Michael Flynn, former U.S. national security adviser, exits federal court in Washington, D.C., on Monday, June 24, 2019.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Former national security advisor Michael Flynn officially moved to withdraw his guilty plea Tuesday, more than two years after he initially said he had lied to federal agents about his contacts with a Russian diplomat before the inauguration of President Donald Trump.
“Mr. Flynn files this Motion now in the interest of justice,” his attorney, Sidney Powell, wrote in a 22-page filing in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.
Powell wrote that Flynn is withdrawing his plea “because of the government’s bad faith, vindictiveness, and breach of the plea agreement.” She also asked Judge Emmet Sullivan for a 30-day delay of Flynn’s sentencing date, which is currently scheduled for Jan. 28.
Less than a week earlier, federal prosecutors had urged Sullivan to jail Flynn for up to six months, citing the “serious nature of” Flynn’s “offense,” and “his apparent failure to accept responsibility” for his crime.
Prosecutors had been outraged by what they called Flynn’s “extraordinary” shift toward a claim of innocence in late 2019.
Flynn was charged as part of then-special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian election interference during the 2016 presidential election. He had nearly been sentenced in December 2018, but opted to postpone that proceeding after Sullivan harshly urged him to first complete his cooperation with Mueller’s probe.
“Arguably, you sold your country out,” Sullivan said at that hearing.
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