Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller’s team has told a federal court that Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn should receive minimal or no jail time for extensive cooperation with the Special Counsel’s Office (SCO in connection with the investigation into alleged collusion between the Donald Trump presidential campaign and Russia.
The SCO is also conducting a separate criminal investigation and a possible third investigation, details of which are completely redacted from the court filings.
Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. | Photo Credit: AP
Mr. Flynn resigned from the Trump administration within a month into the job after misleading Vice-President Mike Pence and others in the administration about talks he had with then Russian Ambassador to the U.S., Sergei Kislyak. Last December , Mr. Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI on conversations he had with the Ambassador.
However, Tuesday’s court filings — a sentencing memo and its addendum — recommended leniency in sentencing. “Given the defendant’s substantial assistance and other considerations set forth below, a sentence at the low end of the guideline range [0-6 months] — including a sentence that does not impose a term of incarceration — is appropriate and warranted,” the documents say, citing 19 interviews that Mr. Flynn did with Mr. Mueller’s team and other prosecutors.
“The usefulness of the defendant’s assistance is connected to its timeliness… His early cooperation was particularly valuable,” Mr Mueller says, “because he was one of the few people with long-term and first-hand insight regarding events and issues under investigation by the SCO”. Tuesday’s sentencing memo from Mr. Mueller’s team had large amounts of redacted text, because, the documents say, of a need to protect ongoing probes.
This comes as another setback for the U.S. President in the span of a week; last week, Mr. Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, told a New York court that he had lied to Congress about a timeline of events and had discussed a deal for Trump Towers in Moscow as late as June 2016, after it was apparent that Mr. Trump would win the Republican ticket for the presidential elections.
Mr. Flynn is expected to be sentenced by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on December 18.