Bijan Rafiekian

January 16, 2020 – Flynn’s lawyer: Documents show prosecutors knew they pressed him to lie

Sidney Powell (Credit: The Epoch Times)

“Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser to President Donald Trump, presented evidence that shows that prosecutors knowingly pressured him to lie, his lawyer said.

“This evinces the strong inference the prosecutors themselves conspired to cause Mr. Flynn to make false statements,” Flynn’s lawyer Sidney Powell said in a Jan. 16 court filing (pdf).

(…) The lobbying registration, filed under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) by the Flynn-hired law firm Covington & Burling, pertained to a job that Flynn’s now-defunct consultancy, Flynn Intel Group (FIG), did for Alptekin’s firm Inovo.

Alptekin hired FIG in the summer of 2016 to do research and lobbying focused on an Islamic cleric living in exile in Pennsylvania, Fethullah Gulen. Gulen runs a group that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed for an attempted 2016 coup. Prosecutors said Flynn lied in the FARA forms about the extent the Turkish government was involved with the project.

In June 2019, after Flynn fired Covington and hired new lawyers, led by Powell, prosecutors asked Flynn to testify that he signed the lobbying forms intentionally knowing there were lies in them. He refused, saying he only learned about the issues with the forms in retrospect.

That angered the lead prosecutor, Brandon Van Grack, notes from a June 27, 2019 conference call indicate.

But Powell now argues that the prosecutors knew they were asking for a false statement. She filed with the court a draft of Flynn’s Statement of Offense, which shows that the words pertaining to the FARA registration, “FLYNN then and there knew” were cut from the final version.

Moreover, Powell submitted emails that indicate the words were cut by the prosecutors themselves after Flynn’s then-lawyers raised some objections to the draft.

“Point is, they knew that what they were demanding Flynn do was lie about himself and admit he did something that all along he said he didn’t,” Powell said in an email to The Epoch Times. (Read more: The Epoch Times, 1/19/2020)  (Archive)

November 29, 2019 – The history of Flynn prosecutor Brandon Van Grack – from the Special Counsel’s Office to the prosecution of Flynn

“As a member of Team Mueller, Van Grack was involved in improperly obtaining Trump Transition Team emails/comms from GSA – including privileged materials.

He hid the extent of the intrusion from Trump Transition Team lawyers.

Van Grack confirmed that the Special Counsel’s Office had “failed to use an ‘ethical wall’ or ‘taint team’ and instead simply reviewed the privileged communications contained in the [Transition Team] materials.”

Van Grack “failed to correct the record or disclose that” they were in possession of and had accessed “a significant volume of privileged materials.

The failure was intentional; they wanted the privileged communications.

Deceptive edits of Trump lawyer John Dowd’s voicemail, produced to Van Grack, made its way to the Mueller Report.

They omitted the section where Dowd asked Flynn’s lawyers not to disclose “confidential information.”

HT @lastrefuge2

We reached out to John Dowd about the Van Grack/Mueller deception.

He called it “unfair and despicable”

Van Grack used a corrupt reading of FARA laws (since rejected by 2 courts) to target Mike Flynn Jr.

Not to prosecute Flynn Jr., but to force General Flynn to plea.

Flynn Jr. became an official target on 10/20/17. Flynn signed the plea deal on 11/30/17.

HT @lastrefuge2

Flynn Intel Group (FARA) case – overseen by Van Grack.

DOJ tells Judge that “Flynn was not a member of the alleged conspiracy”

DOJ then tries to label Flynn a co-conspirator. This was rejected by the Judge.

corrected HT: @TheLastRefuge2

Van Grack’s FARA case (prosecuted by EDVA) against Flynn Intel Group member Rafiekian was a disaster from the start.

It was Soon before trial and the DOJ couldn’t figure out how to instruct the jury on the FARA violation.

As the Rafiekian (Flynn Intel Group) case unraveled, they designated Flynn Jr. as a witness to intimidate Flynn.

This was pure tactics – Flynn Jr. was never called as a witness.

Despite DOJ assertion that Flynn Intel Group member Rafiekian was acting as a foreign agent for Turkey…

Van Grack/EDVA never investigated whether the agreement was funded by the Turkish government.

The threat against Flynn – labeling him as a co-conspirator – came after he refused to agree to the false narrative set forth by Van Grack.

The Judge in the Rafiekian case disagreed: “Flynn has not disavowed what is in the statement of facts.”

The false charges claimed by Van Grack – that “Flynn had agreed to plead to a knowing and intentional false FARA filing” – was actually deleted from a draft of the Flynn Agreement.

This is important because Van Grack was telling Judge Sullivan in December 2018 that Flynn could be charged as a foreign agent under 18 USC 951.

Van Grack’s Section 951 theory was rejected by the Judge in the Rafiekian case.

“Such a reading is unwarranted . . . based on the plain language of Section 951.”

Judge Sullivan may have concerns about Van Grack’s Section 951 interpretation and VG’s claim Flynn could have been prosecuted.

If “there was no factual predicate for that FARA violation, then it should not have been mentioned at all as a potential ‘benefit’”

As to Van Grack’s conduct in the Flynn case…

They confused the FBI Agents’ notes (Strzok/Pientka)

As to the FARA charges, Van Grack would have known this likely created a non-consentable conflict of interest between Flynn and his prior counsel.

Conflicts disregarded; they needed the plea.

(Techno Fog, 11/29/2019)  (Archive)

July 16, 2019 – Lt. General Michael Flynn judge calls former lawyers back to court and are accused of withholding case files

Judge Emmet G. Sullivan points to the U.S. flag while speaking to former national security adviser Michael Flynn on December 22, 2018. (Credit: Dana Verkouteren via/AP)

A DC federal judge has ordered Michael Flynn’s former attorneys to appear in court next month after Flynn’s current legal counsel claims they haven’t been given the entire case file by the team at Covington & Burling.

Judge Emmet Sullivan, an Obama appointee, scheduled a status conference for August 27 at 11 a.m., and has invited a Senior Legal Ethics Counsel to weigh in on the conversation.

“In light of the representations made by defense counsel regarding the delay in receiving the client files, the Court hereby gives notice to the parties of the Court’s intent to invite Senior Legal Ethics Counsel for the District of Columbia Bar to attend the status conference and explain on the record the applicable District of Columbia Rules of Professional Conduct,” wrote Sullivan.

In a filing on Thursday, Flynn’s new attorneys Jesse Binnall, Sidney Powell and William Hodes wrote that they “do not yet have the entire file” from Flynn’s former lawyers and said they had been advised “it will be several weeks before all the information can be transferred.”

Flynn’s attorneys also reiterated that they already have a “massive” amount of files to review — spanning four hard drives that exceed 253 gigabytes of documents — and noted they had identified “crucial and troubling issues that should concern any court” without going into detail. –The Hill

Flynn’s former attorneys have responded, saying they will have the rest of the case files delivered by July 26, per Politico.

Meanwhile, Flynn’s former attorney testified on Tuesday against Flynn’s former business partner, 67-year-old Bijan Rafiekian, an Iranian-American who has been charged with illegally acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign government.

Prosecutors called ex-Flynn attorney Robert Kelner as a witness Tuesday at the trial of Bijan Rafiekian, 67, an Iranian-American businessman who was Flynn’s key counterpart in a lobbying and consulting firm the retired Army general opened after leaving government, Flynn Intel Group.

During about two-and-a-half hours on the witness stand in federal court in Alexandria, Va., Kelner appeared to do some damage to Rafiekian by telling jurors that the Flynn associate never shared key information about links between the lobbying work and Turkish government officials.

Kelner also said Rafiekian, better known as Kian, seemed upset by the lawyers’ recommendation in early 2017 that the firm make a retroactive filing about the work Flynn’s firm did to try to build support for the extradition from the U.S. of a dissident Turkish cleric, Fethullah Gulen. –Politico

“My recollection is that he was not happy about it. In part, he was not happy about the suggestion that FIG’s work primarily benefited the Government of Turkey,” said Kelner.

Attorney Robert Barnes raises the question: “Why was Covington firm ever representing Flynn given it knew it might be a material witness in a case related to Flynn? Did the government knowingly profit from this conflict?” (Read more: Zero Hedge, 7/16/2019)

July 10, 2019 – Judge slams government argument that Michael Flynn is a ‘co-conspirator’ in former partner’s trial

Judge Anthony Trenga (Credit: American Law Institute)

“U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga in the Eastern District of Virginia slammed the Department of Justice’s request to designate former National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn a ‘co-conspirator’ in the ongoing case it has against his former business partner after the government stated on numerous occasions that Flynn was a cooperating witness.

Trenga issued the 38-page scathing opinion in the late afternoon Tuesday that the “United States at this point has not presented or proffered evidence to sufficient to establish by a preponderance of the evidence a conspiracy for the purposes of admitting against the Defendant the hearsay statements of alleged co-conspirators.”

Trenga goes on to argue that “Notably absent from the government’s proffer is any evidence from Michael Flynn, who, as discussed above, has admitted that he made certain false statements in the FARA filing that was the object of one of the charged conspiracy and has entered into a cooperation agreement with the United States that extends to this prosecution.”

Earlier on Tuesday this news site first reported that Flynn’s current defense Attorney Sidney Powell, who recently replaced Flynn’s former defense attorney Robert Kelner, submitted a filing to the Eastern District of Virginia fighting the government’s  proposal to ask the Court to deem Flynn a “co-conspirator” in the case against his former partner Bijan Rafiekian. The designation was solely for the purpose of obtaining the admission of one document the government itself claims is already admissible under a different rule, according to a brief filed by Powell. (Read more: Sarah Carter, 7/10/2019)