Law & the Courts

Mueller Team: Flynn’s Cooperation Should Keep Him Out of Prison

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn arrives for a plea hearing at U.S. District Court regarding his testimony to the FBI about contacts with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, in Washington, D.C., December 1, 2017. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Former national-security adviser Michael Flynn should be spared prison time after “substantially assisting” Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, Mueller’s team said in a court filing Tuesday.

The three-star Army general resigned from the Trump administration in February 2017, after he made misleading statements to Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. He pled guilty last December to the felony count of “willfully and knowingly” making “false, fictitious and fraudulent statements to the FBI” and accepted a deal to cooperate with Mueller.

“The defendant deserves credit for accepting responsibility in a timely fashion and substantially assisting the government,” prosecutors on Mueller’s staff wrote in a sentencing-recommendation memorandum and an addendum.

The documents were sparse on the details of what information Flynn provided to prosecutors, but hinted he had informed them of contact between Russians and individuals close to Trump.

“The defendant provided firsthand information about the content and context of interactions between the transition team and the Russian government,” prosecutors wrote. Mueller’s team said it was also grateful for Flynn’s cooperation because it “likely affected the decisions of related firsthand witnesses to be forthcoming with the [special counsel] and cooperate.”

Flynn will be sentenced on December 18. He faces up to five years in prison, but appears likely to serve zero to six months.

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