty to something he knew he did not do, I don't know that I could hold a previous guilty plea against Flynn. And in light of the extensive prosecutorial conduct, I think any judge who would not nullify the guilty plea would be absolutely remiss in their duties. But that's my (non-professional) read on it. If anything, I'd liken it to a coerced confession beaten out of a suspect.

E Hines said...

it's more recognizing that these people can and will stop at nothing to ruin the life even of an innocent man.

Flynn is increasingly looking like he had his own innocent self as the proximate example that.

Eric Hines

GraniteDad said...

I just don’t understand the support and admiration of Flynn. I can see being frustrated at the prosecutors but Flynn was in Russia criticizing American policy to state propaganda outlets, and was sitting next to Putin at a dinner. He lied to the Vice President. He’s a military intelligence officer- this is someone who is allegedly smart enough to know he shouldn’t be shooting his mouth off to the FBI, and to know the impact of what he said and did. This isn’t some hopeless naif who was led astray by tricksy interviewers.

Russ said...

From a National Review Article that posted, I think, yesterday. His original legal team might have not had his best interest at heart.

First, Sidney Powell had nothing to do with negotiating Flynn’s guilty plea. To the contrary, she has been intrepid in investigating whether that plea was induced by prosecutorial misconduct. Flynn was originally represented by the very politically connected Washington firm of Covington & Burling. The firm’s performance has already raised questions: They counseled Flynn on his FARA submissions, filing the FARA documents with the DOJ on his behalf; and they also represented him in his plea negotiations with Mueller’s staff, which involved the integrity of these same FARA filings. That’s a conflict of interest, and though the DOJ maintains that Flynn waived it, there is a question about whether such a conflict is waivable. Now comes the claim about a side deal not to prosecute Flynn’s son. Let’s stress that nothing has been proved at this point. But if Covington’s lawyers colluded with government lawyers to make such a deal and conceal it from the court, that would raise very serious legal and ethical issues.

Grim said...

Flynn stood up for an honest assessment of Afghanistan, so much so that Barack Obama appointed him to head DIA. It’s not a partisan point. He listened to the guys on the ground and fought for them.

MikeD said...

I just don’t understand the support and admiration of Flynn.

For me, there is no admiration. I literally have no opinion on the man himself one way or the other. The support comes from the fact that it's becoming clear that this man was specifically targeted to be railroaded into a conviction, not for crimes he actually committed, but because he was associated with a political figure disliked by the perpetrators of this witch-hunt. Last time I checked, using the full power of the government to arrest, charge, and prosecute someone for a crime the government knows full well he did not commit is as frighting an abuse of power as is imaginable (short of simply executing him extrajudicially). And any thinking person should support someone so targeted.

I don't care if it were James Carville, a man who is the living embodiment of sleeze and dishonor to me. If he were being railroaded like Flynn, I would support him and demand criminal prosecution of those who abused their power to frame and bully him into a cell. I would hope all honest people would do likewise.

ymarsakar said...

Flynn's own lawyers were working for the FBI and prosecution. This is why I tell people not to trust lawyers. Because lawyers are not necessarily out to enforce the law or justice, unlike Abe Lincoln.

That is not their job.

Counter: That's because lawyers are there to represent their clients to the best of their abilities.

Y: That's not exactly their job either. It is closer though. The reason why lawyers exist is because people do not understand the Laws that they Obey.

ymarsakar said...

I was never a big fan of the US legal system. I can't seriously call it a Justice system... given what DoJ is.

This often put me at odds with Law and Order conservatives that always preferred to Obey Police and their Authorities. I kept trying to penetrate through that wagon defense, that there are fundamental problems with that viewpoint.

The military tends to respond to pacifists or Keyboard warriors with "go fight in a war before talking about it".

America does not prosecute or kill evil people. What tends to happen is that the Cabal ensures a certain level of immunity for their allies, in order to loot, steal, pillage the livestock (human slaves). Meanwhile, people that get caught in the problem, becomes the problem.

The people fighting the war... don't actually determine the war policy, unless they are higher up in the O ranks. The moment people begin fighting the system, they have lost, because they can only obey orders. The moment people refuse to fight the system, they have lost, because they can only obey orders.

This is an interesting Slavery 3.0 system. If you can only say something about a war after fighting in it, then by the time you could say anything, the war is over. Or you will be too busy fighting to talk. It's an interesting delay plan or catch 22.

Can Americans prosecute the Deep State using the State?