Former national security adviser Michael Flynn
Brendan Smialowski / AFP – Getty Images file
At the time, Flynn had opted to postpone his sentencing, ostensibly to offer more assistance to the government and stave off a prison term. But now, more than a year later, he has a new defense team and a radical new strategy: to withdraw his guilty plea, arguing that he’s a victim of an overzealous Justice Department operating in “bad faith.”
The move, experts say, amounts to a Hail Mary pass that has the potential to place Flynn in greater legal peril.
Other legal experts said the move could be a ploy by Flynn to stay in Trump’s good graces and increase his chances of securing a presidential pardon.
“Attacking the Justice Department’s investigation is consistent with the president’s position,” said Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor in Illinois. “It certainly makes it more likely that he could obtain a pardon.”
The experts said Flynn’s move is risky for another reason: If the judge were to grant his motion, prosecutors could file a superseding indictment with additional charges.
“From any conventional analysis,” Mariotti added, “this doesn’t make sense, because he had a pretty good deal and he was going to have a recommendation for a sentence of almost nothing. He’s potentially hurting himself.”