Former National Security Advisor General Michael Flynn leaves after the delay in his sentencing hearing at US District Court in Washington, DC, December 18, 2018.
Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images
A federal judge on Wednesday once again delayed the criminal sentencing of Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s first national security advisor.
Lawyers for Flynn and the Department of Justice had written to Judge Emmet Sullivan in a court filing Tuesday, asking to postpone the upcoming sentencing hearing until the court makes a decision on whether to compel the government to hand certain information over to Flynn.
The filing in U.S. District Court in Washington also notes that a report on FBI surveillance from the DOJ’s Office of Inspector General, reported to be publicly released within the next several weeks, is expected to “examine topics related to several matters raised by” Flynn.
Sullivan wrote in an order Wednesday morning to vacate Flynn’s sentencing “until further Order of this Court.” A new date has not been set.
“It was the logical thing to do while we wait for his order and the IG report,” Flynn’s lawyer, Sidney Powell, told CNBC in an email. “There is so much more information we need that will prove General Flynn’s innocence and the government’s misconduct.”
Flynn’s sentencing hearing had been scheduled for Dec. 18 — a year after the retired Army lieutenant general had first appeared in court to be sentenced on a charge of lying to FBI agents about his contacts with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the weeks before Trump’s inauguration.
But Flynn chose to take Sullivan’s offer to hold off on that sentencing until after he was done cooperating with then-special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. Flynn made his decision after receiving a brutal tongue-lashing in court from the judge, who told him “arguably you sold your country out” and warned him he might sent Flynn to jail if he did not agree to postpone his sentencing.
Powell previously told CNBC that she plans to file a motion to dismiss the case against him “after we get the additional evidence we expect Judge Sullivan will order produced.”
Powell claims prosecutors have suppressed so-called Brady material, which is evidence that could exculpate a criminal case defendant. But the prosecutors say they have already turned over all the evidence they are legally required to give.
Prosecutors have also ripped Powell’s recent argument in the case that Flynn is the victim of a “plot to set up an innocent man” — a claim they called “an extraordinary reversal” since Flynn has already pleaded guilty before multiple federal judges.