President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn's lawyer told a federal judge Tuesday that she briefed President Trump in recent weeks on the case and asked him not to issue a pardon, Politico reports.

Why it matters: Flynn lawyer Sidney Powell was responding to questions from U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan in a highly anticipated hearing on Tuesday. Sullivan's questioning highlights the judge's concerns about the Justice Department's bid in May to dismiss prosecution against Flynn, who pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI about his contacts with the former Russian ambassador.

  • Powell also told Sullivan that she had not asked the president to have Attorney General Bill Barr intervene and assign new attorneys to the matter.

The exchange, per Politico:

POWELL: “I can tell you I spoke one time to the president about this case to inform him about the general status of this litigation."
SULLIVAN: “Did you ever ask the president of the United States or request his attorney general to appoint new attorneys in this case?”
POWELL: “Oh, heavens no."

The big picture: Trump's allies have viewed Barr's move to withdraw charges against Flynn as the first major step in exposing the Russia investigation as a political hit job. Democrats fear Barr is weaponizing the Justice Department ahead of the election.

Go deeper: Ex-judge says Trump "pressure campaigns" led to DOJ reversal in Flynn case

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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