Former national security adviser Michael Flynn — the only Trump administration official prosecuted in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation —wants to withdraw the guilty plea he offered more than two years ago to making false statements to the FBI, Politico reports. The move two weeks before Flynn is supposed to face his long-delayed sentencing follows Flynn’s shift to more confrontational defense lawyers and an ensuing, acrimonious showdown with prosecutors over the retired Army general’s planned testimony in a related case. In a motion Tuesday in federal court in Washington, Flynn’s defense team said the prosecution’s description of those events in a sentencing submission amounted to a breach of the plea agreement that Flynn and his former attorneys struck with Mueller’s office in 2017.
Flynn’s lead counsel, Sidney Powell, said the government essentially blew up the plea deal by retreating from an earlier statement that Flynn deserved leniency because of his “substantial assistance” to the government with various investigations. “The government’s stunning and vindictive reversal of its earlier representations to this Court are incredible, vindictive, in bad faith, and breach the plea agreement,” wrote Flynn’s attorneys. They argued that the government was going back on its promises by seeking a prison sentence for Flynn after agreeing in 2018 that a sentence of mere probation would be appropriate. Flynn pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI about his dealings with the Russian ambassador and other diplomats during the presidential transition