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Michael Flynn hires new lawyer, Sidney Powell, who had urged him to withdraw guilty plea in Mueller case

Dan Mangan
It is not clear whether either man will comply with the subpoeanas. Both refused to supply information to the committee voluntarily, Schiff said.
Former National Security Advisor General Michael Flynn leaves after the delay in his sentencing hearing at US District Court in Washington, DC, December 18, 2018.

President Donald Trump's former national security advisor Michael Flynn has hired a new lawyer, Sidney Powell, who previously had urged him to withdraw his guilty plea to a charge filed in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.

The news of Powell's hiring comes just days after Flynn's former attorneys, Robert Kelner and Stephen Anthony of Covington & Burling, told Washington, D.C., federal Judge Emmet Sullivan in a court document that they were withdrawing as his counsel. Those lawyers wrote that Flynn had told them he "has already retained new counsel for this matter" when he fired them.

Powell told The Hill that Flynn would keep cooperating with the government as part of his plea agreement. Yet the retired Army lieutenant general's decision to swap out his legal representation with someone pro-Trump and hostile to Mueller also comes amid growing calls from right-wing figures to withdraw his plea.

After news broke last Thursday that Flynn was getting new counsel, Fox News opinion host Sean Hannity encouraged Flynn to "fight this in court."

"My advice to General Flynn is this: Get your new lawyers, move forward with your legal team," Hannity said.

Powell is a former federal prosecutor who has described Mueller and other key figures related to the federal government's probes of Russian election interference — including former FBI Director James Comey and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe — as "creeps on a mission."

Powell argued in a February 2018 op-ed for The Daily Caller that Flynn should "withdraw his guilty plea," arguing that the judge in Flynn's case, Emmet Sulllivan was "the best person to confront the egregious government misconduct [of the Mueller probe] and to right the injustices that have arisen from it."

"Stay tuned for the fireworks," she wrote at the time.

Flynn was first scheduled to be sentenced in December for lying to the FBI about his contacts with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the weeks before Trump's inauguration. Flynn accepted an offer to delay his sentencing after Sullivan tore into him at that hearing, telling him that "arguably, you sold your country out."

Powell retweeted a tweet that revealed she is Flynn's new lawyer. The news was first reported by The Hill.


Powell did not immediately return a call from CNBC.

In a phone interview with The Hill, Powell said, "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 said, according to The Hill.