News

U.S.

Judge Delays Michael Flynn’s Sentencing

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn arrives for his sentencing hearing at U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., December 18, 2018. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters )

A federal judge delayed Michael Flynn’s sentencing Tuesday at the behest of his attorneys following a bizarre sentencing hearing in which Judge Emmett Sullivan raised the prospect that the former White House national-security adviser committed treason, before backtracking and conceding that Flynn’s crimes were not, in fact, treasonous.

Sullivan, who is tasked with sentencing Flynn for one count of of lying to federal agents, gave Flynn’s attorneys the option of delaying his sentencing until the extent of his cooperation with prosecutors in other ongoing criminal cases could be made clear.

Sullivan, however, admonished the general during the hearing and suggested he betrayed his country.

“All along, you were an unregistered agent of a foreign country while serving as the National Security Adviser to the President of the United States. That undermines everything this flag over here stands for. Arguably you sold your country out,” Sullivan said.

Flynn is facing up to six months in prison but prosecutors have recommended leniency in light of Flynn’s providing “substantial help” in multiple ongoing criminal investigations.

Sullivan pushed Flynn during the hearing to admit that he knew he was committing a crime when he lied to FBI agents about his contacts with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak — rebutting the defense, popular among Flynn’s allies, that the agents trapped him by failing to inform him that he was under investigation and could be criminally liable for lying to them.

The judge went on to accuse Flynn of lying to federal agents while standing in the White House, but rescinded that accusation after learning that Flynn’s conversations with investigators occurred before President Trump was sworn in. Following a recess, Sullivan clarified his earlier remarks about Flynn lying while in the White House and appeared to apologize for seeming to suggest that Flynn committed treason.

“I’m not suggesting” Flynn committed treason, Sullivan said. “I was just trying to determine the benefit and the generosity of the government. Don’t read too much into the questions I ask.”

Sullivan set a status update hearing for March 13, at which point prosecutors will report on the extent of Flynn’s cooperation in other ongoing investigations.

Flynn — a retired three-star general who served as national-security adviser for just the first 28 days of the administration — is the highest ranking administration official to be sentenced in connection with special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Mueller’s investigators are now investigating whether Trump obstructed justice by instructing then-FBI director James Comey to end the investigation into Flynn in the spring of 2017.

Two of Flynn’s former business partners were accused, in an indictment unsealed Monday, of violating foreign lobbying rules by conducting a covert campaign to pressure U.S. officials to expel one of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s political rivals.

Prosecutors say Flynn assisted their investigation into his former business associates but it remains unclear what other criminal investigations Flynn has assisted.

Most Popular

Sports

It’s Time for Colin Kaepernick to Move On

Colin Kaepernick. Remember him? Below-average quarterback. Above-average poseur. Not “activist,” not really. Activists actually say stuff. Kaepernick almost never says anything. He’s like the Queen or most popes — you have to read the deep-background musings of supposed members of his inner circle to get ... Read More
U.S.

What The 1619 Project Leaves Out

“The goal of The 1619 Project, a major initiative from The New York Times that this issue of the magazine inaugurates, is to reframe American history by considering what it would mean to regard 1619 as our nation’s birth year,” The New York Times Magazine editors declare. “Doing so requires us to place ... Read More
Elections

Trump and the Black Vote

"Donald Trump is a racist, white supremacist, white nationalist. So are his supporters." Some version of that refrain is heard almost hourly somewhere in mainstream media. Democratic politicians seem to proclaim it more often than that. Listening only to the Left, you'd conclude that more than half a ... Read More
PC Culture

Courage Is the Cure for Political Correctness

This might come as some surprise to observers of our campus culture wars, but there was a time, not long ago, when the situation in American higher education was much worse. There a wave of vicious campus activism aimed at silencing heterodox speakers, and it was typically empowered by a comprehensive regime of ... Read More
U.S.

The Age of Miscalculation

On August 7, 1998, more than 200 people were killed in terrorist attacks on U.S. embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya. Americans learned three names most of them never had heard before: Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden, and al-Qaeda. On August 20, 1998, President Bill Clinton ordered a ... Read More