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.