Attorney Sidney Powell and General Flynn

Defence Attorney Sydney Powell and Michael Flynn
A lawyer for retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn said her client was prepared to "audit" the U.S. intelligence community as White House national security adviser.

And that, according to former federal prosecutor Sidney Powell, is partly why federal agents "set up" Flynn.

Flynn, 61, is fighting to dismiss the government's case against him. He pleaded guilty in December 2017 for lying to investigators about his conversations with Russian diplomat Sergey Kislyak on sanctions on Russia and a United Nations resolution on Israel, but in January, he told the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., that he was "innocent of this crime."

Powell, who took over Flynn's defense last summer, told the Vicki McKenna Show on 1310 WIBA Madison on Tuesday that her client was "totally set up" because he threatened to expose wrongdoing by top intelligence officials in the Obama administration.

"He was going to audit the intel agencies because he knew about the billions Brennan and company were running off books," Powell said, referring to former CIA Director John Brennan.

Powell offered no evidence during the interview to support the claim, but her comments echo the findings of investigative journalist Lee Smith, the author of The Plot Against the President.

During a November interview on Maria Bartiromo's Insiders on Fox Nation along with Powell, Smith said Flynn was scrutinizing possible misconduct by the U.S. intelligence community.

"In addition to Gen. Flynn's name being cleared, I hope that his initiative to get to the bottom of what these people were doing — to audit the intelligence community ... that's something else we need to look at again," Smith said. "As well, his initiative to clean out the deep state."

They also discussed Stefan Halper, an academic who was given high-dollar Pentagon contracts to study Russia and China. Halper is also reported to be an FBI informant who had conversations with Trump campaign aides and is under scrutiny by U.S. Attorney John Durham's review of the Russia investigation.

"There's no telling how many billions of taxpayer dollars they're running off books for the different intel agencies ... and, of course, we see evidence of that ... with what was paid to Stefan Halper for his shenanigans. It just goes on and on," Powell alleged at the time.

Flynn was picked by former President Barack Obama to serve as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2012, but he was pushed out of the position after clashing with Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and others. He retired from the Army in 2014, a year before his stint was supposed to end.

"I was fired as the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency after telling a congressional committee that we were not as safe as we had been a few years back," Flynn wrote in his 2016 book, The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies.

The future Trump national security adviser was openly critical of the intelligence community prior to joining Trump's campaign as a foreign policy adviser in February 2016.

"They've lost sight of who they actually work for," Flynn said of the CIA to the New York Times in October 2015. "They work for the American people. They don't work for the president of the United States ... It's become a very political organization."

Flynn believed Obama was naive in the belief that killing al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden would go a long way toward defeating jihadist terrorist groups. He also criticized what he saw as the intelligence community's failure to predict the rise of the Islamic State and was unhappy with Obama's characterization of the terrorist group as the "JV team."

It was apparently Flynn's 2015 interview with staffers from the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction about his time as the director of intelligence for the International Assistance Security Force in Afghanistan casting doubt on the success of the war which led the Washington Post to begin its successful pursuit of the so-called "Afghanistan Papers."

"From the ambassadors down to the low level, [everyone claims that] we are doing a great job," Flynn told investigators. "Really? So if we are doing such a great job, why does it feel like we are losing?"