By Luke Rosiak
- Attorney Sidney Powell on Thursday asked a federal court to hold prosecutors in contempt for their conduct in the case against former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn.
- She said the government withheld evidence of misconduct in the FBI, including the infamous Peter Strzok-Lisa Page texts, until one day after he pleaded guilty in December 2017, and that contemporaneous notes from Flynn’s interview with Strzok contradict Strzok’s final report.
- Powell wrote that Pentagon official James Baker may be behind the illegal leak to The Washington Post of a transcript of a call with a Russian ambassador, with James Clapper allegedly telling David Ignatius to take a “kill shot.”
Former national security advisor Michael Flynn’s attorney said in a court filing Thursday that the case against her client should be dismissed “for outrageous government misconduct” and that the court should “issue an order to show cause why the prosecutors should not be held in contempt.”
Attorney Sidney Powell wrote that FBI agent Peter Strzok changed his interview notes to purport that Flynn said things he did not, that a Pentagon official may have leaked evidence to the press with the involvement former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and that Department of Justice prosecutors have refused to turn over exculpatory evidence to the defense.
Flynn served as President Donald Trump’s first national security advisor. Four days after Trump’s inauguration, on Jan. 24, 2017, Strzok met with Flynn in what Flynn viewed as a meeting of two colleagues, but which Strzok was using as part of a criminal probe against him, the filing said. On Dec. 1, 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty to making false statements regarding his conversations with Russia’s ambassador, Sergey Kislyak.
The filing says that the government sat on explosive evidence about Strzok, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page and others in the bureau until the day after Flynn pleaded guilty.
“The day after Mr. Flynn’s plea, the press exploded with the news of Strzok and Page’s prolific text messages, their affair, and their malice toward President Trump,” Powell’s filing says. “The Inspector General issued a rare statement that he was investigating the entire matter.”
“Bruce Ohr, the fourth highest-ranking member of DOJ, was demoted,” the filing continues. “Judge Contreras, who accepted Mr. Flynn’s plea only days before, was suddenly and inexplicably recused—only for it to be disclosed much later that he was a topic of conversation in the Strzok-Page texts because he was a friend of Agent Strzok.”
“Not only did [prosecutor Brandon Van Grack] not disclose a single text message before Mr. Flynn agreed to plead guilty, but Special Counsel apparently managed to control the press on the issue until the plea was entered on December 1, 2017, in Judge Contreras’s court,” Powell wrote. “It defies credulity to suggest that it was only unlucky for Mr. Flynn that the story broke the very next day.”
Interview notes contradict later summaries, filing says
The basis for the false statements charge comes from an interview that was not audio recorded, even though anyone with a cell phone could have easily recorded it, Powell wrote.
Strzok did not take any written notes during the interview with Flynn, while a junior agent did, Powell wrote. Strzok later wrote lengthy notes after the fact. Eventually, Strzok summarized the interview in a 302, the official FBI form in which an agent memorializes an interview, which became the evidence for false statements.
“Yet, their own notes contradict the 302, [and] fail to support it at all in other ways,” Powell wrote.