Michael Flynn’s defense attorney personally updated President Trump on the status of Flynn’s case, and recommended against the idea of Trump giving Flynn a pardon, the attorney, Sidney Powell, admitted in court Tuesday.
She also said she updated Jenna Ellis, who is currently serving as a Trump campaign legal advisor, about the litigation.
At first Powell balked at giving U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan the details when Sullivan asked her whether she had spoken directly to Trump about the case.
She tried to claim that such a conversation could be covered by executive privilege, prompting Sullivan to note that she is not an employee of the government.
The exchange happened during a long-anticipated hearing Tuesday on the Justice Department’s request that Sullivan drop Flynn’s case. Flynn had tried, and ultimately failed, to get an appeals court to force Sullivan to grant the motion immediately.
Sullivan had asked the DOJ attorneys at the hearing about a letter Powell had sent Attorney General Bill Barr in June 2019 seeking dismissal of Flynn’s case — a letter that was sent before Powell had formally given the court notice that she was taking over Flynn’s defense.
When the DOJ attorneys could not say whether there were conversations between Powell and the Department after the letter, Sullivan allowed Powell to give her account of her outreach to the administration.
During that explanation, Sullivan asked point blank whether Powell had spoken to the President himself.
Powell was hazy about the timing of this conversation with Trump, but said it happened after Flynn had sought that the appeals court intervene. She also could not say how many conversations in general she’s had with the President, but said that she only discussed Flynn’s case directly on that one occassion.