Michael Flynn Changes His Story About Lying To Government, Will No Longer Testify In Court
According to court documents unsealed on Tuesday, former national security advisor Michael Flynn has changed his story regarding misinformation provided to federal officials.
Flynn previously admitted that he had lied on federal lobbying disclosures that were submitted to the Justice Department, but is now claiming that his previous legal team submitted the false information without his knowledge.
This legal strategy could prove dangerous for Flynn after the judge ruling on his case announced that he had previously not provided enough assistance to the federal government to justify a light sentence. While Flynn originally pleaded guilty to lying to federal officials in December 2017 and has been working with them ever since the judge who will be sentencing Flynn recently allowed his lawyers to delay the sentencing in order to provide more help to the government and thereby reduce the potential severity of his sentence.
Flynn’s legal team may not care about the repercussions of their actions if they believe that President Donald Trump will pardon his former national security advisor. Trump has said that Flynn is a good man who has been treated wrongfully but has shied from publicly confirming any intention to pardon him. If Flynn switches back to the president’s side and refuses to implicate him in any more crimes then it is possible that Trump will agree to wipe his former aide’s slate clean in exchange.
As a result of Flynn’s surprise disclosure, federal officials have announced that they will no longer be calling on him to testify in a case against his former Turkish business partner who was involved in illegal lobbying. Flynn’s partner, Bijan Kian, was part of a lobbying effort by the Turkish government to convince the U.S. government to extradite a man living in Pennsylvania who was accused of having connections to a coup against Turkey’s president.
Flynn’s testimony was a key reason for why the judge allowed his sentencing to be pushed back. Now that he will no longer be taking the stand, it is unclear what will happen with his sentencing, and whether or not the judge will move the date of his punishment up.