Special counsel notes Flynn’s cooperation, recommends no jail time

Geneva Stokes
December 5, 2018

U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office is recommending no jail time for former U.S. national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Flynn admitted in his plea that he spoke to the Russians at the direction of Trump transition team officials.

Flynn served as Trump's national security adviser for less than a month in early 2017, but was sacked more than two weeks after then-acting Attorney General Sally Yates told White House officials that Flynn had lied to Vice President Mike Pence about his communications on Russian sanctions with then-Russian ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak.

In a piece on Yahoo News, journalist Michael Isikoff reported that Mueller's team is "tying up loose ends" in the Russian Federation probe as they prepare to file three crucial memos this week on their most high profile defendants: Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen.

The filing says that Mueller recommends no prison time for Flynn after he has provided the investigation with "substantial assistance" in the investigation.

Cohen, who is cooperating with a federal probe into whether Trump's campaign worked with Russian Federation to sway the election, is scheduled to be sentenced on December 12 after pleading guilty to tax evasion, making false statements to a bank, campaign finance violations, and lying to Congress.

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Mueller was appointed to his role in May 2017, directed by deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein to investigate "any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with" President Donald Trump's presidential campaign. The filing described Flynn's transgressions as "serious", but added that his cooperation with Mueller's investigation is enough to eliminate going to prison. According to the filing, Flynn has been cooperating in "several ongoing investigations".

In the same document, he goes further than in documents released last week by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III's office in which Cohen admitted to lying to Congress about his work on behalf of Trump when he was a candidate as he tried to secure approval for a hotel project in Moscow.

President Donald Trump on Monday called for his former personal attorney and "fixer" Michael Cohen to receive a "long prison term", while suggesting his former employee's wife and father-in-law also committed crimes.

Flynn was a close adviser to Trump during the campaign - and famously led a "lock her up" Hillary Clinton chant at the Republican National Convention.

Flynn also admitted that later in December 2016 he asked Kislyak not to retaliate in response to the Obama administration sanctions, something he initially told Federal Bureau of Investigation agents he didn't do. One knowledgeable source said Flynn's cooperation largely took place immediately following his December 2017 court appearance.

Friends and relatives have said Flynn, who at 2016 campaign rallies led chants of "Lock her up!" about Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, is eager to face the judge and accept his fate following his dramatic guilty plea nearly exactly one year ago. His admission came as part of a new plea agreement with Mueller and just four months after he had pleaded guilty to a slew of federal charges in August including bank fraud, tax evasion and campaign finance violations.

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