Flynn asks to be spared prison time

Mueller confirmed the contacts 14 close to the Trump entities with the Russians, – WP

Under advisory sentencing guidelines, Flynn is facing between zero and six months in prison.

Flynn pleaded guilty past year to lying to federal investigators about the contents of his conversations with Sergey Kislyak, then Russia's ambassador to the U.S. Flynn was forced to resign from his national security post in February 2017.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller defended the propriety of federal agents' January 2017 interview with former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, during which he told lies that led to criminal charges.

U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office said last week Flynn had provided substantial cooperation with its investigation, as well as with other probes. (Strzok was removed from the Mueller team days later.) That heavily redacted form backed up what Flynn had said about the FBI's pitch for the Flynn meeting. McCabe also told Flynn that if he brought his lawyer to the meeting the Justice Department would have to attend as well.

In a pointed response filed with the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Mueller, by and through his office, issued a pointed rebuttal.

Flynn's attorneys had pulled from those documents in pointing out that unlike other defendants in the Russian Federation investigation, Flynn wasn't warned in advance that it was a crime to lie to the FBI.

Mueller said Flynn, as a "sitting National Security Advisor, former head of an intelligence agency, retired Lieutenant General, and 33-year veteran of the armed forces" knows better than to lie to federal agents and "does not need to be warned it is a crime to lie to federal agents".

While Flynn admits his actions were wrong, his lawyers argued that "a just punishment" must also consider that, prior to their January 24 interview with him, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents did not warn Flynn of the penalties for making a false statement.

In fact, at least one major reason why Judge Contreras was suddenly pulled off this case is a matter of public record, even if Democrats and the media don't want people to remember what it is: Peter Strzok and Lisa Page got caught in their text messages talking about getting together with their friend "Rudy" and trying to influence him, but being especially clever about how they went about doing it. Last week Mueller's office released their own sentencing memo that also recommended no prison time. And authorities say they'd be OK if he served little or no prison time.

Among Flynn's fans is former Trump national security aide Sebastian Gorka, who worked with Flynn in the White House. Flynn was "relaxed and jocular" during the interview session, it adds. Mr. Flynn asked Mr. McCabe if the interview would concern his interactions with U.S. Ambassador to Russia Sergei Kislyak, he said it would.

Despite the extensive cooperation, Flynn has not drawn any of the vitriol that Trump has hurled at those who have turned on him - most notably his former fixer Michael Cohen.

In a memo submitted to the court on December 11, Flynn's lawyers explain that then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe called Flynn on a secure phone to the White House on January 24. After being fired by Trump that spring, Comey was later criticized by the Justice Department inspector general for going behind the back of Yates' predecessor, Obama-era Attorney General Loretta Lynch, to hold a press conference about the Hillary Clinton email investigation. Some already are demanding that President Trump pardon him and are outraged at the mishandling of his case. Despite this, Mueller said he will not pursue a more painful punishment.

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