Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn is something of a troubled man. A retired Army Lieutenant General turned foreign agent turned convicted felon, Flynn’s had something of a colorful life for the past few years. Now, just as it seems he’s finally set to be sentenced, his new legal team appears to be playing petty games with federal prosecutors. But why?
We recently got news that Flynn’s counsel “said she has not had enough time to review the case, and accused the government of unfairly refusing to hand over information relevant to the defense. She said this includes transcripts and recordings of phone calls supposedly underlying the charges against Flynn, and which the government has “steadfastly refused to produce.” Right.
As far as I know, this means one of two reasonably likely things: 1) There is classified information the government has that cannot be compromised even through discovery (basically a process by which lawyers have to give each other information from their respective sides so outcomes can be just), or 2) There isn’t any such information at all.
If the first option is true, which is to say that there’s classified information, it’s possible that it’s information material to ongoing investigations elsewhere in the sordid Trump universe. However, Justice Department federal prosecutor for the National Security Division, Brandon Van Grack, did state rather explicitly that there was no classified information to protect, and thus makes the first possibility unlikely.
If the second and more likely option is true, it goes a long way to show Flynn’s counsel’s desperation. In essence, Flynn’s counsel would be crying wolf in a feeble attempt to make the Justice Department look like they’re going rogue – something that would be hard to square with the fact that Trump puppet Bill Barr is at the helm of that very agency. If anything, you would expect any pressure from Trump to get to Barr, and from Barr then to the prosecutors, not the harsh and unjust treatment his counsel is suggesting. Flynn’s lawyer shakeup earlier this year was something of a surprise, and it’s beginning to look like it wasn’t a good judgment call on Flynn’s part.