Connect with us

Politics

Flynn urged by supporters to withdraw guilty plea, as judge’s actions raise eyebrows

Published

on

Supporters of former national security adviser Michael Flynn are floating the possibility he could withdraw his guilty plea in Robert Mueller’s investigation, as the new judge in the case makes some curious moves amid speculation over whether the special counsel “withheld” evidence. 

Legal experts caution that a defendant successfully withdrawing a guilty plea is rare and likely wouldn’t get him off the hook.

But Flynn’s siblings, who are vocal in their support for the former Trump adviser on social media, seem to be advocating that he withdraw his plea.

“Say it very loud….!” Joseph J. Flynn, who helped set up a legal defense fund for his brother, tweeted Monday in response to an activist calling on Flynn to withdraw the plea.

Another sister and brother of Flynn, Barbara Redgate and Jack Flynn, separately retweeted the same message from another activist that read: “Mueller suppressed evidence from the General Flynn case. His plea must be withdrawn and all charges dropped.” 

The chatter also comes amid reports that then-FBI Director James Comey told lawmakers last year that agents did not think Flynn intentionally lied to the FBI. Yet Flynn, in December, pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements to the FBI about his conversations with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the transition.

Flynn lost his White House job over that controversy, after being accused of misleading Vice President Mike Pence and other administration officials.

The idea of Flynn withdrawing his plea has picked up steam online in recent days, especially after the Washington Examiner’s Byron York reported on Comey’s 2017 comments.

SHOCK CLAIM ABOUT FBI’S MICHAEL FLYNN INTERVIEW RAISES QUESTIONS

FILE - In this May 1, 2008 file photo, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan is pictured during a ceremony at the federal courthouse in Washington. The special prosecutor who investigated the botched case against late Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens is not recommending criminal charges against any of the Justice Department attorneys who tried him despite finding widespread misconduct beyond what has yet been publicly revealed.  (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Judge Emmet Sullivan has a reputation for punishing Department of Justice overreach, including during the case against then-Alaska Republican Sen. Ted Stevens.

 (AP)

Fueling more speculation are other unusual moves behind the scenes: days after Flynn’s plea, U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras recused himself and was replaced by Judge Emmet Sullivan. Sullivan has a reputation for punishing Department of Justice overreach, including during the case against the late Alaska Republican Sen. Ted Stevens.

Sullivan then raised eyebrows when he ordered prosecutors to give Flynn’s lawyers “any evidence in its possession that is favorable” to Flynn.

Mueller’s team has since postponed Flynn’s sentencing. And last Wednesday, Mueller’s team filed a protective order “governing the production of discovery,” which indicates they won’t fight the order to hand over documents.

The developments have piqued the interest of former federal prosecutors, who argue there could be bombshells in the material.

“Typically, exculpatory information is not required to be turned over when a plea has been done, but I think this judge is particularly sensitive to those issues, given some of his history and cases he’s had,” John Lauro, a former federal prosecutor in New York and defense attorney who specializes in white-collar criminal defense, told Fox News. 

Law professor Jonathan Turley, writing Wednesday in The Hill, questioned whether Flynn might believe evidence was “withheld.” 

Former federal prosecutor Sidney Powell wrote in a recent op-ed for The Daily Caller that “the recent postponement of General Flynn’s sentencing provides an opportunity for more evidence to be revealed that will provide massive ammunition for a motion to withdraw Flynn’s guilty plea and dismiss the charges against him.”

Andrew McCarthy, a former assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, wrote in the National Review that it “certainly appears that Sullivan’s order supersedes the plea agreement.”

“Could this provide General Flynn with factual grounds of which he was previously unaware to seek to have his plea vacated?” McCarthy wrote. “Would he have a viable legal basis to undo the plea agreement that he and his lawyer signed on November 30? We do not know at this point.”

An attorney for Flynn, Robert K. Kelner, declined to comment.

But legal experts say there’s a high bar for a defendant to reach to successfully withdraw a guilty plea, though it’s not an impossible scenario.

“Withdrawing a federal plea is extremely rare and very difficult,” Robert Stahl, a white-collar criminal defense attorney in New York and New Jersey and a former assistant U.S. Attorney, told Fox News.

Even if the judge dismissed Flynn’s guilty plea, Mueller could still indict him, and charge him with other crimes in addition to lying to the FBI.

“There are lots of factors that go into a decision to plead guilty … In Flynn’s case, there are also the factors of other potential charges that were not pursued by the government in exchange for his plea entered,” Stahl said.

Lauro said withdrawing a guilty plea is “not typically an easy thing to do” but “it is something that can happen if it’s fair and just to do so under the circumstances.”

“It may be very well be that he makes a strategic decision to keep the plea in place because he has other issues,” he said of Flynn.

As part of his guilty plea last year, Flynn agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s Russia probe. In a written statement at the time of his plea, Flynn said his “guilty plea and agreement to cooperate with the Special Counsel’s Office reflect a decision I made in the best interests of my family and of our country. I accept full responsibility for my actions.”

Meanwhile, President Trump, who previously said Flynn “lied,” has not ruled out pardoning his former adviser.

“I don’t want to talk about pardons with Michael Flynn yet,” Trump said last year. “We’ll see what happens. Let’s see.” 

Fox News’ Adam Shaw and Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

Alex Pappas is a politics reporter at FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AlexPappas.



Source link

Politics

U.S. has administered over 309 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines, CDC says

Published

on

The United States had administered 309,322,545 doses of Covid-19 vaccines and distributed 374,398,105 doses in the country as of Sunday morning, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Those figures were up from the 308,112,728 doses of vaccine that the CDC said had been administered as of Saturday, out of 374,397,205 doses delivered.

The agency said 173,840,483 people in the United States had received at least one dose of a vaccine, while 143,921,222 people were fully vaccinated as of 6 a.m. ET on Sunday.

The CDC tally includes the two-dose vaccines from Moderna Inc and Pfizer Inc/BioNTech/ as well as Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine.

Source link

Continue Reading

Politics

Nigel Farage SHOULD be honoured for 'services to EU exit' – 'He's the man of the Century!'

Published

on

DOZENS of influential figures have been rewarded in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for their services to Brexit – but one former MEP has pointed out that Nigel Farage has been excluded.

Source link

Continue Reading

Politics

Queen Elizabeth II hosts Bidens at Windsor Castle

Published

on

LONDON — They met Friday at the Group of Seven summit, but President Joe Biden and the first lady had an altogether more private meeting with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II on Sunday, at her home in Windsor Castle.

The monarch, 95, received the Bidens for tea at her historic residence, about 30 miles west of London. On arrival they were greeted with an official Guard of Honor military parade, which gave a royal salute and played the American national anthem.

Biden stood next to the queen in the sunshine, wearing his aviator sunglasses, before inspecting the troops in the quadrangle of Windsor Castle, last seen on television during the somber funeral ceremony of her husband, Prince Philip, who died aged 99 in April.

The queen has stoically continued with her official duties since then and met Biden alongside other world leaders and their spouses on Friday at the G-7 summit, by the seaside in Cornwall, southwest England.

There, she amused leaders when she quipped during a photo-call: “Are you supposed to be looking as if you’re enjoying yourselves?”

Biden first met the queen in 1982 as a Democratic senator for Delaware but this time he joined her as president. He is the 13th serving president the monarch has met. She has met every serving American president since Dwight Eisenhower — except Lyndon Johnson who did not travel to Britain while in office.

As a 25-year-old princess in 1951, she also stayed with President Harry S. Truman and his family in Washington, D.C.

The queen has hosted four other American presidents at Windsor Castle in recent years, including former-President Donald Trump in 2018, who shocked press and palace pundits when he breached royal protocol by walking ahead of the queen, at times blocking her view and giving her his back.

After a state visit in 2019, Trump told Fox News: “There are those that say they have never seen the queen have a better time.”

Download the NBC News app for breaking news and politics

On arrival to England last week, first lady Jill Biden told reporters that meeting the queen was “an exciting part of the visit for us.”

She also undertook a separate engagement with Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, when the two visited a school on Friday.

Kate told NBC News during the visit that she was looking forward to meeting her new niece, Lilibet Diana, born in California earlier this month.

Britain’s royal family have had a turbulent year in the public eye following a bombshell interview given by the queen’s grandson Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex.

The couple stunned viewers with allegations of royal racism — denied by the palace — while Meghan also spoke publicly about how royal life and media pressure had taken its toll on her mental health.

After taking private afternoon tea with the queen on Sunday, Biden will then travel to nearby Brussels for a NATO summit, before heading to Switzerland on Wednesday for a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending