Trump Bids Flynn Best After Saying He’d Take Foreign Dirt Again

Terrence Dopp
Trump Bids Flynn Best After Saying He’d Take Foreign Dirt Again

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump offered well wishes to his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who has brought on conservative firebrand Sidney Powell as his lawyer ahead of his sentencing for lying to investigators in the Russia probe.

The tweet comes as Trump faces growing criticism over a comment to ABC News that he’d be open to accepting damaging information about a political rival from a foreign source.

“I think I’d take it,” the president said in an interview that aired Wednesday. Asked whether he would accept information from foreigners or hand it over to the FBI, Trump said he thought that “maybe you do both.”

Flynn lasted just three weeks as Trump’s first national security adviser before being forced out over revelations that he’d lied about conversations he had with Sergey Kislyak, then Russia’s ambassador to the U.S.

Trump’s comments Thursday mark the president’s latest broadside against the FBI and federal investigators who’ve brought charges against Flynn and other Trump associates as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

Powell, who hasn’t yet filed formal notice with the Washington federal court where Flynn’s case is pending, is a former prosecutor who on her website boasts of being lead counsel in more than 500 appellate cases. An advocate of conservative causes on Twitter, including the Flynn saga, she published a book last year titled “Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice.”

A regular presence on Fox News, Powell has been an outspoken critic of the Enron Task Force prosecutions and has accused attorney Andrew Weissmann in particular of overreach. Weissmann was a prominent member Mueller’s team investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election and any obstruction of that probe by President Donald Trump.

Flynn’s decision to hire Powell suggests he might return to the theme he sounded a few months ago, that he was set up by duplicitous FBI agents who had an agenda against the president. U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan castigated Flynn’s lawyers for that line of argument in open court in December. Flynn pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to federal agents and cooperated with Mueller’s probe into Russian meddling in the U.S. 2016 presidential election.

To contact the reporter on this story: Terrence Dopp in Washington at tdopp@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Kasia Klimasinska at kklimasinska@bloomberg.net, Elizabeth Wasserman, Kathleen Hunter

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