Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser to Donald Trump who was due to be sentenced for lying to federal investigators, is seeking to withdraw his guilty plea "because of the government's bad faith, vindictiveness, and breach of the plea agreement", his lawyers said in a court document filed Tuesday.
The request comes one week after the Justice Department changed its position on Mr Flynn's punishment by recommending he serve up to six months behind bars - prosecutors had earlier said Mr Flynn was entitled to avoid prison time because of his extensive cooperation.
"The prosecution has shown abject bad faith in pure retaliation against Mr. Flynn since he retained new counsel", Flynn's defense wrote in the filing.
Gen. Flynn is innocent of all charges, the government's allegations are false, and evidence the government released only recently needs to be reviewed and addressed.
"It is beyond ironic and completely outrageous that the prosecutors have persecuted Mr. Flynn, virtually bankrupted him, and put his entire family through unimaginable stress for three years", she added.
"The same can not be said of the prosecution, which has acted in bad faith since the start of the" investigation "and continues unabated through this specious pursuit".
Flynn was one of several former Trump aides to plead guilty or be convicted at trial in Mueller's investigation that detailed Moscow's interference in the 2016 US election to boost Trump's candidacy, as well as numerous contacts between Trump's campaign and Russian Federation.
He cooperated extensively with the government over the next year. But after an aborted sentencing hearing in late 2018, Flynn replaced his lawyer and began an effort to disavow his wrongdoing.
The Justice Department opted not to have Flynn testify in the Virginia trial of a former business associate, saying that shortly before trial, he changed his account and contradicted his own past statements - making him unreliable as a witness.
In the new filing on Tuesday, Flynn's legal team also wrote that "extraordinary developments" have come in the case in the last 30 days, which has revealed additional information that Flynn's attorney writes they need more time to cover.