Former national security adviser Michael Flynn admitted to the court two years ago that he lied to the FBI about his contacts with a Russian ambassador. Still pending sentencing, which was scheduled for January 28, demanded this week that he withdraw his guilty plea.
“Michael T. Flynn is innocent. Mr. Flynn has cooperated with the government in good faith,” his lawyers wrote in a brief report.
The US prosecutor’s office in Washington recommended earlier this month that Flynn receive “0 to 6 months imprisonment.” Flynn, prosecutors said, had been uncooperative in an investigation of his former lobbying partner convicted of conspiring to act as an undisclosed agent in Turkey.
Firm faith in the American judicial system seems to have no place in the playbook for those who were on President Donald Trump’s political team.
On February 20, former Trump adviser Roger Stone will be sentenced for his conviction for hindering investigators. He has let him know that he is looking for a presidential pardon, blamed the conspiracies and even had to apologize to the judge who harassed his website.
“Donald Trump, if you can hear me, save our family,” Stone’s daughter, Adria, said on Fox News after her father’s conviction.
Last week, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen appealed to the court for special improvements. He asked that his 3-year sentence be reduced to 1, citing “approximately 170 hours giving testimony to about eight different government agencies, in compliance with their duties and obligations.”
But prosecutors said in court documents: “Cohen never made a significant effort to engage in serious cooperation, but instead participated in a prolonged public relations campaign, in which he tried to present himself as a victim and hero.”
In October 2018, George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy advisor in the Trump campaign, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about a conversation with a professor who told him that the Russians had “dirt” in the form of emails about Hillary Clinton.
Papadopoulos was sentenced to 14 days. He then told a judge that he made “a terrible mistake, for which I have paid a terrible price, and I am deeply ashamed.”
Apparently, the shame didn’t last or it wasn’t really there. In his book “Deep State Target,” Papadopoulos said he had been framed by alleged spies.
But Michael Horowitz, the inspector general of the Department of Justice, found that this statement is unfounded in a report that criticizes the practices of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
Cynicism about the judicial process is far from being exclusive to Trump’s circle, even if the president himself allows it on his Twitter account.