Flynn Lawyer Says She Asked Trump Not to Pardon Former Aide

Michael Flynn’s lawyer told a judge she personally asked President Donald Trump not to pardon his former national security advisor while she and the Justice Department fight to have the case dismissed.

Sidney Powell made the statement at a court hearing in Washington on the Department of Justice’s request in May to drop its prosecution of Flynn for lying to FBI agents during the probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Under questioning by U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan about her communications with the Justice Department and the White House, Powell said she personally briefed Trump and White House lawyer Jenna Ellis on the status of the litigation “within the last couple of weeks” and asked the president not to pardon Flynn, who pleaded guilty twice.

Sullivan pointed to a copy of a June 2019 letter from Powell to Attorney General William Barr asking him to name different prosecutors to the Flynn case before she formally joined the case as Flynn’s attorney. Powell said she didn’t get a response from Barr but said she believed there was nothing unethical about the communication.

The Justice Department in May filed a surprise motion to dismiss the case against Flynn, saying the case had been brought improperly and that Flynn’s lies to two FBI agents weren’t “material” to the Russia probe. Sullivan declined to immediately grant the motion and is holding hearings on whether the government might be seeking to drop the case as a favor to a politcal ally of Trump.

Kenneth Kohl, a lawyer for the Justice Department, rejected the notion. He said the government decided to abandon the case after concluding that the FBI agents who conducted the interview with Flynn at the center of the case didn’t believe he’d lied, and that another agent came to the conclusion the case was brought improperly “to get Trump.”

“The allegation against our office that we would somehow act with a corrupt political motive is just not true,” Kohl said at the hearing. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office’s decision to dismiss this case was the right call for the right reasons.”

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