Michael Flynn, former U.S. national security adviser, exits federal court in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, June 24, 2019.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Michael Flynn, the former national security advisor for President Donald Trump, claims in a new legal filing that he is innocent as he seeks to undo his guilty plea for making false statements to the FBI about his talks with Russia’s ambassador to the United States in the weeks before Trump’s inauguration.
“In truth, I never lied,” Flynn says in the document, which was filed Wednesday.
Flynn also claimed that “I never would have pled guilty” if his first set of lawyers had told him that FBI agents wrote that he had a “sure demeanor” and “did not give any indication of deception” in a report prepared after they questioned him about the nature of his conversations with then-ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
Instead, Flynn said in his legal team’s filing Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Washington that “I tried to ‘accept responsibility’ by admitting to offenses I understood the government I love and trusted said I committed.”
And he claimed that at the moment he does not recall whether he discussed sanctions on Russia with Kislyak, as the FBI has alleged.
However, Flynn has previously affirmed at two court hearings that he had falsely told FBI agents in January 2017 that he did not ask Kislyak to refrain from escalating sanctions in response to the imposition of sanctions against Russia by the Obama administration.
“I am innocent of this crime, and I request to withdraw my guilty plea,” he wrote in the filing Wednesday.
It is not clear whether Flynn’s statements in the filing will be enough to convince Judge Emmet Sullivan that he should be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea, as he recently requested.
Lawyers unconnected to the case say that Flynn, who is still tentatively scheduled to be sentenced next month, faces very long odds in getting Sullivan to undo the plea.