The Justice Department has doubled down on its prosecution of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, amid the debacle over the Trump administration softening its stance in court toward Roger Stone, another close associate of President Donald Trump.
Prosecutors wrote in a new court filing on Wednesday that federal Judge Emmet Sullivan should deny Flynn’s request to change his 2017 guilty plea to not guilty.
Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his conversations with the then-Russian ambassador in the early days of the Trump administration. He now says he’s innocent, is attempting to avoid being sentenced and claims investigators acted inappropriately to force him into a plea deal.
Prosecutors from the DC US Attorney’s Office and an alum of special counsel Robert Mueller’s team who now oversees federal prosecutions of foreign lobbying cases make clear in the latest Flynn filing that they are not softening their position toward him. They also defend their work in cutting his deal, which Flynn has tried to claim as misconduct.
“The defendant does not identify government misconduct in this case, and certainly not conduct that is ‘outrageous’ or ‘grossly shocking,’ ” prosecutors Brandon Van Grack and Jocelyn Ballantine wrote in the filing Wednesday, which is also signed by recently appointed DC US Attorney Tim Shea.
Flynn has no scheduled sentencing date. His sentencing is on hold as the prosecutors and his lawyers tangle over how much evidence they can use from his interactions with his former defense attorneys, who cut his plea.
Prosecutors have sent mixed messages in recent weeks about their intentions for Trump’s first national security adviser, much of it over whether Flynn deserves to serve time in prison for his crime