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Mueller Calls Flynn Cooperation 'Complete,' While Flynn Asks for 90-Day Sentencing Delay
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13 Mar 2019 12:51 PM EST

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Michael Flynn (Image source: Public domain)

 

 

The judge gave former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn a Christmas gift back in December when he delayed his sentencing until he was done cooperating. But now that the special counsel's office is done with him, Flynn wants the judge's gift to keep on giving. He is requesting an additional 90-day delay. 

The U.S. Army veteran was  the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency during former President Barack Obama's time in office, and once Donald Trump was elected, he named him the national security adviser.

 

But he made mistakes before even starting his job officially. During Trump's transition time Flynn met with the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak. They were both involved in the December 2016 Trump Tower meeting along with Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, who suggested Kislyak set up a secret communications channel with the Kremlin.  

Later, Flynn and Kislyak talked directly with each other. On December 29 he told the ambassador that Trump didn't approve of the sanctions Obama had slapped on Russia and asked the Kremlin not to retaliate. That very next day, Russian President Vladimir Putin said they wouldn't be retaliating. Kislyak then called Flynn to let them know they were honoring his request.

 

Flynn misled FBI investigators and Mike Pence with regard to his communication with Kislyak. Once that came to light, according to former FBI Director James Comey, Trump asked him to go easy on Flynn, who ended up resigning anyway a few weeks into the new administration. He pleaded guilty later that year to one felony count of lying to the FBI and promised to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. 

Late last year Mueller's office requested Flynn not receive any prison time because of his help with the investigation. After redacted notes from his initial FBI interview were filed, it was noted he'd denied discussing Obama's sanctions with Kislyak but later admitted to it in his guilty plea.

 

It was also noted in his sentencing memo that he'd also lied to the Justice Department regarding his ties to Turkey when doing lobbying work for them. A week before his initial sentencing, two of his former associates, Bijan Rafiekian and Ekim Alptekin, were indicted for their part in the conspiracy to violate federal lobbying rules. Alpetkin was also charged with making false statements to FBI investigators. 

Judge Emmet Sullivan told Flynn last December that "you sold your country out" and mentioned "treason." He then suggested Flynn delay his sentencing until his cooperation was complete, as he was being charged with a "very serious offense." Flynn and his legal team took his suggestion.

 

Special counsel attorneys wrote in a Tuesday night joint status report to Sullivan that Flynn's cooperation is now complete, meaning there is no longer a reason to not sentence him.  

However, the defense attorneys, in the same report, asked for an additional 90-day delay in the sentencing so that he could continue to cooperate with the government in Rafiekian's case. He's expecting to testify in that case, which is scheduled to go to trial in July.

 

"At this time the defendant continues to request a continuance since the case in EDVA has not been resolved, and there may be additional cooperation for the defendant to provide pursuant to the plea agreement in this matter," the attorneys wrote. 

While the special counsel's office didn't comment on the defense's request, they did write, "While the defendant remains in a position to cooperate with law enforcement authorities and could testify in the EDVA case, should it proceed to trial, in the government's view his cooperation is otherwise complete."

 

Federal sentencing guidelines call for Flynn to be sentenced between zero and six months, and Mueller's office has requested the "low end." However, he could serve a maximum of up to five years. 

Comparatively, though, Paul Manafort was recently sentenced to 47 months, and he also lied to the FBI and did lobbying work that led to trouble. But he was sentenced for his bank and tax fraud, with the other sentencing to be handed down on Wednesday.

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