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Move to Drop Michael Flynn Charge Reverberates in Bijan Kian’s Case

  • June 02, 2020

A spokesman for prosecutors in Northern Virginia, where Mr. Kian was tried, declined to comment. A Justice Department spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A jury convicted Mr. Kian of secretly lobbying on behalf of Turkey last year, but a judge threw out the case, saying prosecutors failed to present enough evidence to sustain their charges. Prosecutors appealed the judge’s ruling, saying it was riddled with legal errors.

Mr. Flynn was a central figure in the prosecution of Mr. Kian. As he pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I. about his conversations with a Russian diplomat, Mr. Flynn also admitted that he had violated foreign lobbying laws while working with Mr. Kian, though prosecutors agreed not to pursue those charges in their plea agreement with Mr. Flynn.

As part of that deal, Mr. Flynn agreed to testify against Mr. Kian. But then Mr. Flynn abruptly changed his story on the eve of Mr. Kian’s trial, blaming his previous lawyers for filing inaccurate foreign lobbying disclosure forms without his knowledge. The move was a blow to the prosecution’s case.

The about-face was part of Mr. Flynn’s broader reversal. He moved to withdraw his guilty plea this year, claiming he never lied to the F.B.I. about several calls with Sergey I. Kislyak, who was then the Russian ambassador to the United States, and that he simply did not recall what he said during the conversations. Mr. Barr assigned Mr. Jensen, the top federal prosecutor in St. Louis, to review the matter.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/02/us/politics/bijan-kian-michael-flynn.html

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