Prosecutors recommend no jail time for co-operative Flynn

05 December, 2018, 16:12 | Author: Emmett Rice
  • Special counsel Robert Mueller departs after a meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington

President Trump's attorney Rudolph Giuliani told Fox News on Tuesday night that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn had admitted to offenses comparable to "spitting on the sidewalk" after Special Counsel Robert Mueller recommended minimal prison time for the former three-star Army general.

Flynn's interview occurred in January 2017, shortly after he took his post as national security adviser in the Trump White House.

This week, Robert Mueller said that Flynn should get no prison time because of the "substantial assistance" he has provided in the Russian Federation probe.

The filing by special counsel Robert Mueller provides the first details of Flynn's assistance in the Russian Federation investigation, including that he participated in 19 interviews with prosecutors and cooperated extensively in a separate and undisclosed criminal probe.

Last year, Flynn pleaded guilty to "willfully and knowingly" making "false, fictitious and fraudulent statements and representations" to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2016.

Details of the other two investigations are redacted - one is identified as a "criminal" investigation - although Mueller notes that Flynn spoke to prosecutors from "other Department of Justice offices" and "provided documents and communications". Of the alleged Moscow hotel deal, he said: "This was a project that we didn't do, that I didn't do", adding "there would be nothing wrong if I did do it".

Flynn had allegedly passed messages about easing sanctions on Russian Federation from the Trump campaign to Kislyak and back.

But as with former Trump fixer Michael Cohen's sentencing hearing this week, Mueller appeared to be letting Flynn go.

In a series of unhinged Tweets Monday morning, Donald Trump blasted the Mueller investigation and his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, praising conspiracy theorist Roger Stone for vowing to never testify against him. He will be sentenced in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on December 18.

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"Senior government leaders should be held to the highest standards", Mueller said in the sentencing memo filed in federal court in Washington.

Further, he writes that some of the benefit of Flynn's assistance "may not be fully realised at this time because the investigations in which he has provided assistance are ongoing". "The defendant's extensive government service should have made him particularly aware of the harm caused by providing false information to the government, as well as the rules governing work performed on behalf of a foreign government".

The president has been increasingly venting his anger at the probe - and those who cooperate with it.

The new cache of Cohen testimony might well also ensnare the president's son Donald Jr., his daughter Ivanka and her husband-in-law Jared Kushner, of whom the latter two remain as White House officials.

Just over a month later, on August 21, Cohen pleaded guilty in Manhattan to eight felonies - including campaign finance violations, tax evasion and making false statements to a bank - before Judge William H. Pauley III.

The president compared Cohen with Stone, who is also being investigated by Mueller over his possible role in colluding with the Russians during the campaign.

Mueller's office said in a court filing Flynn assisted with the investigation "concerning links or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump campaign".

The tweet about Stone drew immediate criticism from several lawyers, who said it amounted to witness tampering.

It has been reported that Mueller's team are trying to determine whether Flynn met with Turkish officials in December 2016 to discuss a potential deal under which he would be paid to oversee Gulen's return to Turkey.

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