Judge demands ex-Trump advisor Flynn get papers in order, appear in court after delay request

Former White House National Security Advisor Michael Flynn leaves the Prettyman Federal Courthouse following a sentencing hearing in U.S. District Court December 18, 2018 in Washington, DC.

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A federal judge in Washington, D.C., on Friday cracked the whip in the criminal case of President Donald Trump‘s first national security advisor Michael Flynn, hours after Flynn’s new lawyer and prosecutors asked the judge to delay setting a new date for his criminal sentencing by at least another 60 days.

Judge Emmet Sullivan ordered Flynn by Monday to tell his new lawyer, the pro-Trump Sidney Powell, to enter an appearance in the case by Monday.

The judge also ordered the Texas-based Powell to comply by that same day with a court rule requiring lawyers not admitted to practice in a District of Columbia court to have a local lawyer participate in a case with them.

Powell had yet filed that paperwork, despite Flynn’s former criminal defense lawyers successfully asking to be removed from the case last week, and despite Powell signing a status report with prosecutors on Friday asking for a delay in the case.

Sullivan pointedly noted in his order that Powell signed that report as “Attorney for the Defendant,” despite not entering a formal appearance in Flynn’s case.

Sullivan also ordered the case’s parties to show up for a status conference in court next Wednesday.

Powell, who has been critical of the prosecution of Flynn, did not return a request for comment from CNBC on Friday.

In the status report filed earlier Friday by prosecutors and Powell asking for the delay in the case, the parties said that the retired Army lieutenant general’s cooperation with prosecutors is largely complete.

But they also noted Flynn may be called by prosecutors testify at the trial of a former lobbying business partners next month.

Those men, Bijan Rafiekian and Kamil Alptekin, have denied charges pending in federal court in Virginia that they unlawfully lobbied on behalf of Turkey.

The filing also suggests that Flynn’s new legal team needs time to familiarize itself with the “voluminous” amount of information in their client’s case.

It was revealed last week that Flynn had fired his previous lawyers.

He since has hired the pro-Trump former federal prosecutor Powell to represent him, along with attorneys from Virginia and Florida.

Those new attorneys have all filed documents in the Virginia federal case indicating their reprsentation of Flynn in the case involving Rafiekian and Alptekin.

But they had not as of Friday afternoon filed similar paperwork in Flynn’s own criminal case, in which he had pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to FBI agents about his conversations with a Russian diplomat in the weeks before Trump took office.

Sullivan was scheduled to sentence Flynn last December.

But that proceeding was suspended after Sullivan suggested to Flynn that he would have a better chance of avoiding any jail time by waiting to be sentenced until after he had finished cooperating.

Former federal prosecutor David Weinstein told CNBC that ot “appears that Flynn is continuing to pursue the path of cooperation,” and that he is “willing and able to testify” at the trial inVirginia.

Weinstein added that it “doesn’t appear, at least not in this filing, that they’d be looking to withdraw [Flynn’s] plea” — a question that arose after Flynn hired Powell, who had previously urged him to withdraw his guilty plea.

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