- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 7, 2020

Michael Flynn’s attorney said the high-powered D.C. law firm that formerly represented him has offered “lame excuses” for failing to turn over all its documents related to his criminal case.

Sidney Powell, who took over Flynn’s defense from Covington & Burling law firm last summer, said the firm still has not provided critical materials.

“This is not a minor squabble about legal fees or copying costs,” Ms. Powell wrote in the filing late Wednesday. “This is a changing of the guard in a criminal case in which the client’s life, liberty and reputation are at stake.”

Ms. Powell, a fiercely outspoken attorney, suggested that Covington doesn’t want to turn the documents over because they could show malfeasance by Flynn’s former lawyers.

“The firm’s former client is alleging that his freedom is at stake in many ways because of his former lawyers’ malfeasance and misfeasance,” she wrote. “Evidence of that will provide his right to withdraw his plea and correct an egregious injustice he would not have suffered had he been represented by an unconflicted counsel afraid to advocate zealously on his behalf.”

Ms. Powell pointed to a July 2019 court order requiring Covington to turn over all of its records related to the Flynn case to his new legal team. At the time, Covington told the court a transfer of Flynn’s 1 million-page case file was complete.

Last month, Covington said in court documents that they overlooked 6,756 documents totaling 18,960 pages. That was on top of an additional 30 pages they had also missed.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan responded with a second order directing Covington to hand over “all documents or communications concerning the firm’s representation of Mr. Flynn that were not previously transferred in the rolling production.”

Covington handed over 75 more pages in eight documents this past weekend, including 32 pages of handwritten notes. On Tuesday, the firm filed a notice of compliance certifying that it had met its obligations.

The firm’s attorneys said in the filing that the judge’s order would require Covington to conduct “a massive sweep” of its servers for every document and communication connected to its representation of Flynn.

“That would be a disproportionately burdensome e-discovery process of great scale and duration,” lawyers for the firm wrote.

But Ms. Powell said the notice of compliance was “full of lame excuses and obfuscations for its unilateral determination not to comply with this Court’s Order.”

“At worst, Covington is attempting to convince this court to accept compliance with an order the court did not issue. At best, Covington is seeking clarification of the court’s actual order to excuse its non-compliance,” she wrote.

Flynn pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to FBI agents about his conversations with the former Russian ambassador, but is now seeking to withdraw his guilty plea. Ms. Powell has fought to get his case dismissed alleging wrongdoing by the FBI.

Documents released last week by the Justice Department raised fresh questions about the Flynn case. A handwritten note by FBI Assistant Director of the Counterintelligence Division Bill Priestap questions whether the goal of interviewing Flynn is to get him to lie so he can be fired or prosecuted.

Another document revealed the FBI sought to close the Flynn investigation after failing to uncover wrongdoing, but anti-Trump FBI official Peter Strzok pushed to keep it open before his infamous interview with Flynn.

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