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Prosecutors suggest delay in Flynn sentencing

Prosecutors suggest delay in Flynn sentencing
© Aaron Schwartz

Federal prosecutors on Sunday sought a delay in the sentencing of former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn due to his request to withdraw his earlier guilty plea to lying to the FBI, with the U.S. Attorney’s office saying the request may require testimony from his former attorneys.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington did not specifically call for Flynn’s February 27 sentencing to be delayed in the Sunday court filings, but proposed a postponement of deadlines in a way that would leave little chance of the sentencing happening on schedule.

The filing was first reported by Politico

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In the new filings, prosecutors say Flynn’s former attorneys at the law firm of Covington & Burling may need to testify in regard to his claims that they gave him ineffective counsel. Also on Sunday, prosecutors asked Judge Emmet Sullivan, an Obama appointee, to rule that Flynn’s conversations with his erstwhile defense team are no longer subject to attorney-client privilege.

“The government requests that the Court suspend the current briefing schedule concerning the defendant’s [motion] until such time as the government has been able to confer with Covington regarding the information it seeks,” the filings stated.

“While Covington has indicated a willingness to comply with this request, it has understandably declined to do so in the absence of a Court order confirming the waiver of attorney-client privilege,” the U.S. Attorney’s office added.

The filings are the first in Flynn’s case to be handled by interim U.S. Attorney Tim Shea, who was appointed by Attorney General William BarrBill BarrTrump, allies pressured DOJ to back election claims, documents show House Judiciary to probe DOJ's seizure of data from lawmakers, journalists Judge temporarily blocks release of Trump obstruction memo MORE last month, Politico reported.

Flynn’s current defense team, led by Sidney Powell, a frequent critic of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE’s investigation, said they oppose further delays on filings related to the plea withdrawal, according to a statement prosecutors included in one of the new filings.

“Our position is that at the minimum, the Department of Justice should agree to withdrawal of the plea,” Flynn’s lawyers said. “Accordingly, we oppose any further extension of the briefing schedule.”