by Chuck Ross
Michael Flynn’s lawyers want a federal judge to force prosecutors to turn over 40 categories of documents they say will vindicate the former national security adviser, according to a court filing released Wednesday.
The slew of documents include a purported memo a British national security adviser sent Flynn in early 2017 regarding the Steele dossier. Sidney Powell, a lawyer for Flynn, is also seeking Justice Department memos she says show government officials knew early on in the Trump administration that Flynn was not a Russia asset.
Powell cited an internal DOJ document dated Jan. 30, 2017, which she said cleared Flynn of being “an agent of Russia.” Powell also wants FBI interview notes with former Justice Department official Mary McCord that show when she knew that Flynn did not have “a clandestine relationship with Russia.”
Powell, a fierce critic of the special counsel’s probe, laid out the list of documents in an Aug. 30 sealed court filing released Wednesday.
Powell pressed Judge Emmet Sullivan in a court appearance Tuesday to dismiss charges against Flynn for what she called “egregious” prosecutorial misconduct. She said in the memo that federal prosecutors have “thoroughly stymied” her efforts to obtain the information since she took over as Flynn’s lead lawyer on June 6.
Flynn pleaded guilty on Dec. 1, 2017 to making false statements in a Jan. 24, 2017 interview with FBI agents regarding his conversations a month earlier with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Flynn cooperated extensively with the special counsel’s Russia probe as part of his plea agreement. Flynn also cooperated with federal prosecutors in Virginia in a case against Bijan Rafiekian, a former Flynn business partner who a federal jury convicted of working as an unregistered agent of Turkey.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon Van Grack argued Tuesday that prosecutors have already provided all of the information they are required to give Flynn’s defense team. He said none of the documents Powell seeks has anything to do with the false statements charge against Flynn.
Powell asserted Flynn might not have entered a plea agreement with the special counsel had his defense team at the time had access to the government documents she is now seeking.
Sullivan scheduled a hearing for on Oct. 31 to hash out whether prosecutors owe Flynn’s team additional documents.
Also on the laundry list of documents Powell seeks are records of any payments, memos or correspondence between former Cambridge professor Stefan Halper and the FBI, CIA or Defense Department.
Halper organized a February 2014 event Flynn attended at the University of Cambridge, while he served as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. That event would later because the source of unfounded rumors that Flynn and a Cambridge academic, Svetlana Lokhova, had improper contacts.
News reports came out in March 2017 that U.S. intelligence officials received a warning about Flynn and Lokhova. But both have denied doing anything improper.
Lokhova accused Halper in a lawsuit in May of being behind the news reports, which she claims are false.
Halper reportedly established relationships with former Trump aides Carter Page and George Papadopoulos on behalf of the FBI during the 2016 campaign.
The list of demands also includes a letter that a British national security official sent Flynn and his predecessor, Susan Rice, before President Donald Trump took office.
“The letter apparently disavows former British Secret Service Agent Christopher Steele, calls his credibility into question, and declares him untrustworthy,” Powell said in her memo.
Former British national security adviser Mark Lyall Grant sent a letter to Flynn after the Jan. 10, 2017 publication of the Steele dossier stating that the British government did not have confidence in Steele, the author of the salacious report, according to congressional investigators, The Hill’s John Solomon wrote in an op-ed on May 29.
Powell also seems intent on finding out how details of Flynn’s phone calls with Kislyak were leaked to the media.
She is seeking FBI documents regarding any contacts between top Obama intelligence officials and Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, who published the Jan. 12, 2017 article that first revealed a phone call between Flynn and Kislyak. Ignatius’ article preceded leaks of classified details of the Flynn-Kislyak phone calls.
Congressional Republicans have investigated which officials obtained the transcript and leaked it to Ignatius and other reporters.
Powell is seeking the cellphone and home phone records of former National Intelligence Director James Clapper and Ignatius, as well as records of any interactions between Ignatius and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former CIA Director John Brennan and officials at several other federal agencies.
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