“The defendant predicates much of his request on conspiracy theories, demanding that the government engage in a fishing expedition for documents that could offer support for those theories,” namely denying Mueller’s central finding of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, Van Grack wrote.
He concluded, “The government has already provided any evidence that could reasonably be construed as favorable and material” to Flynn’s sentencing.
Flynn pleaded guilty Dec. 1, 2017, to lying to the FBI about contacts with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, becoming one of the first Trump associates to cooperate and the highest-ranking official charged in Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Flynn, 60, faces sentencing Dec. 18 before U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of Washington. However, Sullivan has also set a Nov. 7 hearing to weigh Flynn’s late August claim that prosecutors withheld classified information and other evidence that his attorneys assert should lead to the dismissal of his entire prosecution.
Flynn earlier this year fired the defense team that negotiated his plea, and his new defense team, led by Sidney Powell, asserts that the Justice Department coerced a plea from the former three-star general.
Flynn’s current lawyers accused elements of the FBI, CIA and Pentagon of trying “to smear him as an ‘agent of Russia,’ ” leaking information regarding classified intercepts of his calls with Kislyak or engaging in other “malevolent conduct.”
In Tuesday’s filing, Van Grack said the defense was grasping at straws, using the pretext of a search for exonerating evidence to wriggle out of his guilty plea and repeated sworn admissions of misconduct.
Actual withholding of exculpatory evidence “could justify sanctions and other remedies, to include dismissal,” Van Grack wrote, “In this case, however, nothing could be further from the truth.”
U.S. prosecutors have maintained that the government has gone above and beyond its obligations to turn over documents and respond to Flynn’s requests.
Van Grack said the government had turned over 22,000 pages of documents before Flynn’s plea and “is not aware of any information that would be favorable and material to the defendant at sentencing.”
Prosecutors have said Flynn has finished his cooperation. But after earlier describing him as a model cooperator and recommending no prison time, they said they will file a new sentencing recommendation in December.
Sullivan has in the past heatedly rejected suggestions that Flynn might have been duped into lying to the FBI about his conversations with Kislyak.
“Arguably, you sold your country out,” Sullivan told Flynn during Flynn’s initially scheduled sentencing hearing, coincidentally held last Dec. 18.Sullivan cited Flynn’s admissions that he hid the substance of talks with Kislyak and lied when he said he did not know the extent of the Turkish government’s involvement in work his firm had obtained and when he claimed an op-ed he wrote for the Turkish president’s benefit was done at his own initiative.