Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Wow! Jury Verdict Against Flynn's Partner--Tossed!

I'm frazzled after wrestling with the complexities of the Ukraine Hoax, so I'm doing this quickly. As everyone knows, jury verdicts are almost never overturned, but this one was. It's too soon to grasp the implications for Flynn--except that it can only be good news. CTH has a brief notice of the ruling

In a stunning and very rare move today Federal Judge Anthony J Trenga has thrown out the conviction of a Mike Flynn’s partner Bijan Rafiekian (Flynn Intel Group) and granted the defendants’ motion to acquit.  [Hat Tip to Techno-Fog for the ruling] 
This is a huge blow to the DOJ-NSD who framed their special counsel case on sketchy FARA violations and bamboozled the jury with dubious legal theories.  This type of intervention by a federal judge is very rare.

and a link to the judge's opinion. Money quotes:

“The evidence was insufficient as a matter of law for the jury to convict Rafiekian on either count” 
The Government “failed to offer substantial evidence” that Rafiekian acted as an agent of a foreign government” 
“There is no substantial evidence” that he agreed to cooperate subject to the direction/control of Turkey; no evidence of any implied agreement w/ Turkey.

The judge is offering the legal standard for overturning a jury verdict--"evidence was insufficient as a matter of law for the jury to convict." The detailed analysis will be in the 39 page opinion.


  1. I followed this case closely, the jury was just full of morons- the government never presented a single piece of evidence- not one piece- that demonstrated Rafiekin knew Inovo was a front for the Turkish Government. The judge got this completely right in the order handed down today. The really depressing thing, though, is this- I am shocked that the judge tossed the verdict out, and won't be surprised if the circuit court vacates today's order. Justice in the US is quietly and quickly becoming nothing but a facade.

  2. It is extremely unusual, and this is a complaint from me, for the trial judge to issue a judgment of acquittal, even when the verdict is a travesty of justice. They almost always just let the appeals courts to handle the optics and backlash of tossing out verdicts or issuing the same judgments of acquittal.

  3. And one last thing- this now makes it very likely that Flynn withdraws the plea if Sullivan doesn't vacate it for him. The FARA charges were the only reason Flynn pleaded guilty to lying in the first place.

    1. Very positive for Flynn, IMO. However, it ups the chances that the judge will find reasons to toss the case without getting into the government misconduct.

    2. I don't know what Flynn and his lawyer's plan is here- a complete dismissal, of course, would be a great benefit for Flynn, but he might now be willing to actually go for blood and full financial restitution, which will require him to continuing digging out the information that was requested by the filings earlier this month. In short, if Flynn wants to pursue this in civil courts later, he will need this information.

    3. Yes, that would be the downside. At least that's how I see it. I have no experience at all on such matters. I do know that it would be much easier if the judge launched an inquiry.