With sentencing scheduled on January 28 and the government asking for imposition of a sentence from 0 to six months, Michael Flynn has filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea (motion embedded below). Politico’s Josh Gerstein has an excellent story on the motion and pulls this quote from it: “The government’s stunning and vindictive reversal of its earlier representations to this Court are incredible, vindictive, in bad faith, and breach the plea agreement.”
This withdrawal motion follows General Flynn’s unsuccessful motion to dismiss the case on account of government misconduct. As I have noted on Power Line in this context, Judge Sullivan had previously all but invited Flynn to withdraw his guilty plea when he took over the case from Judge Contreras following Contreras’s mysterious recusal.
Gerstein himself recalls Judge Sullivan’s invitation at the conclusion of his article: “At an initial sentencing hearing for Flynn in December 2018, the judge said he wasn’t inclined to go forward if Flynn was protesting his innocence.” Gerstein quotes Judge Sullivan speaking at that hearing: “I cannot recall any incident in which the court has ever accepted a plea of guilty from someone who maintained that he was not guilty, and I don’t intend to start today.” I nevertheless think that the motion represents a high-stakes gamble (as Gerstein points out) and that the odds against General Flynn obtaining relief from anyone but President Trump at this point remain long.