Former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn has hired attorney Sidney Powell to replace his legal team. Powell bashed Mueller’s tactics in commentary before she was hired by Flynn, which suggests that Flynn — by choosing her — may be doubling down on a strategy to cast doubt on his guilty plea even as he continues to cooperate with prosecutors.
Powell confirmed to TPM in an email that she is representing Flynn. Her hiring was first reported by Hill.tv.
“I’m honored to be representing General Flynn, who I’ve long considered an American hero. The General and his family want to thank everyone across the country for their cards and contributions to his legal defense fund. He is going to continue to cooperate with the government, pursuant to his plea agreement,” Powell told Hill.TV in a phone call.
Flynn’s former legal team announced last week that he had terminated them.
While Flynn may still be planning to cooperate with prosecutors, his choice of Powell suggests he may be taking a more combative posture as he waits to be sentenced. Powell, who has had appearances on Fox News, has been highly critical of special counsel Robert Mueller and the other Justice Department officials involved in the Russia investigation.
“I’d bet he will realize later he needs new lawyers,” she tweeted in March.
She sells a T-shirt, dubbed “Creeps on a Mission,” that features the cast of major players in the Mueller saga: Robert Mueller himself, James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Andrew Weissmann, and Bruce Ohr. The bottom corner of the shirt features a unique cross-promotional easter egg: A drawing of her own book, “Licensed To Lie.”
A sample of opinion pieces she’s written in the last year include: “MUELLER REPORT WILL SHROUD THE TRUTH: Corrupt Cabal Began Illegal Spying on Trump in 2015,” “Red Handed: All the Collusion Was in the Deep State,” and “New Facts Indicate Mueller Destroyed Evidence, Obstructed Justice.”
Flynn pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials during the presidential transition. Information he provided investigators was cited several times in Mueller’s report. However, as he was going into what was supposed to be a sentencing hearing in December, lawyers filed a sentencing memo that hinted that he was entrapped by the FBI. The memo clearly infuriated the judge and fearing that Flynn might receive a stiffer sentence due to the memo, his lawyers sought to postpone his sentencing until his cooperation was complete.
Legal experts have said it would be “suicidal” for Flynn to escalate any attacks on the FBI while he awaits his sentence. Yet he has hired a lawyer who has done just that, in punditry on Twitter and on television.
As recently as this month, she called Mueller “divisive” and said he shouldn’t have been appointed.
In February, she claimed that the “entire Russia collusion narrative was made up” and that “the FBI and the intelligence community and the Department of Justice began an investigation against four American citizens simply because they worked for the opposition political candidate, that being Donald Trump.
Her anti-Mueller punditry once was touted by Trump on Twitter.
Presidential Harassment! pic.twitter.com/2Cz5ckERcs
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 5, 2019
Her website calls the tweet an “endorsement.”
Her commentary has focused specifically on Flynn’s case and claims that he did not commit the crimes he pleaded guilty to.
— Sidney Powell 🇺🇸⭐⭐⭐ (@SidneyPowell1) December 18, 2018
“Like many others, including a disproportionate number of young minority men who have no resources whatsoever, that does not mean that he did anything wrong,” she said wrote in December. “All it means is that he — like so many others — saw no other way out.”
She also called Flynn “the quintessential example of why the innocent plead guilty” and last year, she recommended that Flynn withdraw his guilty plea.
Truly stunning: ALL #Dimms who’ve LIED endlessly to #America & world for more than two years about #Russia #collusion–calling @realDonaldTrump a traitor, Putin’s puppet, & Russian agent–DARE call #Barr a liar when even #Mueller must admit Barr’s letter accurate & #media wrong! pic.twitter.com/wP1l2QGCMv
— Sidney Powell 🇺🇸⭐⭐⭐ (@SidneyPowell1) May 2, 2019
Powell is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, an obscure right-wing foreign policy think tank founded by the late Herbert London, a former president of the Hudson Institute and father of the stylist and television personality Stacy London.
The London Center fellows and its founder, the Daily Beast reported in 2017, “call for a foreign policy stance somewhere between the neoconservative interventionist tendencies of the Bush administration and non-interventionist backlash to that led by Rand Paul and others.”
Powell describes herself on her website as “a former partner in a large regional firm” who has served as “lead counsel in more than 500 appeals” in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. She received her law degree from University of North Carolina School of Law — Chapel Hill, and worked as a federal prosecutor in the late 1970s and 1980s in Virginia and Texas.
Her biography touts her work on a $3 billion national class action against Fibreboard Corporation as well as representation of “judges, lawyers, and a prominent Merril [sic] Lynch executive in the Enron litigation.”
She recently was also involved briefly on the Steve Stockman case, where the former Texas congressman was convicted for his misuse of funds donated to non-profits he oversaw for personal and campaign-related purposes. Powell represented Stockman pro-bono after his conviction as he sought his release from prison while his appeal was pending.
Powell claimed that it was “highly likely” that the Justice Department “targeted former Congressman Stockman and have been extremely and unreasonably harsh toward him because he was so outspoken in trying to hold Lois Lerner, the Clintons, and Obama accountable.”